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 June of 2013, 18 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 after much discussion and prayer, we came to the decision to begin planning this new 2.0 version of our ministry, of which you are now seeing become a reality, and our Hope Through The Storm publication. 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. We are also excited to announce each publication will be eco-friendly, being printed with soy-based inks and on recycled-content paper. Beginning in 2014, we will be working on gathering stories and publishing a special annual, year-end issue to start, along with individual issues focused on specific serious illnesses and disabilities as God brings the people willing to share their story. Distribution of the issues will be through a mailing list, our Hope Bag Outreach and online.
This is our outreach ministry to those who are facing serious illness and disability and in need of God’s hope, encouragement, strength, and for some, salvation through Jesus Christ. Each Hope Bag carries the love of Jesus through gifts including a Christian-based devotional book, a special Hope Card for encouragement, a Hope Through The Storm issue featuring the story of someone else facing a similar serious illness or disability, and for the lost—a bible and tract sharing the message of the Gospel. We also have a special Hope Bag outreach for children facing serious illness and disability. Hope Bag needs for individuals are made known primarily through ministry partnerships with churches, along with connections to hospitals, children’s hospitals, mental health centers, nursing homes, support groups, veterans homes, veterans hospitals and prison ministries.
This very special line of Christian-based greeting cards is designed specifically for those in need of God’s hope and encouragement. In addition to individual cards, card sets will be available to help supporters in providing the long-term support needed but often missing during a person’s extended illness. Support for family members is often overlooked but very important and sending a Hope Card would be a good way to encourage them too. Each Hope Card includes a scripture on the cover and a caring, thoughtful message inside that speaks to the heart. Our long-term goal is to have Hope Cards distributed through hospital gift shops and stores carrying Christian-based greeting cards, serving as a means to help provide financial support to sustain and further Hope Through The Storm Ministries.
These inspiring videos were originally filmed for Hope Through The Storm Cancer Support Ministries between 1997-2004. We are making them available again via this website. The first video, Never Alone: Walking The Cancer Journey With God, shares Arlene LeClair’s cancer story is a remarkable journey of trial, triumph and faith in God through it all. Her story is amazing, powerful and life-changing. The second video, Coping With Grief, offers the powerful testimony of a man who lost his wife to cancer. This short, 11-minutes video is an inspiration for those facing the loss of someone in their lives. The third video, Children & Cancer, was filmed at a family camp in Mississippi and offers warm, honest support from families dealing with cancer. It will touch your heart. The fourth video, Living Waters, combines amazing waterfalls from around Lake Superior with God’s promises in scripture, offering hope, encouragement and comfort during trials.
My Journey Films is a Hope Through The Storm Ministries film series sharing the stories and insights of others who are facing or have faced a serious illness or disability. The goal of the film series is to provide the opportunity for people to share their journeys, which will be used to reach out to others facing a similar journey. This is especially important for those who cannot attend support groups or have limited help. The stories will be honest, personal and inspirational. Each film will be geared to a particular type of serious illness or disability. Distribution will be online and on Blu-Ray/DVD. We anticipate being able to include these films in our Hope Bags. My Journey Films ultimate goal is to insure that no one walks their journey alone.
Mighty God Films is a Hope Through The Storm Ministries film series focused on helping both adults and children facing serious illness or disability through Christian-based nature films showcasing the majestic wonder and beauty of God’s creation. Films for adults facing serious illness or disability will focus on providing hope, encouragement and comfort through powerful images of God’s creation in combination with Christian music and Bible verses sharing the life-changing message of the Gospel and proven promises of God. Films for children facing serious illness or disability will focus on providing quality Christian-based education, teaching children about God and the wonders of His Creation. Films will include God’s amazing animals and God’s universe.
We offer inspirational speaking engagements to churches and support groups. Our talks share the blessings, the challenges, the lessons learned, and sometimes the surprising moments of laughter on the journey through a life-threatening and life-changing serious illness. But most importantly, we share the heartfelt stories and valuable experiences from learning to fully rely on God and the hope, encouragement, strength and peace He provides through the storm. Contact us here to request speaking at your church or support group, or call 231-457-4623.