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Rest Ministries

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Christianity, Counseling, Health, Mental Health, Religion, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: RM serves people who live with chronic illness or pain by providing spiritual, emotional relational and practical support. Rest Ministries also equips church in the US to minister to and with the chronically ill. Through programs and resources we seek to transform hurting Christians into disciples and un-believers into Christians who live with faith and hope.

Target demographics: people with chronic and invisible illness discover the joy and hope that life can hold, despite unpredictability and suffering.

Programs: We are Rest Ministries, an encouragement ministry for those with chronic illness. We provide an oasis of comfort through pain, while nourishing spiritual growth through our peer-to-peer mentoring environment. We embolden churches to confidently and powerfully reach out to the the invisible community of the chronically ill by teaching churches about the chronically ill's challenges and strengths, through tools, resources, and communication. The result it that a church's good intentions are bolstered into the most efficient ways to, not only reach out to the chronically ill, but to have them become an integral and influential part of your community. The social network The Sunroom which includes over 4000 people and a variety of programs, HopeKeepers groups in over 300 churches around the world, daily devotionals, articles, and our bookstore http://chronicillnessbooks.com

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

41 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Client Served

Rating: 1

I've had a terrible experience with the site owner of Rest Ministries Sunroom. Last night she posted on my FB wall publicly a screenshot she took of a private conversation I had with another woman on Rest Ministries Sunroom which is suppose to be a 'closed site' and private. Then she deleted the conversation from her site. Then she publicly made false accusations against me. Then, this morning, she made a post telling outright lies about me. I have it all saved. I am soon to be 64. and crippled. I am also a bereaved mom of 5. I had a book published 2/15/17 to give God the Glory and to get my son's poems published that he wrote before his death. I shared an article I had just written with another woman to encourage her to write in her loneliness and Lisa accused me of promoting my book. The article is not from my book. Then she said that they spent hours talking to me which are blatant lies. She has a non-profit, sells books she has published along with numerous other items to the handicapped, runs a 'store' from which she sells these items, then she says she needs donations to pay for her internet. Have you seriously checked out this person?

1 Samantha94

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love the stories, anytime I'm feeling down about being sick I come here for some great insight about God's word and am comforted seeing that even though we fight a never ending battle we can still be active in spreading God's word. I have also bought Lisa's book and love it, and it has been apart of my push to speak about God's promises to others who desperately need to hear it. -Samantha

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been blessed numerous times by the devotions. Encouragement has flowed freely through the writings,prayers and bios. Thank you and blessings to everyone,

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is with great anticipation that I look for my email from Rest Ministries each day. The emails are especially important when I feel my worst. Sometimes that is physically worse than "my normal", sometimes it is an emotionally challenging day and at times they are one in the same. It always helps to know that others are having the same kind of day I am and it is not because of the old saying "misery loves company". It is always reassuring to hear how other's who are dealing with similar issues as myself with such amazing grace and a sense that they are not alone; God is always right there and offering us more than enough love, empathy, and peace than we can make use of. Thanks to everyone who creates the community that is Rest Ministries!

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am 39, married with two small children, and have suffered with chronic illness for 15+ years. Life looks so different for me when compared to other men my age. Family and friends (even close ones), often don't ''get" chronic illness and the upheaval it brings life. But, thankfully, Rest Ministries gets it! This ministry has been a lifeline of hope and encouragement on so many days when I feel like it is too hard to go on. Thank you, God, for putting Rest Ministries into my life.

3 Barbara225

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries is such a blessing! I don't have to explain myself, or worry about being judged, because we are all in the same boat. The daily meditations are so comforting. So glad I found this group!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries is the first place I refer others who are suffering from a chronic illness. Even those who are not of the same faith are thankful for the wonderful encouragement they receive. It has supported and lifted me up more times than I could count, especially when I have reached the end of my rope and want to give up completely!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Rest Ministries has been an avenue that God has used in my life to meet sweet friends in the Lord and regain my hope and strength in HIm. It continues to be a place that I can find both understanding, and fellowship that helps me cope with chronic illness. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Lisa Copen, for all the effort & hours you have given to make this supportive ministry available to all of us who are dealing with chronic illness. May God richly bless you for being such a blessing to so many!

