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?