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Shunem House

Serving God's Servants



Who WE ArE

Shunem House is a place where missionaries and their families can stay during transition times as they spend time away from their field of service.  It also functions as a retreat and meeting space for church staff and Christian organizations.  

Located in a lovely quiet neighborhood in Central Indiana, Shunem is a gorgeous sprawling 11,000 square foot home.


The motto of the ministry is "serving God's servants" and our desire is to create a Welcome Home experience for all who enter.


We hope that you will prayerfully consider partnering with us as together we "Serve God's Servants." 



Our team of kind, hardworking, people are passionate about using their God-given talents & abilities to serve God's servants

Founder & Consultant

Joy Alcock, has faithfully followed the passion God placed on her heart for missionary care. An MK (missionary kid) herself, she identifies with the transitions, cultural adjustments, travel, support raising, along with goodbyes and unknowns that missionaries and their families face. She is our founder and consultant.  It was her vision that led to the birth and organization of this ministry. She currently works as a realtor in the Indianapolis area but is vitally and actively connected to Shunem Ministries, and has permanent membership on the Board of Directors.​​

Shunem Ambassadors

Jim and Jeanette Vermilya have been in ministry since 1965 in local church pastorates, overseas missions, district administration, and missionary care. Hospitality was always an important component of their ministry wherever they served. They were the original hosts at Shunem House, which started in 2006. They still enjoy helping out with hospitality.  Currently, their focus is representing Shunem Ministries by meeting with individuals, groups or churches to talk about the ministry and share insight on Biblical hospitality. If you would like to meet with them or schedule an event, you can call Jeanette at 317-966-7726 or send an email:  

Board of Directors

The Board of Directors is made up of individuals who are in agreement that Shunem Ministries is God-ordained. They are committed to Serving God’s Servants. Each one has a specific role of responsibility, in agreement with his or her God-given gifts and skills. The Board provides leadership, organization, accountability, vision, and most importantly, prayer support. The leadership needs of the ministry are met through these individuals with incredible evidence.

  • Randall Freeman, President

  • Sherry Johnson

  • Shirley Duncan

  • Joy Alcock

  • Fran Lane

  • Danny Baker

  • Harriet Chapman

  • Stan Tyner

  • Ian Swyers

  • Larry DeMint

director of operations

Joan Vermilya Miller came to Shunem in 2017 as an assistant director to her parents Jim and Jeanette who continue to host and hostess part time at the home. Having grown up in missionary and pastoral life with them, Joan has a genuine connection and kinship with the guests. Currently, she oversees the scheduling and welcoming of guests among other various household duties and activities on a regular basis. She works closely with the board and maintains good rapport and connection with all guests, supporters, and volunteers.


Get Involved

Shunem is a wonderful place for an individual, couple, or a work team to come for a day or longer. We will work with you on choosing a special project to sponsor or simply help with the work. Most of the time, groups can stay with us and we provide meals.

Volunteer Opportunities

Some suggested areas are:

  • General household cleaning
  • General maintenance

  • Yard work and landscaping

  • Construction projects

  • Painting

Giving Opportunities

Shunem House is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit ministry that relies heavily on the monthly gifts and contributions of individuals and churches. If you or your church would like to become a monthly supporter or give a one time gift, please feel free to designate your intent and we graciously thank you for partnering with us and making a difference!




People often ask to hear the “story” of Shunem Ministries and how it all began.

The story is God’s story . . . not mine.​

The idea for a ministry to missionaries and their families  is something that has always been close to my heart because of my parents and their ministry both overseas and here in the states. However, it kind of took hold of  me when I became aware of a house that would be perfect for hosting many guests. I began to pray about it regularly while walking in the neighborhood. A vision for it began to consume my thoughts and prayers. Little did I realize that a story was in the making. In contagious ways, God used people . . . people with a heart for Him and for serving Him, to provide this beautiful gift of hospitality and care.


Our family moved into the Sylvan Woods neighborhood in the Fall of 2003. The sprawling white house across the street had a “For Sale” sign on the lawn that would go up and down periodically. Our little girl played with their little girl one day and so when I walked over to get her, my neighbor showed me around a little. I wasn’t looking for a guest house for missionaries but as I was walking through it that’s all I could think about…about how perfect it was. I couldn’t get the thought of it out of my mind and it just grew from there into what seemed like a calling. I talked to a few people about it and most of them thought I was just dreaming, and said, “oh that’s nice.” So I began to pray, walking almost daily past the house and just couldn’t get it out of my thoughts. I would often plead with God to put it out of my mind if it was my idea and not His because I knew something like this should not be of my own doing. Several months later, I shared with the owners the thought of how ideal their home would be for traveling missionaries coming and going in the area. They were touched and expressed delight that the home they had lived in for so long would possibly be used for such a beautiful purpose.

