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Clinic

Keri Whitson

To Serve and Protect

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Keri Whitson
Often surrounded by some of the worst circumstances in society, Oklahoma City Police Officer Keri Whitson was at an all-time low emotionally. Discovering Crossings provided Keri with a sense of connection and belonging. Today, serving others has taken on a whole new meaning in her life.

Finding Her Way

I first experienced the presence of the Holy Spirit in 1999. I did not grow up in church but had attended some with friends in high school. I believed in God but had never accepted Jesus into my heart. In the fall of 1999, I was experiencing some difficult times at work. I am an Oklahoma City police officer, and I often see the worst in society and deal with people who generally are not happy to see me. I was sad, confused, and a little lost. I even thought of leaving my job. I began experiencing a feeling, a presence, that I never had before. I immediately knew what I needed in my life. I was led to a small Methodist church and met with the pastor. I broke down in tears and asked him to pray for me. He did, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior that day. I was baptized several weeks later.

God is great! He saved me when it was my job to save others.

For several years, I was dedicated to reading my Bible and participating in Bible studies at church. Steve and I got married, and we soon discovered we needed a bigger church with more opportunities to serve. For years, we searched for a church where we felt like we belonged and could get plugged in. I felt myself drifting away from God. One Sunday afternoon, while eating lunch, we began discussing church. I explained to Steve that I was not enjoying where we were currently attending and wanted to try yet another church. Steve felt the same. We both thought of Crossings and agreed to give it a try. On a Sunday morning in December 2010, we attended the 9:30 Sanctuary service. I was hooked immediately! I felt God’s presence and instantly knew I belonged. We have been attending ever since.

We participated in the Connecting with Crossingsclass soon after where we met David and Xuan Gibson. They helped us find a Sunday School class, and we have never been happier.

Committed to Faith

Since that time, I have felt a greater need to serve and show my love for Jesus Christ. I am always looking for ways to volunteer around the church and at the clinic. I am more committed than ever to studying God’s Word, and I love attending Monday morning Women’s Bible Study. I am so committed to my faith and love of God that I wanted to be baptized again. In May, I was baptized again by my friend, David Gibson. I am so thankful for my church family. I have made so many dear friends who are always by my side, willing to listen and pray for me.

Needless to say, I did not leave my job. I have faithfully served the citizens of Oklahoma City for over 15 years.

“To Serve and Protect” originally published by Keri Whitson, Crossings member, in the Fall 2012 edition of Crossings magazine.

Heading in the Right Direction

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Clark-H-for-Volunteer-StoryLearning and Serving

“Everyone knows my name and I love the hugs!” exclaimed Clark Higganbotham when asked why he loves to volunteer. Volunteering with Crossings Community Clinic also turned out to be a fantastic opportunity for him to learn and serve at the same time.

Clark is a pre-med student at the University of Texas by winter and a volunteer at the Crossings Community Clinic by summer! He remembers reading online that volunteers were needed at the Clinic and decided it would be a great way to be certain he was headed in the right direction concerning his chosen medical profession.

Endless Opportunities

Having volunteered at Habitat for Humanity in high school and loved it, Clark soon found out serving at the Clinic made him “love medicine even more.” He also appreciates being in the same place with the same volunteers each shift – and feels that getting to know them is such a privilege.

Clark knows that working with others through the Clinic is humbling, because it allows him to get to know a very diverse group of people he may not otherwise meet. He enjoys working with the patients, as well as getting “to pray with the other workers before the shift begins, and we pray with the patients.” He’s learned a lot and wants to carry these ideals over into his own medical practice one day.

Growing with God

He feels that the exposure to medicine is greater at the Clinic than at a hospital because he gets to have a more hands-on experience at this young age. But even more important, Clark feels he has grown in his relationship with God by giving back to others and believes praying is the key. He plans on volunteering again over the Christmas break and next summer!

“Heading in the Right Direction” originally published by the Crossings Volunteer Writing Team.

