Immanuel’s mission is to “Equip Saints to Make Disciples.” In this portion of our Messenger, we highlight one of our “saints,” Faith Ladwig, who is living out her Christian calling, successfully integrating her faith into her everyday life.
This issue’s “saint” volunteers her time in a variety of capacities at Immanuel and in the community.
At Immanuel, Faith has ministered on Sunday mornings in the Altar Guild, Sunday Fellowship Hour, and as a Greeter. She has also been a member of the Festival Choir and the Prayer Chain.
In the community realm, Faith and her late husband Jim served meals to ten residents in Immanuel’s neighborhood for more than two years through the Meals On Wheels program. Since Jim’s recent passing, she has taken a hiatus from the program and her Immanuel involvement, but says she may resume in the near future.
Faith and Jim first heard about the need for Meals On Wheels ministers through an Immanuel bulletin announcement. They thought it would be a nice thing they could enjoy doing together in their retirement.
“We felt we both did a little something for the elderly, [too],” she said.
The Meals On Wheels program in Waukesha delivered the meals first to Hampton Regency, where they were prepared for transport to local residents. Every other week, Faith and Jim picked up the lunches from Hampton Regency and delivered them.
In her experiences meeting the residents, Faith was moved by how much people looked forward to their visits. Faith remembers that one woman was always a bit crabby and demanding, wanting Faith to make her coffee and do other small tasks. Faith said she tried to lighten the woman’s mood with light teasing, and she occasionally complied with the woman’s requests. When Faith would tell the woman that she and Jim needed to leave to take other people’s meals to them on time, the woman would ask, “Are you leaving already?” Faith came to realize how lonely this woman must be and that her requests were a way to extend the visits.
She was also impressed by how some people managed to be cheerful in spite of their difficult circumstances. One woman particularly stands out in Faith’s mind: she lived alone in considerable physical discomfort: she had cancer and had to be on oxygen. She also had her legs bandaged and had bruising from taking a fall. Her only visitors were her nurses. Yet the woman had a strong Christian faith and was always cheerful, telling Faith, “I look forward to seeing you. Things could be worse.” Faith acknowledged that she also was a Christian and told the woman she’d keep her in her prayers. The woman appreciated that someone was thinking of her. During Faith’s time with Meals On Wheels, the woman passed away. Faith was glad to know she had been able to bring the woman Christian words of comfort. She realized through this and many other experiences that Meals On Wheels was in many ways an important outreach ministry.
“[Serving with Meals On Wheels] made you realize we should be out there helping people,” Faith says. “It’s not that difficult. You can touch somebody’s life by praying for them and telling them there is a God; they can take it or leave it, but you have to try.”
Learn more about Faith’s experiences from Faith herself: she usually attends the 9:30 a.m. Sunday service.
For information on volunteering for Meals On Wheels, contact Pam at Hampton Regency.
- Lisa Jaeger, Director of Assimilation and Deployment