This week is National Volunteer Appreciation Week
I am excited to announce the recipient of our first Hope Builder Award, Kerryn Wright
If you visit our website restministries.com or our Sunroom (currently undergoing updates) Kerryn’s name is familiar to you. We are so thankful she decided to “do something” here with us.
“Kerryn seems to pop up everywhere!” says Lynn Severance. “She is very active in the Rest Ministries Sunroom. Her graphics either have us in stitches laughing or in tears–being reminded of the hope we have in Christ.”
“Kerryn is a noticeable presence as she regularly comments on the daily devotionals,” shares fellow writer, Fiona Burrows. “She encourages the writers and other readers with how messages have touched her, arrived at just the right time, or caused her to think differently about something.”
Kerryn has been writing devotionals since October 2012. (You can find them here.)
Until recently, I didn’t know this came about until Lynn shared: “I first got to know Kerryn as she was making encouraging comments on the Rest Ministries daily devotionals. She had such an upbeat style of expressing herself that I was immediately drawn to her. She was someone I wanted to get to know! . . .
We talk to Kerryn
I asked Kerryn to answer a few questions so I could make sure I got the details right as I shared with you about her.
So! You live in Australia!
I live in the beautiful Adelaide hills of Australia with my wonderful husband and 3 adult sons. We are blessed to have Aussie wildlife that visit us on our steep bush property including: koalas, kookaburras, bandicoots, and even an echidna.
Prior to illnesses I was a special education teacher and very involved in my church. Now my husband is my carer and he also cares for two of our sons that have illnesses and disabilities. Since illnesses I enjoy writing devotionals for Rest Ministries, meeting up with friends online in the RM Sunroom and crocheting.
I have CFIDS (chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome), MCS (multiple chemical sensitivities), IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and hemachromatosis.
Do you have a “life verse”?
My “life verse” is: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
My verse for difficult times became important to me when I first became ill and could barely lift my head due to fatigue. I is often the verse that I turn to in tough times.
“But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high” (Psalm 3:3).
What is a fun random fact you can share with us?
My husband was a clown for 20 years part-time and 5 years full-time. Can you imagine going to a bank manager together for a house loan and having to state his career as “clown”?! It was a special career that took our family to many interesting places in Australia and overseas.
Do you have any social media contacts you would like us to share with our audience?
Currently I’m not on any social media, as I find it too exhausting. I hope to change that sometime in the future!
I stumbled upon Rest Ministries one night when I was desperately lonely and sad. Through it God brought a light into the darkness for me when the losses were all engulfing–having lost my health, career, church ministry, energy for outings, and many friendships.
Thank you for Rest Ministries, Lisa.
Devotional writers share how Kerryn has become a Hope Builder
“We have become very good friends, even with the geographic distance–which does not seem a factor for those of us who are online friends. We began corresponding more personally. With more than a few nudges from me–seeing the joyfulness of her style of expressing encouragement to others–I suggested she consider submitting a couple of devotionals to Lisa, as I felt she would be such a wonderful asset to our devotional writer’s team. She did . . .
The rest is, as they say, history for now thousands have been able to see the spark she bringing light to others while going through her own very challenging times.”
Shelly says “Kerryn makes everyone feel like an immediate beloved family member…
…when they first pop up on the Rest Ministries site or in the Sunroom. She’s always wheeling us out into the ‘Sonlight’ and encouraging us to just be ourselves. Even in her own suffering, she’s always thinking of others and welcoming them in a way that feels like a hug.”
Fiona explains, “Kerryn is passionate about encouragement, faithful in prayer,
and uses the limited energy she has to bless others and point them towards deeper relationship with God.”
“Kerryn is a faithful friend and she is especially appreciated by those in the Rest Ministries Sunroom,” says Karlton Douglas. “She remembers and acknowledges birthdays, prays for those who are hurting and in need, and provides constant encouragement. Her kindness and compassion continually shines through as she lifts up those she communicates with in private and in the Sunroom groups and message boards.”
Julie Buckley shares “Even though I have been a writer with Rest Ministries for less than a year, Kerryn immediately made the effort to make me feel welcome with encouraging comments on my devotionals. She is warm and caring and has the ability to just make your day brighter, no matter what she is going through at the time.”
“I have come to ‘know’ her family through photos sent and prayer needs shared for them. I love this woman!” says Lynn.
I know I have witnesses Fiona’s description of her: “Kerryn’s enthusiasm is infectious and her sense of humour, priceless.”
Thank you, Kerryn…
So we would like to say thank you to Kerryn Wright, with our deepest appreciation for how you bless the people here at Rest Ministries. You create a joy bubble wherever you do, and you are always working behind the scenes to make sure those who visit our site feel comfortable, cared for, and seen by someone–especially God.
Fiona is one of the few of us who have been able to meet Kerryn in person! “It was a joy and a blessing to spend time with Kerryn last year–to see her love for God, love for people, the courage with which she faces her daily challenges, and the dedication she has to doing what she can for this ministry.”
Laura shares: “Encourager: to inspire with courage, spirit, or confidence.‘Encourager’ describes Kerryn Wright perfectly. Regardless of her own struggles, she finds time and the words to write to others. She responds in words and prayers to many posts in the Sunroom. Her kindness is a breath of sunshine to all. She often talks of wheeling us into the sun and sharing ‘a cuppa tea.’ How lovely it would be to share tea with this grace-filled woman. It is evident Kerryn cares and prayers from across the globe. She is a priceless gem in this chronic illness journey.”
Congratulations to Kerryn as the first recipient of our new Hope Builder Award.
Do you know someone who should be nominated for the Hope Builder Award? Submit the details today.
Lisa Copen is honored to have such amazing, inspiring Hope Builders who surround her–especially when she is having a hard day herself. It is the relationships like this that build over the miles that make Rest Ministries a source of joy and Lisa can’t wait until we all get to sit and laugh together someday in heaven.
As you read through this perhaps you thought, ‘Sure, God has bigger plans for some people–and then there is us.’ As my grandmother always said, “Everyone puts their pants on one leg at a time.” We are all God’s children. Take a moment to ask God what He has planned for you. And then while you are waiting for His answer, do something. As Henry Blackaby always says, “Look for where God is doing something and go there.” (My paraphrase.) -Lisa