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Wendy Parker

Wendy Parker

Every Monday evening about 15 women sip hot tea from vintage teacups and indulge in desserts served on fancy platters. But the venue of this downtown Anchorage, Alaska, teatime isn’t a cozy tearoom or a five-star hotel. It’s a shelter for homeless women.

The women are served by volunteers from a new Stonecroft hub called Heart to Heart. Hub leader Wendy Parker and her team try to make the gathering a special time for the women.

“We want them to feel important and cared for,” she says.

Some women choose to stay for a Bible study that Wendy’s team offers afterward where they discover God’s message of love and hope. The group’s first study was Whole, part of Stonecroft’s Conversations series. It struck a deep chord within the homeless women, who learned how God can heal their brokenness and shape them into the women He created them to be.

One participant had contemplated committing suicide but felt God wouldn’t let her. Through Whole, God touched her heart and showed her, “This is why I saved you.”
The hub team’s outreach at the shelter – called Hope Center – began with a journey of prayer that started last year. Wendy had just become a stay-at-home mom of a newborn and wanted to connect with other women while doing community outreach. She and her husband began fasting and praying for God to show her how.

One day a friend invited Wendy to a Stonecroft 80th anniversary luncheon in Anchorage. Wendy wasn’t familiar with Stonecroft but welcomed a mom’s day out. At the event, Autumn Katz, Western Divisional Field Director, told about Stonecroft’s hubs, a newer model of gathering women to share Jesus in their communities.

“Something ‘clicked.’ I thought, This is exactly what I’ve been searching for!” Wendy recalls.

That day Wendy “fell in love with Stonecroft.” Autumn and Anita Bacon, Stonecroft Regional Administrator in Alaska, soon became Wendy’s Stonecroft mentors and encouraged her to attend the Hub Leader Retreat in Kansas City last November. Later Wendy used training she got there to train women she recruited to help start Heart to Heart.

As the team prayed about what their hub should look like, God led them to the Hope Center. “We felt like God was saying, “These are the women I want you to reach,” Wendy says.

Mary Speidel

Mary Speidel

Writer, Editor

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