The Ministry of Lisa Copen

Lisa Copen, Founder of Rest Ministries which serves the chronically ill, shares about mothering, illness, ministry and more.

Archive for Suffering

6 Reasons I Support Invisible Illness Week

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  1. Surprisingly, nearly 1 in 2 people in the USA have a chronic condition and most of them are invisible.
  2. There are too many people suffering silently, believing no one cares. I want them to know I do care.
  3. I will likely accidentally say the wrong thing at some point, but I still want to learn how to say what encourages someone with illness best.
  4. 70% of suicides are the results of “controllable physical pain.” We never know that we may be the last person someone looks toward for hope and a reason to live.
  5. Illness is one of the most lonely experiences a person can have. It doesn’t have to be that way.
  6. People with illness are often bombarded with advice. I want to be a safe haven for those with illness who just need someone to listen.

Add your own, edit, and tell someone!

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The “Times” Can Bring Fresh Awareness

Last winter I got into  a conversation with someone about what I believed 2009 would hold for illness ministry in the church. I predicted that pastors may become more aware of how many people live with chronic illness.

60505789.thb I thought this because:

  • Stress can make an illness be triggered or exasperated and so illnesses may actually increase or make  pain levels more  unbearable.
  • More families will seek counsel. The stress in relationships, finances, loss of jobs, etc. will bring more people who are willing to ask for assistance in their marriages or relationships.
  • More people may seek financial help who would not have before. When church’s asked why families or individuals had gotten themselves into these financial predicaments, a great deal of time it would come down to medical expenses.

I just read this quote in the Minstry Today newsletter and it was a good reminder as to the fact that:

(1) pastors are becoming more aware of just how many people are hurting;

(2) they really do care! Now may be an appropriate time to approach them about starting a HopeKeepers Group or perhaps having a table after church for Invisible Illness Week.

“It’s important for us [pastors] to be in touch with the people we are speaking to and speak in a way that is understandable and bring the relevant, powerful, life-transforming message of the Word of God to them. It’s just something I have interest in. I want to know what people are thinking, what they are facing, what they are grappling with. … One thing I’ve become very aware of in recent days is just how many suffering people there are out there, people that are hurting. It’s been said that if you preach to people who are suffering, you will never lack for an audience. There certainly is a large audience of people who are in pain today.” —Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship

Your thoughts? Have you approached pastoral care recently at your church for one of the above reasons?

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