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There is no crisis that can't be dealth with
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When we stroll the streets of our community, walk down the isles of our stores or stop to rest on a sidewalk bench, many of us watch and listen to others, taking note of what may be happening in their lives. Many of us “people watchers” have an interest in what others are living, doing and, perhaps most of all, going through.
We are interested in others for good reason. We are facing issues ourselves, some minor and many major, and we want to know, “Why is this happening to me?” “What am I going to do ?” “I feel so lost and alone, and no one really cares.”
I know we all have needs — not wants — but genuine needs based on concerns of health, loss of a loved one, separation from loved ones, job loss, the stress of being a caregiver for someone else, an inability to cope with the issues of life and much more.  
However, help is available. Consider these situations:
Beverly could not possibly have anticipated the tragic turn her life would take when she kissed her beloved husband Dave goodby one morning. With a smile, he said, “I’ll see you later.” He left and never returned.
A fatal car accident took Dave’s life and in the weeks that followed, Beverly was in shock. She was alone with her thoughts and even though many friends told her that Dave was “in a much better place,” comfort eluded her.
Beverly wanted Dave by her side. She knew he was dead, but couldn’t believe it, couldn’t accept it. She felt so alone in her grief and longed for someone to help guide her through the days and weeks ahead, to point her in the right direction and walk with her.
Beverly heard about Stephen Ministry from a friend at another church. She contacted the group and was paired with Stephen Minister Cindy McIntosh. They walked together in friendship and faith for the next year, as Beverly made her way through the grieving process.
Here’s another account:
Ben thought he was invincible at age 28. He was a former high school football star, married to his longtime sweetheart, had a good job, was healthy and enjoying life. Everything was going well.
During the next three years, though, Ben’s life crumbled. He lost his job when his plant closed, and six months later he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. The couple moved in with Ben’s parents to save money.
A short time later, Ben’s father, with whom he was very close, died of a heart attack. His mother’s health deteriorated and she moved into a nursing home. As a result of the stress, Ben’s marriage began to unravel. He felt like he was trying to climb out of an impossibly deep hole.
Ben’s friend had heard of Stephen Ministry, and Ben called a church in the next town that had a Stephen team. Alex Morton was assigned to listen, guide and help Ben restore his faith.
There are thousands of people worried about issues and concerns just like these, and they’re right here in our community — every day.
Stephen Ministers do make a difference. Anyone who needs the service of a Stephen Minister does not have to be a member of a church. There is no cost, and the one-on-one relationships between care recipients and ministers are strictly confidential.
If you or someone you know could use a Stephen Minister, call John at First Baptist Church at 312-7840.

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