Iola Senior Center visit led to love for volunteers

Here's something a little different to tickle your heart. Joe Hess came to the Iola Senior Center thrift store 25 years ago and met a woman who would soon volunteer for a very important role in his life.

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May 20, 2022 - 5:01 PM

Joseph and Jeanette Hess Courtesy photo

What might you expect if you went to the Iola Senior Citizens thrift store at 223 N. State Street?

You could expect to meet volunteers that are friendly and ready to help you find things you need, at a very affordable price.

I found my wife at the Senior Center 25 years ago when I went to get clothes at a very low price — like 20 cents for shirts or shoes, and 25 cents for jeans.

We both had been married before and had decided to be single for the rest of our lives, but the Lord sent her over to the shirt section to help me. She asked me whether I might want to get something for my wife. I told her I didn’t have a wife. Then she asked me if I might want to get something for my girlfriend, which prompted me to say, “You sound very astute.”

The next time I came in, she invited me to her house for coffee and conversation. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that, but if she was interested, she was welcome to go with me to Humboldt, where I had a weekly Bible study at a senior retirement home. The next week she was ready, and off we went. I thought of her as a ministry partner.

Two weeks later I told her that I also taught a Bible study at the women’s prison in Topeka, and she was ready to go with me to minister to women at the prison.

After five months of spending eight hours a week together, I told her “If we keep seeing so much of each other, someday we may need to think about getting married.” I was thinking about three or four years.

She responded, “Yes, I will.”

That just didn’t match up with what I had just said, so I had the words on the way out of my mouth to say “Not anytime soon,” when the Lord told me to shut my mouth.

We got married two months later. The Lord literally put the two of us together from the very first moment we met in the Senior Center.

So, if you come to see what we have at the center, you can really end up getting things you may never have expected. We get anything and everything donated to the Center, and you can get all the benefits when you come to check it out.

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