Facing Giants: A Story of Persistence, Grace, and a New Life

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By Darlene Fitkin and Ryan Keller

 

I, Ryan, am sharing with you a story about a family that Hope4Healing has been working with through one of our great Friendship Partners, Waterloo’s Apostolic Pentecostal Church.  Please read this compelling story:

Imagine, one day there is laughter in the air, the smell of good food cooking, excitement of a party to take place and the feeling of peace, love and hope. You have worked hard to provide for your family and you go to church.  Imagine, listening to the sounds of laughter, smelling the wonderful food, and seeing the smiles on familiar friendly faces.  Moments later, however, all you have worked for, including safety and security, is snatched from you.  Your only crime is that you worship God. You have done nothing to harm another person. You have committed no trespass against man or country. You just worshiped God.  Because of your great faith in a big God everything you have is taken from you and destroyed. Your world of peace, love and hope is shattered and destroyed becoming terror, extreme pain and separation from normality as you and your family flee for your lives. Your life is now filled with shouts of hate, confusion, fear, pain and uncertainty.

The family I am introducing you to is a humble and an appreciative one. They are like any other family in America. The father worked hard to provide for his family through a business he owned and operated, and the mother was a homemaker taking care of her family’s needs. Their story is unique to themselves, filled with laughter, hopes and dreams as described above. One day, because they worshiped God, their home of peace and love became one of terror, fear, anguish and separation from each other, their extended families and a country they love. They were beaten, shot and hunted by government authorities because of their faith in a big God. They fled their home, family, friends and country and escaped to America.  The story of their journey is filled with untold horrors, yet they still worship God and seek His face.

This family came to America with a visiting visa.  When they arrived, their American sponsor did not meet them.  Through various connections they have joined a family friend and have filed for asylum.  The immigration department is overwhelmed and is presently working on 2015 asylum requests.  The family that welcomed this immigrant family into their home has moved out of state, and due to the immigration asylum procedures, this family must stay here.  Without a work permit, however, they are not allowed to work in the United States to support themselves financially.

As previously stated, the immigration department is just beginning the work on 2015 asylum requests.  It will take time for this family to receive clearance to work.  Through the efforts of many, the family is now settled in an apartment. The father is talented in many areas and is willing to volunteer his time to help people with yard work, painting, maintenance and various tasks. He is a responsible, hard-working individual. Because we are a global community and safety is an issue at present, we cannot give personal information regarding this family.  I can only describe them in general terms.  Though they do not speak English fluently, they are learning the language and are eager to converse in it.  There are several children ranging in age from infants to grade school.  They, along with their parents, have been subjected to unspeakable horrors. (Darlene Fitkin on behalf of the Nunga Family)

 

What would you do?  This story begins like the story of the pilgrims who came to America in 1620, but this story happened in 2017.  I can now tell you that this family is the Nunga Family; they come from a part of the world where Christianity is hated.  Standing on the ground in a country that was new to you, having left behind everything and everyone you knew, and facing the uncertainty of how do I take care of my wife and children, I would certainly question if I had made the right choice.  And then, in steps Apostolic Pentecostal Church of Waterloo to care for this family in their unique situation; the church contacted Hope4Healing for help.  I sat in a room with several other professionals to meet the Nunga family and hopefully develop a plan to help this family; by the end of the meeting, there was not a dry eye in the place as we became more like family than strangers.  Hope4Healing with the help of Apostolic Pentecostal Church, Josiah White’s Quakerdale Foundation, and other caring individuals have developed a fundraising page for this family through our investment portal site.  I want to challenge all of our Hope4Healing partners to participate in helping this family.  I am asking on behalf of Hope4Healing that each one of our readers consider giving what they can to support this family’s ongoing needs.  A gift, as little as $10.00 from each of our partners, could provide for this family and make a big difference in their lives.  All the money raised is being handled by Apostolic Pentecostal Church through a special fund they have developed for this wonderful family.

 

 

Thank you for reading and getting involved!  To learn more about Hope4Healing, signup for our newsletter; or you can make a donation!

If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 855-584-HOPE (4673).

Thank you and God bless,

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

To Donate to Hope4Healing, please use the links below!

