the Hope of Survivors

ASI Convention 2004 Update

Praise God for all His blessings! The ASI Convention and the Hope & Healing Conference were very successful!

The Hope of Survivors Booth at ASI in Cincinnati, OHAllow me to share some of the highlights of the past few weeks with you...

The ASI Convention was truly awesome! Aside from the long, strenuous hours, it was a time for prayer and for spreading the word about clergy sexual abuse and The Hope of Survivors. I wish we could have had a hidden camera to record some of the shocked faces of some of the people when they heard what The Hope of Survivors was all about. There were a relatively small number of people who asked, sincerely, if this was a “problem” in our church, but overwhelmingly, the majority of individuals understood that there was certainly a problem in our church, as well as every other, and they expressed their gratitude that we (The Hope of Survivors) existed and were helping in this area.

There were countless individuals who came by our booth and then began to relate some horror story of abuse by a pastor, a teacher, an elder and so on. Sometimes the individual was the one who was abused, other times it was a friend, a daughter, a sister. In as many instances as we possibly could, we prayed with, and for, the people on the spot. I know God heard our prayers and I know He will work to bring healing to their lives. As the Holy Spirit prompts you, please lift up these individuals in prayer. God knows who they are, even if you don’t!

Other highlights from ASI:

1) Meeting the president of Southland Radio Broadcasting Corporation led to an interview at the station in Marshall, AR. The 22-minute radio interview on The Hope of Survivors will be aired repeatedly, and they will be doing our radio public service announcements as well. Thank you, Lord!!

2) Other potential (probable) interviews are to be discussed with Loma Linda Broadcasting, ASI Magazine, LifeTalk radio and 3ABN. Please pray that as the word gets out about The Hope of Survivors, that the Lord will also open doors for assistance—human and financial! We’re more than overloaded right now!

3) We met a woman from Africa (Molowi) who told us a very sad story of how the women there are abused by their pastors but all is kept hush-hush. She then relayed to us that whenever an evangelist comes to town, he is “given” a woman to be his “companion” for the time he is there. It is common practice and they are not aware that there is help, that they can speak out against this abuse of power. She returns to Africa throughout the year, but since she won’t be going back soon, she requested several of our brochures to give to her friend who is going back soon. Her friend will distribute these materials to the women and leaders there. These are English-speaking colonies. Pray that God will break this yoke of bondage there.

4) We provided information and brochures to the president of one of the conferences in India, who asked us to come speak there when we can (God will have to provide for that one if it’s His will!). We also met a pastor from the Philippines who requested many brochures to take back with him. Now, The Hope of Survivors materials are being used in the following countries: U.S., U.K., Canada, Philippines, Africa and India! Praise the Lord! Once our Spanish brochures are printed (we need the $1,000 for printing costs), there is a pastor who is willing to take them into Mexico and Guatemala!

5) There were some we met who asked about supporting The Hope of Survivors financially, and we ask you to join with us in prayer to that end. We need the financial assistance. We are ever-hopeful and encouraged though, as we have seen God lead through all of this and know He will provide!

Highlights from the Hope & Healing Conference August 8...

We had 15 people registered to attend the conference, however, only 8 came. In God’s Providence though, it was perfect! The number of people was really perfect considering some of them were at very early stages in the process. Having a small group afforded us more intimacy and time to connect and talk with one another. The Holy Spirit was there, blessing and bringing hope, healing and encouragement to all. All went very well and we didn’t even have enough time to complete the presentation due to the ongoing dialog throughout, with almost everyone participating. Only two of these individuals in attendance were people with whom we had been working with previously. All others were new and came because they heard about it from a friend or saw the press release. Below are some of the comments we received:

Good conference!”—F., Ohio

It was our pleasure to have attended the Hope & Healing conference. We believe it was an essential step in our healing journey...A huge leap forward in our healing...sharing with others that know and feel our pain. Thanks again for your unselfish, love-filled ministry. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT TO EVERYBODY—husbands and wives—to all victims of pastoral/clergy sexual abuse. You two are true children of God. Your rewards in the Kingdom are awaiting you.”—M. & D., Ohio

Thanks to both of you, Samantha and Steve, for providing me the opportunity to attend your Hope & Healing Conference in Ohio. It was the first time I'd been around anyone who had gone through the experience of clergy sexual abuse as I had and it was bittersweet for me. I thank you for your compassion and your true love that you showed all of us. I applaud you for your willingness to address this issue in a forthright manner and for allowing God to guide you in providing this much-needed ministry. I also want to thank you for the support you have given and continue to give me. It was a true blessing being around everyone and sharing our experiences. I also want to thank you for letting your emotions flow when speaking of your own experience. My hope is to one day join your ministry and provide hope to others, as you have, through my own experience, and I pray to God to one day bring an end to CSA through all of us in speaking out, standing up, educating churches and congregations, and for all to do as God would have us do to clean up what needs to be cleaned up so that churches may be a truly safe haven…what God had intended. God Bless You and all in the continued healing journey.”—K., Virginia

Great job! Your ministry is of God. Thanks! 1 John 3:16-24.”—M., Ohio

You both did a wonderful job. Your message of hope, understanding, compassion and healing was very well demonstrated and received. I feel very encouraged. Thank you for your ministry and I will pray for its continued success.”—D., Ohio

The things shared today are things I need to hear often. I still struggle with transferring knowledge from my head to my heart.”—V., Ohio

My friends, if you are reading this now, please know that God is good and that He is able to recreate you into His image and give you the life He intended for you. May His blessings be upon you as you seek to do His will.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18