Just Jump In

Just Jump In!

By | about us & resources, adults, children & students, Clinic, Help & Support, Missions, Stories, Volunteer, Women | No Comments

Just Jump In
I drive by the location of our new Community Center and Clinic every day to check on the progress of our new facility, and it brings back many childhood memories. I grew up in the Village and we looked forward, with great anticipation, to the summer time when all the neighborhood kids would walk up to the Village Pool and spend the day. As I looked around, people were on the high dive, the low dive, the shallow end. Some were dangling their feet in the pool, some were reading under the umbrella and others were hanging around the concession stand. While “everybody” went to the pool, the part of the pool they enjoyed or spent their time was different. Years after the pool closed, I realized that at some point, we have to be active; we have to take the initiative and “just jump in” to experience the fun and the rush.

The Bible contains a similar kind of principle for us in Psalm 34:8. It simply says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good.” Enjoy how some of your Crossings brothers and sisters have decided to “jump in” and are “tasting” and experiencing the full goodness of God through their service in our local community.

Disaster Response Team

  • I would have to say the entire trajectory of my life has changed as a result of volunteering … everything from the things I value most to the people I enjoy spending time with to the priorities in my life … I really feel like I am a different person. —Debe Allen (Disaster Response Team, Clinic)

Whiz Kids

  • Through volunteering, I have learned to rely on God for His strength and wisdom and not my own. I have learned to ask for His words and not rely on my own words. God is the ultimate compassionate volunteer who I feel walks beside me. Volunteering has made me realize God is everywhere, even in the smallest details, if I only look. —Kay Tangner, Whiz Kids Tutor
  • My life is full of joy in helping mentor and improve the reading skills of my student through Whiz Kids. I believe we become our best when we are serving others and have the chance to demonstrate the love of Jesus. —Howard Hunt

The Clinic

  • One of the great things about serving at Crossings Community Clinic is the opportunity to pray with my patients without worrying about institutional guidelines or someone looking over my shoulder. Taking a few minutes to get a sense of where the patients are emotionally and spiritually is really worth it to offer a meaningful prayer that meets them where they are. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to figure that out, and I may offer a fairly generic prayer and wonder if I really did anything useful. Occasionally in those circumstances, I have been profoundly impacted when that same patient will ask to pray for me. That patient, who does not know me personally or any of the details in my life, will then ask for the Lord’s help for me in a particular area with which I am struggling at that very time. So God Himself is ministering to me directly through the person I am ministering to myself. It is a great faith-builder to see how He is always in control and continually blesses me in ways I cannot comprehend and often cannot see. —R. Michael Siatkowski, MD
  • Volunteering in the medicine room at the Clinic has given me the opportunity to know more people who need prayer, and it has deepened my joy in praying for others. —Louanne Trueblood

Community of Faith

  • God brought four amazing Rwandan students into our life at Crossings one Sunday four years ago. Before that encounter, I viewed volunteering as a “when I feel like it” duty if I found the “perfect” time and place to volunteer … so we kept asking (and delaying) but never serving. However, once we got our hands dirty, God began a transforming work in our lives. As a host home to the Rwandan college students, I began to see others rather than focusing exclusively on me. Contrary to public opinion, you are not committing the rest of your life, but for my family, everything changed once we committed to something that required an ongoing sacrifice. —Alan Spies
  • Through volunteering, I feel like God has blessed me with an inner joy that has made me want to be closer to Him and love Him even more. This joy has made me want to listen, follow and serve Him so others can see Him through me. My first opportunity to serve was 21⁄2 years ago serving lunch to the homeless at Community of Faith. I’m still doing that, and I absolutely love it. I am so glad Crossings has so many opportunities for serving! —Camille Glasshof
  • Volunteering as a teacher-partner with one of our inner-city school partners makes me feel like I’m doing a small part of God’s work here on earth. It is fulfilling, and through it, God has shown me that my time and effort spent volunteering reaps many more benefits than pursuing my selfish motivations ever could. —Stacy Townsdin
  • Volunteering with formerly incarcerated women at the Hope House has resulted in the receipt of letters, emails, texts and new friendships. When I began volunteering, I had no idea I would soon become a widow. However, God makes provisions for our need even before the need exists. Imagine what a blessing it was that my sudden loneliness was helped by the letters I received from my pen pals. I’ve become so much more aware of God’s mercy and grace toward me and have grown in my desire to express that same mercy and grace to others. —Julie Blevins

