|A Sad Farewell—Tom Lemon|
(From the October 2009 edition of HopeSpeak)
It has been my privilege to serve the last five years on the Board of The Hope of Survivors with the last three of those as chair. When Samantha and Steve first conceived of this ministry in 2002, and then contacted me, and the rest of the original board members, in 2004, I donít think any of us could have known just what it would look like five years later. What we did know was the Lord our God was in it and the real leader. Because of a recent move and added travel responsibilities in my work for the Adventist church, I have chosen to step down from this ministry for the present time. It was not an easy decision and yet, to keep some level of balance on the personal side of life, I have found it necessary to do this.
The good news is the hundreds of victims that have risen above that level and that label to a status of victor and growth in the grace and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. The good news is that somewhere in some way we may have prevented some sinful activity through our materials and the conferences that Steve and Samantha continue to conduct. The good news is evident in those victims who now volunteer for the ministry and the validation by our own surveys and the Baylor University acknowledgement. There is more good news in that the ministry has gone international and is reaching out to women around the world with a vision of God that begins to eclipse their view distorted by what happened to them and replace it with a vision of God that comforts and encourages.
The bad news is, we have not stopped all Clergy Sexual Abuse and neither have we eliminated the need for education within church leadership circles as to how to appropriately respond to victims. We are, after all, still in this world and still dealing with yet-to-be-converted hearts and temptations that never quite seem to go away. So the need for the ministry continues unabated.
My prayers for The Hope of Survivors will continue. Samantha and Steve have graciously asked if I might serve in a consultant/advisory capacity, and to occasionally write for the ministry. I am happy to do what I can. I have every confidence in Elder Martin Weber. His spiritual depth and courageous heart are wonderful assets to any ministry and particularly this one. We work in the same building so we will continue to connect when it comes to The Hope of Survivors.
Blessings to you all.