FREEDOM -- For many years, Steve and Mary Hughett dedicated their lives to ministering.
Much of that time was spent in Putnam County. The couple did much of their work through the Cunot Mission, where they conducted Bible studies and prayer services.
The couple would also visit people's homes to minister.
"I'd say 85 percent of the people we ministered to were in Putnam County," Steve said. "We were evangelists. We didn't limit our services to the inside of a building."
The Hughetts were also active in jail and prison ministries. They helped people who had no transportation with rides to doctor's and other appointments, and they delivered meals to shut-ins and the homeless.
Today, Steve, 61, and Mary, 71, find themselves essentially homeless -- the result of debilitating illnesses and misfortunes. Both are severe diabetics; Steve has been involved in three serious car accidenst in the past few years, and Mary has had open heart surgery. Steve also suffers from a heart condition.
Earlier this year, the couple lost the home they had lived in for nine years to foreclosure. When that happened, Steve's mother offered the couple of tract of land, and they began building a small home on it.
"It became a choice for us," Steve said. "We could either buy our medications or keep our house. So we had to let the house go."
But as their health continued to decline, they ran out of funds and were physically unable to complete the home. Presently, it is little more than a 32-foot by 32-foot pole barn shell.
"I hardly have any strength," Steve said sadly.
For the past several months, Steve and Mary have been living on the property in a camper.
To assist the couple in getting their home ready to live in before winter arrives, a gospel music benefit is planned for Sunday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Rock Church in Ellettsville.
The event is being coordinated by Dawn Hendershot, who met Steve and Mary when she was volunteering at the Cunot Mission.
"I've known them for about four years," she said.
Performers at the benefit will include Good News with Linda Haley-Lester. Daryl Raines and Tom Baker, The Stanley Family, Max Flaskamp and others.
"My wife and I are just so grateful that people are willing to help us out this way," Steve said. "I've been in ministry since I was a young teenager ... I'm used to giving rather than receiving, so this has been new for us. People have already come out and done so much for us. What's been done on the house already has all been done by other people."
Those who would like to make donations for the Hughetts can do so at Owen Community Bank, where a fund has been set up for them.
Rock Church is located at 9315 S.R. 46W. For more information, call Dawn at (812) 829-0562.