Pray for Peter

2 Corinthians 4: 17-18

Category: Prayer Requests

Our Thanksgiving

Last week, I had the privilege of speaking to a college class on the pro-life ethic applied to disability, age and illness. A student in the class asked me for ideas of how a person could come alongside a caregiver in a support role. Here are several of the ways folks have done this for us over the past four and a half years:

One woman packed my freezer with meals—one a week for an entire year: wow!

A man offered to get the oil changed in our cars.

Six women have faithfully cleaned our house for four years (two teams of two or three have come once every month).

Volunteers consistently help with mat session—Pete’s physical therapy. We’ve had teams of three or four people for each day of the week who come once a week for an hour (3-4 pm) on their specified day to help stand Peter up, bounce him on the ball, stretch out his limbs, stand him in the standing frame, and so on. Several of these come from our church, but also from our larger Christian community. We especially need men for this particular activity, as it requires some lifting.

A teenage boy from our church volunteered on Thursdays from 8-5 (for a time) to come into our home and stay with Pete. He learned speech or occupational therapy exercises, so that his time with Peter was very productive.

A few people have learned to stay overnight with Peter. Men who are willing to do this are still able to get about 5 or 6 hours of sleep during the night, while they take care of Peter’s needs of turning, changing, giving nighttime water and meds.

A college girl mows our lawn. She also cooks supper one night a week for us.

Givers have contributed funds to an account that we use to pay people for respite and other extra care, to give us times away.

Faraway friends have written us notes and cards filled with Scripture, keeping us aware that they continually pray for us. They encourage us in the day-to-day perseverance required for a task such as this.

One college girl blessed me a lot by asking about Peter, his current needs and memories we have of him before the accident.

One woman from our church made cookies at Christmas in order for us to give to our neighbors—she helped us make a connection with our neighbors and night nursing help by giving us something to bless them with.

Friends nearby call me occasionally while they are at the grocery store, to see if they can pick up anything for me while they are shopping for themselves.

One of my children gives almost a month every summer to come and stay with us and take over Peter’s care so that we can have one month of total break.

Doug’s brother spends Wednesday evenings with Peter, so that we can both go to prayer meeting.

Eleven families pitched in for funds to buy us a wheel chair van three years ago early at the start of our care-giving journey.

A Christian businessman paid to hire one of Peter’s cousins to work in our home 30 hours a week for three years back when he had a trach and his care was relentlessly intensive.

A Christian homeschooling couple (he was a doctor, she an occupational therapist) donated five days of their Christmas vacation to stay in our house and care for Pete to give us some respite time.

A Christian friend from Pennsylvania came for a week when Joshua and Beth were engaged, in order for me to get a head start on wedding planning.

One of Pete’s brothers and one of his cousins trade out spending Friday nights with Pete, a night we don’t have covered with paid help from insurance.

Our daughter in law keeps a blog going online, giving people updates on Peter’s needs and asking folks to pray.

Girls from our church pop by sometimes and ask me what needs to be done around the house.

So as this year comes to a close, we are grateful for the body of Christ, for how these of you mentioned above as well as many others have been the hands and feet of the Lord’s ministry to Peter and to us. Those of you who would like to help: our biggest current need is for mat session crews. Contact us if you are interested in being a part of Team Pete.

Our Thanksgiving is rich indeed.

An Opportunity for Support

Thank you to those of you who have encouraged us to keep folks updated regarding Peter’s current situation. We have so appreciated the prayers of everyone. But there are some who have wanted more opportunity to help with Peter. As mentioned in the July update, my parents are preparing to move to a house with accommodations that will provide housing for assistant helpers. Other updates have included Peter’s current condition, but right now is a time when his care needs are at a higher point than normal due to various declines in the care available to him. Just to give an idea of some of the health care costs, Peter needs help 24/7, which provides about a 40-hour work week for 4 people. A branch of Medicaid currently supplies him with about 100 hours per week.

The move coupled with the other circumstances noted above present an opportunity for those of you who have asked how to help Peter. As my mom noted in her post, my parents signed a contract on a house that seems suitable for Peter’s 24/7 care needs. This house has accommodations to provide room and board rent-free for assistant helpers, such as college students, in exchange for a certain number of hours a week of Peter-care time. We feel that there is wisdom and opportunity of such a system for Peter’s long term needs. My dad and his church hope to have a ministry of discipling the young people that come through their home as well. Our goal is to make this new house livable (wheelchair accessible for Peter and expanded a bit for Peter’s live-in helpers). In addition to support for the cost of the house, they are in need of the following items:

1. Donors to make funds available for supplementing (food, expenses) provisions for the helpers.
2. Fund for care provider uncertainties (such as health, relocation, seasonal help, etc.), and various other necessities involving Peter’s care.
3. $6,000+ (materials) to add a room to the house they are buying for extra help to live with them.
4. $1,000 for minor changes to the bathroom Peter will be using.

These are the immediate needs, but there will be ongoing needs to contribute towards for Peter’s care. Anyone interested in meeting these needs can donate to the following link: http://tilt.tc/qXx0, send checks addressed to Doug Helms to 2009 Rock Creek Rd, Crowley, TX 76036, or donate on PayPal at: PrayforPeter@gmail.com.

Please feel free to forward this letter to others who may want to help with Peter. We praise the Lord for how He has provided for Peter’s care in the past, and for the confidence we have that He will continue to provide for Peter.

In Christ,
Caleb & Hope

Disclaimer: Currently, the funds that are donated will be administered by Doug and Selah Helms to be used at their discretion for Peter’s care.

Summer Update

Thank you (again) to all of you who keep us in your regular prayers. We think the Lord has answered our collective prayers regarding a house! (See previous update posted on Good Friday.) We signed a contract on a house two weeks ago, which seems to be the Lord’s provision for our needs with Peter. Our four criteria included:

1. a house with more parking, for everyone who comes and goes, 2. a cheerful, ample room for Peter, 3. quarters for helpers to live with us to help with Peter, and 4. provision that would allow more privacy for Doug and me.

The Lord led us to a house that not only fulfilled these functions, but is also winsome, attractive and comfortable. We are really excited and grateful for it.

Next, although the new house includes a bedroom for our new helpers, the room is small, so we hoping to add another room onto the house so that our students will be comfortable and stick around for longer. You can pray that the Lord would: give us ease of transition into the new house and help us to sell our current house. There are several minor repairs and renovations that need to be done in both houses, and it will be a stretch to our sanity and schedule to get everything going and care for Peter at the same time. You can also pray that when we get the setup ready, the Lord will send young men of character into our home who will be eager to invest in Peter’s care.

In the meantime, know that you prayer warriors are appreciated and welcome in the Helms’ lives and homes! May all the homes of the Lord’s people be the “shadow of a mighty rock within a weary land, a home within the wilderness, a rest upon the way, from the burning of the noontide heat, and the burden of the day.”

Beneath the cross of Jesus,
Selah for the Helms family

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