Cancer Companions: bringing hope to the journey
By: Lianne Johnson, LPC
Recently I had the opportunity to sit with Karen Tripp, who is the President of Cancer Companions. I thought what she had to say was so good that I couldn’t resist sharing it with you. I hope you enjoy learning about Cancer Companions as much as I did!
Can you tell us a little about Cancer Companions?
Sure, Cancer Companions is a ministry that helps people build cancer ministry in their churches. We train, equip and support caring people to become peer counselors who then meet with cancer families in cancer support groups or in one-to- one sessions. The mission is all about drawing cancer families closer to Christ through their journey.
How did the ministry begin?
Well, I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist so I had spent several years running Christian Cancer Support groups around the St Louis area. Eventually it became obvious that although there was value in me popping into a church for 7 weeks and running a support group, what the church and the community needed was an ongoing ministry that was led by volunteers but rooted in the church. After felt the Lord lead me to develop this ministry, one of the women in one of my cancer groups approached me about starting a group in her church. And from that came our first pilot church.
So how is it going?
Great! It’s like every time I turn around there is someone else with a heart for helping cancer families. There are 5 churches in the St Louis area that have Cancer Companions running cancer support groups and seeing cancer families in one-to-one sessions. The next Cancer Companions training is in September and there are already several more churches signed on. It’s exciting to see the way the Lord is touching lives through these people.
How can we learn more?