Eugene Field

  • I serve with the art teacher at Eugene Field. She has been going through so much personally this year; over and over, I keep seeing how God’s power is made perfect in her weakness. She has lots of kids crammed into a room with little to no resources, yet from her teaching, these kids are really getting exposed to great art … both learning about it and creating it themselves. Just to see the students’ faces as they excel in their artwork and like what they are creating has been so cool. I love how it isn’t dependent on the supplies, the space she uses for her room or her lack of patience … God can do anything He chooses wherever He chooses to do it. I thought I’d be so much help to her, but in reality, she amazes me in all she is able to accomplish with so little. God’s power is made perfect in my weakness, too, and getting to work with Donna this year has shown me that the only real stumbling block in my being used for eternal purposes is me. So if I am obedient and willing, He will use me, and ultimately that is what I long for… that and a sense of His presence in my day-to-day life. Thanks for this great connection! Loving art with kids at Eugene Field. —Stacey Allen
  • We worked for years to get to the place where we could retire and work for free, and we found true wealth. Through working with children in the inner-city, we have been made aware of MANY THINGS we take for granted. At Thanksgiving, we discovered 23 of our 26 students had never had pumpkin pie! Ed told them it was the best vegetable they’d ever eat! Supporting teachers with prayer and presence filters down as HOPE to children who would otherwise be hopeless. We initially wondered if we were “qualified” to work with kids … it turned out we had attention & kindness to give, and it was exactly what they needed most. —Ed & Allie Frankfurt

The Club

  • I have volunteered at The Club for five years. This afterschool program at Crossings Community Center serves middle and high school students from John Marshall. Every year, I see myself growing in my faith through sharing it with the students in my small group. My love for them grows along with my sense of purpose and blessing from God. This year, I am mentoring a single student outside The Club time, and it is such a precious relationship! I truly feel God is working in me as much as He is allowing me to touch the lives of these students! —Lisa Gilbert
  • I have a passion for kids who, through no fault of their own, are growing up in an environment that puts them “behind the 8-ball” in this world. I began addressing this passion years ago with the semi-conscious idea that I was doing it to make up for the bad things I have done. However, through the volunteers who have entered my life (Sunday School teachers, Men’s Bible study leaders and Crossings’ pastors), I now understand, CONSCIOUSLY and with eyes-wide-open, I can’t possibly do enough to make up for my past wrongs. I learned grace. THAT … has led me to volunteer more passionately than ever before! —Steve Kalmeyer, The Club Inner-City Small Group Leader

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

“Just Jump In!” originally published by Pam Millington, Pastor of Missions and Outreach at Crossings, in the Spring 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.

Opening Doors

By | about us & resources, adults, Clinic, Help & Support, Missions, ONE, Stories, Volunteer, Worship | No Comments

clinic-photo

The Little Clinic That Could

If you haven’t heard the story of the little clinic that could, you’ve really missed one of the greatest stories of God’s amazing planning. It begins in 2005 when Crossings Board of Elders first started praying for a bold faith and clear vision for serving our community. They believed Crossings was called to help those unable to obtain basic health services. This resulted in a vote to rent a 1,500 square foot vacant pharmacy near N.W. 36th and May and open the first Crossings Community Clinic—where volunteers stepped forward to minister aid to those in need.