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Adoption

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By Ryan Keller

Recently our partner at Quakerdale Family Services posted a video in honor of adoption month.  We at Hope4Healing greatly respect those who desire to provide a loving family to those desiring to be adopted.  As I watched this video posted by Quakerdale Family Services, I was impressed with the words of one young man.  To paraphrase his comments, he was chosen by his adoptive family; even when he tried to act out to the extent that other families would send him a way, his adoptive family wouldn’t give up on him.  Here is the video.

I was struck by the comparison between what it means to be adopted by a family and what it means to be adopted by God as a Christian.  Despite the many times a day that we might fail to live up to God’s expectations, just like the young man in the video with his new family, God does not cast us out; instead, God show mercy, love, and gently correct us so that we can grow in our love and knowledge of Him.  I am so thankful that once a person is a child of God they cannot be separated from His love, kindness, admonitions, and family.

In consideration of becoming part of God’s family, the young man’s words from the video speak to the value that our Friendship Support Partners and/or Church Partners bring to how Hope4Healing helps the person/family in need.  Our Friendship Support Partners understand what it means for someone to not give up on them; and so, they seek to provide encouragement, hope, and prayer for those that they have the opportunity to develop a friendship with through their relationship with Hope4Healing.

How overwhelming and yet humbling, encouraging, and wonderful to realize that as part of a Friendship Ministry Team, we get to intentionally walk with another person or family and help them know the same feeling of community, welcome, and adoption as we experience through our church and relationship with God and His family.  We feel honored to be part of this amazing exchange between those who provide the resource, those who have a need, and those who provide friendship support through Hope4Healing.

Is your church a part of this exchange?  Why not?  We need more churches to partner with us to provide this same kind of feeling of adoption to those we serve.  We often have to help churches overcome the idea that this is some kind of new program or big change that the church must somehow implement.  To be a Friendship Ministry Partner, all that is required is that caring individuals provide one on one friendship to those who struggle with hope.  As Christians, who better to help provide hope, encouragement, and a feeling of adoption into the family of God?

As always, we continue to need your partnership and support.  We are still seeing high call volumes of individuals and families needing help with different situations and needs.  In this time of holiday traditions, I know my family and others find those who have not experienced the same kind of grace as we have experienced; and we seek to find ways to anonymously provide hope and love to those around us.  Would you be willing to adopt Hope4Healing and those we serve during this Thanksgiving and Christmas season?  We need your prayers, your financial support, and partnership so that we can continue to help those we serve for the long haul.

If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 319-233-2554.

Thank you,

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

 

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Finishing Strong

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

            A lot has been going on for those of us here at Hope4Healing over the last few months; so it seems fitting to share with you, our newsletter subscriber and/or donor, about the wonderful things that are taking place in this ministry that you support.  I hope that you will find encouragement from what is taking place, and understand the value that Hope4Healing brings to individuals and families across Iowa.

In the past 3 months, we have helped with 117 new requests, had 4 new agencies join us, listed 19 new resources to the network, and had 2 new friendship ministry teams get started on behalf of churches.  These numbers in no way reflect the numerous conversations we have had with other agencies, organizations, and churches that are in the process of partnering with us to help others across the state of Iowa.  What is so encouraging in those numbers is obviously the 117 new requests for help.  In the whole year of 2016, we totaled 261 new requests for help; in the last three months, we have done almost have as many requests as we did in all of 2016.  If we compare August through October of 2016 to August through October of 2017, we have seen more than a 50% increase in new requests.  Please understand that we are not rejoicing in others misfortunes; instead we are thankful for the privilege to help and are humbled over the reality that we are impacting so many more lives for good.

We have seen the types of requests that we are helping with change.  We have had individuals and organizations reach out to us looking for help in understanding crowdfunding and have linked them to other resource partners who understand crowdfunding tools and opportunities.  We are currently working with a family who legally immigrated to the United States, but were left homeless and without the ability to seek employment due to their sponsor backing out on them.  We have helped a person find a guitar teacher and we are working with a single mother whose insurance is denying to payment for services she needs.  The important thing is that no matter the request we will help you find both the resources needed and provide hope and encouragement.

We have been so encouraged by our partners who work with us at Hope4Healing.  We have a church partner right now leading the charge to help the family whose sponsor backed out.  One of our partners recently offered to provide a free hair cut and style for a single mother needing some encouragement.  Another partner has shared with us that they are raising money to go to Kenya to help those in need in that country.  We have some of the best partners anyone could ask for selflessly working on behalf of those with a need.  Do you need help finding a legal advisor, money coach, counselor, paying bills, or just feeling connected to others who care?  We are seeing these kinds of blessings every day through our partnerships.  We so greatly appreciate the work our partners do every day.

