Like Streams of Living Water
Dear Supporters & Friends,
One of my favorite Bible passages is found in Isaiah 43 where God says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the desert.”
Right now, in the midst of the challenges and stay at home measures that we are under due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be hard at times to see the streams in what often feels like a desert. We look back to the past and miss our normal lives…visits with family members and friends, trips to fun destinations, gathering for worship, and so much more. And yet, when we ask God for eyes to see, we are able to perceive the ways that He is still doing a new thing all around us. Even now, there are streams of living water that bring refreshment and new life.
That is why I will be sharing a weekly e-newsletter with you until restrictions begin to ease at Messiah Lifeways. I want to put a spotlight on the ways that team members, donors, and volunteers become vessels for God to bring growth and renewal in beautiful ways. My hope is by reading these “Stories of Hope” you will be encouraged, inspired, and reminded of the good news that is still all around us.
With gratitude & hope,
Senior Director of Development
Snelbaker Music Therapy Program Goes Virtual
“I’m grateful for you coming here and making music with me. You always give me more pep and lift my spirits.”
“You don’t know how much better that made me feel!”
“I never got to dance a disco before – that was fun!”
These are just a few quotes from residents who have participated in virtual music therapy sessions in the last several weeks.
Earlier this year, we were making plans to expand the Snelbaker Music Therapy program at Messiah Lifeways by adding service hours, bringing group sessions to Adult Day programs, and increasing sessions in the Asper Special Care neighborhood. Although those plans have been put on hold until the current crisis has passed, we are delighted that the Snelbaker Music Therapy program has indeed expanded – just in unforeseen ways!
Almost immediately after visitation to Village Center was restricted, our partners at WB Music Therapy worked with the Messiah Lifeways Enrichment and Information Services team members to figure out how to offer virtual music therapy sessions. Every day, Board-certified music therapists Kristyn Beeman and Melanie Walborn each offer 2-3 hours of music therapy in individual sessions. Each individual session lasts anywhere from 15-30 minutes. And, we have expanded service to include the Wagner Short-term Rehab – a move that has proven to be extremely beneficial for those residents.
Especially now, music therapy is a bright spot in residents’ days. These sessions are more than a fun singalong. Through song choice and lyric analysis, residents process and discuss the emotions they are facing in the midst of this pandemic. Through instrument playing and body movement, residents improve their motor function and range of motion. Increases in mood, affect, and attention are just some of the positive mental health outcomes thanks to the power of music therapy.
Masks with a Mission Mobilizes Volunteers and Blesses the Community
It all started with a text message. Alicia Titus, Vice President of Mission Advancement, texted me one Saturday afternoon to share a picture of cloth masks she saw on Facebook. “Could our volunteers work on something like this?” she asked.
That quick text turned into an incredible campaign that has since provided more than 1,800 beautifully crafted masks to all residents and team members at Messiah Village (including CURA dining team members), residents at Mount Joy Country Homes, Messiah Lifeways At Home clients, Messiah Lifeways Adult Day clients and caregivers, Paxton Ministries, Bethesda Mission, Messiah College, G2-10 (a homeless ministry in Mechanicsburg), and a number of community residents. Wow!
We are incredibly grateful to the 28 mask-makers who gave so generously of their time and talents to provide masks during this time of need and to all those who donated fabric, thread, elastic, and money to purchase needed supplies. Several volunteers commented that the Masks with a Mission campaign provided much-needed purpose during an otherwise challenging time. And, we were very excited when abc27 picked up the story and showcased the power of our community. Check it out here.
Welcome Center Team Provides TLC – Tender Loving Connections
We are all experiencing uncertainty around future plans during this unusual time. For those waiting to become part of the Messiah Village community, extra flexibility and patience are required since the timeline for moving is even more uncertain thanks to COVID-19.
So, our Welcome Center team wanted to let those folks know that we are thinking about them and anticipating the day that they will become residents. Jenny Flamm and Donna Nilson lovingly assembled care packages consisting of snack items, activity books, puzzles, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and cloth masks made by “Masks with a Mission” volunteers and made special social-distanced deliveries.
One recipient said, “What a joy it was to see you, for just a moment, when you delivered our bag of essentials and treats! What a thoughtful thing to do! Even a roll of toilet paper! How fun.”
During these challenging and unusual times, we can all use a little TLC!
Feeling inspired? Support our ministry by visiting MessiahLifeways.org/Giving or by sending a gift to Messiah Lifeways Office of Donor & Volunteer Development, 100 Mt. Allen Dr, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 717.591.5598 with any questions or to suggest a future “Story of Hope.”