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COVER STORY: Dr. Carrie Carter - What Happens when the Doctor Becomes Ill?
5 Things You Should Know About Chronic Illness on the Job
Is it Safe to Buy Medication Online?
The Process Road
Lessons from the River
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Effective Spring Cleaning with a Chronic Illness
But You Look So Good!
Talk Over Tea with the Editor
Tell Us Your Thoughts
Strive to Thrive Health News
Joy Bites
Strength in the Shadows
Volunteer Corner
Book Review: Spiritual Sunlight for the Weary
Ask the Doc
hopenotes: hopekeepers
Group & Leader Information



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 at t

Creative Ideas to Find
$ For Disability
Programs at Church

Money and Ideas is a 36-page booklet that describes creative initiatives and fund raising strategies used by 50 congregations to become more accessible to people with all types of disabilities. Distributed by National Organization on Disability, Religion Program. See www.nod.org or call (202)293-5960. $3.50 includes shipping.

The Pope's Opinion
On People with Disabilities

"The 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).

Joni's Study
Material Wins Award
When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty by Joni Eareckson Tada has a group study kit available, which won the 2003 Gold Medallion Book Award. To order, check with your local Christian bookstore or see www.joniandfriends.org. $99.99 includes: leader's guide, 1 participant guide, video, DVD, and 1 softcover book.

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."

Charlene B. 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 validated."

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 rmbrown@apex2000.net.


This article was featured in our March/April 2004 issue.
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