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Retirement village resident’s efforts turn storage room into prayer r


ADA, Okla. (BP)–“I thought we’d paint the walls and put in a few chairs,” said Randy Parker, administrator at the Ada (Okla.) Retirement Village.
But resident Helen Moon envisioned something much more elegant.
“When I moved to the Village two years ago, I told Gerald Kelly [then administrator/chaplain] that they built this village here and left the Lord out,” Moon said. “He asked me what I wanted to do about it, and I said I wanted to make a prayer room.”
Moon took charge of the project, found a storage room and proceeded to turn it into a handsomely furnished place to commune with God.
“This room was a wreck,” Moon recounted. “It had been used as a storage area and was full of things people had left here over the last 14 years.”
But now the space radiates with soft green carpet and matching walls, flower arrangements, carefully chosen chairs, two pews with upholstered cushions and an open Bible in front of a mural that covers an entire wall.
The room was totally designed and furnished by Moon with the help of her daughters Kay Kelly and Deanna Moore, who both live in Ada.
The two pews are from the old First Baptist Church building in Ada where they once served as pulpit pews.
Kelly and Moore made the flower arrangements which hang over a picture and grace the room’s tables.
The wall-size mural of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene was painted by sisters Storm Thompson and Derise Scott, who are in charge of Ada’s Arts and Heritage Center.
“I thought the painting of Jesus in the garden was ideal for a prayer room,” Moon said.
Parker said when the women started painting the mural, they used an overhead projector to enlarge the image of Jesus on the wall, sketched it and then filled it in with paint.
Not only is the room used for prayer, but is the location for a monthly Bible study and it has been suggested chaplain J.T. Roberts could use it as a counseling room for the 68 residents of the village.
“Also, there was no place for families and a pastor to go when someone at the village died,” Moon pointed out. “This room also serves that purpose.”
Parker said the room is used extensively for prayer.
“I have come by here as late as 11:30 p.m. and found someone in here praying,” he said.
The Ada Retirement Village hopes to soon have a chapel for its worship services which now meet in the center’s dining room.
“During one of our retirement center board meetings in Owasso, I was sitting in the chapel there and thinking how great it would be if all our retirement centers had chapels,” Parker said. “Most of our residents aren’t able to attend church regularly and would benefit from services in a chapel.”
Moon noted that the Village’s dining room also needs to be remodeled.
“It’s the first thing people see when they walk in,” she said.
Parker told Moon, “When we get the money, you’ll get to help design the remodeling of the dining area.”
Moon said that would be fine with her.
“God made everything beautiful for us. We should do the same for him.”

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  • Dana Williamson