I would also like to share some of the accomplishments of our team.  One member has recently finished their Masters program, two have recently received training to become FTDM and YTDM facilitators, and one is now a trained Parent Café facilitator.  With the transitions Hope4Healing is going through over the next few months, the Hope4Healing team is working hard to identify how we can be useful and beneficial to those we serve.

With all of these wonderful things, we are facing one need that you can help us with; we need your help in reaching our fundraising goal in order to finish the year strong and position us into having a successful 2018.  We have an ongoing goal of raising $45,000.00 this year, and as of today, we have raised about $3,000.00 of that goal.  We are ever so careful to use the gifts of others wisely; so much so that despite our fundraising need we are still seeing an increase in the number of people we serve.  As you consider how you might make a year-end donation would you consider giving to Hope4Healing to make a difference in lives of those in your own community?  Would you be 1 of 200 friends to give $250.00 to help us meet our goal?  Would you help recruit other by holding a fundraising campaign on our site to encourage others to give?

 

If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 319-233-2554.

Thank you,

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

 

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Logo Contest

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

 

As I hope most of you already know, Hope4Healing is transitioning to its own non-profit organization on January 1, 2018.  This requires that we make some changes, and we need your help in making one of those changes!  We need your vote and the vote of your friends in helping us decide what our new logo should be.

As a reminder, Hope4Healing is a Resource Assistance Network (RAN); in other words, we help people find the resources they need to live their lives.  We also connect people with individuals who will help provide them encouragement, prayer, and hope during times of transition.  We have recruited the help of a graphic designer, whose name is Micah, through our Hope4Healing partner Koester Consulting to create some logo concepts that help to represent the purpose of Hope4Healing’s mission.  This has been a wonderful, and yet, long process; out of many wonderful concepts, we have had the difficult and fulfilling task of narrowing down the potential logos to four options.  Now it is your turn to help us decide which of these four will be the finalist!  Please click on the image below to place your vote; also, signup on the voting form to receive our e-newsletter.

We appreciate your help, and look forward to sharing with you our new logo very soon.

If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 319-233-2554.

Thank you,

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

 

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Where Do You Turn When You Have No Hope

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

                She sat across from me, fighting back the tears, as she told me how her whole life was falling down around her.  No part of her life was unaffected by the fear, isolation, and hurt that she was experiencing.  She felt trapped and the need to compartmentalize her life in order to be a good mother, wife, and Christian.  Yet, she had been betrayed; and worst of all, she felt she had no one to turn too…

This is not the beginning of some fictional novel; it is the beginning of the story of a person in need that I have the privilege to get to know through her story.  We often do not get to meet the people we seek to serve through Hope4Healing; usually it is a voice on the other end of the line.  This case was different as I was able to meet the individual we were about to help.  What breaks my heart about this story is also something that might surprise you.  Most of the individuals/families that we serve do not have a support system in their life that works for them; they don’t feel they can get effective advice from friends and family, they are unaware of the community supports in the area, and they don’t have a church in their lives to help provide hope.  This family is different.  They have a church, their family is close and wants to help, and they can maneuver throughout the community very well.  So where is their struggle?

This individual had been hurt by someone close to her.  The hurt shook her world to its core.  Being a Christian, the fear and isolation that she is feeling is due to her belief that if she shares her hurt with another Christian one of two things will happen.  First, if she shares her burden she fears burdening those she loves.  Second, if she tells another she fears that they will not be able to help her, and will look at her and say, “I can’t help, I’m sorry.”  In my heart I was crushed.  When did it happen that members of the church were no longer the ones we could turn to in our time of sorrow?

At Hope4Healing, 90-95% of the people/families in need that we serve do not have a church.  It is almost easier to for the church to help these individuals or families, because there is not familiarity or a bond.  But, what about the 5-10% that is in church?  Why does this seem, at times, like a more difficult population to help?  How many more people are sitting near you in the church service feeling isolated, afraid, and hurt but do not feel as if they can turn to you for help?

