Deaconess Cathy (Cherokee) & Deacon Tom (Ioway) Benzler

Deaconess Cathy (Cherokee) & Deacon Tom (Ioway) Benzler

The goal: to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the nations of the Olympic Peninsula and share the hope and joy that comes with being a child of God. 

Originally drawn to the Olympic Peninsula while seeking a place to retire, Cathy and Tom bought a plot of land with the hope of a peaceful, quiet life with their grandchildren.

God had other plans.

Cathy and Tom had served regularly on reservations throughout California and the Northwest, helping pastors in whatever capacity they needed. They found it to be a rewarding way to embrace their native roots.

When they eventually "retired" to Port Angeles in 2003, they quickly made connections with the Lower Elwha Tribal Council and were asked to start a bible study in their home. It was through these interactions and gatherings that Cathy began to notice the needs within the community, particularly with the nutritionally-starved elders.

From this need grew the Hope House.

The Hope House, which started as a small shed bought at a local hardware store and delivered fresh, seasonal fruit to Lower Elwha elders, quickly grew into a large storage barn that now accommodates the needs of multiple tribes on the Olympic Peninsula. 

Although the Hope House is a large undertaking requiring countless hours and miles, Tom & Cathy also regularly visit the local hospital and continue to grow the personal relationships with individuals on the reservations.

read more about what Tom & Cathy are doing in Washington: