By Lynette Mull, Director of Strategic Development & Mission Advancement

Hardly a day goes by here that one of our staff members sends an email thanking or appreciating or saying how blessed they are to work here. It usually begins a virtual lovefest as emails flow in with “amen” or similar sentiments until we get busy again or can’t think of anything to add to what’s already been said.

Yesterday was no exception. This time it was one of our nurse practitioners (who works with us when she’s not at her full-time job), that got the ball rolling with this heartfelt and heart-warming email Sunday evening:

“I heard a quote today that reminded me of some very important folks…. The need for our services has been greater than I have seen in my seven years here and the demand continues. I check my Gentle Shepherd email whenever I have a spare minute to see what you guys need. Often I feel overwhelmed that I am not responding fast enough. Each day, I push myself to do better than the day before.

At the end of many days, Kim and I are conspiring behind the scenes to solve problems, put out fires and plan as best we can for our patients and the staff caring for them.

Every day, the office team hustles to get the referrals done, approvals completed, assignments made and supplies ordered. There are so many other tasks that don’t often get mentioned like car maintenance, billing, Medicare law review and process change, educational requirements, quality assurance… and the list goes on.

On the weekends, I historically have been in awe of Joanna and what she could get accomplished all alone covering both regions. Now we have Donna in Roanoke and Penny in Lynchburg/Bedford running all weekend when the administrative resources are limited and problems can escalate quickly.

My role with this organization has changed so much in the last two years. I can honestly say that GSH saved me in a lot of ways. It gave me a new support system, a new family, a place to grow in my profession – as a person and a Christian – and to make a difference wherever I can.

Don and Kim have become family and I cannot thank them enough for trusting me and having confidence in me to allow me to join the GSH team. I understand what a gift God gave me when he brought me here.

The quote I heard today reminded me about our journey to Gentle Shepherd, and how blessed we are to all be a part of each other’s lives and each patient’s journey:

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead

Be blessed my friends and sleep well, for tomorrow is another opportunity to change a life and someone’s world!”

And so it began… Peggy and Donna said “Amen!” and others chimed in…

“I can’t tell you how much this applies to me as well. I am in awe of the work accomplished for the Lord through GSH and I have never been so sure of a decision than the one I made to join this team. God certainly is using this job to heal me in my brokenness after losing my own dad so unexpectedly. There is nothing out there like Gentle Shepherd. I am certain of that!” — Mackenzie Lipscomb, RN

“I’ve told you all many times how blessed I am to be at GSH and what a huge and undeserved blessing that it truly has been and is.  I want you all to understand this is reciprocal. Each of you are a blessing, not just to me and in your sacrificial love and giving of yourselves to those in need, but to GSH as a whole. You all have gifts and talents God has given you to meet the daily challenges we face.  Thank you for choosing to use those gifts as God has called you to.  You each continue to make a difference in the lives of others each day.  It just cannot get any better than this.  Happy Monday everyone!” — Leana Kail, our recently appointed CEO

“I feel like we each come as individuals to GSH, each with our own special talents and gifts, each with our own human brokenness and weaknesses. In working together to do this great mission for God whom we all love and worship, we become something greater than the sum of our parts! I love to see how my whole life was preparing me for this work. I look forward to even the hard days (though I look forward to my bed at night too!). I feel very blessed to work with such an amazing team of God’s children. I love you all! — Emily Hill, RN, BSN, CWOCN

Later in the morning, Tracie McKenney, Executive Director of Strategic Development and Mission Advancement, sent an email to the marketing team to schedule an upcoming meeting. Tracie is a gifted spiritual leader, as well as an encouraging and supportive manager. Today, she had these words to share:

“I want to thank to say a heartfelt thanks to each of you —-Denise, Charlene, Mary Glenn, Michelle, Lynette, Tonya and Terry—-for the many ways you contribute to our ongoing success. It’s through your obedience to how God is leading you and your dedication to expanding the Kingdom that He is blessing us.”

For me, personally… after 30 years in the workforce, I have finally found a “home.” To say I am blessed is such an understatement. What God has created and is doing through Don and Kim Eckenroth is extraordinary. They are master builders in His Kingdom, “at the bedside and beyond,” as we say. Thank you, Don and Kim, for inviting me to grow, learn and serve the Lord with you and this amazing team!