Category : Stories of Hope

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I have walked the road you are walking now. The fact that I am writing to you now is proof that God already knew how this would all work out. He is able to use your experience and my story to reach someone else who is hurting.

From a Mother Who Has Been There By Peggy Wakefield

McKrae's Mom Peggy WakefieldMcKrae’s Mom’s Story

I am writing to you because I want to share great hope for your precious family as you face the traumatic reality of homosexuality in a loved one’s life. Whether you learned of this with your son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter through a declaration or a discovery, I have walked the road you are walking now. The fact that I am writing to you now is proof that God already knew how this would all work out. He is able to use your experience and my story to reach someone else who is hurting.

There have been many times in my life that I have experienced great pain. Two times, however, stand out above all others because of the pain that my children suffered. In 1989, my son confessed to me that he was involved in homosexuality. In 2000, my daughter and son-in-law lost their three-month-old baby girl, Natalie, to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). In both situations, I felt totally alone, isolated, full of failure, grief, and despair.

It was 1991; I was driving, weeping, and crying out to God for my son when a song came on the radio. It was as though the volume went up and the words “a miracle is about to happen” came through the speakers. The fact that I heard what was on the radio, in such a state of grief, tells me that God meant for me to hear it. It was that very night that my son told me he had accepted Christ into his heart. He knew it was real, and he believed God would heal his life.

He told me later (after he married his beautiful wife, Julie) that Christ was leading him to a ministry that would lead others out of this lifestyle. We discussed the consequences of going public with such a ministry. I asked him why he felt like it was necessary to share openly about his past.

His answer to me was, “Mother, if I could help give back a son or a daughter to a parent, would it not be worth it?”

How could I argue with that?

Hope for Wholeness was born out of the answer to that question. It is absolutely worth it. I support Hope for Wholeness both prayerfully and financially. Great things are happening as I write. The men’s ministry is growing as men have someone to talk to, are finding answers to their questions, and experience healing through a relationship with Jesus Christ. There is also a women’s ministry led by Miranda Pettit that is helping change lives. There are other support groups and satellites across the Carolinas and into Georgia, but the group I am most excited about is the family & loved one’s ministry led by Bill and Phyllis Creech. When I was going through this nightmare, I had no one I could talk to, trusting that they could understand or relate to my pain.

The Hope for Wholeness board is made up of committed church leaders, Christian counselors, and Christian business professionals. They each serve Hope for Wholeness with passion and integrity. This ministry is a member ministry of Exodus International. Exodus is a coalition of churches, professional counselors and other ministries like Truth which offer grace, compassion, and Biblical truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.

My son tells his groups, “My mother never accepted my homosexuality. She never stopped telling me it was wrong.”

I did not have anywhere to go for answers or support, so I responded hysterically. I wish I would could say that what I did or said was instrumental in my son’s conversion. Looking back, I’m thankful to say that I did not get in the way by showing acceptance of his behavior. My son says that would have confused and frustrated him more. He says that he did not want these thoughts, feelings, or desires. He had no one else to talk to either. McKrae answered God’s call on his life to be the person that he never had while he was going through this.

There is so much more. McKrae, Miranda, Bill, and Phyllis, and all of the other ministry leaders eagerly desire to help you in your situation. There is so much hope! God hears your prayers now just as he heard mine. Do not grow weary! I challenge you as one who has been where you are, to not remain silent and alone, but to reach out and allow someone to help you in your time of need.

If you are in a position to help my son with Hope for Wholeness’s needs, please consider doing so. Truth does have many expenses as they spend a great deal of time and resources attempting to accomplish this God-sized goal. Would you consider giving to Truth? It would be a great help if you could help them obtain aid from your church or other individuals or organizations. As you can imagine, it is difficult to get funding for a ministry that is going against the tide of popular culture.

Please prayerfully consider how you can help Hope for Wholeness, and how they can help you.

And no matter what happens, never give up. Whatever you do, keep praying for that miracle.

