In 2008, their two sons Drew and Jamie were involved in a fatal car wreck while coming home from a school event. Their youngest son Jamie was killed instantly.
Their family and their marriage went through overwhelming grief and trauma. They struggled with their faith as they tried to make sense of this horrific ordeal. In their grief, they experienced the isolation that parents often feel after the loss of a child. They witnessed first-hand how men and women grieve differently.
Shortly after their youngest son’s death, Laura heard a message that was spoken from Genesis 41:52. “Despite all that Joseph had gone through during his years of loss; he named his son Ephraim and said “God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
She felt God prompting her heart to “be fruitful in her suffering” and help other families in grief. It would take years of their own healing before they could act on this. In 2018 Chuck and Laura started a grief support group for parents who have lost a child. In 2019, they will be adding additional resources to grieving parents. This is how Ephraim Ministries began.
Chuck and Laura understand the challenges it places on the survival of the marriage and the family in the aftermath of such devastation. Losing a child changes all your relationships. Everyone in the family will grieve differently.
It is their desire to offer hope to grieving parents. To come alongside of them and encourage them to grieve in healthy ways and draw closer as a family.
Laura is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Virginia. She holds a Master’s degree in Professional Counseling. She has certifications in Life Coaching, Biblical Counseling and Stress & Trauma Care with Military Application. She has experience as a Parent Coach teaching Attachment Theory to parents to aide in healthy child development. She is a Prepare and Enrich Certified Marriage Counselor. She also has a specialization in Trauma (which includes Crisis, Grief, PTSD, Sexual Trauma and Domestic Violence). Laura is also trained in basic EMDR. She has also served as a Grief Share group facilitator. While the education is always in the background, Laura shares in the groups for Ephraim Ministries from her personal experiences as a mother.
Over the years Chuck and Laura have opened their home to children and served as “adoptive” foster parents, and home-stay parents for international studies. They continue to serve in that capacity.
They have one living son, Drew and two grandchildren, Jamie and Cadence.
Chuck and Laura live in Lynchburg, VA.