This month marks the fourteen-year anniversary of Covenant Community Care receiving Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). Covenant’s Virginia Parker, with the organization then and now recalled the amazing story.
“At the beginning of 2007 there was a team working on the grant application: Tom Leger, Mary Lou Leger, Dr. Kathy Kleinert and Dr. Lydia Best from Covenant, and consultant Bob Kamphuis. Kim Sibilisky from the Michigan Primary Care Association (MPCA) also advised and helped us to better understand the process. I remember there being so many documents and that Tom delivered the packet to Lansing within a half hour of the deadline! There was great confidence in the application after submission in April. Then in June, Tom got a call from Kim. She told him that Covenant had not made it out of the first round…we were all disappointed. Kim gave us a little hope when she said that sometimes the committees gave second reviews to high scoring applications. Our application had scored very close to that minimum high score. Right after the fourth of July that year, I went up to bed one evening. My bedroom is on the south side of the house and has two windows; usually I can see the streetlights through my window and the room in general is somewhat illuminated. On this night though, my room was pitch black, no lights or glow. At that very moment, I heard a voice. And I knew it was God’s voice. It was gentle yet thunderous and I could tell it was filled with love. I was not alarmed, concerned or worried. I heard the voice say ‘Be still and know that I am God. The work you are doing is what I have commissioned you to do. On August 27 you will hear that you have received the award.’ In the following days, I didn’t tell anyone about my dream for fear that it would not make sense. Finally, I summoned the courage to tell Dr. Best. After I told the story, she simply said ‘I understand and I believe’ and it was as if she already knew what was going to happen. The next month on August 27, the very day that God had foretold, we received the biggest HRSA grant of any FQHC in the country.”