A Day In The Life—Bible Study Shares Jesus’ Love

Helen Huffman, a longtime Bethesda Auxiliary member, began volunteering as part of a Bible study for people with developmental disabilities in the early 1990s in Oregon.

While the location changed a number of times, Helen’s dedication grew, as did the team around her.

Today, the team consists of Helen and Auxiliary members Lindy Tysor and Alfred Miller. They are assisted by volunteer Vlade Perederiy and two teenagers, Ashley and Shannon Hilfer, from Trinity Lutheran in Hillsboro, Oregon. Bible study is hosted monthly in hour-long sessions at the home of five people Bethesda supports in Hillsboro.

“It is a privilege and an honor to become connected with these people … to communicate and have a relationship,” Lindy said. “Each person is a blessing in the relationship they’ve formed with us.”


Before We Begin


Before the Bible study began, Carroll Place and Alfred plant flowers in the home’s flower boxes while enjoying an unseasonably warm April evening in Hillsboro. Kimberly Riley looks on from inside the house.


Opening With A Song


The group meets in the home’s cozy dining room and opens Bible study with a song. On this evening, the group opened with one of their favorite hymns, “This is the Day.” Lindy (right) leads the group in song while Ted Lee, Ashley Hilfer (volunteer) and Carroll sing along.


Working Together


Each Bible study has a theme and each volunteer partners with a person who lives in the house. During this Bible study, the group was celebrating Easter by watching the film, The Easter Story.


Discussion Time


The group stops at several discussion points throughout the film. Alfred talks with Kimberly (middle) while the film is paused. “We try to find different ways to get ideas and concepts across,” Lindy said.


Arts And Crafts


Each Bible study includes an arts and crafts session. In celebration of Easter, Ted peels stickers to decorate his yellow foam Easter egg with the help of Ashley. The Bethesda Auxiliary works to get new generations involved in ministry with people with developmental disabilities.


Decorating Eggs


Helen helps Kimberly make her egg, while Vlade and Lindy assist Carroll. Later, the group hung the decorated eggs by the table.


Reading Together


Helen reads Kimberly’s Easter card to her. At each Bible study, volunteers bring a season-specific greeting card for the person with whom they are paired and the recipient often proudly displays the card in his or her room.


Closing Prayer


Alfred (seated in gray) gives the closing prayer with teen volunteer Shannon Hilfer (to his right). He includes special requests for each person.


“The Blessing Song”


The Bible study closes with “The Blessing Song,” where the whole group sings blessings over each person’s head. Here, they bless Carroll.


Blessed To Be Together


Even Bethesda staff get involved, as the Bible study group blesses Cheri Kitts, a direct support professional.

The Bible study plays an important role in the lives of the people who live in the home. They are always eager to learn about Jesus and enjoy the company of their friends from church.


For more than 50 years, members of the Bethesda Auxiliary have shared the love of Jesus with people with developmental disabilities in partnership with Bethesda Lutheran Communities. Follow the link to learn more about the Bethesda Auxiliary’s legacy of support.


This “Day in the Life” story was written and published as part of Bethesda’s We Are ALL Human 2016 Developmental Disabilities Awareness Campaign.

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