the Hope of Survivors

Letter from the Vice President—Samantha Nelson

(From the July 2015 edition of HopeSpeak)

DeSteve Prayingar Hope of Survivors Family, 

Thank you for making it possible for The Hope of Survivors to have a booth at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists July 2-11, in San Antonio, TX. It was well worth the investment!

Steve and I, along with Wendy and Ruth (THOS-Canada), Shyleene and Carlos (Latino Division), Coralie and Madeline (THOS-Australia), Gail and  other volunteers were able to hand out over 6,500 English booklets (Understanding Sexual Misconduct Among Spiritual Leaders) and 2,500 Spanish booklets, along with a few sales of the documentary DVDs to many of the approximately 70,000 people, representing 227 countries, in attendance. Not only that, we were able to pray with, minister to, and counsel several victims who stopped by the booth. Additionally, we had many conversations with church leaders and pastors from around the world who are interested in having us conduct seminars in their area on the topic of clergy sexual abuse.

As usual, some people were quick to grasp the significance of what The Hope of Survivors is doing and the importance of raising awareness about clergy sexual abuse. Others still needed to be educated about the fact that this is a real problem in every denomination and faith community. Below are some of the comments we received as people picked up a booklet, walked by the booth or engaged in conversation with us:

“Your booth is the one I wanted to visit!”

“This is very understated. I think this is one of the most important booths here.”

“By spiritual leaders? They should know better!”

Canada, Australia, Latino, World“I'm thankful there's an organization for this.”

“I'm going to take 20 booklets to our board of elders.”

“This has been swept under the rug for too long. I'm so glad you're doing this.”

“Whoa...this is serious!”

“May I take 10 back to share with the other victims?”

“This is a big problem!”

“This is so needed!”

“You guys are doing a great work.”

“I really appreciate your ministry.”

“I read that booklet [Understanding Sexual Misconduct Among Spiritual Leaders]. It's very, very good!”

“Muy bueno! Dos mas, por favor? Bueno, bueno!”

AnSamantha Prayingd, one of the more shocking, yet accurate, comments...

“That's when the pastors rape the members.”

Indeed...that is often the case.

With this General Conference behind us, we look forward to exhibiting (for the first time ever!) at the United Methodist Church General Conference in May 2016, in Portland, OR, where we anticipate meeting many new victims and educating many more clergy.

Friends, you can enable us to spread the word even further, help victims heal even more, and educate clergy and church leaders so there can be even greater prevention of clergy sexual abuse in the first place. Your prayers and financial support are vital to achieving the goals of this ministry. Thank you!

God bless you,
Samantha Nelson
Vice President & CEO

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