I am not seeking to make anyone feel guilty or picked on by this post; I just hope that you would understand the reason why I felt crushed after talking with this person in need.  We often feel as if we need to be all things to all people when it comes to our fellow church members; but don’t forget, Hope4Healing can help you, the Church, reach all people who are in need, even those next to you in the pew.  We all need to remember that God has positioned us to play a specific role in His plan.  Hope4Healing works under this worldview, and so we bring different people, filling different roles, together to help those in need.  You don’t need to have all the answers; you just need a willing heart.  Your role may be to sit, be quiet, listen, pray, and call Hope4Healing if you need us.  You may have a more active role, but let’s work together to make sure those around us are not isolated, afraid, and hurt with no one to turn to for Hope or Healing.

As always, we cannot do this outreach without you.  Please help us help others by signing up for our newsletter, making a donation, or becoming a partner with Hope4Healing.  If you have questions, please email us at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com or give us a call @ 319-233-2554.

Thank you,

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

 

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There but for the Grace of God Go I

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

We have reason to be grateful even when helping those in need, because more and more people are finding out about Hope4Healing; we are impacting more and more lives.  We are on track to helping a record number of individuals over the next twelve months; on one hand we appreciate being able to serve others, but also pray that this doesn’t mean that more and more are experiencing difficult times.  I have been reminded of the phrase that I believe many have heard before, “there but for the grace of God go I” (source unknown).

In my youth, I remember hearing a song with this phrase as its title.  I found the lyrics to this song on line, and thought that they are worth considering as Hope4Healing seeks to finish 2017 strong.  The song was written by Paul Overstreet (who recorded it in 1992) and Taylor Dunn.  The chorus of the song says:

Oh there but for the grace of God go I
How without compassion can we pass them by
Oh, it could be you it could be me the world has cast aside
There but for the grace of God go I.

            The song urges us to consider helping others, and reminds us that difficult times could happen to any of us.  Hope4Healing seeks to provide a bridge between those in need and those who can help.  As you can imagine, this doesn’t happen by magic; it takes a lot of time, talent, and financial support.  I am taking the time to let you know where Hope4Healing stands as we are getting closer to the end of the year.

First we are pleased that in the three years we have been seeking to serve, we have helped with almost 800 requests for help.  This means that there have been almost 800 separate times we have linked people in need with churches, organizations, agencies, businesses, and individuals to help meet a need somewhere in Iowa!  We have done this with a team of 218 resource partners, equipped with 981 separately listed resources, working with 81 friendship ministry teams.  It is great to have such a wonderful group of partners and volunteers serving individuals and families!  Thank you to all of these great partners!

As mentioned before we are one track over the next 12 months from May of 2017 to May of 2018 to help with a record number of requests.  This is a mixed blessing for us at Hope4Healing.  We do not rejoice that so many need help, but we are certainly humbled and honored to be there when individuals and families need our services.  We anticipate that this increased need will also see the number of churches, organizations, businesses, agencies, and volunteers increase as others choose to partner with us in providing help.

Even with so much activity taking place, we are short of our fundraising goal for this year.  I have shared through other newsletters and blogs that we have a goal of raising $45,000.00 dollars this year.  So far we have raised just under $2,000.00 of that goal.  It is our desire and prayer that as we share with you stories of success, need, and plans for the future that we will provide a connection with those who can help us meet this fundraising goal.  I would ask you to consider how you might be able to help us meet our goal so that we can continue to provide this very necessary service.  As we continue to transition into our own non-profit organization beginning in January 2018, we have made significant strides toward streamlining our process.  It now takes about $190.00 per request to help those in need find help.  Would you please consider a financial gift to help us reach our goal by the end of the year?  Any amount would be greatly appreciated!  As a reference, if we could find 215 partners willing to give $200.00 each this year our goal would be met; that is only $50.00/month through the end of the year.

 

Thank you,

 

Ryan Keller.

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Hairdos, Auto Mechanics, and Bibles for Children

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By Ryan Keller

Director of Hope4Healing

 

At my church, the pastor has started a series on the book of Acts.  In a recent sermon, I was reminded of how, by God’s grace, Hope4Healing finds resources to meet all types of needs, even for request that seem to be unlikely to find.  We have had a lot of those types of requests in the past few weeks.  In the third chapter of Acts, Luke tells the account of how Peter and John were on their way to pray in the temple and stopped to heal an over forty year old lame man in the name of Christ Jesus.  We know that Peter and John had been to the temple before, and the passage tells us that this man who could not walk was a regular beggar at the gate of the temple called “Beautiful;” therefore, it is likely that the apostles had passed by this beggar before.  Why is it that just at this time they stopped and noticed the beggar?  The passage also explains that once the beggar knew he had Peter and John’s attention he expected a monetary reward; instead Peter says to the beggar, “…Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk …”(Acts 3:6).

