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                            A NEWSLETTER FROM NEIGHBOURLINK SARNIA               Winter 2002/2003

          Y OU                          Hear What                     I       Hear...?
By Donna Schmidtmeyer

       Here’s a question to ponder: Why is NeighbourLink a Ministry deserving of your atten-
tion? Answer: So we can help the people in our community.
       That was an easy question. Here’s a harder one.
                                       How well is NeighbourLink doing? Well, the Ministry is ok, but
                           that’s all. It’s just ok, and I know it could be so much more.
                                       I was recently asked another much more difficult question that
                           caused me to pause before I gave an answer. Is the Ministry suffer-
                           ing? I took time to consider the choice of words…suffering…and also
                           • we haven’t grown very much
                           • the number of people we’re helping is barely being maintained
                           • few volunteers do the vast majority of work and are getting burned
 • few Churches have active Board members
 • few Churches are recruiting many new volunteers
 • not all of the requests for help are met
 • many of our areas of help offered have been eliminated because we don’t have volunteers
 in those areas any longer….and I slowly realized the answer is yes.
     Yes, the Ministry is suffering.
                                                                                   (Continued Page 2)
  In Person                   NeighbourLink Sarnia                         Winter 200/2003

(Do You Hear What I Do?)
        The Board has endeavoured to stimulate the growth of the Ministry among potential
member Churches and within our existing members. For years the Board has been saying we
need to do more in our Churches to expand NeighbourLink. But the message that we need to
hold NeighbourLink Sundays, expand the volunteer base, communicate through newsletters, in-
crease donations, and adopt a ministry has not been heard. At
this time it is our existing members that need to hear what I hear,
and see what I see as need in our Ministry. Each member
Church needs to hear the words being said, to understand the
message, and to be motivated to respond.
        To help ensure NeighbourLink remains a vital Ministry of
your Church there should be regular articles in your Church
newsletter, announcements in your service bulletin, postings on
a bulletin board, verbal updates at service, annual Neighbour-
Link Sundays, and monthly meetings for your NeighbourLInk
                                                                           Reach Us!!
Team. Also, your Church needs to be represented on the Board. NeighbourLink Sarnia
        Why is all this important? To encourage your volunteers, P.O. Box 7,
                                                                 Sarnia, ON N7T 7H2
and to expand your volunteer base. Why is this needed? To        519-336-5465
help the people in our community.                                Fax: 519-336-8009
        For the past three years we have tried to encourage Min-
istry growth through the Network meetings involving all of your Coordinators and other inter-
ested volunteers. These meetings were scheduled and the topics were selected as directed by
the participants. But attendance tapered off. Partly because no one wants to go to more meet-
ings, and I think partly because no one heard the message that the Ministry is in need.
        For this coming year, Network meetings will not be held. However, NeighbourLink’s
need still exists. The Ministry continues to suffer and some people won’t get the help they need.
        Never doubt the value of your work with NeighbourLInk. Your community needs you –
probably more so today than when NeighbourLink first began. Do what you can. Pray for the
Ministry and be motivated to expand and strengthen the Ministry at your Church.

In Person                      NeighbourLink Sarnia                         Winter 2002/2003

                    Reflections:                                    By Liz Dowswell
                                       In November a young mom of a four year old, a two
                               year old and twin four month olds called to see what kind of
                               assistance NeighbourLink volunteers might be able to give
                               her. As we seldom have had child care volunteers we hesi-
                               tated to suggest we might find volunteers to give her a break
                               with the children. Her husband works as an appliance repair-
                               man and helps with the kids when he can, but she really has
                               her hands full. When Temple Baptist Church joined the net-
                               work of churches in Sarnia serving through the NeighbourLink
                               Ministry, they had several child care volunteers on their list.
                               Two ladies offered to connect with the mom and things have
                               progressed nicely since last month. One morning a week the
                               two volunteers spend and hour or two with the mom and her
four young ones. Often while one volunteer goes out with the mom and does some quick
shopping, the other volunteer watches the babies. A great support system for this mom
and a small sacrifice of time for the volunteers.
Another Neighbour – LINK!
       Sometimes a volunteer is requested to deliver food from the Inn of the Good Shep-
herd or Salvation Army. The dry goods are quite heavy and usually there is no vehicle
available to the caller. There must a reason why using the bus or walking isn’t possible, but
sometimes there really is need of a helping hand. There are many kind volunteers willing
to serve in our community with this and other such services – thanks delivery volunteers!

