the Hope of Survivors

Latino Division Updates—La Esperanza de los Sobrevivientes

(From the October 2012 edition of HopeSpeak)

ASI Convention Update—Latino Division
By Shyleene Rosado

Shyleene Rosado & Sandy KirkhamOne of the aims of the annual ASI convention is to afford each ministry in attendance the opportunity to share its importance and relevance to the work of spreading the Gospel. Each and every one of these ministries has a common denominator, to preach the Word of God so that the Gospel may be known in all the world. The methods employed to carry light and hope to others vary from ministry to ministry. Some ministries focus on education, others in health, and others in providing food and housing to children and people who have been abandoned and forsaken in other parts of the world.

The Hope of Survivors (THOS) was present at the 2012 Convention with the theme “It’s Time… To be About Our Father’s Business”. This was my first experience attending this convention, and I paid special attention to each ministry present there. I noticed that THOS was one of the few ministries seeking to reach for Christ the people who have been damaged and devastated by physical, sexual, and emotional abuse by those who were called to watch over God’s flock. Following are comments shared by the Spanish community who came in contact with our ministry:

“I never heard of a ministry like this one. It is very necessary these days.”—CA
“I can’t believe this happens in our church. I thought this only happened in Catholic churches.”—FL
“Today, more than ever, this is a very necessary ministry. May God continue to provide.”—MI
“I had the opportunity to hear about your ministry at GYC. I sincerely thank you.”—TX

What impacted me the most was seeing young people, between the ages of 17 and 25, approach our booth and share with me their personal experience, or one of a friend who had been abused in some way; and later thanking us for the existence of THOS ministry and the work on behalf of those who have been abused. My heart filled with joy! I could see the fruits, even if small, of the labor that THOS and each of the directors and volunteers have contributed to educate young people and prevent this type of abuse at all costs.

I know this joy is not exclusively mine. I know this was also Christ’s joy when He was on earth.

“It was Christ’s joy to help those in need of help, to seek the lost, to rescue the perishing, to lift up the bowed down, to heal the sick, to speak words of sympathy and consolation to the sorrowing and the distressed. The more fully we are imbued with his Spirit, the more earnestly we shall work for those around us; and the more we do for others, the greater will be our love for the work, and the greater our delight in following the Master.” The Colporteur Evangelist, Page 39

We need God and the Holy Spirit everyday to complete the work to which we have been called. I give thanks to God for allowing me to know of and work for THOS.

Hope & Healing Conference Update
By Pastor Javier Huerta

Many people, of course, are surprised when we review the definitions of abuse.

Some have had first-hand accounts, being themselves victims. I do find that, in this culture (Latino) and still in the church, some of the men feel that these seminars attack them. However, we try to explain that in the majority of the cases of abuse, women are the victims and a slight minority are men.

With respect to clergy abuse, in my own district, we had a case of clergy abuse, of which I was absorbed in one year in trying to bring peace and healing with the families involved and, though that colleague is no longer in the ministry, the effects of the damage linger. Several individuals have talked to me about their own experiences with the former pastor—from verbal abuse to financial and sexual abuse.

It seems to me that the more successful a man becomes, the more difficult for him to stop, or confess his faults. He has too much to risk; he has too much to lose; too many people will be hurt. Even his success becomes a trap. He has a reputation, and an image that he does not want to lose (but that’s all it is, an image). That’s why this seminar is so important, to prevent so much hurt and disappointment.

*You may contact the Latino Division through its website.

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