Fresh Hope Ministry Update

Fresh Hope Ministry Update

There’s a lot of things happening within Fresh Hope’s International Ministry! So, we thought in this blog post we would give you an update of all that is happening!

Fresh Hope Regional Ambassadors

We are excited to announce that we now have Regional Ambassadors! These ambassadors will serve as our point of connection within regions of the western hemisphere. They will be connecting with the more than 150 facilitators currently leading groups in the United States and Central America. The ambassadors will also help new groups starting in their regions and assist existing groups.

USA Northwest Region: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming

Kyla Warner, Kyla@FreshHope.us

rusty-ford

Rusty Ford, Rusty@FreshHope.us

USA Southwest Region: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah

Dale and Martha Rose

Pastors Dale and Martha Rose, Rose@FreshHope.us

 

USA Central Midwest Region: Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota

Jamei and Allen Meyer 2

Allen and Jamie Meyer, Meyer@FreshHope.us

 

USA Upper Midwest Region: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin 

Barb and Mike Gutho

Barb and Mike Gutho, Gutho@FreshHope.us

Jon Hanchett

Jon Hanchett, Hanchett@FreshHope.us

 

USA Northeast Region: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Virginia

Sandy Thomas          charles-thomas-3.jpg

Sandy and Charles Thomas, Thomas@FreshHope.us

 

USA Southern Region: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia 

John Hereford

Pastor John Hereford, John@FreshHope.us 

 

Mexico

Christian Coleman-Jones, Christian@FreshHope.us

 

El Salvador

samanta-3.jpg

Samanta Karaa, Samantha@FreshHope.us

 

Fresh Hope for Teen Groups

FreshHope_Teens_CMYKWe now have three Fresh Hope for Teens groups:  Washington state, Houston, TX, and in Canada! Our teen groups work a little differently than a group for adults. Two groups actually meet at the same time. One is for the teens and their friends who are their supporters, and the other is for the parents. The facilitators are for both groups, but they switch back and forth. So there are at least four facilitators, two in each group. And then they flip back and forth however they determine is most beneficial.  Our teen groups have modified teen-tenets, but still with the same idea that it’s possible to live well in spite of a mental health challenge.

We’d love to help you start a local Fresh Hope for Teens group!

 

 Fresh Hope for Living Free

FreshHope_LivingFree_FINAL_RGBOur Living Free initiative is in the writing and editing phase, and we hope to have it ready for publication by the end of this year and available for others to use.  This program has been in development during a three-year pilot program as Pastor Brad works in the Douglas County jail in Omaha, NE. He developed a short-term 17-week short-term intervention group curriculum which will be available for jails and prisons to use.

The curriculum is designed for men and women who are incarcerated, but also provides an ongoing support group for them when they have been released from jail or prison.  But the curriculum will also work well for those who are not incarcerated or have never been incarcerated, but who want to work on emotional, spiritual, addiction, and mental health issues.

This curriculum and ongoing support group would be a great program for local churches who desire to have a presence in their local jail or prison: teaching the curriculum within the facility, and providing the ongoing support group at their church for those who have been released from being incarcerated.  Local jail and prison chaplains will certainly be able to offer the curriculum in their facilitators even without the help of a local church.

 

 A Fresh Hope Book for Loved Ones

Pastor Brad and Donna have finished authoring the book for loved ones, and it’s now in the editing phase. The title of the book is Holding to Hope, Staying Sane While Loving Someone with a Mental Illness.  The book takes loved ones through the Fresh Hope tenets and is written in such a way that loved ones could easily use it as a study guide in a group or individuals may use it themselves.

Besides covering the tenets of Fresh Hope, there are chapters on many additional questions and topics. These include, “What do you do when children are involved: What do you tell? What do you not tell?”, “How do you trust after trust has been broken?”, “What do you do when your loved one is suicidal?”, and “How do you help, but not enable, your loved one?”

We hope the book will be released by the end of this year or early 2020. It would be great if you could order it as a Christmas present!

