GOSHEN — While it may seem like finding a helping hand is becoming more and more difficult these days, one Goshen church is proving that sometimes it is better to give than to receive.
Just ask Millersburg resident Wendy Nunemaker, who together with her church, Grace Community Church of Goshen, is spearheading a prayer chain campaign to help a neighbor who recently lost everything in a devastating house fire.
“Last Saturday we were coming home from a sporting event and noticed that there were fire trucks everywhere and smoke billowing from my neighbor’s home,” Nunemaker said of how she first learned of her neighbor’s plight. “My neighbor, Michelle McKibben, she’s a single mom, and she lost everything in that fire. She has a four year old son, Mason, and another son, Michael, and a daughter, Kenzie. And everything’s gone. It’s just gone. The house is basically just a shell now.”
Seeing the loss inflicted upon McKibben and her family, Nunemaker said she felt led by her Christian beliefs to try and do what she could to ease that burden. Her mind made up, Nunemaker immediately sent out a message through her church’s prayer chain asking for any assistance the congregation might be willing to give in helping McKibben and her family get back on its feet.
And the response, she said, has been overwhelming.
“I had so many people respond, and I just sent them emails of what she needed, and they immediately started getting the items around,” Nunemaker said. “I mean, there was a resale shop in Warsaw that gave her free furniture just out of the goodness of their heart, people gave towels, clothes, shoes, beds, blankets, a microwave, pots and pans and silverware... It’s just such a huge blessing.”
And what’s more, Nunemaker noted that most of the people lending assistance have never even met McKibben or her family. That, according to Grace Executive Administrator Ted Rondeau, is exactly what makes the church’s prayer chain so effective.