the Hope of Survivors

"Go Forward!" by Samantha Nelson

(From the January 2011 edition of HopeSpeak)

“Go forward!” Those are the words I remember most from one of the key sermons at the General Conference Session last July. While Elder Ted N.C. Wilson may never know the reach and impact of his words, they inspired me to press on, despite how unpromising things may look at times in this ministry. Sometimes it seems like we’ll have to close the doors and leave victims to fend for themselves with only text on a website and no personal support. We believe God does amazing things and will provide who or what is needed to keep going.

Finances and lack of staff are not the only discouraging elements we face though. It seems that some ill-informed individuals take it upon themselves at times to write “hate mail” to the ministry, misconstruing our efforts and purpose, even attacking our characters—Satan’s attempt to work through whom he can to try to deter us from the mission God has appointed to us.

While it can certainly be unpleasant to work in this ministry (or any line of work for the Lord) at times, we are often blessed and encouraged beyond measure when we see how the Lord opens doors, providing avenues of outreach we never even imagined.

Keep in mind, when Steve and I were compelled to start this ministry in 2002, we thought our pain would have been worth going through if “just one” victim could find truth and hope through the website. Today, instead of just one, there have been thousands! We never even dreamed the website would become a full-time, global ministry with operations and volunteers in other countries, and resources in multiple foreign languages. Indeed, the very fact that, in the past few months alone, several volunteers from around the world have translated resources so victims could be strengthened and encouraged in their time of need in their own language shows that God still has big plans for The Hope of Survivors. This encourages us. And it should encourage you, especially those of you who support the ministry with your prayers, time, talents and love offerings.

So, in spite of how desperate things may appear at times, we know we serve a God who is able to do abundantly more than we could ask or think. And, this same God—the One who brings hope and healing to victims through this ministry—has given us the same command Elder Wilson mentioned in his sermon, “go forward!” You can read about it in Joshua 1:9, “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

We at The Hope of Survivors plan to “go forward” in 2011. How about you? Will you join us?

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