         Calls come in various sizes to the NeighbourLink office. The phone volunteers often
marvel at the incredible services that NeighbourLink Volunteers are willing to do!
         A carpenter volunteer was needed to build a wooden frame for under a couch to
raise it higher. The disabled woman was having a difficult time getting on and off the couch
because of leg problems, but now is very appreciative of the help she received.
         A 91 year old lady felt fearful to take a taxi to her doctor’s appointment. Just to have
someone stay with her gave her the security she needed.
         A mentally challenged senior needed volunteers to take him and his carload of per-
sonal effects to the Home for Seniors in Watford, his new ’home’. The traumatic experience
challenged our volunteers, but with much prayer and patience all went well.
         A very leaky roof and no idea how to solve this dilemma resulted in a call to
NeighbourLink recently. After pouring over the financial situation, searching for possible
home repair grants, talking to lending institutions, and seeking roofing estimates, one very
knowledgeable and resourceful volunteer has donated several hours of legwork. The situa-
tion is still in process, so say a little prayer that a solution to this predicament will soon un-
         No job’s too big – no job’s too small – for NeighbourLink!

  In Person                      NeighbourLink Sarnia                              Winter 200/2003

       Our Board
Illa Bullock -Chairperson
(Dunlop United Church)
Heather Blythe - Secretary
(The Evangelical Missionary Church)                                                By Liz Dowswell
Ann Postma—Treasurer
(Rivercity Vineyard Fellowship)                    “New volunteers may feel intimidated to do their first
Jim Miller—Church Relations              NeighbourLink service. They’re not sure what to say or what
(Dunlop United Church)                   to expect. Seasoned volunteers can help new volunteers feel
Gaye Hamilton - Events Co-ord            comfortable with community service by partnering with them
(St. Giles Presbyterian Church)          next time they drive someone to an appointment, visit a shut-
Bert Lammers                             in, or do minor household repairs. Mention this idea in your
(First Christian Reformed Church)        bulletin announcements, then if new volunteers would like to
Hank Joose                               start this way, they can let you know, so you can match them
(Redeemer Christian Reformed)            up with veteran volunteers.
George Melendez                                                      **********
(Temple Baptist Church)                            A Co-ordinators’ Directory will be sent out soon so you
         Member Churches                 can communicate with each other. Don’t wait for a question or
Bethel Pentecostal,                      reason to connect with each other – call one or two volunteers
Central Baptist, Church of God,          you haven’t met yet, and arrange a time to go out for coffee or
Christ Lutheran (Br. Gr.),               tea. Share what you have been doing and gather new ideas
First Christian Reformed,                to use in your church.”
Free Methodist, Dunlop United,                                       **********
Redeemer Christian Reformed,                       NeighbourLink’s Annual Business Meeting featured
Redeemer Lutheran,                       several volunteers who shared some exciting stories of service
Rivercity Vineyard, Trinity Anglican     in the community. They shared that they often get as much
St. Bartholomew’s Anglican,              out of the connection as the person they are helping. Also,
St. Giles Presbyterian,                  that volunteers really do make a big difference in the lives of
The Evangelical Missionary               the person they are serving.
Second Christian Reformed,                                                                 InPerson Newsletter
                                                                             Editor & Designer: Terry Easterby
Temple Baptist, The Tabernacle

                         NeighbourLink Need$ Your Help!
 Today, the needs in our community are greater than ever. With the help of your generous
 donation, NeighbourLink Sarnia can continue to provide much-needed services to those
 who have nowhere to turn. Your donation is gratefully accepted. Tax receipts provided for
 donation of $10 or more.

 City:                                 Postal Code:
                                                                                        P.O. Box 7
 I wish to offer a gift of $                                                        Sarnia, ON N7T 7H2


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