In just one year after opening its first facility, the Hospitality House of Tulsa served more than 225 families from all parts of Oklahoma, 15 additional states and two foreign countries. The Hospitality House, a non-profit organization which provides a “home away from home” for families caring for loved ones in a medical crisis, has seven apartments which are full every night with a waiting list averaging 10 families.
“Our goal is to build a 24-unit facility within 100 yards of a major hospital in Tulsa,” said Toni Moore, president of the Hospitality House and a member of Broken Arrow, Arrow Heights. The present apartments are located one block east of Hillcrest Medical Center.
Moore said the vision of the board of directors has always been a far-reaching ministry.
“As people come in, they experience God’s love through biblical hospitality,” she indicated. “Families have an opportunity to ask why the hospitality house does what it does, and we have an opportunity to share God’s love and message with them.”
One of those families is Ken and Amy Brown from Denver, Colo. In July, Ken, who is middle school youth director at Bear Valley Christian Church in Lakewood, Colo., his wife, 5-year-old daughter, two middle schoolers and their dad, were traveling from Denver to Kansas, Okla. on a four-day mission trip to work at a children’s group home in Cookson Hills, when Amy experienced a diabetic coma in the parking lot of a fast food restaurant in Tulsa.
Ken said Amy hadn’t felt well before the trip, but thought she had the flu. He said she napped throughout most of the trip, but passed out on the grass when the group stopped to eat. Fortunately, three paramedics had also stopped there to get something to eat.
They rushed out to treat Amy, and reported that in another five minutes, she would have been dead. Her blood sugar level was 400 points higher than it should have been.
At the hospital, doctors also discovered a bleeding ulcer, kidney, liver and lung problems. The next day, they told Ken to call in the family, because they didn’t expect Amy to live through the day.
Ken’s parents and brother and Amy’s father, sister and brother made the trip to Tulsa. She was still alive, but in a coma, and after two days, doctors said the family, or at least Ken, needed to move to Tulsa.
“The ministry we had come to serve had a prayer meeting, and found me a place to stay in Sand Springs,” said Ken. He later found out about the Hospitality House and was put on a waiting list to stay there. He moved in on Aug. 10 and remained until Amy finally was allowed to return to Denver this month.
Amy was in a sedated coma until Aug. 11. Since that time, she slowly began to gain strength and move body parts that had been dormant for more than a month.
Ken said everyone in Oklahoma opened their arms to them.
“The Hospitality House was wonderful,” he said. “Having a place to go back to and get away from the hustle and bustle of the hospital to recuperate means so much.”
Ken said one of the things he especially enjoyed were the home cooked meals provided by volunteers.
“You can only eat out so much,” he said.
Ken also said through the Hospitality House’s computer, he was able to keep family back in Colorado updated on Amy’s condition every day.
“God provided more than we could think of,” he said. “Pastors in the Tulsa area have come and prayed with us. God has provided through the Hospitality House things we didn’t know we needed.”
Amy, when she learned about all the Hospitality House had done for her family, said she was so grateful because “my family couldn’t afford to pay their way here and also pay for a motel room.”
Moore said what a lot of people don’t think about is that families in medical crises have more financial worries than just the massive hospital bills.
“They still have the same bills to pay every month that we all do,” she said. “Those don’t go away. If we can take a little of that burden away, that’s what we want to do.”
Moore said that while about five churches are helping the HH house financially, they still need more support. And she said they need more volunteers to help with prayer support and meals for family members.
“Tulsa area volunteers provided more than 180 meals for families last year-two to three a week,” she said. “Families can’t believe complete strangers would think of them, let alone fix a homemade meal for them.”