29 May Why I serve at the Center for Women & Children
This piece was authored by Lynn Ondrovic, a longtime High Impact volunteer at our Center for Women & Children in Indianapolis. Currently, Lynn does relational ministry with women in our Higher Ground Addiction Recovery Program.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Metallurgical Engineer and work at Nucor Steel as a technical support representative. My position has a lot of variety and is interesting. I get calls from customers when they have steel related issues. I tour customer plants to see how they process the steel. Since I’m a bit geeky, I love seeing how all of the different steel products are produced. I also get to work with the production teammates in the steel mill. It’s amazing to see molten steel taping from the electric arc furnace at 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. I also facilitate training for Nucor teammates and customers about Nucor and steel.
How did you connect with Wheeler?
Colleen Gore introduced my family to Wheeler through Messiah Lutheran Church. I was able to serve a few meals before I became a Naomi mentor to a guest at the Center for Women & Children. I’ve watched her grow from being an SLT to now a part of the Wheeler Staff as a case manager to current Higher Ground guests.
What do you do at Wheeler?
I’ve been able to be connected in various ways over the years. My family and small group have enjoyed hosting bingo games for the guests. I’ve been able to build relationships and encourage the women in the Higher Ground Addiction Recovery Program. Over the last year, my daughter and I have been able to fellowship with the Higher Ground guests. I’m famous for telling them to “stay the course,” do the hard work, and not quit the program. It’s been amazing to affirm their worth through Scripture, have some craft therapy, sing, pray, and eat junk food. Helping them build their testimonies and understand that God uses all of their story to glorify Him has been a real joy to me.
Why have you chosen to serve at Wheeler?
I know the ladies work really hard on their journey to sobriety and stability. I love to remind them that they are capable of so much more than they think. It’s amazing to see how they grow stronger as women as they work through the program and grow in their relationships with Jesus. I tell anyone considering serving that it’s an incredible opportunity and to not miss out.
What’s your favorite Wheeler memory?
A few years ago, I met a couple of Higher Ground ladies when my small group hosted a bingo game. I had gotten to know them better as I served at a few events. I was disappointed that I was unable to make it to their graduation, so I snuck over to the Restored Creations shop on their last afternoon to hug them and give them a “stay the course” (Psalm 119:1-8) reminder. It was a bitter sweet parting as we laughed and cried and said good-bye.
It’s been a real gift to be able to encourage the women, children, and Higher Ground guests. I’ll be moving with my family to the Cincinnati area this summer, and I’m going to miss watching the women grow stronger and more confident as they work through the program and get closer to God. I’m praying for God to bless our family with another way to encourage others.