Finding Hope -Traci

Traci wanted to be the best mother she could be.  As such she made a comfortable home for her family and was very active in the education of her children, including their religious education.  Her husband was equally as committed about issues regarding the children with the exception of their religious upkeeping.  Traci has something to pray about in that regard.

Adults say that your younger years are the "best times of your life."  You won't find many school aged children to agree with that.  One reason for the disagreement is the phenomenon of bullying.   Most children are exposed to it either directly or through observation of other victims.  Traci's child was not spared. Issues at his public school caused serious concern.  At least his church youth group was his "safe place" or so Traci thought.

Unfortunately after a special church youth event around Halloween, she learned that her son was the victim of a horrific bullying situation.  When the church pastor was confronted with this situation he dismissed it and talked about showing grace to everyone.  Jesus may have taught us to forgive the sinner, but the sin must be recognized and corrected.  Anything less is irresponsible enabling.  That type of enabling is even more grievous and hypocritical in a church setting.

It would have been easy for Traci to pull away from her church and give up.  A person of faith doesn't act that way.  She and her husband fulfilled their responsibilities for the remainder of the year, and then left the church after an explanatory discussion with the pastor.  For the record the pastor never asked them to reconsidered.  One way to avoid a problem is to allow the victim to disappear.

A friend of Traci's son had been bragging about his youth group at Hope Voorhees.  An invitation was accepted.  Traci allowed him to try it out, however being burned once she entered Hope with a huge degree of skepticism.  Fairly quickly the goodness of Hope eased not only Traci's fears but that of her entire family.   Traci's children became fully engaged with the variety of youth activities, and her husband became active in the youth groups.  Traci's value was quickly recognized and she is now fully engaged in many aspects of Hope Church.

God makes sure that one person's ignorance is another person's gain.  All you need to do is keep the faith and be patient.  A door always opens and often the situation is often sweeter and more fulfilling.

 - Jim Randazzo

Finding Hope within a Community of Faith

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Never give up on God even when it seems hopeless