This is the situation Hope4Healing and many of our partners find ourselves in when working hard to help a person/family in need (PIN).  We do not possess miraculous powers to call a lame person to walk in the name of Christ like Peter and John, but we certainly can fulfill the intent of Peter’s words in the first half of the verse.  We may not have silver or gold, but what we do have we give.  What I find remarkable about this example of Peter and John is that ultimately the beggar’s need was not silver or gold; it was to walk and know Christ as Savior.  Many times we get requests for financial help, but find that the resources available meet the need through means other than monetary gifts.  What is required is that we pay attention and don’t just walk on by; we must open our eyes and interject ourselves into the situation and see what takes place outside of our own abilities.

Let me explain through some of the requests we have received since our last newsletter.  We received a request form from a therapist who was trying to help out a client.  The client explained to us that she is a single mother of four pre-adolescent/adolescent children.  Her therapist (with permission) contacted us because of the belief that a simple act of kindness could help this mother’s mental health need.  The request was to see if we could find a way to pay for this single mother to get her hair cut, styled, and possibly colored.  The hope is that this gift would lift her spirits and give her confidence during a time of making some difficult decisions.  We were looking for roughly $75.00 to $100.00 gift.  A lady in the area did not have the money to give, but is a licensed hair stylist with many years of experience willing to give not gold or silver but what she had she gave, her time and experience.  See the mother didn’t need the money; she needed the relationship, which this lady who we discovered through a church, could provide.

What would you do if you were a single parent with a broken foot, working four part-time jobs, caring for two adolescent children, out of work till your foot heals, and now your car won’t run?  You can’t afford to get it fixed, the repairs needed are very serious and costly, and you are just trying to figure out how to put food on the table.  Since money would seem to be the solution to these problems, you would think that we would start looking for a loan, gift, or rainbow with a pot of gold whereby to help out this hardworking single parent.  God’s solution is a church partner who knows a mechanic that will take time on his lunch break to go to the house of this single parent to see how they can get this car back on the road.  Until last week, we didn’t even know who would provide the resources to help in these two situations, but all it took was individuals willing to pay attention and not walk by; instead they stopped and decided that although they didn’t have silver or gold they did have other ways to give.

A third story is about a church looking to buy a significant amount of Bibles to supply children in a Bible study class with an affordable source for Bibles so the kids could have their own Bible to take home to memorize verses each week.  Children from homes whose parents probably don’t go to church and probably don’t have a Bible in the house.  We did our due diligence to find affordable Bibles; it was a fairly easy task, but what surprised me was the response Hope4Healing received from various partners willing to give Bibles, money, or make contacts on our behalf so that we could help resource such a simple need.  These partners didn’t walk by; instead they looked for ways to serve others and God following in the footsteps of the Apostles Peter and John.

I have to ask, how are you paying attention or are you just walking by?  Have you become part of the Hope4Healing network?  If not, why?  Have you joined our newsletter subscription list to stay in touch about what is happening to help others in your community and across Iowa?  Are you apart of your church’s friendship ministry team?  Does your church have a friendship ministry team to help meet the needs of those in need in your community by partnering with Hope4Healing?  It is true that a financial gift would equip us to continue helping those we serve, and we would appreciate your financial contributions.  What we also know is that resources are available to meet so many needs; it just takes you deciding to say like Peter and John, “…silver and gold have I none; but such as I have, I give thee…”  Please don’t walk by, contact us @ 319-233-2554 or email @ h4hquakerdale@gmail.com.  We would love to discuss with you how you and your business, agency, or church might become part of the solution.

Thank you,

 

Ryan Keller.

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The Strain of a Fast Pace

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By Ryan Keller Hope4Healing Director

 

Summer on a beach

As a parent, I miss those days when I had my summers off.  I think my wife and I have done a decent job of setting boundaries with our children and not piling too much on our plate as a family; but this summer we still have felt like the only reason we are alive was to make sure our kids took part in activities they signed up for with our permission.  For the past eight weeks we have spent a fair amount of time, energy, and money to equip our children for obligations or activities we felt were important for their individual development into responsible young adults; however, now mom and dad are tired.  My family is fortunate to have a roof over our heads, food on the table, and reliable transportation; but then I think of the individuals we work with through Hope4Healing and realize that if my family is struggling from a fast pace how much more difficult must it be for those who are disadvantaged socially, financially, emotionally, spiritually, and/or physically?