In July 2005, the owner of the house came to our door and told my husband and me that he had an offer on the house, but he did not want to sell it. We could hardly believe what we were hearing; we knew he had been trying to sell it for several years. At this point, we could see God at work in a way, extraordinary to us. We did not know they had added a clause in the listing contract that stated that we had “first right of refusal.” He knew we had no way of purchasing the house. We knew there was no way. But God  had put a plan in motion.

The owners shared that they believed in the vision I had shared, and that they wanted the house to be used for the purpose of helping missionaries. They had a potential buyer. And we had seventy-two contract hours to either go with it or realize that God had a different plan.

The very same day I received an e-mail from a friend . . . a good friend, with whom I had shared my heart and vision. She had looked at the house with me a few months earlier. She and her husband had been discussing how they could be involved in the new ministry, but they were not exactly sure how. The timing of her e-mail was unbelievable to us. We had to update her and her husband on the happenings, the time frame etc. A phone call was made, and we agreed to pray for God’s direction. Within a few hours, a contract for the house was negotiated between the owner and the friend who wrote the e-mail.

I no longer doubted whose idea this whole thing was. I knew God had spoken to me two years earlier about this missionary guest home. Seeing God’s goodness, and His unfolding plan for this love gift of a home away from home for His servants kept me in a state of awe. My feet were now at a running pace to keep up with all that was ahead.

While helping the sellers of the house move into their new home, we were asked if we could use any of the furniture in the house. If so, they would donate it to the ministry. Appliances, pool equipment, window treatments, and other gifts equipped us to get up and running. God also provided a cash gift to help with startup costs. We find that amazing! Again, God was at work.

More . . . God sent work teams, family members, and neighbors to get SHUNEM MINISTRIES off the ground and functioning. Painting, decorating, renovating, remodeling, dry walling, adding a two-bedroom downstairs apartment. A single missionary lady raising funds to go overseas lived here, worked, and contributed to the huge, 11,000 square feet task. Our first family of five occupied the apartment in January, 2006, as they adjusted to a new baby and made preparations to return to serve an unreached people group. With mind, heart, and unity of purpose, our motto was established:  SERVING GOD’S SERVANTS.

Missionaries give up comforts of home, stablity, family, and resources to go where the road before them can be quite uncomfortable, where people have not heard of salvation and the Savior who died for them.  The vision of Shunem Ministries is to grow in ways that will offer more help and encouragement to those who come our way. We hope and pray that there will be more places just like this spring up if it is God’s will.

Shunem Ministries was named for a town mentioned in 2 Kings 4.  In the village of Shunem there was a woman and her husband who built a room and furnished it for the prophet Elisha to stay in when he passed through the town. They served him meals and provided for his rest and comfort. Hospitality was the name of their service and we strive to serve in the same spirit of biblical hospitality shown to Elisha, God’s prophet.

I received Christ as my Savior when I was a small child.  I also grew up as a missionary kid (MK) that traveled around with my parents away from our overseas home. I have grown in faith through prayer and believing the Word. But this venture has been amazing in that I have seen God work in ways that have allowed me to see that this idea is something He began to weave into my heart as a child. And I must say that when I see kids walk in the front door and say, “Wow, we get to stay here?” my heart fills with a kind of joy that I can’t express.

Some people don’t understand why this ministry is important or needed or why it means so much to travelling missionaries. To grow and develop, we need like-minded partners with a heart for missions and the well-being of missionary servants.

Our staff and Board of Directors are committed to serving and to good stewardship of the assignment God has given. There are all kinds of ways to partner and help in the ministry. We need what you can do for Shunem's story to continue.

If this little history of the work touches your heart, give us a call or write to us.

Joy Alcock, Ministry Founder


tel. 317-431-8269



Our mission team recently enjoyed a few days of strategic planning and team building at Shunem House. We needed our meetings to be a blend of business and fun together. 


Staying at Shunem provided just the right balance of both hospitality and privacy. We felt warmly welcomed and cared for with delicious breakfasts and coffees, yet were also given the space we needed to do our own thing as a group.


Our hosts went the extra mile to help us with logistics and still managed to find time to sit and laugh with us.


I'm already looking forward to future opportunities to stay at Shunem House.”​



Contact Us



PO Box 1422
Noblesville, IN 46061

(812) 350-2093

Scheduling a Stay

Joan Miller



General Information 

Randall Freeman



Fran Lane

Message Us

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Shunem House Location


313 Hall Ct. Noblesville, IN 46060


  • From Hwy I-69 go North to Exit 205 and merge onto SR 37 North.

  • Go all the way through the town of Noblesville turn right at  206th Street.

  • Take the second left, Sylvan Drive, to the corner of Hall Ct. and Sylvan Drive.

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