 

Fresh Hope Spanish Resources

Our Fresh Hope materials are now being translated into Spanish, thanks to both Samanta from El Salvador and Christian from Mexico!  Plus, we now offer Spanish-speaking Fresh Hope groups both online and locally in El Salvador and Mexico City, Mexico.  This literally will allow us to offer Fresh Hope to even millions of more Spanish-speaking people.

 

Hope Coach Training

Hope Coaches are individuals who are trained and certified to serve in local churches and other ministries.  They are equipped with exceptional listening skills, practical ways of helping others process pain, and the ability to speak hope into situations without giving spiritual platitudes or toxic positivity.  We are hoping to introduce our Hope Coach training and certification in 2020.

Hope Coaches will be trained to ask the right questions to help people express their pain and process it, but also then to speak hope into those situations. And it’s not just for mental health coaching. It could be for anything. Fresh Hope is about how to live well, in spite of any difficult challenge in life, where having hope is absolutely key to getting through it.

 

Trauma Healing Groups Now Offered

Fresh Hope now has numerous Trauma Healing facilitators who have begun to leadTrauma Healing Logo Trauma Healing groups nationwide.  Trauma plays a significant role for those who have mental health challenges.  Sometimes it is a traumatic event in and of itself that brings about a mental illness.  Trauma Healing groups are part of the Trauma Healing Institute of the American Bible Society.  If you are interested in hosting a Trauma Healing group at your church or ministry please email Donna@FreshHope.us

 

Surviving Together for Those Who Have Lost Their Loved Ones to Suicide

survive-together-logoFresh Hope has started its’ first Fresh Hope group for those who have lost their loved ones to suicide.  It’s called Surviving Together (www.Surviving2gether.com)  We’ve just started this as a pilot group.  If your church and/or ministry is interested in potentially starting a Surviving Together group, email Donna@FreshHope.us

 

Start a Fresh Hope Group at Your Church

We’d love to encourage you to start a Fresh Hope for Mental Health group that meets at your church or in a close-by ministry or hospital.  We do require that all of our groups be sponsored by a ministry or an entity such as a church, for instance, and that they’re always held in public places. We’ll train and certify the facilitators, and it’s a pretty easy process in many regards. It doesn’t cost much, and we’ll even waive the cost for you if you can’t afford it.  You can begin the process by contacting Nicole@FreshHope.us  Also contact Nicole if you would like information about anything else that we’ve talked about in this post.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

Sermon By: Pastor John Anderson

 

“Mental health issues are very common, and in one way or another effect every family. We realize that being in community with others that have similar struggles is vitally important and part of the copping process. In the context of any life challenge, we need to lean on those around us who have words of solidarity, comfort, and of wisdom.”

Hope Community has started a Fresh Hope Ministry within their church, and are spreading a great example of how to cover the topic of mental health within their teaching.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

Sermon By: Pastor John Anderson

 

“Mental health issues are very common, and in one way or another effect every family. We realize that being in community with others that have similar struggles is vitally important and part of the copping process. In the context of any life challenge, we need to lean on those around us who have words of solidarity, comfort, and of wisdom.”

Hope Community has started a Fresh Hope Ministry within their church, and are spreading a great example of how to cover the topic of mental health within their teaching.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

“Where Does Hope Begin?” By Pastor John Anderson

Sermon By: Pastor John Anderson

 

“Mental health issues are very common, and in one way or another effect every family. We realize that being in community with others that have similar struggles is vitally important and part of the copping process. In the context of any life challenge, we need to lean on those around us who have words of solidarity, comfort, and of wisdom.”

Hope Community has started a Fresh Hope Ministry within their church, and are spreading a great example of how to cover the topic of mental health within their teaching.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

So often when people are diagnosed with a mental illness/disorder, they begin to feel “less than” as a contributor to life.  I know that after I was diagnosed and then forced to resign as a pastor of the church I was serving, due to a manic episode, I felt broken to the point of uselessness.  But what I have discovered is that the Lord is in the business of redeeming and reframing our brokenness; He’s in the business of redeeming our pain.  The Lord never wastes pain.  In fact, I believe that it is that point of deep pain that becomes exactly the very thing that the Lord redeems for our good and then that point becomes how He uses us.  It is because of our deepest point of pain we are able to think outside of the box.  We are able to offer compassion and understanding to those who are going through the same sort of pain.

