Fred and Ellie’s twenty nine year old son died suddenly of a heart attack. Fred started one the first special needs programs in the school where he was the principle. Eric and Daidra were blessed with twins. One of their boys has Cerebral Palsy. Margot leads Capernaum, a Young Life outreach to students with special needs. She lives with her brother who has developmental disabilities. Gail is a music therapist and her husband Steve cares for and supports adults with traumatic brain injury through music and art. Dave and Karen are retired and looking for something they can do together. Through their many years of marriage they have loved and served individuals with special needs.
What do Fred and Ellie and Eric and Daidra and Margot and Gail and Steve and Dave and Karen all have in common? They are all Hosts for David’s Refuge. They are the very backbone of our outreach. They listen, share, serve, encourage, eat, laugh, and cry with our guests. They drive our mission. They Care for the Caregiver. They are David’s Refuge!
The following is a summary of the job description for a Host at David’s Refuge:
A Host works in conjunction with the B&B or Inn Keeper to ensure that the mission of David’s Refuge is carried out. A host is unobtrusively available to meet the needs of our guests. Through acts of service, listening, and a willingness to share their own story guests are reminded that they are not alone, what they do matters, and that they are loved by God.
Our Hosts are concierges! They look for every way to make our guests time away the most fulfilling. They anticipate our guests needs. They are available but unobtrusive. They are comfort experts.
Why are they experts? Because they have walked the same journey our parents are currently on. Some of our hosts may not have had their own special needs children but for years they have journeyed with those who have. They have wrestled with loneliness, anger at God, loss of perspective. It is not a theoretical understanding but a practical, rubber meeting the road understanding of what it takes to love and raise a child with special needs or struggling with a fatal disease. They are willing to share their own story and their own struggles in the hopes that it will help someone else on the same journey. They are willing to sit and listen without judgment. Just by being there they pour life and hope into a parent who is struggling and broken.
Our ability to grow and serve more families rests on our ability to find great hosts, people who have been shaped and molded by their own life experiences in the world of disability, illness, and special needs. Through their own personal struggle and through their willingness to share that struggle our hosts help restore, refresh, and pour life into our parents. Just as they were comforted by someone, they now give that comfort away.
I love how this truth is stated in the Bible in a translation know as the Message:
He (God) comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. 1 Corinthians 1:4
Who could you come alongside today? Who do you know that needs to be reminded that they are not alone, that what they do matters, and that God loves them? Be a Comfort Expert!