Friday, June 26
“I really needed counseling for my depression, which was affecting my whole family, but did not have the money to pay for it. Thank you.” Such was the response of a caller who had received support from the Nebraska Rural Response hotline.
In 2001, I began representing Homestead Presbytery’s 52 congregations on the Farm Crisis Response Council (FCRC), which operates the Nebraska Rural Response hotline for counseling and referrals.
The FCRC has been a ministry of Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska for almost 30 years. The number of folks who have been helped is staggering. On average, the hotline receives 436 calls a month, and more than 2,800 vouchers for professional counseling are provided each year.
Sometimes, callers just need to be heard. Other times, they need help with suicide, depression, or abuse and are therefore referred to counselors, lawyers, mediators, financial advisers, and so on. The FCRC is funded by all the major denominations with a presence in Nebraska. Help is available to anyone in rural Nebraska involved in agriculture. As the following sample of quotes shows, clients recognize the need for this ministry and appreciate its work:
You were both kind and helpful when I called, which is very much appreciated. It has been a tough year, and to have the counseling available means a lot. For myself and all those you help, I hope the program continues to be available for a long time to come. Thanks!
My husband died, and I was paralyzed with depression, fear, grief, whatever and needed help dealing with this. . . . So thankful this rural crisis program is available—have noticed it for years.
Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity to fix our marriage and our family.
To get help for a young child, as to what to do or what to do next, was so helpful. Now we are on the right track. What a relief. Thank you so much.
—Rev. Duane Westing, pastor, United Presbyterian Church, Pawnee City
Let us join in prayer for:
Elder Regina Meester, member, PMA Board
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Gail Kennedy, BOP
Elder Sherry Kenney, FDN
Let us pray
Lord, we lift up those in our rural communities who are struggling and dealing with terrible stress, abuse, depression, or even thoughts of suicide. We pray for those answering the hotline and that its vital ministry would continue. Amen.