What has surprised me the most about the Lord’s redemption of my pain and past is how He is using my leadership gifts.  I am shocked at how my perspective of and the way that I lead today has changed so much since going through brokenness and pain.  Daily, because of what I have gone through and experienced, I have the opportunity to provide leadership from the point of serving those who are in pain. Before having been broken, I would never have had enough patience to come along side those who are in deep pain.  However, today my point of fulfillment, my “sweet spot” of ministry, is giving hope to those who are some of the darkest places of unimaginable pain.  I consider it a sacred privilege, and I am humbled to see how my pain is redeemed by allowing others to see how He carried me through.  It brings them hope.  When that happens, it is a holy moment that He orchestrated through my very brokenness.

My friend, if you find yourself in a dark and painful point in your journey of this life, please know this: the Lord WILL take this and make it work together for your good.  You are not suffering in vain.  There is purpose in it.  There is a blessing in it.  He is for you.  He loves you.  You are not alone.  As deep as your pain goes, joy will be high when He begins to redeem your pain.  And please know this, you are NOT “less-than“.  You are not broken merchandise.  In fact, it is at your point of brokenness that you become the most usable for His work in your life and in His Kingdom. This is about redemption. The Lord is working things together for your good even in the darkest parts of the valley you are going through.  And in the midst of the suffering and pain, there are gifts – precious gifts – that you can’t even imagine!

But, if you succumb to the feelings of worthlessness and brokenness and the feelings of “less-than” you may never find those gifts; and instead live your life believing the lie that no gifts were given through your pain – that your pain had no purpose at all.  That’s a lie. And it leads to nothing but more pain and hopelessness.  Stand on the Word of God, Romans 8:28, and don’t lean on your feelings.  Feelings are real, but sometimes they are based on a lie.  Here’s the truth:  the Lord is taking and will take ALL THINGS and work them together for your good.  He’s at work.  He’s up to something. He can be trusted. Sometimes you have to simply, by faith, choose to have hope in spite of how you feel.  Yes, hope IS a choice. You have to choose it.  It’s not a wishful-thinking type of hope, but it is a certain and sure hope.  HE WILL, yes, WILL, work out all things together for your good.  That’s a certainty.

One of the books I’ve read that really helped me to see how the Lord could use me in significant ways in spite of and even because of my having bipolar disorder is A First Rate Madness by Dr. Nassir Ghaemi.  It’s a book full of encouragement to see how those 9781594202957_custom-37b18e8c2128957810a8baffd30766d2ed28d0bf-s400-c85who have a mental health challenge can be used even in some of the most significant leadership roles as national and international leaders.  After reading it, I realized even more how the Lord could use my pain and experiences due to bipolar disorder for my good and even use it for the good of others.  See, because of what you and I have been through or even are going through causes us to see things outside of the box.  Dr. Ghaemi goes through a whole list of major historical leaders and illustrates how they were great leaders due to having had a struggle with mental health!  If you have not read the book, get it and read it!  It will encourage you greatly. Check out this NPR post about A First Rate Madness:  “Madness and Leadership, Hand in Hand

It may not feel like it will ever be possible to feel joy again.  You may not even have the energy to believe it. But it’s true.  God is at work.  And He will work it out together for your good, and He will use it to offer hope to others. And as He does that you will be amazed and filled with hope yourself.  This is a certainty – unless you believe the lie that there is no gift or purpose within what you are going through right now. Don’t believe that lie. Take captive your thinking, (Check out the post on how to overcome ruminating: click here.) focus your trust and hope in God and all His promises of good for you.

 

Fresh Hope is a faith-based non-profit that empowers people to live well in spite of their mental health challenge.

