From left to right: Mary Ellen Mitchell Eilerman, Meridith Owensby, and Elizabeth CoyleElizabeth Coyle served as a live-in volunteer with Lydia’s House from June 2014-June 2015 before returning to her home town in Nashville, TN. Elizabeth’s service to this ministry is forever wrapped up in the DNA of this community and we are grateful.

Elizabeth came to Lydia’s House not a moment too soon, choosing to leave the sunny and warm weather of California to serve women and their children in transition and crisis in Norwood, OH. Co-directors Meridith and Mary Ellen remember being tired after years of dreaming and setting this notion of a non-profit home of hospitality in motion, managing the renovation of a 3 story home, welcoming their first guests, and beginning to entertain the idea of taking in new volunteers.

2014-11-24 05.23.54Within days of her arrival Elizabeth had already made her first trip to the emergency room, invested in guests through hours of pastoral care and long day trips in search of immigration documents, and spent late hours into the night praying together with the core community members.

Elizabeth has left a trail of her presence here at Lydia’s House, little gifts that we hold onto and remember her by. The simplest details such as documents and protocols now accessible to the core community and volunteers thanks to Elizabeth’s detailed organization speak of her dedication to our cause.Elizabeth Mardi Gras This fabulous gift of planning extended into many events and celebrations that brought joy to our house including, but certainly not limited to, the 12 days of Christmas, Mardi Gras , and Karaoke in the back-yard celebrations. But even greater are the relationships that Elizabeth, with great intention, poured into our guests, volunteers, and the core community of Lydia’s House.

One of Elizabeth’s greatest tangible blessings is the pulling-together of the Jean Donovan House. For the duration of her final weeks with Lydia’s House Elizabeth, alongside volunteer project manager Sandra Kelley, conducted the aesthetic and technical details of making the house a home for those who commit to serve Lydia’s House in the years to come.

Until her last moments with us she gave her heart to the mission and people of the Lydia’s House community.  We are confident that she carries the strengths and offerings that she so willingly gave to Lydia’s House wherever she goes, representing the message of God’s hope and hospitality, mirroring the love of justice of God in gentle and passionate ways.

Thank you, Elizabeth. God’s peace to you.elizabeth merit badge