The NICU can be a lonely, isolating place.
I remember spending some 12 hours of my day within the four walls of our tiny hospital room. The room was quiet with the exception of the beeping monitors connected to my son and the rhythmic pumping vents and sporadic alarms coming from the hallway.
I remember feeling alone and craving community and fellowship. I remember longingly looking at the mother across the hallway, someone within reach who understood exactly what I was going through. I remember making eye contact with the mothers as I passed their rooms en route to my own. I remember the tired faces. The grief-stricken faces. The fearful faces. The I-need-to-be-brave faces. I wanted so much to talk with them, to ask about their precious babies and how I could pray for them.
But the roller-coaster nature of the NICU has a way of forcing mothers to focus solely on their present circumstances. Mothers often feel unable to pull themselves away to engage with others, even if their souls desperately need it.
The "Praying Through the NICU" ministry is an online, Facebook community where mothers:
- gather and foster new friendships
- feel seen, heard, and loved
-fix their gaze on God
-lift their requests to the Lord
-carry the burdens of others through prayer
-witness how God is working miracles daily
-grow together in their faith
-cultivate hearts of gratitude and compassion
-praise God, even in the storm
In addition to facilitating community, the "Praying Through the NICU" ministry also provides outreach through care packages. All care packages provide Biblical support and encouragement. Examples include Christian read alouds, bereavement journals and devotionals, swaddles inscribed with scripture, and rainbow promise bracelets for NICU siblings.
Care packages are made possible through the Bonfire "Prays Well With Others" T-Shirt campaigns (100 percent of proceeds fund the ministry, see images below), monetary donations via PayPal, and purchases through our Etsy shop.