NCC19 Presenter: Melissa Strickland

Rachel Hiles

NCC19 Presenter: Melissa Strickland

Rachel Hiles
Photo: Melissa Strickland, 2019 National Caregiving Conference PresenterMelissa Strickland is a writer, podcast host, speaker, and communications director for international relief and development organization, Samaritan's Purse.

Most importantly, Melissa is a mother of two and caregiver to her husband, Robinson, who battles with Multiple Sclerosis. Her caregiving journey began in 2002, when Robinson was diagnosed while the couple lived in New York City, where Melissa worked as a writer and research assistant for a New York Times bestselling author and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.

When Robinson became too disabled to continue working as a broadcast engineer for National Public Radio, the couple moved home to North Carolina. Melissa then became a photojournalist for the Army National Guard, completing basic training at the ripe old age of 35.

Melissa's role as communications director for Samaritan's Purse has taken her to over 30 countries, where she has had the blessing of interacting with impoverished and suffering people from a plethora of different cultures and walks of life. Through this, God has deepened her faith in a way that has had a tremendous impact on her daily life as a caregiver.

The great passion of her life now is helping other caregivers experience the comfort and encouragement that she has experienced through her relationship with God. Her podcast, The Faint Wick, is focused on bringing real, raw, Christian encouragement to her fellow caregivers.

Join Melissa for her presentation at our Fourth Annual National Caregiving Conference:

Amazing Caregivers, Pillars of Faith
Friday 1 p.m.
This presentation is designed to celebrate the essential role of caregivers in faith communities. I will share my personal experience as well as examples from others, and I will challenge the audience through questions for them to think through both during the presentation and after. The presentation will finish with an open sharing and question time.

Following is a brief outline of the presentation:

Do you think caregivers are another ""charity mission"" for faith communities with nothing to offer in return? You're wrong!

In fact, caregivers play an desperately needed and essential role in encouraging healthy perspectives and honest fellowship within faith communities. I come from the perspective of a Christian caregiver, and I am convinced that the Church needs people like me--and you!

What can you offer?

1.) The countercultural perspective that is so fundamentally missing in America today--yes, even in the church and other faith communities. Too many churches have thrown their chips in with a ""God"" who promises health, riches, and all of the worldly things your heart desires. Caregivers are a fundamentally necessary reminder that suffering should not be anathema to the church, but can instead be a way for God to draw to reveal Himself more deeply and intimately in the life of a believer.

2.) A testimony to God's mercy and goodness. In the Beatitudes, Jesus said, ""Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."" In fact, these are the lines that open this special passage of Scripture. There is no doubt in my mind that God has a tender place in His heart for caregivers, and in my own experience caring for my husband with multiple sclerosis, I have felt the power of His love for me. As I share my story with others, it helps them to see that God is alive and active.

3.) An example of quiet service. Our society rarely celebrates the lives of humble servants, but the Bible tells us that God does. Caregivers show their faith communities a different, even radical, way to live a full life. When this kind of commitment to quiet service becomes part of the culture of a faith community, the bonds of fellowship are stronger, and the community is healthier.

We are so very grateful for the support of the following sponsors of our National Caregiving Conference,
especially Embracing Carers™, this year's supporting sponsor:

~ NCC19 Agenda ~ Meet Our Presenters ~
NCC19 Virtual Registration ~ NCC19 In-Person Registration (Chicago) ~
~ Hotel Reservations ~ NCC19 Volunteer Registration ~ Sponsor or Exhibit ~
~ Testimonials ~ Virtual Caregiving Summit ~