My dear friend and fellow servant in the Lord, Kyoko, and I were blessed and honored to represent The Hope of Survivors (THOS) at Oakwood University from December 2-4, 2018. This year the exhibitors were in a brand new, large Family Life Center adjoining the Church. In previous years, the exhibitors were right outside the sanctuary so all the pastors/people had to pass by all the booths. Although it was a blessing to be in a nice, spacious room--it did limit visitors to the booths. Yet God was good to THOS all three days and we experienced His Favor. Little is much when God is in it!
Pastor Edwards was so gracious to give THOS a prominent location front and center in this large Family Center. Although many may not want to talk about clergy sexual abuse--God made it impossible for THOS to be overlooked. And we had plenty of room on both sides to speak privately to anyone who came up to talk. What a blessing!
Early on, we were able to minister to a victim/survivor of clergy sexual abuse. She was very open about her terrible abuse and encouraged by the ministry of THOS. She loved the website and took materials to share with others.
God brought a precious grandmother by our booth--she did a double take reading our sign as she walked by. She had been struggling with all the aftermath of her son-in-law being abused by a pastor when he was a teen. And then recently, her grandson was abused by a predator pastor also. She had a righteous anger at how the church and authorities have mishandled these abuses. We all three joined hands and prayed to our Loving Father for His healing and guidance. It was so powerful and moving.
And we had several pastors give their support for the ministry of THOS. They were very aware of CSA--and personally knew of cases. One pastor said he needed this ministry just a month ago. So many verbalized that this was indeed ABUSE--one pastor said he thinks of his own daughters and wants to protect them for such predators. He and another pastor declared they will help THOS in any way they can. They encouraged THOS to keep up the good work! We are all in this together to expose this abuse to the light of Christ so we can heal and be ready for His return.
As I said at the beginning--Little is much when God is in it! Here are some of the words to the song:
"Little is much when God is in it!"
Does the place you're called to labor
Seem too small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He'll not forget His own.