Back in 1996, after Char’s malignant brain tumor diagnosis and recovery from surgery, she began to share her story and testimony at a local cancer support group. Others facing cancer in the group came up to Char and shared how helpful her story and faith were to them. Since we were not able to attend the group every time, we thought it might be helpful to type up Char’s testimony on a simple, one-page sheet, and leave 25 copies with the local cancer support group. We named the title of her story, Hope Through The Storm.
A Ministry Is Born
As we attended more cancer support groups in the area, we heard others share their cancer survivor stories and how God helped them through cancer too. It was so inspiring to hear these testimonies that we decided it would be a good idea to print their stories too. So we began printing one story after another in a new booklet format and demand continued to grow to where we were printing 1000 issues and distributing them not only to cancer support groups but oncology centers and hospitals as well. Char’s oncologist finally said to us, “you know, with as many as you are printing, you two should really think about forming a nonprofit with this booklet.” So we took his advice and over the next eight years from 1997-2004, distribution of the publication grew every year. Over the course of the ministry, we were blessed to offer over 100,000 free issues of Hope Through The Storm to people facing cancer across 48 states and 11 countries.
After a thyroid cancer diagnosis sidelined Char in 1994, long-term complications following surgery forced us to the difficult decision of needing to end the ministry. We thought the Hope Through The Storm chapter of our lives was over. But as we have seen so many times before, God had other plans.
Hope Through The Storm 2.0
It is now 2017, nearly 22 years since Char’s first brain tumor and the miracle God is performing in her is astounding. He led us to several experiences with people facing different illnesses and disabilities, and after much discussion and prayer, we came to the decision to begin planning this new 2.0 version of our ministry, of which is now a reality.
The needs out there are so great and we believe sharing the stories of others facing serious illnesses and disabilities like cancer, ALS, MS, depression, autism, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Down’s syndrome, spinal cord injury and many others represent the expanded territory God has put on our hearts.