With sincerest hope,

Peggy Wakefield

  • Story of  Mickeal, Luke 12:2-3

Story of Mickeal, Luke 12:2-3

We’ve corresponded with this very gentleman for a number of years, whom I’ve personally traveled and met with in Florida. He’s also published a book, in which we plan on republishing for him and offering on our website. This is his personal story. From behind bars, he considers himself a volunteer staff member of Hope for Wholeness.  We send him letters and stamps, and he not only writes us, but he writes others and encourages them.  The Lord restored his heart.  Though behind bars, he’s free inside his heart.  Please pray for encouragement and safety for him, and that his ministry would reach beyond his walls. – McKrae Game

 

Serving Life in Prison Changed through Christ

Beaten with a bloody nose I heard, “Now, go tell again!”

This happened nearly 60 years ago, but it is so burned into my brain it’s as if it recently happened.  I was born in May 1949; having two older brothers, a younger brother and sister.  My first years were as normal as any boy could have; watching Bugs Bunny cartoons, winning wars with my toy soldiers, and driving my toy cars and truck.  But, that pure innocence was about to be ripped from me – forever!

I was 7 years old when my older brother molested me in the middle of the night. That forbidden door was opened for me, a door that should never have been opened to one so young.  The pain I experienced and the never-before-known explosive, sexual feeling caused incredible pain and changed me forever.  The pure innocence of a naïve boy was stolen from me.  What remained was a lost 7 year old that was forced to enter a sex-crazed world unprepared!  Talk about being blind-sided, I was not hit with a truck, I was smashed by a speeding train that crushed me and kept right on going.

The change was so evident, that for the next three years it was as if I had a sign around my neck that said, “I’m a sex toy, play with me.”  First, three male cousins (near my same age) who lived on a farm used me for their personal enjoyment.  One of those nights, my same-age cousin had me in his bed.  Then, the oldest one came over and asked me to “sleep” in his bed.  I said, “No!”  My cousin put his feet against my back and pushed me out of his bed.  When I got up off the floor I was led to the other bed to have sex with him.  Sometimes we made hay forts in the barn loft, and more than once I lost my underwear somewhere in the fort.  I remember my uncle feeding the cows bales of hay and he found the lost underwear; looked at me (as if he knew they were mine) and threw them over the side with the cows.  Several times I was made to run around naked in fields, the woods, and even through a briar patch.  They all laughed when they had me pee on a electric fence, (this is something no one wants to do twice!)

Back home in the city, six children, boys and girls, and two adults, a man and a female “friend” of our family, all separately sexually used me.  I was nearing my tenth birthday and having “advanced sex education” over those three years, I graduated to be taught by an adult man and woman. This was far beyond what I experienced before.  I was really confused, I knew what others did to me was wrong.  I felt so used, so out-of-control of my life.  So I told!  I was not believed and got a spanking for lying.  A boy hit me in my nose and molested me, even while my nose was bleeding, and laughed and said, “Now, go tell again!”  I learned that day, you don’t tell because adults don’t believe you and you get beat up.

At 10 years old, I met a homosexual man, and I learned a lot.  So, at this time I chose to become a 10 year old homosexual; and for the next 34 years I lived as such.  My mother died when I was 12, and my father couldn’t care for us.  I was sent to live with a woman who was a “friend” of the family.  She was already having sex with her 10 year old son, so she had me join them.  When we were seen by her daughters, I was moved out to live with one of my brothers.  There I became sexual with a neighborhood boy.  It was found out and reported to the police.  They responded by telling me to literally, “get out of town by sundown.” Repeatedly, I was moved to different families – seven families who fully knew before I moved in that I had a sexual problem, but not one person reached out to help me or to take me to get help.  I longed for any adult to help me to get out of all that abuse, but instead, they too used me.  When I was 38, my father told me he witnessed my older brother molest me that night. When I asked why he didn’t do anything, he said he “didn’t want to believe it was happening,” so he just turned around and walked away.

In 1994, I entered prison.  Due to my wrong sexual choices I will die here. I call prison God’s school of higher learning.  In these 18 years, I’ve been through many recovery programs. Among these is Hope for Wholeness, directed by McKrae Game, who provided me with recovery tools I needed years ago.  Several years ago, McKrae and one of his leaders even came and visited with me in prison.  They were at a conference in Florida and drove over an hour to meet with me and talk after several years of correspondence.  We spoke at length and prayed.  The visit was the first I had ever had, other than from visiting nuns from a local convent.  Hope for Wholeness continuously helps those who want to change regardless of where they are or what they have done. Yes today I’m in prison, but I’m freer now than I have ever been. Thank you Hope for Wholeness!

