the Hope of Survivors

News & Announcements

(From the January 2011 edition of HopeSpeak)

The Hope of Survivors recently updated its website and added several new foreign language options to its resources. To view information in French, Italian, Turkish, Romanian or Russian (in addition to English or Spanish), simply click on Languages on the top navigation. Many thanks to translators Irina Pica (Romanian), James England (French), Olga Azarian (Russian), Slavomir Balsan (Italian) and Zuhal Czuri (Turkish). 

A special welcome to Romulus Chelbegean, Ph.D., MS, MA, MFT, RN, who joins The Hope of Survivors as the new vice president of the Romanian Division. Romulus currently resides in Loma Linda, CA, and will be coordinating the Romanian Division efforts with his colleagues in Romania.  

We are very grateful for the years of service and dedication of Alina and Gabriel Ciur, who helped with the start-up of the Romanian Division, and coordinated our programs there in 2009. They are moving into a new phase in their lives and will not be able to be as actively involved with THOS. We wish them all the best!

Special Announcement!

The Hope of Survivors recently released a new documentary DVD. Call It Anything But Love! is a true story of a couple’s struggles and challenges as they overcome their painful pasts to find themselves in a spider’s web of lies, deceit, adultery and abuse—at the hands of their pastor.

Clergy sexual abuse is not new, though it is becoming more and more prevalent in the news as of late. This documentary is for victims who are searching for hope and answers, as well as for the populace at large who wish to gain a greater understanding of the issue or simply be inspired by a heartwarming testimony.

It's an uplifting story of overcoming abuse and learning how to trust God and draw from His strength,” remarks a survivor from Illinois. “It makes you realize that God is bigger than any situation we have to endure."

The DVD retails for $15 and is available here! Help us spread the word! Download the press kit and share it!

Reviews & Comments on Call It Anything But Love!

I just got my DVD today and I just watched it. What an awesome job you two have done! God, thru you my friend, saved my life and my marriage!”—Survivor, NC

“Call It Anything But Love! confronts one of the most disturbing topics in our culture today and does so in the most disarming way possible—through the experiences of two people who lived it. Steve and Samantha Nelson speak with an openness and honesty that immediately draws the viewer into their story. The viewer is led down a path that seems more and more unimaginable. How can a man of God behave in such a way? What is most shocking—is knowing the story is true. Without resorting to Hollywood trickery or dramatic effects, Call It Anything But Love! has an emotional punch yet still manages to challenge our deepest, most profound beliefs.”—Martin Doblmeier, filmmaker

The documentary was powerful. I was deeply moved again as I reflected on what you have gone through. But also inspired as the Lord has taken you from being a victim of an evil man to being a victor over all that was planned against you.”—Tom Lemon, President, Mid-America Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Wow. I can't tell you how much your story moved me. I can relate to most everything, including much of your childhood. …The production of this documentary is amazing. The lighting, editing, b roll…, and the narration flow so well. The subtitles are so fitting—it's all very good. Steve is extremely compelling, especially his reflections about those red flags that made him feel uneasy, but that he didn't really know what to do with. …I am so happy to promote this.”—Survivor, OR

…beautiful job. Amazing. You guys really bared your souls. Courage.”—Jennifer Schwirzer, PA

5 Stars! So well put together, held our attention. Steve’s face from the corner looking in was a spectacular force, very believable. Samantha’s awful baggage she carried for so long was incredibly believable—what a pity!”—Herb Douglass, Th.D., CA

I got the DVD this afternoon and had mixed feelings about watching it—did I want to relive the pain again for no reason—or would it be beneficial to watch in some way. …I just wanted to write to say I'm glad I watched it, it was very well done, but most of all, it is ANOINTED. I'm sure you prayed for that and I'm here to tell you God heard your prayer. I was in tears and it wasn't the bad kind, it was the healing kind. …I just wanted to thank you again for the role you played in my life…. My husband and I are doing very well and will celebrate our 24th anniversary next month, a testament to God's moving through your ministry.”—Survivor, OH

Thanks so much for the DVD. We have watched it and are amazed and thankful for your example of a couple who have gone through such circumstances and come through it stronger than before and have turned it into an opportunity to help others. …Thanks once again for all the work you are doing.  May God bless you.”—Survivor, Australia

I watched the DVD and your story really touched me. God really works in mysterious ways. You both were emotionally hurt and experienced so much pain and now you are helping other people who have experienced the same pain.”—Translator, UK  

Watched the video and it's great!”—Survivor, CA

Your DVD came today...what an outstanding piece of work it is....oh my!!! Bravo for your willingness to share the details of your lives in order to offer the context that is so common in many of survivor's stories. Well done...I sat here watching it thinking...who do I send/give this to so it can be shared and persons can learn, or have the story told again, so folks grasp the complexity of the issue? Once again, you have done outstanding work and are to be commended. Thank you again!”—Survivor, ME  

I received your DVD in the post today and have already watched it. I thought it was very moving. You and Steve have been through so much! God bless you that you both started The Hope of Survivors. It is well needed.”—Germany

Thank you very much for your present. It is greatly appreciated. I watched the DVD, and it will always remind me that there is HOPE.”—Olga, Russian translator for THOS

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