We want to share a story from HIM 2017 that touches us deeply:
I served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army, and was deployed three times into the combat theatre in Iraq. I got out of the service a few years ago, and this was the first talk I heard that made sense to me as a veteran. It was profound. Now I can have some sort of healing.
It helped me get out of myself and relate to characters in the Bible we studied, Mary Magdalene and Jesus. When I identify with Mary, I see that I had a lot of the same hurts, just different experiences. She was hurting. I am hurting. But in her discomfort and brokenness, she was just there in front of Jesus. So I can say, even in my mental discomfort, I can discover and be with Jesus, too. She had trauma, did wrong things, maybe shame and guilt, all in all, not too different from me.
When I came back from war, I came back to the church out of external obedience not because I wanted. I didn’t know what I wanted. I had no motivation. It was hard to stay. I was not committed to persevere.
Then little by little there were small “helps” for me to stay. One of them is this HIM conference. You take one step and someone will lift you up, then another step. This HIM conference, for me, is not a little step but a big step.
As a veteran you are so much wounded and so alone. Then you hear this message and you don’t feel alone…because someone had this problem a long time ago and is calling out to you and saying, “Hey, I’ve been there, done that…keep going! There’s nothing new here, keep going!” It meant the world to me. It touched me deeply.
Doing good work like this conference shouldn’t stop because people need it. HIM gives a sense of unity that everyone is here to improve their spiritual life. It makes you know you are not alone struggling as a child of God.
I think HIM is just a gift of God to Hawai‘i. Who would have thought of doing such a thing?
Who would have thought of doing such a thing? God.
God, who gave this vision to HIM nearly 35 years ago. God, who in Jesus Christ shows us how to serve, support, forgive, love one another in our hurts and shortcomings and human messiness. When we do, as the above says, we don’t feel alone. We take big steps. We are healed.
Please support HIM with a gift today. We ask because it matters. We ask because we do it together, never alone.
Now through June 30, 2017, your gift will be matched dollar-for dollar!
A generous foundation is willing to match every gift — up to $50,000! This is important to HIM ending its June 30 fiscal year without a deficit..
Let's do this together!