TWU and Elim Village have a shared common value: community. It makes perfect sense that Elim has chosen to partner with the TWU alumni community this year by sponsoring the Pancake Breakfast at Alumni Weekend 2013 in September.
Our two communities enjoy connections with many of the same families, one of which is Neil (’75) and Sharol (Johnson ‘78) Josephson. We were glad to have them back to campus and tell their story, which we’re excited to share with you.
As students, both Neil and Sharol felt something special at Trinity Western. Sharol, who grew up in a small town, was delighted to meet a diverse group of people who shared similar faith. As a student, she played volleyball and sang in the choir. Originally a commuter student, Neil moved onto campus in his second year to get more involved. He played on the hockey team, returning frequently in future years as an alumnus player and coach.
To this day, the Josephsons have ties to TWU—particularly with the Spartans. Their son Ben (’03) first met his wife Jennifer (Baughman ’05) on the volleyball court, and now coaches the men’s volleyball team. After helping with TWU’s Christmas in the City event for years, Sharol now serves on the Spartan Foundation Board. “Even as students here, we felt TWU’s current mission statement—“building godly Christian leaders for the various market-places of life”—in everything,” says Neil who, along with Sharol, now serves as a national director with FamilyLife Canada. They love their ministry in faith-based marriage and family education. “It made a huge impact on our future careers. We love this place.”
Neil’s mother Anna Josephson is also a huge Spartan fan. But when her battle with dementia worsened, the Josephsons knew that they would need help with her care. Alumnus Ron Pike (’92), Elim’s Executive Director, was Ben’s former volleyball coach. “When Anna’s health started to fail, Ron was the first person we called,” says Sharol. “He confirmed for us that Elim Village was the right choice for our family.”
“Within Fraser Health,” Neil continues, “Elim has a great reputation for quality, professional care, and a beautiful facility. Everybody wants to go there.”
Neil and Sharol praise their experience with Elim. “They’ve been wonderful with Mom; kind, caring and really great in liaising and keeping us informed of any changes,” he says. “They were also very helpful in explaining Mom’s disease. We truly feel like we’re partners in our mother’s care.”
Since Anna has been in full care at Elim, the Josephsons continue to find common connections. One of Anna’s care workers, Carolyn, has a son who Ben coached. “It’s easy to build community with Elim,” Neil says.
When asked what advice they would share with the TWU and Elim communities, Neil says, “Those of us who care about these communities need to realize how unique they are. Let’s be loyal to them, and spread the word. These are good places, and they are worth our involvement.”
Watch for next week’s story on John (’68) & Jean VandenBrink, two independent living Elim residents, who share their alumni family story.
Download the print version of the Josephsons’ story by clicking the image below.