The Lutheran Church of Risen Lord hopekeepers group began
meeting June of 2003 at my church in Odessa, TX. There are ten of
us who are very active and a few that come as they can.
I have used the hopekeepers material and have enjoyed picking one
of the daily devotions as a guide in class. Right now we are looking
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quality of life within a community is measured, to a large
extent, by commitment in the care of the weakest and the
neediest, and by respect for their dignity as men and
women. . .A society that would only make room for fully
functional members, completely autonomous and independent,
would not be a society worthy of the human being."
(International Symposium on the Dignity of the Person
with Mental Handicaps, Vatican, Jan 2004).
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God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by
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he book of Job,
using a 6-week outline to base our study on.
I would like
to share some of the comments that member's have made about the
group. When asked why she came to hopekeepers, Betty S. who lives
with chronic pulmonary disease answered "I think it more a
matter of what I don't find there. I don't find that I must explain
why I'm ill, why I can't get well, or why I can't control my pain.
I don't see a look on a face that says, 'Are you sick again?' I
am not given advice as to what to do to make me well again, the
name of another doctor or a new pill to take."
writes "When I realized that I could actually retire, one of
my first comments was 'Now I can go back to hopekeepers.' It meets
two important needs: to be understood and the need to have our feeling's
Judy B. wrote
"On a Sunday morning I read an article about a group meeting
for chronic pain sufferers. I had never been to any group meetings
before but knew I had hit bottom with pain and depression. From
the very first meeting I had a feeling of happiness and serenity
that I had not had in as long as I could remember. You know you
can share anything, your fears, and frustration and not feel judged.
I guess one of the most important things I have come away with is
closeness with God, with friends, and knowing there is always hope."
We have had
good support from our pastor. The local newspaper has done a wonderful
job of writing about us. An article that appeared in June about
us made it's way to a prison across the state from here and a man
wrote us and asked for a Bible. We were glad to send it along with
some of the material about hopekeepers.
If you live
in the Odessa area and would like more information you can reach
Donna Brown at 915-362-2549 (church number) or firstname.lastname@example.org.