6

Client Served

Rating: 5

Lisa Copen, founder of Rest Ministries, is dedicated to those who have chronic illness. Challenged by chronic illness herself, Lisa has brought insight and wisdom to those who experience multiple, daily battles. Rest Ministries is a safe haven.....enfolding people who hurt......giving voice when most suffer in silence. I offer sincere gratitude .....thank you, blessings.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

Rest Ministries has been a wonderful resource in my journey as a Christian with chronic illness. The daily devotionals I receive are encouraging and remind me that I'm not alone in my struggles with pain and illness. The site has many other resources as well. The founder, Lisa Copen, has worked hard to keep this site going while dealing with her own chronic illness. Both she and her website have been a source of inspiration and encouragement to me.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries has been a life saver for me, helping me through really tough times. Lisa has created a safe, loved filled place for those of us with chronic illnesses to come and find support, understanding, and true compassion. The support I have received from RM has helped me deal with my life in a much more positive manner. When I can come and tell people who truly understand what has happened today, and receive a kind of understanding that I don't get elsewhere in my life, I can carry on again. I love RM and would hate to be without it. Thank you so much Lisa.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this wonderful site, Rest Ministries, one night at my lowest point with chronic invisible illnesses a few years ago. Lisa Copen has set up a special site that has helped me to cope each & every day since! Sharing with others who truly understand has been a massive blessing during this lonely illness journey. I've made wonderful world-wide friends here & even met 3 of them in flesh!! Faith journeys shared here are a brilliant light in dark times! Thank you Lisa!

3 Allison F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries was an oasis in my desert journey, giving me a place to find comfort and supportive, informative and encouraging messages. What I find makes this a unique and effective ministry and help to others is that it founder and those writing the devotional are all fellow sufferers and speak from an "I've been there" place. This lets those who are just coming to terms with illness see that there is life with illness, you are not a lost cause. It also gives those who are journeying with illness and disability the opportunity to contribute, and make a difference in someone else's life which is also a huge thing!! I am very grateful for this resource and the many people who suffer on and let others into their lives by being contributing members!!! Thanks!!!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries is a wonderful website. I suffer from chronic pain and have for years. The posts on the Rest ministries site are always encouraging and uplifting. They help me get through tough days. I don't know what I would do without this site and the individuals who post on it.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live far away from my TN family. I discovered Rest Ministries through the daily devotions. I have found a second family of caring, supportive, and understanding people through this wonderful ministry. I thank God for the vision and dedication of Lisa Copen and the men and women who are a part of this community. I've gained confidence to share my journey with others, and I'm always thankful for the advice, coping skills, and insight that get shared with me.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found RestMinistries through an on-line Bible study in the fall, 2011. This was at a time in my life when I had just been diagnosed and was experiencing many life changes. RM helped provide a spiritual and emotional support. I also met some new friends dealing with similar issues.
RM is a wonderful Christian site that ministers to chronically ill. Lisa Copen, its founder, works tirelessly and is an inspiration. RM has helped me retain my hope and belief in God despite illness.
I now have the privilege of writing for RM. I am thankful for this opportunity and site.