YOUR gift will provide a person with God’s Fresh HOPE for daily living. Click here to donate, today.

unnamed

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

So often when people are diagnosed with a mental illness/disorder, they begin to feel “less than” as a contributor to life.  I know that after I was diagnosed and then forced to resign as a pastor of the church I was serving, due to a manic episode, I felt broken to the point of uselessness.  But what I have discovered is that the Lord is in the business of redeeming and reframing our brokenness; He’s in the business of redeeming our pain.  The Lord never wastes pain.  In fact, I believe that it is that point of deep pain that becomes exactly the very thing that the Lord redeems for our good and then that point becomes how He uses us.  It is because of our deepest point of pain we are able to think outside of the box.  We are able to offer compassion and understanding to those who are going through the same sort of pain.

What has surprised me the most about the Lord’s redemption of my pain and past is how He is using my leadership gifts.  I am shocked at how my perspective of and the way that I lead today has changed so much since going through brokenness and pain.  Daily, because of what I have gone through and experienced, I have the opportunity to provide leadership from the point of serving those who are in pain. Before having been broken, I would never have had enough patience to come along side those who are in deep pain.  However, today my point of fulfillment, my “sweet spot” of ministry, is giving hope to those who are some of the darkest places of unimaginable pain.  I consider it a sacred privilege, and I am humbled to see how my pain is redeemed by allowing others to see how He carried me through.  It brings them hope.  When that happens, it is a holy moment that He orchestrated through my very brokenness.

My friend, if you find yourself in a dark and painful point in your journey of this life, please know this: the Lord WILL take this and make it work together for your good.  You are not suffering in vain.  There is purpose in it.  There is a blessing in it.  He is for you.  He loves you.  You are not alone.  As deep as your pain goes, joy will be high when He begins to redeem your pain.  And please know this, you are NOT “less-than“.  You are not broken merchandise.  In fact, it is at your point of brokenness that you become the most usable for His work in your life and in His Kingdom. This is about redemption. The Lord is working things together for your good even in the darkest parts of the valley you are going through.  And in the midst of the suffering and pain, there are gifts – precious gifts – that you can’t even imagine!

But, if you succumb to the feelings of worthlessness and brokenness and the feelings of “less-than” you may never find those gifts; and instead live your life believing the lie that no gifts were given through your pain – that your pain had no purpose at all.  That’s a lie. And it leads to nothing but more pain and hopelessness.  Stand on the Word of God, Romans 8:28, and don’t lean on your feelings.  Feelings are real, but sometimes they are based on a lie.  Here’s the truth:  the Lord is taking and will take ALL THINGS and work them together for your good.  He’s at work.  He’s up to something. He can be trusted. Sometimes you have to simply, by faith, choose to have hope in spite of how you feel.  Yes, hope IS a choice. You have to choose it.  It’s not a wishful-thinking type of hope, but it is a certain and sure hope.  HE WILL, yes, WILL, work out all things together for your good.  That’s a certainty.

One of the books I’ve read that really helped me to see how the Lord could use me in significant ways in spite of and even because of my having bipolar disorder is A First Rate Madness by Dr. Nassir Ghaemi.  It’s a book full of encouragement to see how those 9781594202957_custom-37b18e8c2128957810a8baffd30766d2ed28d0bf-s400-c85who have a mental health challenge can be used even in some of the most significant leadership roles as national and international leaders.  After reading it, I realized even more how the Lord could use my pain and experiences due to bipolar disorder for my good and even use it for the good of others.  See, because of what you and I have been through or even are going through causes us to see things outside of the box.  Dr. Ghaemi goes through a whole list of major historical leaders and illustrates how they were great leaders due to having had a struggle with mental health!  If you have not read the book, get it and read it!  It will encourage you greatly. Check out this NPR post about A First Rate Madness:  “Madness and Leadership, Hand in Hand

It may not feel like it will ever be possible to feel joy again.  You may not even have the energy to believe it. But it’s true.  God is at work.  And He will work it out together for your good, and He will use it to offer hope to others. And as He does that you will be amazed and filled with hope yourself.  This is a certainty – unless you believe the lie that there is no gift or purpose within what you are going through right now. Don’t believe that lie. Take captive your thinking, (Check out the post on how to overcome ruminating: click here.) focus your trust and hope in God and all His promises of good for you.

