Hope Community Church, Miamisburg, OH
What a blessing
it was the day I found the Rest Ministries/hopekeepers web site.
I became so excited I could hardly wait to share it with my husband
and our pastor-even more excited when our pastor shared with me
the long desire he had carried for this type ministry in our church.
After much prayer,
we ordered the materials from Rest Ministries and introduced hopekeepers
to the congregation; twenty-two people signed up after church! We
began Dec. 7th, 2003 and We average 12-18 people in class; our group
is a Sunday School class, and what wonderful sharing times we have
had each week!
By using God's
Word and the Bible study, When
Chronic Illness Enters Your Life by Lisa Copen, we have
had so many people open their hearts concerning their illness and
how God is helping them to have the hope which only He can give.
But-I have to be honest and say that some of us have had our "why"
how to minister to each other on a regular basis, and in a way which
is helpful, not hurtful. We start each class with "a good belly
laugh" and a little something to take home with us as a reminder
during the week to "find" something positive for which
to praise the Lord-such as a paper clip to help us "hold it
all together" when unbearable moments arrive.
We also cry
together; it's healing to laugh and cry. We freely share our hurts,
anger, frustrations-and yes, our joys and praises too. As well as
all the emotions of having an invisible illness and not having anyone
understand what is going on in our bodies.
By being in hopekeepers we feel we're in a "safe-haven. . ."
where those around us understand when we share our feelings.
As one who lives
daily with chronic illness and pain, I am so thankful to be able
to serve our Lord and others around me who are also suffering, in
a way such as this. hopekeepers has been-and will continue to be-
a definite bright spot in my life!
If you live
in the Odessa area and would like more information you can reach
Alice Ervin at 937- 847-2607 (church number) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
a Great Price!
Ministries carried this Bible edited by Joni E. Tada and Jan and
Dave Dravecky while we could get it at a great price. We've found
another website where you can order this fabulous Bible for just
over $10 plus shipping. Search www.bibledata.net
for "encouragement bible."
Pastor Asks, "Is Illness or Disability Ministry Really Needed
in Our Church?"
data show that more than 26% of U.S. adults who seek pastoral care
have disabilities. And people with disabilities are more than twice
as likely as persons without disabilities to seek pastoral care-gender
and age don't alter the results.
1998 National Health Interview Survey
Offer Insight to Reaching Out to Disabled
Nearly 200 "That
All May Worship" conferences have been held since 1993, bringing
together people with disabilities and religious leadership to plan
improved access-both physical and spiritual-in houses of worship
in their community. For locations or to discuss sponsorship for
your church contact Ginny Thornburgh, 202-293-5960 or email@example.com.
Note: Rest Ministries exhibited and Lisa Copen led a workshop
at a San Diego "TAMW" in 2002. hopekeepers recommends