8 musical_maria

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i am both a "client served" and a volunteer, gave me purpose via being able to share my experiences with others and help them out the way the daily devotionals have helped me; a real blessing at my lowest points

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries and Lisa Copen, its founder, has been a rock for me for years. It has gotten me through times when I just couldn't go on. But through their support, I have. I've been with them so long they are just a part of my life. I don't know what I'd do without them. We all encourage the other.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organisation provides a fabulous on-line support service to people with chronic conditions. It enables people with a variety of health conditions to connect with each other through the use of on-line forums. I have joined the group for people with fibromyalgia and I enjoy connecting with newly found friends from across the globe. It is a lovely community to be a part of and it is great to be able to chat with people who understand

8 Lorna10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries is a phenomenal source of comfort and support to persons with varying types of illness, discomfort or disabilities. After I accidentally encountered it about 3 years ago I began to write devotions for their website, receiving much support for my own disabilities and awesome respect for those involved in the entire ministry. It provides a caring and supportive community plus resources for those who need it. I heartily endorse what they are doing and what they have achieved. We need more groups like this. June Stevenson

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Rest Ministries for more than 5 years. I know from experience what a wealth of helpful information this organization provides to those with chronic health conditions. The director does a wonderful job of providing various resources and does a great job of responding to questions and concerns in a timely and caring manner.

I know many people who are benefiting from this organization and am so thankful for this resource to those with chronic pain and illness.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries has been a wonderful blessing in my life. I have been with them for several years now and I cannot understand why someone who is apparently grumpy with their life would try to discredit all of the good this ministry has accomplished. I cannot say enough wonderful comments about this ministry as it has far reaches into many areas of "struggles" and has literally helped me at times get through my day. My prayers continue to always be with Lisa and this ministry and my hope is that it will continue to be a blessing to many for many more years to come.

8 Crystal73

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've lived with chronic illness for many years & as I became comfortable using the Internet to connect with others in similar circumstances I came across Rest Ministries.
The articles & devotionals are often quick reads, chalk full of hope & support. Being a faith based support the prayers & scripture is another huge aspect of what I love, & find it deeply valuable since I can not separate my faith walk & my chronic illness walk.
Through Rest Ministries I have made multiple friendships that I foresee as being life long, including with Lisa Copen herself.
I highly & often recommend this ministry to others when I find someone needing encouragement.

7 Diane143

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came across Rest Ministries about 2 yrs ago. It was a time when I was very sick andgirst found out would be dealing with chronic illness regularly. i needed encouragement and hope;Both of which I found. As well as a wonderful group of people in various groups who also needed friendship and encouragement. Lisa Copen, the founder, always has done her utmost to help those who frequent RM, to find a place to gain support within the different groups. As well as offering information on various resources available outside of RM too. This ministry is truly a blessing to me and those who come here. Thank you for all your efforts! Diane

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have benefited from Rest Ministries resources since 2000. The encouragement from others living with chronic health challenges - and understanding the needs for understanding and inspiration - are truly met via this site. The online friendships formed ( an option ) also are of benefit for often others who do not live so challenged simply do not understand.

It has never been promoted as a place to get medical advice - clearly its mission statement states otherwise - but it is more the spiritual and emotional support that have it being the top site online to be serving those who are seeking comfort through a life journey that is often filled with times of needing God and others to come in and lift us up.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I First came across Rest Ministries about five years ago when a friend shared one of their devotionals with me. I've been chronically ill for nearly my whole life, but I look healthy and so I struggled with feeling alone and isolated. The ministry made a huge difference for me because the leader, Lisa, struggles similarly and is so authentic yet encouraging. The devotionals help me keep my head in the right place and my focus on Christ. What's more, Lisa is always sharing resources that she hopes will build others up- she's a gifted writer herself and to see someone pour herself out into others even while suffering so much herself is inspiring. The community that Rest Ministries provides is its own little refuge and I love how encouraging people are there! I started writing on a volunteer basis a little more than a year ago and having an opportunity to serve others has been a blessing. From that side of it, I have been amazed at how much heart and soul I see being put into the running of the organization. It's something I really feel proud to be a part of. Lisa gives so much so people can have a safe place all for free. Check out their Pinterest boards too! So supportive and encouraging!

