Hearthside resident Maurita Fletcher has a new gadget for keeping in touch thanks to her friends at PHOEBE Ministries.
The Christian group which provides support for widows presented Fletcher, one of their most senior members, with an iPad on Monday. Ronda Martin, a PHOEBE Ministries founder, said the device will allow Fletcher to stay connected.
"I'll send our daily devotions via email, and about once a week I'll get a response (from her)," Martin said. "It is difficult for her to get to her computer every day. This way she can reach out to us daily."
Aside from her daily devotions email blasts, Martin also posts events and encouragement on Facebook. Fletcher, who is a former preschool director and author at LifeWay, was thrilled with the iPad - which came complete with a hot pink protective case.
Martin said Fletcher won't be the last group member to receive the gift of technology.
"We may be doing this for others. We've been wondering which of our home-bound widows would benefit from this," she said, adding that their outreach initiatives aren't limited to group members. This month they've also donated items to local animal shelters.
PHOEBE Ministries launched in September 2010 under the direction of Martin and original members Glynda Green, Elaine Pearson and Carol Pharris.
Martin, a member of Immanuel Baptist in Lebanon, said she had been praying about God's plan for her - when she was inspired by remarks from Pastor John Hunn.
"Pastor Hunn mentioned seeing a widow who asked him, 'When does it stop hurting?' He said he had never walked down that road but that someone has - so I went and talked to him," Martin said about the group's origin. "God brought together these strong, Christian women."
Green also found herself unexpectedly widowed in 2001. She said her husband was a crew foreman for an electrical company and fell 80-feet from a utility pole on the job.
Green, who was a hairstylist for 40 years, said she found comfort and camaraderie in the group - and believes other widows will too.
"As a young widow they are so distraught. Once you get into an organization you see that being there with others gives you a boost of support. Every widow's journey is different," she said.
She added that fellowshipping and giving back to the community is also "great fun."
"I have a motto: God doesn't care about your ABILITY, but only your AVAILABILITY and when you prove your DEPENDABILITY, He will increase your CAPABILITY," Green recited.
For more information on PHOEBE Ministries visit www.phoebeconnections.com.
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at email@example.com.