~ Comforting Others With the Comfort We Have Received…~
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort that we ourselves have received from God. ~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women, a 501 (c ) 3 non-profit, non-denominational organization, was founded in 2004, with the purpose of reaching out to women and families to offer comfort, encouragement and hope. The Dreams of You division of this ministry was created specifically to provide comfort to women and families who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death. Sufficient Grace Ministries offers a comprehensive list of support options for bereaved parents, and parents currently carrying a baby with a life-limiting diagnosis. A team of staff, leaders, and volunteers helps us offer the wide range of free services we make available to more than 500 bereaved families each year, worldwide, fulfilling the mission of SGM to offer the same comfort to others we received from the Lord in our time of need. Bereaved parents are never asked to pay for products or services. SGM is supported through donations from individuals, churches, businesses, and other organizations. Currently, close to 50 volunteers serve with SGM. We would like to introduce a few:
Perinatal Hospice ~ Bereavement Support Team
Kelly Gerken is the President and Founder of Sufficient Grace Ministries, serving hundreds of grieving families worldwide since 2004. From her own family’s journey of grief and healing, Kelly has created the Dreams of You Memory Book and other beautiful support materials to help families form a precious memory for their babies who leave this earth too soon. She is the mother of five children, three who dance in heaven, and two who fill her days with boyish antics on this earth. She and her husband, Tim said goodbye to twin daughters, Faith and Grace, born still in 1996 at 26 weeks gestation, due to complications from twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome. In 1998, they heard the words “incompatible with life” in regards to their son, Thomas, who was diagnosed with Potter’s Syndrome. They chose to continue the pregnancy, despite the diagnosis, embracing the time they were given with their son. Thomas lived for six hours after his full term birth before going home to heaven. It is one of the great privileges of Kelly’s life to have been chosen as the mother to sing to this precious baby as he went straight from her arms to the arms of Jesus. You can read more about their family’s journey from ashes to beauty here. Kelly is also the originator of Walking With You, an online support outreach. She is a featured speaker at hospitals, churches, women’s groups, and a leader of educational seminars for hospital staff and caregivers. She and her husband Tim enjoy serving together in praise and worship ministry with their band, One Way. Kelly is currently working on expanding and developing the Dreams of You Bereavement products offered by SGM in addition to building a comprehensive perinatal hospice program in Ohio. She is also a certified SGM/SBD Birth & Bereavement Doula.
Holly Haas is the Vice President of Sufficient Grace Ministries and has been serving on the ministry board since 2010. Before Holly became an active participant of the ministry, she was a recipient of the Dreams of You memory book and the Comfort Bear. It was because of the comfort and support of the ministry that Holly wanted to become involved and help minister to other families. Holly and her husband, Anthony, have 4 children on this earth and 2 in Heaven. Holly made the decision to have an elective abortion at 12 weeks and on December 19, 2002 her baby, Jordan, went to Heaven. In 2008, more than halfway through her pregnancy her daughter, Carleigh, was given the fatal diagnosis of Anencephaly. She carried Carleigh to 37 weeks and on March 28, 2009 she was born still into her arms. Holly blogged about her journey with her daughter and after through her grief at Caring for Carleigh, which has enabled her to help parents on their own carrying to term journeys, those who have sought termination, and other types of losses. Holly is the maker of the PAIL ribbons that the ministry offers. Holly serves as the Southern Ohio Regional Coordinator, in addition to assisting Kelly with the needs of the ministry. She is a certified SGM/SBD Birth & Bereavement Doula. She is also passionate and skilled in her role as a SGM Bereavement Photographer, providing precious keepsakes for bereaved families to treasure.
Stacie Tackett serves as Secretary on the Sufficient Grace Ministries board. She is also one of the office administrators for SGM, and a certified SGM/SBD Birth and Bereavement Doula. Stacie and her husband Ryan have seven children, twin boys and a daughter on earth and four in heaven. Preparation for her to serve mothers carrying the heavy, silent pain of miscarriage tenderly in their hearts began years ago as she walked through the losses of her own babies at 13 weeks, 10weeks, 8weeks, and 6weeks. She finds SGM a way to honor and remember her four tiny babies in heaven waiting for her. Stacie has been helpful in collaborating with Kelly and Holly to offer more comprehensive support and memory-making materials, including the new early loss Dreams of You Memory Book, for mothers experiencing the pain of miscarriage. Stacie has a heart for sibling grief, as well, since she lost her own brother, Andy, to Reyes Syndrome, when he was just three years old, and she was six. Watching her family grieve, and feeling the depth of his loss has given her a window into the hearts of so many siblings who quietly carry their sorrow, missing a brother or sister. She works alongside Kelly often, and has a passion for serving grieving families.
Jennifer Ross serves on the board of Sufficient Grace Ministries. She joins the Sufficient Grace Ministries team to serve as the SGM Northern Michigan Regional Coordinator. She is the mother to five boys, one who walks the golden streets with the Lord. She and her husband said a heartbreaking goodbye to their son, Isaiah, on August 3, 2008. Jennifer suffered from a condition called Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC), at 19 weeks 3 days pregnant. Due to this condition that was threatening her life, she was instructed to have labor induced, in which she only had a 30% chance at survival. She shared fifteen priceless minutes of life, as her son lay in her arms, until being delivered into the arms of his Heavenly Father. In January 2009, she created a blog, His Grace Is Sufficient. You can read more of her journey through the personal struggles that she has faced, mixed with the beautiful hope that she clings to, not through that of her own, but of the strength of the Lord, here. She is also a certified SGM/SBD Birth & Bereavement Doula.
SGM Volunteer Coordinators
To find out more about ways to volunteer, contact the volunteer coordinators below, or refer to our Coming Events Page for monthly work schedules.
Comfort Bear Volunteer Coordinators
Kaye Shively and Tracey Schwiebert ~ email@example.com
Kelly’s mother, Kathy Rutter, created the Comfort Bear in 2004 for grieving mothers to have something to hold to comfort the ache of their empty arms. (Although Kathy went home to heaven in October 2006, the bears are still made with love and prayers by a beautiful team of SGM volunteers.)
Crochet and Memorial Bracelet Volunteer Coordinator
Tim Gerken, Kelly Gerken, Dave Amspoker, and Ryan Tackett
Sufficient Grace Ministries for Women, Inc. Board Members:
Kelly Gerken ~ Holly Haas ~ Stacie Tackett ~ Jennifer Ross ~ Tim Gerken
For all the precious children whose footprints are forever ingrained in our hearts we still dream our dreams of you until we meet again.See I will not forget you. I have carved you in the palm of my hand. Isaiah 49:15b & 16
On those difficult days, remember, God’s love for you. He sees your pain and sorrow. Cry out to God and lay your burdens at His feet. He is able to meet all of your needs, today and everyday. The grace He gives is sufficient to mend even the most broken hearts.
My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9
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