“I was on the Board of Elders in May 2005 when the clinic opened,” says Steve Turner, “but the even bigger leap of faith is when we voted in 2007 to move from 1,500 square feet to leasing the 30,000 square foot facility we now occupy on N. Hefner Rd.” He remembers the day of that vote vividly when Board member, Tom Webb, said to them, “We either have the faith, or we don’t.” They did, unanimously. Once again, the people of Crossings responded as they volunteered to give medical, dental, vision, counseling and spiritual help to thousands.

Now the story of God’s planning gets even more interesting as Senior Pastor Marty Grubbs recalls, “As the Center and Clinic grew, we needed a full-time Director. Steve Turner had enjoyed a very successful career in the medical sales business, but as the vision began to unfold, it occurred to us that Steve might be helpful in finding a leader for this venture. Then one day, we looked at him and said, ‘You wouldn’t by chance consider this, would you?’ He agreed to pray about it and talk it over with his wife Pam. And the rest is history. Steve has been God’s chosen leader for our Center and Clinic.”

Accepting the Challenge

Steve accepted the position in 2008 and under his leadership, the Center and Clinic continued to grow as faithful volunteers (from not only Crossings, but other churches, medical facilities and organizations) and staff gave of their time and talent. But it was in the summer of 2011, when an unexpected call from the Butterfield Foundation would change its future again. Over 60 years ago, Pastor Ralph Butterfield was the administrator of the original Deaconess Hospital, and these were people with a heart for the Lord. Decades later, the carefully managed proceeds from the sale of Deaconess Hospital established the Butterfield Foundation to further the efforts of Christian charitable care for the poor. “Beth Brown, Vice President of Programs at Butterfield, said, ‘We are looking at non- profit clinics in Oklahoma that are helping those in need receive healthcare. Crossings Clinic is one of several that came to the top.’ She said, ‘Submit a grant for possible funding,’ and we did,” remembers Steve.

Through a year of intentional prayer and planning, the necessary paperwork was submitted. In May 2012, word came: Butterfield Foundation agreed to fund our full request of $6.1 million. The funds were earmarked for direct patient care, added staffing and equipment upgrades.

A portion of the money also applied to the building of our own Clinic and Community Center. Through a church capital campaign, thousands of congregants gave over and above their tithe to contribute the additional funds needed to complete God’s plan. Land was purchased and construction began in December 2014, and if you drive by 10255 N. Pennsylvania Avenue in the Village, you’ll see a beautiful 37,000 square foot building (18,000 square feet for the Clinic and 19,000 square feet for the Center, which includes a basketball court and separate auditorium seating for 500)—set to open its doors to the community in January 2015.

Trusting in God

Looking back over the past year, Steve recalls, “I know how hard construction can be, but we encountered very few problems. Contractors and suppliers were generous with their services—some even giving us labor and equipment at no cost—because they believe in what God is doing. We’re very grateful to all of them and for the tremendous financial support from Crossings members. Throughout the process, we met with doctors, nurses, dentists, dental assistants, optometrists, counselors, and other professionals and asked them to dream big, ‘If you were building a new facility, how would it function? … What equipment would you need, and most of all, how can we best be the hands and feet of Christ to those we serve?’ Their input was instrumental in building and equipping our new facility. Further, God provided the funding and people so almost all these ideas came to fruition.”

The final piece of God’s timing is that the three-year lease on the current facility ends on February 28, 2015—just enough time to get everything moved and the building cleaned for the next tenant. Marty Grubbs is excited to see what God has planned for the future saying, “The new home for Crossings Community Center and Clinic will open the door to reaching more people, providing new opportunities to volunteer, and offering a chance to get more engaged with the neighborhood, as well as those who come through our doors for assistance.”

You are invited to tour the new facility on Sunday, February 22, and while you’re there, take a minute to marvel over what God can do when people—beginning over 50 years ago—with a passion to serve God and others come together—and say a prayer for those whose lives will be changed inside this little clinic that truly could.

To learn more about the Clinic and Center, click here.

“Opening Doors” originally published by Rebecca Ellison, Director of Communications, in the Winter 2014 edition of Crossings Magazine.