- A cup of coffee helps Paul Nelson focus his thoughts, but he knows his inspiration comes from a place out of his hands.
"I'm just a facilitator. I'm just a conduit," Nelson said.
The pastor from Tomahawk will soon welcome anyone into certain rooms inside Prince of Peace Church with a purpose of finding strength through a higher power.
"It's going to take a lot of courage to walk in here," Nelson admitted.
Last year, a group within the church decided to develop "Community Healing Rooms." They offer a private space for anyone in search of physical, mental, or emotional repair through prayer.
"We're interested in all parts of healing, you know, the mind, the soul, the body," Nelson said. "The whole body, the whole person."
The rooms are free and prayer sessions last about 20 minutes after an initial check-in and welcome form gets filled out.
"It makes all the difference," pastor Diane Frisch said of prayer. "It brings hope when there isn't hope. And it brings healing."
Frisch says they've coordinated with the Healing Rooms Ministries' international association for training. An organization in Green Bay offered its services in helping the Northwoods group get off the ground. Now, 25 volunteers in Tomahawk are qualified to help pray over people, but Frisch stresses their work shouldn't replace medical care.
"This is not in place of that. This is in addition to that," Frisch said. "Even doctors will say that when someone has hope and the spiritual aspect is included, healing comes much easier."
The group sees a big need for healing across north-central Wisconsin, especially with an aging population. They also encourage children and teenagers to come.
"It might not be physical, they may be more emotional, but they can be physical too," healing room director Paula Thomas said of teenagers and children. "We don't want to create any fear or apprehension, we just want people to come and just receive."
The church sees these four rooms as a placeholder for now. They're working on buying a building in the Tomahawk area to grow the ministry. Frisch says they have the money available to develop the Eagle Summit Healing Center, Inc. soon.
"This is the time and this is the place and we feel like this is just the beginning of what's going to be going on," Frisch said.
Starting next Thursday, those four rooms will be ready to receive people in all sorts of pain, welcomed into a place where Nelson knows they'll be in good hands.
"Everybody has a little ministry, a mini-ministry [in them,]" Nelson said. "[We all should] influence those people around you and this happens to be our calling."
The church's healing rooms open Thursday, January 17 at 6 p.m. through 8 p.m. The prayer sessions are first come-first served.
The church is located at 1328 County Road A in Tomahawk. You can call with any questions at 715-453-8783.
Written By: Lane Kimble