In coming months I will be sharing more of your testimonies about your involvement in small groups, the Sunroom, on Facebook, daily devotionals–wherever Rest Ministries has touched your life. Print, audio, or videos are all welcome if you’re interested in sharing. Lisa
From a woman we will call Samantha, who has been a part of a HopeKeepers in Southern California that has met for over 10 years. I was a young Christian woman, just starting my career, newly in love, and full of hopes for the future. Then, one day, chronic pain entered my life and set up a long-term stay. Now, over 20 years later, I live in constant severe pain. Do I have many moments of questioning, tears and frustration? If I said I didn’t, I’d be giving false testimony, and worse, making it harder for someone who is reading this to believe that there is such a thing as solid hope even when one is living through intense suffering.
No, I haven’t found an answer, medically, for my chronic pain, but I found these things, which are so valuable. . . a God who suffers alongside me and does not turn His back on me, a group called–of all things–HopeKeepers (R). The group has co-suffering servant-hearted leaders who are incredibly accepting and inspire me to spiritual maturity, brave fellow seekers and believers who listen and care and pray and allow me–in my brokenness–to listen to, care, and pray for them in return.
I am now still a young Christian woman, still growing in love with the same devoted man, striving to understand the riches of God’s Word, still leaning hard into my Savior. What have I learned through HopeKeepers? Simple–No one gets through life without pain.
The blessed ones are not those who live without heartache, obstacles and pain, but the ones who, in pain, in struggle, have love, hope and support in their very soul because of the giver of hope. I invite others with whom I cross paths who are suffering to join us in community as we endeavor to keep our hope, right where it needs to be–in Christ.
Are you interested in starting a HopeKeepers group?
HopeKeepers is the small group program of Rest Ministries that meets in churches and communities around the world. Rest Ministries provides help in starting your group, materials and resources, tools such as training DVD to help increase awareness of (mostly invisible) illness in your church, and opportunities for networking with other leaders. To find out more visit the “Start a Group” section of our web site.