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building a community to reach a community

Showing Christian Care through Difficult Times

Just call Hope Ministers the “after people”:
…after you find the pink slip in what’s now your final paycheck;
…after the doctors have said there’s nothing more they can do;
…after the relationship ends but the wounds are still bleeding;
…after family and friends have heard your story one too many times but you still need to talk it out. Jessica Fischer (Kingsport Times News)

Hope Ministers are compassionate and caring followers of Christ. The purpose of a Hope Minister is to come alongside hurting individuals to offer love and support in a one-on-one relationship. Their greatest skill is listening. Hope Ministry is completely confidential; a safe place to share your heart and hurts!

Hope Ministers are not counselors; they are, however, highly trained lay workers here at Grace Fellowship Church. The initial training is 18 hours spread over 6 weeks followed by a Continuing Education class once a month. Loretta Nitschke says of the Hope Ministry training; “It has been life changing in terms of how I have used those skills everywhere in life. I wished I’d had this training a lot earlier.”

Testimony of a Care Receiver:
When my daughter and I moved to this area, we knew no one. With all the chaos of relocation; finding schools, finding jobs, getting a house, I kept trying to get things settled. After a health scare, job confusion, and a high school student who didn’t have any friends either, stress got pretty bad. My support system was all somewhere else…I did however have a church. Someone I knew had recommended Grace Fellowship. I went to the church counselor and he suggested that I work with a Stephen (Hope) Minister. I had no idea at that point what that involved. First, I met with my Stephen (Hope) Minister over tea. We talked. She mainly listened…and listened…and listened. I felt a great relief to be able to finally talk about my fears with a kind Christian adult. We prayed together. We met regularly. I felt like I wasn’t so alone anymore. She was praying with me. God used her to get me through that desperate time in my life. I cannot say enough about how helpful it is to have a person who cares. I know that I am not the only story, but I really appreciate my experience.

Hope Ministers are here to walk through a difficult time with someone and show Christian care. Hope Ministers are the care givers, God is the Cure giver!

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a Hope Minister, please contact Lawton Jones at 979-5305 or visit the web page.

Wendy McAuley


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