Jim Stella worked at AdventHealth for 10 years and retired after his time as a supervisor of guest services at AdventHealth Orlando. On a weekend trip to Hobby Lobby a couple of years ago, his wife asked him if he could find a way to use a bag of 200 small wooden hearts in the wedding section.
Jim took the hearts home and decided the best way to use them was to encourage others with God’s word. He began to write bible verses on around 30 of the hearts and dropped them off at the Cancer Institute for patients to take on their way out of treatment. Each verse was picked to inspire and comfort those going through a difficult time and within a day, all 30 were gone. Jim refilled the allotment and within a week, 200 hearts were taken!
Jim continued to purchase hearts by the hundreds because the need grew fast! The word of this new “Ministry of Hearts” spread quickly and soon they were in the Children’s hospital, the Transplant Institute, Ginsburg tower, and even spread beyond hospital walls at a local homeless shelter. A lot of hearts are picked up by AdventHealth staff as well who, “want to know what God had to say to them today.”
The hearts have been given out to moms with newborns, open heart surgery patients on their way to the operating room, and transplant patients and their families. No matter who requests a couple hundred hearts, Jim says he is never surprised by what the lord does.
“The Lord just multiplies things. It’s just a wooden heart until you put God’s word on it. Then it becomes something special.”
Because the demand has become immense, he’s garnered some support. He still writes the majority of them on his own, but he presented the program to students at the school where his wife teaches. Now they help write them for volunteer hours. Some individuals have even taken it upon themselves to help write wooden hearts because they love getting in God’s word to find verses for the hearts.
Almost two years after he started the program, Jim’s hearts are still in high demand at AdventHealth. His team has given out over 80,000 hearts to various departments and hospitals throughout the Central Florida Division. Thank you for extending the healing ministry of Christ, Jim!
Art and music therapy programs like these are proven to lift patients’ spirits and reduce anxiety. You can help patients at AdventHealth be more comfortable and inspire them to heal by making a gift here today.
GO HERE to make a gift in Jim's name.