|Letter from the Vice President—Samantha Nelson|
(From the October 2014 edition of HopeSpeak)
Thank you for praying and bearing with us patiently as we’ve been going through some staff changes lately. It’s been a challenge, but the Lord is leading and blessing.
A lot happened in September, and we are pleased to say God really opened doors for The Hope of Survivors to reach more victims in several ways. To start with, He blessed the interview at Son Broadcasting (KCHF-TV in Santa Fe). You’ll be able to watch the interview, along with the documentary, Call It Anything But Love!, online (or on your local TV station if you’re in the area) on Sunday, September 28, at 8:00pm (MDT). Visit the web site, http://kchftv.org/schedule/, for more information.
After the interview, there was discussion about the possibility of producing a TV series on healing and having it broadcast throughout New Mexico (and online). This is something we are praying about and will be working on as God leads and provides. This could really make an impact throughout the state, but it’s also something that could easily become national and place The Hope of Survivors’ messages of hope and healing in the homes of victims throughout the country. This would be a major endeavor, and it would be somewhat costly, but it could really bless those who are searching for answers and hope after experiencing the horrific and longlasting effects of clergy sexual abuse.
After the interview in New Mexico, we headed to Monument Valley Mission in Utah to conduct seminars on the Navajo Reservation. Abuse, in all forms, is very rampant on the Reservation and there are hardly any families who have not been affected by abuse in some way. It’s heartbreaking! While reading some statistics on abuse among the Navajo, I was pleased to read about this man who is taking a stand against abuse by the Navajo spiritual leaders:
“When healers breech the trust placed in them (and) prey on others wearing the cloak of health and harmony, it increases my passion to personally prosecute the case.”—Karl Gillson, the District Attorney in New Mexico’s McKinley County (Source: http://www.salon.com/2012/10/08/navajos_bad_medicine/)
Initially, we were scheduled to conduct two seminars. Before we arrived, however, God opened the doors for Steve to present four messages on healing, in addition to the two seminars we were to present together. As Steve shared about God’s unfailing love, the hearts of the Navajo people were opened and that enabled the Holy Spirit to minister to them throughout the remainder of the programs.
On the last day, we presented the Trust & Truth seminar and really encouraged the Navajo to take a stand against abuse of any kind, to no longer accept abuse as a way of life, to choose to be different, to protect the vulnerable, to speak out, to seek healing from God for their own abuse issues. The Holy Spirit brought conviction and hope to many, as dozens came forward for special prayer and several others stayed behind for private prayer and support.
The outcome of all this is that now there are victims and missionary workers who want The Hope of Survivors to help them establish local support groups throughout the Reservation. As such, we’ve been invited to return in April to conduct seminars in Page, Arizona (another part of the large Reservation), and to provide training for the volunteers who will lead these new support groups. Praise God!
Steve and I didn’t know how the messages and seminars would be received, and we didn’t know how well they’d come across through translation, but we rejoice at what God has done and the positive feedback that has been received. Here’s a message we received from one of the missionaries there, referring to a victim who’d come forward for special prayer:
“She has stated to us and others that the weekend was a real blessing to her and that she knew in her heart before she went that she HAD to go. She tells others that she was healed there. But of course there is still pain.”
Glory to God! This is what makes The Hope of Survivors such a critical resource for victims. We strive to connect victims with the One who can heal them and make them whole—Jesus Christ. This is the work the Lord has called us to do, whether throughout the U.S. or abroad, no matter what denomination or faith community, we are here to serve.
Please keep victims of clergy sexual abuse in your prayers, and please pray for pastors and church leaders too. They need to be remembered so they can remain men and women of integrity and not succumb to the temptations of Satan and be used to destroy lives. Thank you again for your prayers and ongoing support.