Pastor Tracey asked if I would write a blog about Trinity’s Friendly Visitors. At first, I wasn’t sure what to write or say, except it has been something I’ve always wanted to do after retiring.
As some of you know, my occupation was nursing and the last 7 years of a 44 year career was as a triage nurse. Throughout the years, I’ve learned to truly “listen” to what one is saying, not only their words but also their tone of voice. Many of those I listened to told their stories of being home bound due to illness or old age. Some had family and/ or friends that helped them, yet there were others who had no help at all. So, when I retired, I moved from Buffalo, New York to Lafayette, Indiana, where my sister and brother-in-law live. I then began looking for a church that was actively involved with their parishioners and surrounding community. In Trinity, I found the people were open, warm, friendly, and involved in different areas of their community. One of those being “Friendly Visitors” to Trinity’s home bound.
When I first became a visitor, I was asked to visit those at Westminster Village. At that time, there were 5 parishioners ranging in age from their 80’s to late 90’s. That first visit, I went with a former pastor to be introduced and meet them. After the initial meeting, I ventured out on my own, thinking of Jesus as he met those on his journey, not knowing how I would be received. Throughout time, my relationships have grown, hearing their stories, meeting their families, seeing tears of joy and sadness. Sometimes, the only thing they need is someone to listen and hear them, someone that shows up, someone who cares. The smiles that happen when they receive a visit, a phone call, a card in the mail for their birthday or holiday say it all. These may seem insignificant to those who can get out and about, but to them it is a big thing to know they’re remembered and cared about. Sometimes, the friendly visitor is the only connection they have to the “outside” world. With these visits and calls, relationships have grown. I feel honored and blessed that they share their stories and feelings with me.
When Pastor Suzanne joined the Trinity staff, one of the “ jobs” was to head the friendly visitors. Not only did she step up to the plate during Covid, when the only communication was via phone and zoom, she made sure to touch base with each friendly visitor, individually and make contact with each homebound. Pastor Suzanne is a blessing and an integral part of the friendly visitors. The homebound mention her often and express their gratitude for her caring about them, and making their relationship grow with Trinity. I want to say thank you to Pastor Suzanne and the friendly visitors, making the housebound feel loved, cared for, and not forgotten. Trinity is definitely living up to its vision statement: Growing in Love and service through relationships with God and community.