Since 1997, God has been working through me to help others to also change.  Looking back over the 63 years of my life is quite bewildering and sad; however God in the end worked all of those things out for His Kingdom as my story goes out. Sure, all of us who were abused as children wish it never had happened!  We all want to be free of the memories of such terrible experiences.

Think on this, if I never was sexually abused, how could I help others who have been?  I write recovery articles because, “I have been in your shoes.”  Now I am able to reach back to help others also overcome.

I am free today of my past with the help of Hope for Wholeness; but there are some on a similar path behind me who also need help.

From behind these bars, God restored my heart to the point of being able to help others.  God gave me a ministry to use from behind these bars that stretches worldwide.  Through the ministry of my life and heart He and I wrote a recovery book, newsletters, and articles.  This message of God’s redemption and hope has gone out across America and to Australia, India, Brazil and Canada.  Readers who received these free materials wrote me of the help God gave them to be overcomers.  Here are some excerpts from a free book that I wrote, You Promised, along with some of my other writings:                                             >

What good is recovery: If I cannot reach back to a fellow sufferer still digging their fingernails into the side of the pit I just got out of.  Maybe, their marks are over the same marks I just left as I climbed out?  What good is recovery: If I walk on without hearing their cries, which are pressing against the echo of my same words for help?

Recovery to me:  Is a choice I make not to act out, though I have the desires to act out, I can now reach back to help a fellow sufferer, to allow their tears to fall on my shoulders, to allow their cry for help to go directly into my ear, to allow their fingernails to no longer dig into the side of that muddy pit, but dig into my side, as a thorn, so I will never forget where I came out from.  So be sure, I will always be reaching out to you.  I have been there.  I still have mud under my fingernails.  So reach out to me, no matter how much mud you have on your hands, because I’m reaching out to you.

Whatever amount of change I get in recovery is directly proportional to the amount of effort I put into that change.

This change has to be as overpowering in my life as my acting out was.  I have to live that change as much as I lived in my past actions.  And as much as I took my actions to others, I have to take this change to others.  Relapse is a process; not an event.  It has a beginning, middle, and an end; and at any point relapse can be interrupted and stopped.

Your life today is the sum total of all the choices you have made up to this point.  We all have areas of weakness.  No one is beyond the potential to act out.  No one is an island; we are here to help each other!  Support Hope for Wholeness, each of us helps each other to stay on that narrow path, as over comers!

In 1697, Gottfried Leibniz said “The unbounded wisdom of the Almighty, together with His immeasurable goodness, has brought it about that, all things seen together, nothing better could come into being than what has been created by God.” Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

For 14 years now, I have written recovery articles.   Recently an inmate in Texas read one of my articles in Petah Tikvah, a Messianic Jewish Newsletter where I had given Hope for Wholeness’s contact information.  He contacted Hope for Wholeness for help, and, like always, Hope for Wholeness quickly responded.  McKrae has told me that since then inmates across the country have responded to this same article asking them for help and they have replied, helping them with helpful correspondences.

These worldwide cries for help are only a fraction of the number of people who now choose to change their lifestyle.  God changed my heart and life. Though still behind bars, and unless God moves otherwise I’m here to stay, God’s message of redemption and even freedom rings true in my heart.  My message will continue to ring forth to all those seeking help and freedom, asking them to use my past as a stepping stone to become an over comer.

PRAYING EFFECTIVELY (A Review of Praying Effectively for the Lost by Lee E. Thomas)

A few months ago Art McQueen, our office landlord and mentor, gave me a copy of Praying Effectively for the Lost. I have always known Art to be an intercessor. For years he has held prayer vigils at his office for intercessors and office devotions. His life and family have been strongly outlined by his commitment to God and prayer.

Despite this, I let it lay on my desk unread. When Art invited Pastor Lee Thomas to Spartanburg to speak on the book, I was fortunate enough to attend. His concept focuses around 2 Corinthians 4:4, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” I have to say that I was enormously impressed with Pastor Thomas on his command of God’s Word. Never have I heard more scripture quoted on praying effectively as when Pastor Thomas taught how the lost are bound and how we are instructed to pray effectively for them.

