the Hope of Survivors

Letter from the Board Chairman—Ray Hartwell

(From the October 2016 edition of HopeSpeak)

Dear Friends, 

They are there. They move among us, almost imperceptibly. You don't know their story and they are afraid to tell you. Afraid of what you might think of them. Afraid to relive the pain. Afraid of their own part in the events that have altered their life and scarred their image of God and His church. They are hurt, angry, bitter, depressed, discouraged, afraid, vulnerable--and they need our understanding, support and comfort. Yet unless they are secure enough to open up to someone, we may never know the weight their heart is trying to carry.

Those who have been victims of clergy abuse have a difficult time acknowledging that fact. But even more than that, they have a difficult time trusting a spiritual leader again and even participating in a church family again. That is where The Hope of Survivors (THOS) comes in. THOS has been called by God to minister to those who have been victimized by the very ones who were to protect those who were already needing restoration in a sinful world. Instead, the evil one has detoured their journey to wholeness in God by working through the manipulations of an impure spiritual leader.

THOS comes alongside victims to bring comfort, healing and aid in the restoration process. It's workers and volunteers understand because they have been there before, they have heard the stories, they have confronted those who have committed wrong in the name of right and they have stood up for and alongside those who don't know if they can continue on in the journey of faith. THOS seeks to restore victims with hope and faith. And those that they have served are so grateful.

We are grateful for you. You who support and enable THOS to continue the process of education to prevent clergy abuse and the process of healing for those who have suffered from clergy abuse. Your support and your gifts are a testimony that the body of Christ does not write off those who have been wounded, but will stand alongside of the weak, the fragile, the wavering, and assure them that Christ still claims them as a child of the King and will restore them to wholeness. We thank you for your gifts to THOS and ask that you continue your support, that you encourage others to support the ministry of THOS, and that you lift this ministry up in your prayers every day.

God bless you,
Ray Hartwell
Board Chairman
Vice President & CEO

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