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Passing on the comfort


Herb and LeVera Borkholder of rural Howe visited Goshen Hospital Chaplain Sister Nora Frost recently, on a mission to pass on the comfort that Herb felt when his congregation at Marion Mennonite Church provided him with a prayer comfort of his own.

The Borkholders presented Sister Nora with 10 tied and pieced lap comforters. The comforters, five child and five adult size, will be given to cancer patients at the hospital.

Borkholder was diagnosed in February with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. He spent five days at the hospital for chemotherapy in March and again later that month for another eight days with kidney failure. The comforter brought Borkholder so much comfort that the congregation was encouraged and challenged to provide more prayer comforters for other cancer patients at Goshen Hospital.

Each block of the comforters contains sentiments of heartfelt words of encouragement and prayers designed by members of Marion Mennonite Church.

“I could tell how he was doing – how he felt that day – just by the way he held the quilt,” LeVera said and she explained how the church made the prayer quilt for Herb when he had the kidney failure. “They saw how much it meant to him and to others who saw it,” she stated. “The church just felt that it was something that needed to be continued and a fundraiser was held to provide the fabric. Members of the congregation designed their own blocks and a group of volunteers pieced and tied them.”

Sister Nora said that she already has someone in mind for one of the comforters. “It is such a great source of comfort in unsure days,” she noted. “It provides warmth and makes the patient feel comforted. Some (patients) come from out of state or do not have family or a church family around. It is wonderful for those that are alone that they have something to cling to. There is so much more in that piece of fabric. It is love in the hands of the people and the faith of the people that is being transported to you (the patient) through them.”

“We are so blessed that people would do for others – people they don’t know,” Sister Nora added.

LeVera Borkholder said the church has plans to continue the act of passing on the comforters. “It is our dream that other churches pick up the mission,” Herb added.

For more information, contact Marion Mennonite Church at 5460N 450W in Shipshewana, 260-562-2910.