Roger Riley shares another side of extreme hospitality, in the joy, struggle, and blessing of caring for those who care for others.
“I have had the privilege of knowing God’s partnership – His promise of guidance as I have gone through the painful moments of my life. First, the painful life of my son Cameron, as he struggled with Schizophrenia; and now my current walk as a caregiver for my loving wife Marilyn and our walk with her advancing dementia. God has come alongside me, partnered with me, and challenged me!
I consider the most important challenge He has asked of me to be the act of bringing hope and comfort to others like me, partnering with them as they struggle with the responsibility of caring for others.
With the support of St. Andrew’s Care Ministry and partnering with Donna Shockley, we have formed a care ministry for those who care for others, called “COPE” (Caring, Our Privilege Everyday). Each month, we gather to share our joys, burdens, or humorous moments as we care for our loved ones. Sometimes there is laughter, sometimes tears. Most importantly, there is always prayer. Our journey is impossible to bear alone, yet when we gather as a caring group we can support and learn from each other. We have become a family, a true community of support.
As an outgrowth of my personal need for joy in my lonely walk, God has challenged me to use His gift to me of music and song. With the help of Brandon Muchow, we now have a joyous Hootenanny occasionally here at St. Andrew’s! I am also privileged to lead a group of Memory Loss persons at Silverado Memory Care, unlocking for them the joyful memories of song that remains locked inside as they drift into the abyss of dementia.
Praise God for equipping me to bring hope and comfort to others through the gift of extreme hospitality.”