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History of Rest Haven - Providence Life Services - Ministry starts with Prayer

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1959 Cornerstone Laying Ceremony

The 1959 ceremony surrounding the laying of the cornerstone included prayers, praise, and participation from the churches who had united in this mission.

When the deacons of Second Christian Reformed Church of Englewood and surrounding churches saw the needs of their aging church members, they immediately wanted to do something to help. They could see that these people needed more care than their families could give, more care than a typical "Home for the Aged" would provide, better care than the for-profit nursing homes of the time. I imagine that, like many deacons, these men were gifted with the spiritual gift of mercy. I imagine they were desperate to relieve pain, to ease burdens, to extend compassion. They were eager to act.

But first, they prayed.

They knew they had to fully rely on God’s direction and empowerment. They knew if they attempted to solve a problem or meet a need in their own strength, they would grow tired and the ministry would fail. So they prayed and listened for God's leading.

Watch a video of Richard Mulder as he shares memories of his calling to the
ministry of Rest Haven.
(9.44 minutes)

By 1960 they were celebrating God's answer to their prayers. For it was in 1960 that they participated in the dedication of the first 50 beds of a new, Christian nursing home — the first in the area. It was filled to capacity from the very beginning.

That spirit of "prayer first" is part of the culture of this ministry. In response to the prayers of families who had nowhere to turn, churches prayed for direction and strength. Our early leaders prayed for vision, for funding, for partners in the work. And after the doors of that first nursing home were opened, our early staff prayed to make a difference in the lives of those they cared for.

Watch a video of a home movie clip of the ceremony surrounding the laying of
Rest Haven's cornerstone in 1959
(1.47 minutes)

Ministry starts with prayer. And prayer is the fuel that keeps us moving. We continue to pray for our residents, our staff, our leaders. We continue to pray for wisdom with each new decision we face. And we continue to hope that you will join us! In the spirit of equipping as many prayers to 1959 - The laying of the cornerstone for Rest Havenoffer as many prayers as possible, we invite you to sign up at PrayForProvidence.com. You'll receive one email a month, which contains four prayer requests, one for each week.

The technology is modern, and this approach is new, but the spirit is the same. We still depend on our faithful God to hear and answer, to show us the way, to equip and empower us — just as He always has.

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