Diane and Karl Fink moved 13 times in their 59 years of marriage. Karl worked for a large multinational corporation and Dianne often joined him in his travels overseas. In 1994, a year before moving to Naples as snowbirds, Diane and Karl lost their son.

As they continued to grieve, they looked for and found a church home in Naples at Emmanuel. They didn’t realize it at first, but their previous pastor from Houston Texas, Ron Starenko, was the pastor at Emmanuel then. Their families were close and seeing Pastor Ron provided comfort for them. A few years after they made a home in Naples, Pastor Steve Wigdahl arrived at Emmanuel and became instrumental in helping Diane and Karl deal with the loss of their son. They are grateful to Emmanuel for enabling them to “start focusing on others instead of on themselves and their loss.”

“Start focusing on others instead of on themselves and their loss.”

Diane and Karl became involved with the Stephen Ministry program. Karl helped Pastor Frank Lee and Carol Hartman, the Parish Nurse, with the program. Karl took on a leadership role and helped the program grow from 10 to 50 Stephen Ministers. Being Stephen Ministers helped both Diane and Karl reflect upon their Christian beliefs and find solace in serving others. Karl continued to lead the program for several years until Diane’s health began to deteriorate. He then had to put all his energy into helping her as he continues to do today.

While they miss being able to reach out to people that need their help and support, they are grateful that God used them in Christ’s work for all those years. Emmanuel’s reach into the community provided a way for them to focus on others. In their words, “Emmanuel is a welcoming, warm, outgoing, and caring mission.”

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