Christian Chronicle

When you took in a stranger: Mayo Clinic ministry has housed thousands


When you took in a stranger (reporting from Rochester, Minn.): Ministry that houses Mayo Clinic patients and their loved ones has cared for thousands.

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

ROCHESTER, Minn. — Creaky stairs.

Wooden floors.

To Lee Jamieson Sr., the old house down the street from the Mayo Clinic feels like home.

“It reminds me of my grandparents’ house,” said Jamieson, minister for the Timberlane Church of Christ in Tallahassee, Fla. “It’s got character.”

Snow coats the driveway as the preacher and his 19-year-old son, Lee Jr. — who paralyzed his right arm in a skiing accident — carry their luggage once again into the “House of Compassion.”

Built in 1921, the three-level dwelling is part of a ministry that has provided soft beds and warm hugs to thousands of Mayo patients and their loved ones.

The ministry, called Hands of Compassion because it involves more than housing, grew out of Rochester Church of Christ members opening their own bedrooms and basements to frequent out-of-state visitors.

“Members were taking random strangers into their houses just because they happened to be sick and going to the Mayo Clinic,” said Phillip Quelle, full-time chaplain for Hands of Compassion. “They were doing this week in and week out, over and over and over again.”

This story appears in the April 2016 edition of The Christian Chronicle.

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