 

Often times when things seem too difficult to bare, we struggle to keep all dimensions of our whole self in equilibrium; that is why Hope4Healing seeks to help the whole person and not just be vessel of information.  Information can be a useful tool; but how often have you bought a new item that needed to be assembled and you found the assembly instructions to be almost incomprehensible?  Maybe the instructions are in a language you don’t understand, maybe they are incomplete, or maybe there are just too many steps.  Did you realize that this is exactly how most individuals feel when they contact Hope4Healing for help?  If we just provided information, the people we seek to help would still struggle to overcome their current situation.  Instead, our Hope4Healing partners help us provide for the physical, spiritual, emotional, financial, and social needs of the individual.  The Church’s Friendship Ministry Team Partners provide for the spiritual, emotional, and social needs of the individual or family.  Without them, the individuals we help would be trying to assemble their new item without the instructions.  Resource partners provide for the financial and physical needs of the person in need.  Our resource partners provide both the assembly instructions plus the item that the individual needs to make effective, practical changes in their life.  It is only with all of us working together that the individual we are helping can make lasting, positive changes.

Did you know that Hope4Healing provides all of these types of help in such an efficient, simple process?  Did you also know you can be a part of this simple process?  You could be a Friendship Ministry Partner for your church!  You could help your work become a Resource Partner!  Beyond that, you could help the Hope4Healing staff through volunteering, prayer, sharing information on Facebook, sharing our newsletter, and making a financial investment.  Together, we are providing a holistic approach toward meeting the needs of people in your community and across the state of Iowa.  For more information on how you can get more involved, give us a call at 319-233-2554 or shoot us an email at H4HQuakerdale@gmail.com.  Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

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Thank you,

 

Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director.

Broken Windows and Open Hearts

By Ryan Keller, Hope4Healing Director

Where did June go?  I, like many of you, have felt the pressure of summer in full force.  You know what I mean; between softball, baseball, work, college classes, and several different training’s that I have attended this month sometimes you feel as if you can’t even breathe.  I know that I am not alone in this, and I also know when life gets busy so does the team at Hope4Healing.  In the month of June alone, we have been working on 21 different requests for help.  These requests range from helping a senior citizen who has lost a spouse find emotional support and help with their daily needs, to helping a family learn to communicate better.

Now many have asked me, how does a resource assistance network help a family learn to communicate better?  Well let me share with you a fun story.  Were any of you ever in trouble as teenagers?  I won’t ask what got you into trouble in the first place, but did you want to tell your parents what you had done?  When I think about these questions, I flash back to my brother’s broken arm, another time he needed stitches, or the time I got in a fight.  Now I was not responsible for each of these incidences, but it was still hard to tell my parents what had happened.  It always seems that these types of things happen when mom and dad are not around, and even if there were accidents, we naturally seem to fear the unknown response of others.

Now imagine an adolescent who is doing a good thing for mom.  This adolescent is out in the yard cleaning up, when by accident, they turn around and put an object through a car door window.  What would you do?  Now imagine that you also know that your mom works four part time jobs to provide for the family; and mom doesn’t have a lot of time, money, or resources to get the window replaced.  We were privileged to be contacted by a therapist who was working with a family just like the one in my story.  I contacted several used auto parts businesses looking for just the right window on behalf of the therapist and family.  The cost to replace the window was $35.00 to $50.00 and that still didn’t pay to have it installed.  In explaining my story with a used parts dealer with whom I had never had contact before, he was willing to donate the parts if we paid for the labor of his employee to remove the window.  I could not thank this dealer enough, for his generosity.  When the employee heard of the families need, he volunteered to remove the glass on his lunch break, off the clock, making the gift of the window to be no cost to this single mother of two working four jobs to provide for her family.

Now I think this story is pretty impressive up to this point, but we’re not done.  The family found someone else to put the window in the car and they were back on the road.  The therapist who contacted us for help was able to incorporate into therapy with the family this experience to help teach the teenager and the mother how to better communicate with each other.  Working together with a business, a church, a therapist, and the family, Hope4Healing was able to facilitate helping this family with more than just a car window.  This experience helped the family understand the care of community, the church, their therapist, and Hope4Healing.  Isn’t that cool?

