Storytelling, a Ministry

This link is to a novel-length story written in collaboration with my husband, John, as an extension of our ministry. It is our hope that this story will be of interest to those who have experienced PTSD, suffered domestic violence, struggled to find help in community, mistakenly believed that sex and salvation are incompatible, searched for the right neighborhood in which to raise children, or wondered where the Church was when you needed it. The story is also for those who would provide pastoral ministry to the wounded. Genesis teaches us that it is not good to be alone and that two will become one flesh. We believe that the message of Genesis applies to all of us, all of us; no one is excluded.

There is no fee for downloading or even printing the story, if you choose. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two with no money in their purse, so we ask for no payment. If you like the story pass it on. That is all the payment we need.


“Megan and Nick” is populated with many of the same ordinary people that are found in our first book “Allen and Sue”. Nick believes that letter writing is an art form. He loves to receive and write letters. Megan is a surprise to many people including Nick. Together they experience the confusing, but vital, process of decision-making so common to all of us. And what happens when someone with “new eyes” sees what we think we have “seen” all our lives? “Megan and Nick” is a celebration of hospitality and friendship, ordinary people trying to be open to surprising new possibilities. Writing is part of our ministry to live the same way. The Book of Genesis tells us that two can become one. Is that really possible? Can dreams come true? Ask Megan and Nick.

If you know of someone who may be interested in reading the story, it can be downloaded from our web site, http://joanclarkhouk.com. There is no fee for downloading or even printing the story. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two with no money in their purse, so we ask for no payment. If you like the story pass it on. That is all the payment we need.

Welcome to the continuing story of the Allen and Sue family.  Billy, you may remember, was Allen and Sue’s second child.  It was a difficult pregnancy for Sue, and we almost lost them both.  In the Megan and Nick story we find Billy growing into a normal teenager.  By normal we mean not exceptionally gifted nor too difficult to live with.

Billy’s family did make a lasting impression on him in important ways.  He was blessed by being loved and nurtured in a stable multigenerational family, and second, that family included men who loved and respected women.  So now Billy finds himself a young man in the Army with normal attractions to women while carrying on the male family tradition of loving respect for the women he meets.  This surprised himself, and the women he comes to know, in unexpected ways.  Enjoy.  Oh, and we will meet Billy again in future stories.

The story about Billy is about ordinary people.  These are the kind of people we know, and the kind of lives they live.  All the characters are creations of our imaginations.  If you find in this story someone who seems familiar, it is because they are ordinary people.  It is your imagination that has rendered them even more familiar.  Actually, we hope that happens.

This story is intentionally not, repeat not, a “published” document with “rights reserved.”  This story is an extension of our Catholic ministry, and as the Gospel advises, we “take no money in our purse.”  So we will take nothing for this creative journey.  If you choose to copy the story, we ask that you always include this Introduction Page, and honor the missionary spirit of the authors.  We do hope you share it in any way you choose.  Billy and all of our other stories are available to be read, downloaded and shared from Joan’s web site: http://joanclarkhouk.com

Joan and John Houk
September 2020

If you know of someone who may be interested in reading the story, it can be downloaded from our web site, http://joanclarkhouk.com. There is no fee for downloading or even printing the story. Jesus sent his disciples out two by two with no money in their purse, so we ask for no payment. If you like the story pass it on. That is all the payment we need.