The small book is given free of charge, as a project of “Praying Effectively for the Lost” a 501 © 3 organization. He has traveled the world since writing the book to speak on praying effectively for the lost. There have now been over one and a half million copies distributed around the world. It is now believed that over two million have come to Christ due to the direct influence of the book.

The book starts off by boldly saying, “The lost will not and indeed cannot be saved unless someone prays for them.” It derives this from John 8:44 “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire;” and Acts 26:18 which additionally tells us that they are under his power. Mark 3:27 tells us that the “strong man” must first be bound, meaning Satan and the stronghold that he has on the lost, “In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.”

Thomas instructs, and I have found it to be true, that we all have mental strongholds. The lost though have spiritual and mental strongholds that they must be freed from through prayer before they can come to Christ. An example he gave was of the time he and another pastor visited a woman that did not know Christ. She had an obvious mental block to hearing what they had to say. Both Thomas and the other pastor heard a word from the Lord at the time, “molestation.” They asked her if she had been molested as a child.  She instantly broke, crying uncontrollably. This woman had a stronghold of unforgiveness against the person who had harmed her. They told her that she would have to press through the pain and forgive this man in order to move forward in life.  She was unable to and therefore unable to hear anything about the Lord.

In chapter five, Spiritual Warfare, he shares,

“The primary purpose in praying for the lost is NOT to convince God to save them for He is ‘not willing that any should perish’ (2nd Peter 3:9)….rather, it has to do with spiritual warfare—freeing them of demonic influence so they can be saved. The lost are prisoners which Satan refuses to release (Isaiah 14:17), slaves under Satan’s authority and jurisdiction (Acts 26:18), children of the devil (John 8:44), blinded to the gospel (2nd Corinthians 4:3-4), ‘energized’ by Satan (Ephesians 2:2), helplessly held in Satan’s grasp (1st John 5:19), and a strong man’s house (Mark 3:27. Of course, a lost person doesn’t know that… He thinks he is free (that’s part of his lostness)… Mark 3:27 is what I consider to be the most important verse in the Bible concerning winning the lost to Christ.  Jesus Himself says, ‘No man can enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.  If this verse means anything, it means that no lost person will ever be saved unless someone frees him from the demonic influences that control him….this freeing process is accomplished through prayer!”

This book cuts through everything and goes to the heart of the matter. You will want to study this powerful tool, devouring it, underlining throughout, as I did. Then, go back, and read each verse that he shares as he usually only shares a small portion or just shares the verse address. With only 43 pages, including a testimonial chapter and commitment page, the book is designed to not take long and get you to praying.

On page 27 he shares, “It’s difficult to win homosexuals to Christ—not because God doesn’t love them or because the gospel is not powerful enough or because you don’t care enough. But this is such a powerful stronghold that much prayer, fasting, persistence, faith, etc. is needed to break it.” While I don’t know how much fasting was done for me when I was in the gay lifestyle, I absolutely know that a number of people were persistently praying for me. I bear witness to the information he shares in this book being true in my own life. He speaks of asking the Lord to separate the lost person to draw him or her away in order to saturate their mind with God.  This was so true in my life. I started to physically feel the void in my heart for the Lord, feeling my own depravity, my own lostness, feeling drawn by the Lord to Himself. Though I did not know what was going on at the time, I can look back and see how the power of prayer and His working in my life brought me to the place of walking away from homosexuality when the gospel was presented.

Don’t miss out on this powerful tool. We have started including a copy of Praying Effectively with everything we send out. You’ll be glad that you took the time get a copy when you become the prayer warrior God has called you to be.

 

  • A Long Journey Home By Steve Parker

A Long Journey Home By Steve Parker

I’ve often shared about my struggles with homosexu­ality and how the power of God has set me free. What is sad, however, is that I could have found that free­dom many years ago if I had been willing to open up and talk to other members of the Body of Christ about the issues in my life.

Although I received the Lord into my life at an early age, I became an atheist during my teen years, and by the age of 20 was a heavy drinker and into a variety of “recreational” drugs. Through a series of events, the Lord revealed Himself to me and to the amazement of many people, I became consumed with a zeal to serve the Lord. I would often spend hours a day praying, reading the Bible, and witnessing to others. I used to come to church on Sunday and testify to the number of people I had led to the Lord that week. I eventually became a licensed minis­ter with my denomination and started a campus ministry at UNCA.