I hope you have found this story to be an encouragement.  Did you know that you could be a very important part of helping with these kinds of needs?  You can be involved in at least three ways.  First, you can pray for Hope4Healing, our partners, and the families we assist.  Secondly, don’t underestimate your power to help others.  I have recently had gracious individuals offer to tutor kids in Math and Chemistry, provide a clean/bug free bed to a family in need, and provide transportation to mother and child without any means of transportation.  Finally, the impact Hope4Healing is making would not happen without your financial support.  We have a goal to raise $45,000.00 by the end of the year.  I know you have probably heard it before, but every dollar counts.  As I hope you have seen through the story above, that even a seemingly small gift can make a big difference.

Thank you, Ryan Keller.

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Ferguson Bible Church

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Ferguson Bible Church

By Ryan Keller Hope4Healing Director

            Hope4Healing is so privileged!  As we seek to help those in need across the state of Iowa, we cannot hope to help those we serve without the assistance of the great partners that seek to serve with us.  We have been taking the time to share with you, the last couple of months, stories about some of our amazing partners.  We have discussed groups like the Dream Team in Waterloo and Family Services of Iowa; and I hope you have taken the time to get to know these partners better and understand the magnitude of the impact we can make by serving together.

Today, I am sharing with you another great partner who seeks daily to find ways to have an impact in their community; and it is showing in some really great ways.  Before I share with you about Ferguson Bible Church, I want to explain briefly what a Hope4Healing partner looks like.  Partners of Hope4Healing do not pay a fee to be a part of the Hope4Healing Resource Assistance network; instead, Hope4Healing and our partners join together to find and/or provide the resources necessary to help those we serve live a better life.  Some partners serve by providing services or resources, some serve by providing encouragement, mentorship, or a shoulder to cry on, and others serve by referring individuals and/or families to Hope4Healing for assistance.

I had the privilege to sit with the congregation this past Sunday at Ferguson Bible Church.  Their pastor is Pastor Darren Young or Pastor Darren as most people like to call him.  It was a time of celebration at Ferguson Bible Church, because it was the Sunday on which Pastor Darren was ordained by the church.  There is a lot I could say about Ferguson Bible Church from their children’s ministry, to their weekly service, to the respect I have for Pastor Darren; but I want to share with you the blessing that this congregation seeks to bring to its community at large.

I have no doubt that Pastor Darren loves his church, neighbors, and has a burden for those who do not know and love the Lord Jesus Christ.  I also have no doubt that the church loves their pastor and seeks to help others.  Recently, Pastor Darren shared with me how the church is working on creating a new vision for how the church will continue to serve the Lord in the future; and a big part of that new vision is to help those in need and to show those who do not attend church that genuine people are in the church’s membership and they invite all to come and see the blessing of having the God of the Bible in their lives.  I am also impressed with the church’s outreach.  They host a meal every year that is open to the public to show their appreciation of the blessings they have received.  Pastor Darren attends a weekly pastor’s prayer meeting where men of God (pastors) get together to pray for their community and to seek how their churches might better share the gospel.  Recently, Ferguson Bible Church took part in an effort to get a Bible into the hands of every household in the Ferguson/Marshalltown areas.  I hope you can see that this church is doing wonderful things to serve as Christ served during His earthly ministry.

So, how does Ferguson Bible Church fit into being a Hope4Healing partner?  Ferguson Bible Church provides the important role of friendship and spiritual/emotional support for people in need in the Ferguson and surrounding area.  They provide encouragement, prayer, a listening ear, and a caring heart to those individuals who contact us looking for help.  The person in need chooses the church with whom they develop a relationship; and Ferguson Bible Church is there to encourage those in need when given the opportunity.  I hope you take some time to get to know Ferguson Bible Church better.  Check out their website or contact them @ 641-478-3318 with any questions; I know Pastor Darren and his congregation would be glad answer any questions and to invite you to be a part of their fellowship.

I hope you can see that serving others doesn’t have to be difficult, and I hope you will consider becoming a partner with us.  To find out more about being a Hope4Healing partner check out our website at www.hope4healingquakerdale.net or email us @ h4hquakerdale@gmail.com.We at Hope4Healing are so privilege to work with awesome groups like the church in Ferguson; please shoot us an email if you would like to find out how you, your church, or organization can partner with us and Ferguson Bible Church to make a difference in lives of people in need.

Thank you, Ryan Keller Hope4Healing Director.

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