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

A First Rate Madness: Thinking Outside the Box and Leadership

So often when people are diagnosed with a mental illness/disorder, they begin to feel “less than” as a contributor to life.  I know that after I was diagnosed and then forced to resign as a pastor of the church I was serving, due to a manic episode, I felt broken to the point of uselessness.  But what I have discovered is that the Lord is in the business of redeeming and reframing our brokenness; He’s in the business of redeeming our pain.  The Lord never wastes pain.  In fact, I believe that it is that point of deep pain that becomes exactly the very thing that the Lord redeems for our good and then that point becomes how He uses us.  It is because of our deepest point of pain we are able to think outside of the box.  We are able to offer compassion and understanding to those who are going through the same sort of pain.

What has surprised me the most about the Lord’s redemption of my pain and past is how He is using my leadership gifts.  I am shocked at how my perspective of and the way that I lead today has changed so much since going through brokenness and pain.  Daily, because of what I have gone through and experienced, I have the opportunity to provide leadership from the point of serving those who are in pain. Before having been broken, I would never have had enough patience to come along side those who are in deep pain.  However, today my point of fulfillment, my “sweet spot” of ministry, is giving hope to those who are some of the darkest places of unimaginable pain.  I consider it a sacred privilege, and I am humbled to see how my pain is redeemed by allowing others to see how He carried me through.  It brings them hope.  When that happens, it is a holy moment that He orchestrated through my very brokenness.

My friend, if you find yourself in a dark and painful point in your journey of this life, please know this: the Lord WILL take this and make it work together for your good.  You are not suffering in vain.  There is purpose in it.  There is a blessing in it.  He is for you.  He loves you.  You are not alone.  As deep as your pain goes, joy will be high when He begins to redeem your pain.  And please know this, you are NOT “less-than“.  You are not broken merchandise.  In fact, it is at your point of brokenness that you become the most usable for His work in your life and in His Kingdom. This is about redemption. The Lord is working things together for your good even in the darkest parts of the valley you are going through.  And in the midst of the suffering and pain, there are gifts – precious gifts – that you can’t even imagine!

But, if you succumb to the feelings of worthlessness and brokenness and the feelings of “less-than” you may never find those gifts; and instead live your life believing the lie that no gifts were given through your pain – that your pain had no purpose at all.  That’s a lie. And it leads to nothing but more pain and hopelessness.  Stand on the Word of God, Romans 8:28, and don’t lean on your feelings.  Feelings are real, but sometimes they are based on a lie.  Here’s the truth:  the Lord is taking and will take ALL THINGS and work them together for your good.  He’s at work.  He’s up to something. He can be trusted. Sometimes you have to simply, by faith, choose to have hope in spite of how you feel.  Yes, hope IS a choice. You have to choose it.  It’s not a wishful-thinking type of hope, but it is a certain and sure hope.  HE WILL, yes, WILL, work out all things together for your good.  That’s a certainty.

One of the books I’ve read that really helped me to see how the Lord could use me in significant ways in spite of and even because of my having bipolar disorder is A First Rate Madness by Dr. Nassir Ghaemi.  It’s a book full of encouragement to see how those 9781594202957_custom-37b18e8c2128957810a8baffd30766d2ed28d0bf-s400-c85who have a mental health challenge can be used even in some of the most significant leadership roles as national and international leaders.  After reading it, I realized even more how the Lord could use my pain and experiences due to bipolar disorder for my good and even use it for the good of others.  See, because of what you and I have been through or even are going through causes us to see things outside of the box.  Dr. Ghaemi goes through a whole list of major historical leaders and illustrates how they were great leaders due to having had a struggle with mental health!  If you have not read the book, get it and read it!  It will encourage you greatly. Check out this NPR post about A First Rate Madness:  “Madness and Leadership, Hand in Hand

It may not feel like it will ever be possible to feel joy again.  You may not even have the energy to believe it. But it’s true.  God is at work.  And He will work it out together for your good, and He will use it to offer hope to others. And as He does that you will be amazed and filled with hope yourself.  This is a certainty – unless you believe the lie that there is no gift or purpose within what you are going through right now. Don’t believe that lie. Take captive your thinking, (Check out the post on how to overcome ruminating: click here.) focus your trust and hope in God and all His promises of good for you.