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If you need encouragement, compassion and understanding from people who are going through health problems, Rest Ministries is an excellent source of these. The site is just what it claims to be, an illness oasis. There are many resources available to hurting people. I have taken advantage of many of these for years and find this ministry to be unmatched in the world of chronic illness.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 1

The founder is completely unqualified to provide support services to individuals with serious chronic illnesses in my opinion. The founder has no training at all and no stated experience which might otherwise qualify them for providing this kind of support. After reviewing and interacting with this entity as a whole, it certainly seems to be focused on marketing efforts to promote the founders own works. While the 990's filed by this organization report limited revenues and higher debt, knowing from experience that large portions of contributions to religious efforts such as this often come in cash I question the accuracy of the filings. It has also been noted that there is a very real potential for causing harm to individuals with severe and life long illnesses due to the pervasive lack of any qualified or experienced staff members that are knowledgeable, properly trained, licensed or otherwise suited to provide psychotherapy or support services to such fragile and vulnerable populations as the severely disabled which are very much present and seeking support from this entity.

Comments ( 1 )

profile

rest 07/10/2015

This gentleman was incorrigible and hostile to both our readers and volunteers in his 6000-word comments on our website that he posted at 3 AM. Due to his threats and mean-spirited attitude he was quickly banned from our site within hours, yet he still continued to send threatening emails to the volunteer director for a few weeks. It disappoints me that GreatNonprofits does not allow us to request have comments removed from people like this who are not genuine reviewers. His comments bear no merit and his "review" here is an attempt to rebel against our strict policy to remove individuals who threaten others--by ironically--saying we are not equipped to serve individuals with chronic illness. We are a peer-based nonprofit Christian ministry and clearly state this, our experience, and our beliefs on our website.

Review from Guidestar

3 Belinda A.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I am always looking for resources for individuals who face physical and emotional challenges in life. I have a sister in Christ who was a tremendous support to me and my family during the illness of my only brother until his death. Even as she herself has a painful chronic health condition she has always been willing to reach out and share her love with others. Although my health issues are far less challenging than many, I want to be a light in the lives of others. I have found this website helpful because of the stories that are shared which I can selectively pass on to others in certain situations. Great Job!!!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have COPD and have found Lisa's website comforting when I am not feeling well. It is a wonderful welcoming sie for those suffering from chronic illness and chronic pain.

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rest Miistries is is an awesome site for those with or know someone with chronic pain. As a person with COPD, Lisa's site has helped me realize that I am not the only one that has good and bad days. Her kindness, humor, and strenght are admired.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've followed Rest Ministries for over 5 years. It has been a life savor for me in many ways. I'm stuck at home with Rheumatoid Arthritis and some other autoimmune disorders. Lisa is so encouraging and the daily emails to support me are wonderful. We also give to it on a monthly basis. That in itself should say something. Thank you, Lisa, and all who volunteer at Rest Ministries.

5 Kara M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I initially found Rest Ministries when I was in some yahoogroups and people would sometimes post the encouraging daily devotions. They're special, because they're written by and for people w/ chronic illness and/or pain. But RM does so much else--they have a great site for support and information, a Sunroom to meet others, in-person local support groups called HopeKeeper's and an emphasis on invisible illness. It's really helpful for people to know they're not alone and that we're dealing w/ similar issues even when we don't have the same illnesses; and to be able to educate our families, employers, church members and the public about how everyone's illness is different and not to judge others w/ an illness or disability. It's hard for people to understand the variability of an illness among different people--and how even the same person can feel very different from day to day and just because they can something one day doesn't mean they can the next. Or why it's hard to plan ahead and commit, since we never know how we're going to feel. Or that we can try to do certain things, but we have to save up energy, pace ourselves, rest a long time afterward and really pay for these decisions we have to make about how we "spend" our energy. I'm so blessed that I don't have as much pain as a lot of other people and that I'm also still able to do as much as I can physically. Lisa Copen, the founder and director, is so very affected by her RA and fibromyalgia, but she has been able to do so much w/ this ministry and has been able to work through her pain and fatigue to keep this ministry going. She has such a strong heart for helping others and ministering to the hurting, whether that pain is physical, emotional or spiritual.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a person with multiple chronic, incurable pain conditions, I was so glad to learn about Rest Ministries from one of my co-workers. I loved the term "Rest Ministries" because it reminded me of the 23rd Psalm: "He restoreth my soul." The daily devotionals were down-to-earth and relevant as I passed from being a full-time worker, to being hospitalized 5 days for severe depression, to realizing 2 weeks later that I had to quit my job for health reasons.(I even wrote a few devotionals myself!) For months we lived on just my husband's unemployment check - he was laid off - while I filed for disability. Rest Ministries kept me sane with its money-saving tips and professional advice on pertinent issues. There is always reassurance and hope there whenever I'm feeling awful or want to hear about new treatments. It's a win-win place to be!

