the Hope of Survivors

Letter from the Vice President—Samantha Nelson

(From the October 2013 edition of HopeSpeak)

Dear Hope of Survivors Family, 

What an amazing summer it has been! I pray you were richly blessed through your summertime activities and are now enjoying Fall and all it’s beauty.  

I have some incredible news to share with you—news you have been waiting for, for a long time, just as we have been. But, let me set the stage for the announcement by sharing some devotional thoughts from Luke, chapter one. Make sure you read the whole message—you won’t be sorry! 

Have you ever wanted something so badly, only to fear it will never come true or happen because time keeps passing by and you never seem to obtain that which you desire? Well, think of how Zacharias felt when he and his wife had been praying for a child for so many years without any indication that it would ever become a reality. In his old age and discouraged, Zacharias dared to doubt the message from God that he and Elisabeth would have a son. Yet, in God’s timing, a son was born whose name was John. 

Luke chapter one goes on to tell the story of Mary and Joseph, and how the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would conceive a son and call his name Jesus. Now, for a woman to conceive without ever knowing a man is impossible for us in the human-physical sense, but Luke 1:37 says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Mary believed the words of the angel, even though she didn’t understand how it could be possible. Luke 1:45 tells us, “And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.”

Did you catch that? “There shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” That means, what God says He will do, He WILL do! In His time…

Reading the commentary section in my Bible for Luke, chapter one, I read this:

An Answer to Prayer*
…God had not forgotten. He had His appointed time for answering this prayer…
…The answer had come. God had not forgotten the prayer of His servants. He has written it in His record book, to be answered in His own good time.
 …the Lord had not forgotten. He knew of the long years of disappointment.
*Referring to Zacharias’ prayer for a son.

Wow, how great it is to know that God never forgets and that He has an appointed time to answer our prayers—a perfect time!

That brings me to the present. Well, almost. You see, in June 2005, God spoke to me and Steve—not in an audible voice, but to our minds in a very clear and strong voice—and told us that Steve would become a pastor. We waited. We prayed. We held fast to God’s promises in His Word. And, almost four years later, God fulfilled that promise, as Steve’s first official day in pastoral ministry was April 1, 2009.

Something else was also happening at that time though. That is also when we were strongly impressed that God wanted The Hope of Survivors to have a healing center—a place of rest, renewal and healing for victims of clergy sexual abuse. On September 7, 2005, we put together our first prospectus and appeal for funds for a healing center. There have been many appeals since that time, and many properties that have been considered, all to no avail.

Renewal CenterUntil now!

You may recall the last email I sent out about the healing center was after the fundraiser in April and when we found out the home in Pella, Iowa, was no longer an option. We gave up actively looking and fundraising and decided to wait for God to provide it ALL, if that was still His will.

Well, as God would have it, one of the options we thought was no longer available became available again June 27. By July 23, we learned the intent of the owners (who wish to remain anonymous) to donate the property in Bedford, Iowa, as well as the contents of the home, to The Hope of Survivors, with a closing/transfer date of October 1, 2013—eight years from the time we started praying about it.

Habakkuk 2:3 comes to mind as I ponder what God has done, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” God gave us the vision for the healing center and HE has provided it, all in HIS time!

What a miracle!!!

KitchenBedParlorDid you catch that? The prayers for a healing center have been answered! Glory to God!

The owners of the property shared the following with us, “Ever since the Inn opened—we prayed that the home would be a sanctuary for people who needed a quiet, comfortable and peaceful place to stay....and, that God would bring people to the Inn who needed that respite. So, I feel as though the property was being “prepared”, if you will, for The Hope of Survivors.” Isn’t that just incredible? God was preparing the owners, the Inn, me and Steve, and The Hope of Survivors for this awesome blessing!

Now, there is much to do to make things ready and, as you can tell from the calendar, Steve and I will be gone much of the remainder of the year for various speaking engagements and personal time with family, but we hope to set up the program and get settled in shortly after the first of the year.

LibraryGod provided the home and its contents. Will you help provide for the slight renovation costs (adding bathrooms), ongoing operational expenses and victim scholarships (for those who can’t afford the cost to travel and stay)? We have yet to know all the costs involved, but I can tell you this, The Hope of Survivors needs your regular, monthly contributions in order to provide the ongoing support we make available for victims. Please consider signing up for recurring donations today. Thank you!

And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.”—Hebrews 6:15

God bless you,
Samantha Nelson
Vice President & CEO

P.S. For a wonderful psalm of praise, please read Psalm 105.

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