Eight months ago we began a Monday morning health and wellness class at the Reeb Avenue Center. This group has grown from a class receiving information to a tight knit group of people who provide support and accountability to one another.
The primary factor for success in this class is relationships: the relationships people in this class have with one another, the relationships we have with partners who have delivered high quality, scientifically-informed information to a diverse community.
Over the last month, we have benefited from the presence of a medical dietetics student named Anna on her way to becoming a doctor. More than just presenting information, Anna grew in her interaction with a diverse community.
Key to the success of this program has been the leadership of a Masters of Science in Nursing student, Anne. Anne helped create the Health Zone at the Reeb Avenue Center, designed additional classes, built relationships with community partners, and made it all work. Like Anna, Anne was also changed by this work. She fell in love with the people and the opportunities in community health work.
As this week was the last time Anne and Anna would be present, the class shared how these women impacted their lives. People talked of learning to control their appetite and check their blood pressure, developing portion control, increasing their knowledge of nutrition, and even what it means to respect themselves and one another.
In summary, one woman who heard all of these stories reflected, “This group has healing power. God’s presence is here.”
This group found healing. Healing came not only in the presentation of information, but in the work of the community. Because of this work. people are healthier in the mind, body, and spirit.
Thank you to Anne and Anna for bringing healing power.