Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cries for Help … What to do after the call

Hope Alive is offering a free workshop to equip groups and individuals to more effectively respond to those in greatest need in our community. Area churches, organizations and agencies continue to be bombarded with calls from families and individuals who are in emotional, spiritual and economic crisis. The caller may be imminently homeless, without basic necessities such as food or utilities or in need of mental health or substance abuse treatment. How can caring individuals or groups respond biblically and practically to their cries? What issues need to be kept in mind while providing resources and support?

Please join Jody Julian, Hope Alive’s Family Ministry Specialist, and Laurey Richmond, licensed clinical psychotherapist, for an informative and interactive workshop that will empower church leaders and concerned individuals to respond to crisis needs in our community.

Saturday, March 17, 2012
10AM - 12PM

Frederick Christian Fellowship Church
10142 Hansonville Road
Frederick, MD 21702

RSVP to or 301.241.4005 so we can provide adequate materials, space and refreshments.

Help us spread the word!

Until next week ...

Sue Oehmig

Saturday, January 21, 2012

A testimony of life-change

Earlier this week, our board of directors met with our entire staff for a day-long strategic planning session. This effort sets the direction of Hope Alive for the next 3-5 years. As part of the day, the board wanted to hear from a resident mom about the impact Hope Alive’s ministry is having on the lives of those we serve. Riyan (who was featured in our November newsletter) shared with the board the accomplishments she and her children have made during their stay that have put them on the road to success and independence.

Riyan first talked about the children’s ministry staff that has helped to change the lives of her children. She’s so thankful for the loving care, support and professional advice the children’s staff provides to her and her two little ones. She said they’ve learned so much more than she ever imagined they could at this young stage of their lives.

Riyan also talked about the changes that have happened in her own life. She’s learned important conflict resolution and financial management skills, grown in her faith, and has become a role model and leader among her peers. She admitted that some of the life-change she’s experienced has been hard, but she recognizes that it’s all for her benefit to bring her to the place where she is today. She was awarded a vehicle through Second Chances Garage to give her greater independence, will complete her associate’s degree at FCC this year, and is interviewing for a full-time job as she prepares to graduate from the program and move out on her own.

Riyan’s testimony was the highlight of our day – helping us better understand the significant impact God's ministry is having on our families' lives. As we celebrate our fifth year of serving homeless families and our tenth year since Hope Alive was born, we praise God for the ministry’s effectiveness in changing the face of homelessness in our community.

On behalf of our staff, board of directors, and residents, thank you for keeping hope alive for each precious life we serve. Until next week …

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Don't give up

When I first started writing this blog a few years ago, I promised our readers an up close and personal look into the ministry of Hope Alive. This week’s blog is just that.

Last weekend, I took off Friday and Monday to make a long holiday weekend. When I returned to work on Tuesday morning I already had a list of priorities in mind that I needed to accomplish my first day back to work. For the past seven months I’ve been covering two jobs – mine as Executive Director and our vacant position of Development Director. So every day presents me with competing tasks and responsibilities that I must accomplish for the benefit of the ministry.

I started my Tuesday morning by scanning my emails and I found myself with even more assignments that needed to take priority in my day. Suddenly, I was totally overwhelmed and discouraged, feeling that I can never accomplish all that is required of me. I just wanted to give up.

Then I read an email from my prayer partner and mentor Pam Geisbert. Her message said she and her husband had started the New Year identifying three-word phrases as their spiritual focus for 2012. “God is here” and “I choose You” where just a couple of the three-word phrases God had already impressed on their hearts. She ended her email by challenging me to think about my three-word phrases for the New Year. That was easy. At that very moment, “I give up” were the three specific words that immediately and clearly came to mind.

The next morning, one of our resident moms came upstairs to the office to pick up the car keys to drive to work. She stopped when she saw me sitting in a vacant cubicle going through a pile of paperwork I had just taken out of my mailbox. She looked at me and said, “I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t give up!” My jaw dropped and I knew God was speaking to me. “That was yesterday” was all I could say as I stood to hug her and wipe tears from my eyes. Even though I hadn’t spoken those words out loud the previous morning, God knew how hopeless I felt and He spoke words of comfort to me through this faith-filled woman. She told me it was because of Hope Alive that she and her children were doing so well and she encouraged me to press on. I was completely overwhelmed by God’s great love for me and my discouragement was replaced with His indescribable peace and comfort.

I’m sharing this personal story in hopes of encouraging those who feel like they are facing overwhelming circumstances. So if you’re feeling like the challenges facing you are too hard to go through … don’t give up. If you’re feeling like you are all alone … God is near. If you’re feeling like no one cares … God loves you. Listen carefully for God’s voice as He speaks words of comfort and encouragement to you through people who love you just like this precious mom did for me. Until next week …

Sue Oehmig
Founder and Executive Director