Like Humble Children

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By Ryan Keller  Hope4Healing Administrator

At Hope4Healing, we get asked all the time to share with churches, organizations, and individuals what kind of requests do we get when individuals contact us for help.  This is a very good question, and it can also provide some insight into our own stereotypes or expectations.  We run into individuals who are at their whit’s end when it comes to what they should do to get out of the trial that they are facing.  Often times, we might forget that we have all been there at one time or another, and we begin to think of the most negative personality types we can imagine in forming a picture of those needing help.  Let me help to paint a picture.

Maybe it would be helpful to consider the humility of a child when seeking to follow Christ and show others by our actions who He is (Matt. 18: 2-4).  Hope4Healing received a call from a mother who was very concerned for her two boys.  In the initial request that we received, all we knew was that the mother was looking for a summer camp to which to send her two sons.  To be honest, as an individual who grew up in church and knowing many other Christians who grew up in church, I found this request fairly simple.  I thought that most anyone connected to a church is probably familiar with a summer camp; however, per our protocol at Hope4Healing, we had one of our family centered services specialist reach out to the mother to clarify the need and to determine if the family was already part of a church family.

What was uncovered for us was that this mother was at the end of her rope because of issues of bullying the two boys were facing at school.  This family was not currently a part of a church, but the mother hoped that a church based summer camp would allow her sons to be part of a group of kids their own age where bullying was not an issue.  Through our help the mother both identified a church that she wanted the family to connect with and several summer camps in the area for her sons to go to.  I don’t know why the boys were being bullied, and to be honest it didn’t affect how we are planning to work to help the family.  All we knew is that the family needed our help.

We don’t always hear back from churches or families once our work is done; but we were privileged to hear back about this family.  The boys went to summer camp, the mom and dad paid for them to go, and that would make a very nice sweet story to show you how Hope4Healing makes a difference in the lives of families.  The reality is that the boys still had to go back to school in the fall, and would the summer camps really be enough?  Let’s not forget that the family identified a church to have reach out to them in friendship.  That friendship grew to the point, that the two boys started attending the church’s youth group.  In that youth group, the boys were making friends with kids their own age who also attended school with them.  The two boys didn’t know it, and their new friends in youth group didn’t know it; but those new friendships would be the tools God would use to help them overcome the bullying issues at school.  They were no longer alone at school facing a mountain; they had friends to walk with them, encourage them, and to some degree protect them.  These new friends didn’t know it, but they were reflecting Christ just by being a friend.

This is the reality I hope we all take from this story.  We are helping all kinds of individuals from all walks of life.  What is holding each of us back from helping the families that Hope4Healing serves?  We can serve others with our time, talents, and treasures.  Would you consider helping families like the one from our example with your time, talents, and treasures?

Thank you.

Ryan Keller,

Hope4Healing Administrator

               

#Hope4Healing

Graduation Day

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By Ryan Keller  Hope4Healing Administrator

 Do you remember the thoughts and feelings that went through your head the day you realized that upon graduation from high school you would face the whole big world on your own?  Your success and failure personally, professionally, and spiritually would now be judged by your actions, work ethic, and aspirations.  It was extremely scary; and yet, excitement filled the air!  In high school, we are naive about the future that stands before us; so our family and friends help us prepare through prayer, gifts, and advice.  It was comforting to know that although no one else could take the steps I was about to take, I had a strong support system to help propel me into the future.

It is ironic that this remembrance of graduation from high school has so many things in common with the realities of today.  It paints an adequate picture of the person in need who contacts Hope4Healing for help each day.  They, too, are scared, excited, and in need of support.  Their family might be there to surround them, friends have done what they can, but it is a time when they need to know the prayer of a church and others for them, they need gifts to stand on their own two feet, and they need the advice that comes from a support community to help them move forward.

What is further ironic about this comparison is that this paints the picture of Hope4Healing, today.  Quakerdale, the organization that started Hope4Healing, has given each and every one of its programs/ministries the opportunity to graduate this year.  Our commencement will take place on June 30, 2017; and our diploma will be received on December 31, 2017.  Hope4Healing has been given the opportunity to stand on its own two feet as an independent entity with the support, advice, and prayers of Quakerdale to see us succeed.  We are excited to move forward, scared of the possibility of failure, and anticipating God’s blessings in the years to come.

Just like a graduate who is looking for strength from friends and family, we at Hope4Healing need your help to move forward.  We need your prayers for wisdom, discernment, and success as we continue to serve those churches helping those in need in every community across Iowa.  If we do not have God’s blessing on this ministry, nothing else matters.  Since August of 2014, we have helped with 675 individual requests for people in need, that is no small achievement; and so we believe that God will continue to bless Hope4Healing in the days to come.  Beyond your prayers would you consider giving a gift of support?  We need to raise $45,000.00 in 2017 in order to move into 2018.  Most would never know, but to keep the database we use up and running, pay employees to help with requests, and the general costs of running an organization, it will take $160,000.00 a year to provide the help we give in making service more accessible to those in need.  If you do the math, that is only $237.00 per request on behalf of a person/family we have helped.  To help us with this year’s goal, we need to find 74 friends who would be willing to contribute $10.00/wk (approximately $45.00/month), 6 churches willing to take up a love offering or put us on their mission’s budget, and one organization/business willing to make a $5,000.00 donation annually.  Would you join us?  There is also one other gift you could give.  Would you donate your time as a volunteer to help us succeed?  Could you help us fund-raise?  Would you be interested in giving a few hours each week to help us research the requests that come in?

I know that this article is different in tone from others Hope4Healing has written in the past, but we are no longer children with mom and dad to take care of us.  We are graduating! Like any other graduate we need your prayers, support, and advice.  Please do not pass over this request, we are growing, changing, and taking a very big step.

Thank you.

Ryan Keller

Hope4Healing Administrator

 

               

#Hope4Healing