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hi I would like everyone to know just how wonderful Rest Ministries is. I look forward to the daily devotional everyday. When you suffer with chronic pain & illness, its nice to know someone understands & is going thru the same thing as you. All of the devotionals are wonderful gifts from God. Its awesome how Rest Ministries is founded by someone who knows the Lord as their personal savior. Rest Ministries is one of the best things that has happened to me lately. thank you for providing an outlet for people who are struggling with their conditions, you are giving us hope & a way to the Lord.

5 Jenni S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries has been a lifeline for me in not only "surviving" but "thriving" through chronic illness. I've been blessed by this organization since first connecting with them online in the late 1990s and so appreciate the multiple options for online support (various email subscription options, message boards, website resources, etc.) as well as a great bookstore, local support group options, and reference articles on so many different aspects on daily life with sick.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned about Rest MInistries online a few years ago when dealing with chronic spine issues & severe pain, amongst other chronic & disabling conditions. I found that the founder, Lisa Copen, not only sold very helpful resources & books on her website, but she wrote some as well! Her website & devotionals have given me hope, encouragement & support on most days when I have very little support. Rest Ministries is the BEST non-profit I have ever been involved in (and I myself founded a health non-profit in the past so I speak from experience). Lisa is an amazing woman and the work she does is relevant, needed & paramount to the encouragement to those who suffer in our world today! God bless you Lisa!

2 Jane S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rest Ministries has given a voice to the millions of people with Invisible Diseases. Having an Invisible Disease can make life extremely difficult but most of all it makes you feel like you are the only one with your disease. I have found that I am not alone and meaningful help is freely given.

2 Pandora D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend told me about Rest Ministries more than ten years ago. At that time, I wrote two, maybe three devotionals which RM emailed out with their newsletter. Then, I drifted away into other projects. I can’t remember when I found them again, and it was so different! I have secondary-progressive Multiple Sclerosis and was searching for a Christian site … this was it! They have so many programs available, like the Sunroom where you can connect with others. It’s so important to find others who know, first hand, what you’re going through.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2000, I injured my back after numerous surgeries, I was left in chronic pain. Rest Ministries was a breath of fresh air! To find resources, encouragement, support and ideas from people who experience pain and illness–yet thrive, was a wonderful gift! Now I recommend this site to anyone who has pain or an illness and their friends and caregivers. Each one has found materials to help their specific situation. Rest Ministries provides hope! Rest Ministries is a good source of information presented with great compassion.

3 MyKidsSccrMom

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I discovered Rest Ministries about 8 years ago. it became a big source of support and information in my physical battles with Fibromyalgia, IBS, Depression and Anxiety. Lisa Copen has a heart of service to those within her organization. It provides a link to a world most of us would have no access to - the world of people just like us trying to live day to day. The research provided is vital to all of it's members as we learn to live and work with our various Invisible Illness. I have recommended Lisa Copen and Rest Ministries to many friends who need the support and information provided there.