“New Hope” in Perryton
The Perryton Area Parkinson’s Disease Support Group was started by a simple request from Winnie Swiegart at one of our monthly women’s meeting. Her husband Earl, had PD and she felt it would be helpful for those who had PD to get together and visit. Now 10 years later, we provide a lunch at noon for about 20 people. Our members come from Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, many who drive over an hour to attend. Our cooking crew includes Winnie Sweigart, Bev Burger, Judy Buzzard, Jane Lile and Jo Humphrey.
After a blessing from our Pastor Bob Humphrey and lunch, an informative/educational program is given with time for questions. Programs have included Big and Loud and LSVT therapy for Parkinson’s, helpful exercises, dietitians, mental health, caregiver tips, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Dog Therapy — just to name a few.
Those who attend our meetings enjoy sharing information, even though PD affects everyone differently, with some who have had it for over 15 years and some who have had it for only a few years, the Support Group provides each one with hope on their PD journey.
Jo Humphrey, wife of New Hope Fellowship pastor, Bob Humphrey, has been training dogs for over thirty years in competition, obedience, and therapy. The Parkinson’s disease group at New Hope has provided yet another opportunity for Jo to utilize her Therapy Dog training with patients. Jo’s ministry reaches beyond the church in that she has established Therapy Dog teams in several counties of the Texas panhandle through her organization, P.A.C.T. (Panhandle Area Community Therapies), which trains and registers dogs and handlers to visit in hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers. She also works with the R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistant Dogs) organization to provide teams to public schools to work with children with reading difficulties and, most recently, she has begun the process of providing “court dogs” for the benefit of children who become involved in court proceedings as the result of abuse or negligence. Dogs provide a comforting and non-judgmental temporary companion during the proceedings.
Both Bev and Jo are shining examples of how utilizing God-given talents can indeed provide “New Hope” to the community beyond the church doors.Posted on June 28, 2017 in Congregational Stories Weekly Word