Sunday, August 17, 2014

Welcomed with Open Arms by Dodie and Mel Miller

Our family was living in Columbus, Ohio in 1996 when Nationwide Insurance offered Mel a position in Rock Hill. We had been vacationing at Litchfield ever since our daughters were born so we jumped at the chance to make South Carolina our home. After a family meeting to be certain Andrea, then an eighth grader, and Lauren, a fifth grader, were okay with leaving their friends behind in the middle of the school year, we began to pack our bags! It was February! Who wouldn't be willing to leave Ohio for South Carolina?

We moved into our house, which just happened to be next door to Bill and Mary Jean Ligon. Bill was terminally ill and Ted Brazil, St. John's senior pastor at that time, was visiting them and noticed we had moved in. He knocked on our door, introduced himself and told us we needed to come to his church. The next Sunday we did just that and were welcomed with open arms! We didn't waste much time becoming involved - me with circle #6 and the girls in Methodist Youth Fellowship, or MYF as it was called back then. Mel and I were invited to an MYF parent meeting and walked out as advisors to the middle school group. We never did figure out how that happened but it proved to be an experience we wouldn't trade for anything. 

We were in our fourth year here when Nationwide decided to transfer Mel back to Columbus. We left reluctantly, vowing to make Rock Hill our retirement home when the time came. We continued vacationing in South Carolina, now with our friends from Rock Hill, and every year when visiting St. John's we were asked if we were moving back. After twelve years, we could finally answer yes to that question! 

We have been retired for three years now and it's as though we had never left St. John's. We have replaced our stressful, full time jobs with hobbies and work in all areas of our church. Our daughters, both with jobs they love, remain in Columbus but visit often. It took twelve years but we are finally back where we belong.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Thank You Note by Lacy Ngo

As Neeshie is now leaving the infant stage and starting to move towards the toddler times, I have begun reflecting on the beauty and difficulties of the infant year.  Those first few months were trying, but I can truly say God gave me the support I needed through my family and friends, including my church family.  Thank you, church family, for all the food I received after the birth of Neeshie.  I never realized how much of an impact those meals have on a new mom until I received them.  Of course, the meals helped me physically.  Cooking meals was almost impossible while I was feeling sleep deprived, recuperating from childbirth, helping a 3-year-old boy adjust, and tending to a newborn.  However, those meals were so much more.  The first few days after childbirth, I felt the “baby blues.”  Life was chaotic and overwhelming.  I felt such a strong love for both children, but couldn’t figure out how to give then both the attention they needed.  Neeshie constantly wanted to eat and Hilt, feeling insecure, didn’t want to leave my side.  These meals were a “pick me up” during this time.  For one, they were something delicious to look forward to among the diapers and chaos, but moreover, I felt so much love from the people who sent the meals.  I didn’t feel alone.  Meal suppliers, you were my ray of light during the “baby blues” phase.  I will go even further and say you made me a better person.  When I experienced your kindness, you made me want to do more for others.  I just wanted to say thank you.