We met Charlie who attended a support group we had just started in a small coffee shop. Charlie came to find hope and help for the very difficult journey he found himself in. He told us, “The reason I’m here tonight is because I have nowhere else to go. I’ve tried talking with my pastor but he told me he is not a counselor. I was thinking to myself, ‘well you don’t have to be a counselor, I just would like someone to talk with’.” Charlie’s wife struggles with bipolar and has been unable to work for the past year and a half. She has been in and out of the hospital several times for mental illness as well as various operations for other health issues. They have an eight-year-old daughter they adopted when she was just an infant. This daughter is severely autistic and became deaf at a very young age which has caused things at home, school, and elsewhere to really be challenging. Life has become very hectic, stressful, complicated, and confusing.
Over the past several years Lynn and I believe that God has been preparing us and equipping us for such a time as this. We see, feel, taste, hear, and experience brokenness all around us and in us because we live in a broken world where relationships and things are not what God had originally intended them to be. In spite of the brokenness and sufferings, we have a hope that will not and does not disappoint. That hope is found in knowing the One who is all-knowing, all wise, all loving, all powerful, patient, good, merciful, and kind whose plans for us are to give us hope and a future that cannot be taken away from us despite life’s trials and sufferings.
God has put into our hearts a growing desire to be able to come alongside broken people and broken relationships to help them make sense out of their sufferings and difficulties by sharing the hope and comfort that God has freely given to us.
Charlie’s story above exemplifies this specific need we are desiring to meet through the non-profit organization God has given to us, Find Hope Counseling. Find Hope Counseling seeks to come alongside people and pastors to help provide pastoral care and pastoral counseling to the weary and heavy laden on a suggested donation basis. Many times people that come to us are in delicate financial situations and are unable to pay the suggested donation or can only pay part of it. Our desire is to help those who really are seeking help and counsel regardless of their ability to pay.
We are currently doing this through three different ways:
One way is by networking with local pastors offering to work alongside them to help in their pastoral counseling load. Many pastors sometimes feel unequipped to counsel or are so overwhelmed with other responsibilities that they cannot fit in time to provide adequate counsel for those who may benefit from it. We work in partnership with them to help meet this need. In sharing with one pastor what we believe God is leading us to do and asking to partner with them, he shared with us that after being a pastor for several decades, he has noticed that the people coming into the church today have a higher level of need, struggle, and difficulty than at any time previous. The president of a very well-known seminary in the area told us, “What you are doing is one of the greatest needs out there. Please don’t get discouraged.”
Secondly, we are currently working alongside three local churches who are allowing us to use their facilities to meet with those that are contacting us for help. These folks are both believers and non-believers and are not always currently a part of a local church. Most of them are in a desperate place in life and are really searching for help and have no place else to turn. This is a great opportunity to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus to them. We sincerely care about people and the problems they struggle with and we care about God and what He says and what He does and helping people connect their lives with the truths and power of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
A third way we are helping in coming alongside others to offer help and hope for the weary is by providing support groups in the communities we minister in. We just finished up one support group that met for 11 weeks. These support groups provide a safe and confidential place for people to come who have loved ones in their lives that struggle with a mental illness, addiction, or they themselves are in the midst of a life challenging situation. This forum is used to help others find God’s perspective on life’s sufferings and struggles to help bring hope, healing, comfort and encouragement to their tired and weary hearts.
We have prayerfully asked God to show us who we should share this letter with to ask you to prayerfully consider if and how you could partner with us in this ministry opportunity. We are still in the process of developing the ministry and our first and foremost need is prayer. Pray for us to have wisdom in developing the ins and outs of the non-profit as well as developing relationships with other pastors and people with whom we can provide pastoral care and counseling, and support groups. Secondly, pray God would raise up others who are willing to partner with us monetarily as we provide all the services listed above on a donation basis. Many of those who come to us are not able to pay or can only pay very little. Find Hope Counseling is a non-profit organization so all gifts are tax deductible. If you would like to donate on-line please visit our website.
We sincerely thank you for your time in reading this and praying for us as God leads you. We would love the opportunity to talk more in depth about what we’re doing or to answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us by phone or email or visit us on our website listed below.
David and Lynn Bradford
Find Hope Counseling
P.O. BOX 245 GRAYSON, GA 30017 | TEL: 678-250-4150