by Heidi Baumgartner, courtesy Adventist Review
John and Karin McLarty were in the midst of an arranged hospital visit with a family whose young son was in the burn unit. Karin asked the grandparents, “Where are you staying? Your family is likely to be here for a while.”
Green Lake church in suburban Seattle, Washington, had recently opened a guest suite for out-of-town guests who come to the area for specialized medical care. Karin offered this service, but the family declined, so she left a phone number.
“They called me later and said their hotel rate was going up to $400 a night,” recounts Karin, who now serves as the church’s housing ministry coordinator. “This family was our first guest in the new guest suite. They were grateful and so appreciative.”
Seattle is a tertiary center for medical treatment, and patients come from around the Pacific Northwest to receive specialized treatment for diseases and accidents. Area churches frequently receive requests for housing assistance and/or pastoral visits.
Since January 2019, Green Lake church has helped a dozen families. The church now owns two furnished guest apartments, with two additional guest apartments available through the generosity of church members.