But all this time, I struggled with a dark secret. I often battled with homosexual lust. I had begun hav­ing sex with other guys as a child, having been introduced to it by an older student at school. It had ful­filled a deep and unmet need to be approved and affirmed by other males, and it had sunk its claws deep into my soul. And when I had come to the Lord at 20 years old, the desire to drink, smoke, and do drugs all went away. But I still had the desire to be with other men in a sexual way.

For nearly five years, I struggled with this temptation. And although I never acted upon it during that time, I would at times go to places where I knew homosexuals hung out, often in the guise of witnessing to them. I did this because I was drawn to what I knew was going on there. Abandoned by many of my friends and church family, I too was equally devastated and, after a few months, turned my back on Christ. I fell back into a life of al­cohol, drugs, and promiscuous gay sex.

For the next 15 years, my life took various twists and turns, too many to detail here. But it ended in total shambles, running from the law for drug-related offenses. I was living on the streets of San Francisco, eat­ing out of trash cans and shooting methamphetamine in my veins. At that point, I was really ready to die.

But God, who had never given up on me, was more merciful than I could imagine. He brought me back to NC and sent me to prison for a year. While there, I came into con­tact with a man who mentored me and helped me understand the roots of my sexual struggles and, more im­portantly, how to be set free from them.

That was nearly five years ago, and I cannot begin to say how grate­ful I am! The freedom from homo­sexual temptation now is truly awesome, and I want to share with everyone I know that, no matter what they are facing, there really is freedom in Christ! In fact, I’m writ­ing a book on the subject with a good friend of mine who’s come on a simi­lar journey. It is a book about liberty for those who struggle with same-sex attraction, but the principles that we share really could apply to a variety of life-controlling problems that many believers face.

The first chapter of that book is about transparency, the need to be open and honest about whatever sin we’re facing. Without a willingness to put our needs out on the table, lit­tle or nothing can be done about them. In fact, we feel so strongly that this is the necessary prerequi­site to freedom that we go so far as to say that, if one is unwilling to ‘”fess up” about their struggles, they might as well put the book away, because it isn’t going to do any good. As long as our sins are secret, they remain in the dark. The dark­ness is the area where the devil oper­ates. But he only has power until we let the light in. I John 1:7 reads, “But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” Walking in the light, the place of full disclosure, the place of trans­parency, is the key to being cleansed of sin!

Sadly, it is in the gathering places of believers, in our houses of wor­ship, that people seem to be the least able to take this step toward liberty. Everyone at church seems to be all smiles with not a problem in the world. They have what I like to refer to as “church face.” Even if their world is falling apart, their marriage is ending, their kids are on drugs, and they’ve lost their job, they smile and tell everyone that everything is okay. Is it any wonder that so many seem to be unable to find freedom?

This behavior, I believe, is rooted in the fear of others opinions. We too often base our sense of self-worth and validity on what other people think of us. This means that we are too often more concerned with pre­senting a “false image” of ourselves designed to cultivate the approval of others. And nowhere does this false image get more “play” than in church.

It is that fear of others that kept me from seeking help from the Body of Christ with my homosexual strug­gles. If I had felt that I could have been honest and open about my temptations, it’s very possible that I wouldn’t have lost 15 years of my life. And while it’s awesome to see God take those years and turn them into a powerful testimony, a lot of people besides myself paid an awful price because of my inability to seek help.

It is encouraging today that many Christian authors and leaders are writing and teaching about the need for transparency. It is even more en­couraging when we see that transparency put on display by pastors and elders who are willing to stand up and say, “This is what I struggle with, this is what I need help with.” It is essential that, when this hap­pens, others in the body of Christ come alongside them and shower them with support and affirmation. It is also vital that we be open to see how we might emulate their behav­ior in our own lives.

After all, when they do this, when they set aside their fear and say, “I’m only human. I need help,” they are putting on display for us how we need to live. They are modeling for us a key to making our lives more real, honest, and connected with God. They are teaching us to “walk in the light as He is in the light.” Isn’t that what we pay them to do?

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