Like many people who contact the Hope of Survivors, I too was a victim of spiritual abuse and clergy sexual abuse. When the abuse was first discovered, I was blamed for seducing the pastor into having an affair. I was so confused because I had gone to him for counseling, not an affair. I felt like the church had set me up to fail and offered no support for someone in my situation. Even worse, I began doubting myself, feeling like I was losing my sense of reality and feeling like God was angry with me. Thank goodness there is a resource out there that can explain clergy sexual abuse so effectively and help victims heal from this type of trauma. I have personally contacted a representative from the Hope of Survivors, and she was so supportive in a beautiful, non-judgemental way! If it wasn't for this organization, I don't know what I would have done. The Hope of Survivors is a much-needed outreach for those who have been hurt by the church and who need to know there is a compassionate God who is for them!
I have the greatest respect for what the Hope of Survivors does. I am one of their supporters and appreciate so much the frequent sportive updates and stories. This is certainly a ministry that is greatly needed; clergy abuse is not only overlooked, but the need for help is normally denied--"How could something so horrendous actually happen in the church." But it does, and THOS is there to help.
Actually I am no longer a board member but because of time, not interest. Since I have resigned I have been so pleased with the interaction with Hope of Survivors and the continued outreach and programs THOS has been making. I am firmly a supporter both with prayers and funds. I pray that many may continue to be blessed.
I am a former board member, a pastor closely associated with the Nelsons, and a supporter of "Hope of Survivors." I have watched this ministry from its infancy and am so pleased to see it grow to an international resource for clergy and parishioners alike. Steve and Samantha have worked so hard, without any personal benefit other than restoring broken lives. Born out of their own pain and struggles this has become a truly healing ministry.
As a pastor for over 37 years I have seen more times than I want to recall the tragedy of clergy abuse. I have also known Steve and Samantha for several years and am well aware of the countless lives they have touched with this ministry. As they serve from experience they also serve with tremendous skill, sensitivity, and professionalism. Too many churches and organizations are reluctant to address this problem and as a result many lives have been severely damaged. Hope of /Survivors can not only help victims, but can also effectively help pastors and church administrators avoid the problem before it starts. THOS is a powerful tool across denominational lines.
Review from Guidestar