The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. -PSALM 34:18
Greg & Jolynn Van Wienen began Starlight Ministries after the tragic death of their son, Seth on November 4, 2007. They struggled to find a Christian grief support system for the rest of their children. One year after Seth’s death, God began calling the Van Wienen’s to start a grief support ministry themselves.
Starlight Ministries was born in the Spring of 2009, after much support from their family and community. Starlight provides families with age appropriate peer-to-peer support groups where feelings, experiences and memories are shared. The death may have been recent or long ago.
Our main areas of expertise
Suffering a loss can leave you facing an uphill struggle, but even in the deepest despair, we can find hope. Starlight offers resources and programs that will help you in your journey forward towards hope.
In order to heal, you have to acknowledge the pain. Trying to avoid feelings of sadness and loss can prolong the grieving process. At Starlight we encourage participants to engage with others in support groups and various other programs.
Starlight provides families with age appropriate peer-to-peer support groups where feelings, experiences and memories are shared.
Stories of lives restored from participants of Starlight Ministries.
I discovered Starlight Ministries in September of 2016 by God’s providence. I was reading a book by Miriam Neff & learned about the Widow Retreat from the Widow Connection website. That led me to visit the Starlight website & I discovered the Peer-to-Peer groups that way. After the first meeting, both Taylor & I were comforted to know that there were other people who get what we are going through.
Taylor attended Camp Anew this past summer, & even though he was hesitant at first, he really appreciated his time there. He came home with a better outlook on his dad’s passing. For that, I am grateful! Through the Peer-to-Peer group, he was able to reconnect with a former classmate. He was also able to talk about his dad’s passing & work through his thoughts, feelings & emotions surrounding his dad’s death.
Starlight gives us hope, because they bring others together that have kind of shared this path. They help us to understand what we’re going through, that we are not alone and we will get through this. Starlight developed their program and it’s like the church was meant to be. We come together, we share a meal and then we break off into our age appropriate groups for small group time.
Starlight’s been a blessing in so many ways; the grieving process of loosing a spouse and moving forward with this journey, it’s great to have the support of community and knowing that we walk hand in hand; we’re not alone.