Hope Festival
Hope Festival
Vision Night Fundraiser Banquet
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Vision Night Fundraiser

Stories

My Story

“A Community Movement" with the Promise of HOPE

We started life as a normal middle-class Christian family. Family life was good until our daughter started to experience major migraines at the age of 15. Doctors started to prescribe pills, and as time went on, they gave her Imitrex shots which she administered herself. She struggled in school missing many days due to her migraines. She was hospitalized at the age of 18 for evaluation, had many tests and released without any solutions to relieve the awful pain. Doctors and emergency room doctors kept prescribing more oxycodone until she was addicted to prescription pills at the age of 22. She started running with the wrong crowd and chose to use heroine at the age of 29 to deal with her migraines. Choices have consequences! It is difficult to understand why poor choices are made but we learned when using heroin there is a lack of oxygen going to the brain and the person is unable to plan, control anger or see a better future. Addiction is a complicated disease.

My wife and I struggled not knowing how to help our daughter. We kept the hurt and pain inside because we were not able to find solutions and felt like a failure. We started living a life of lies. Example: People at church often asked me how I was doing and without hesitation I would say great… another beautiful day!

I carried the weight of pain on my shoulders getting more frustrated each day. Many times, I was so lost I couldn’t work, didn’t know how to pray or even cared to pray.

Finally, we opened up to a friend who did not judge us but listened to our struggles. Later we shared our struggles with our pastor who shared with the congregation.

When you share your journey, become vulnerable with others who are struggling they feel SAFE to share. Persons came to us with their hurt, disappointment and failures without the fear of judgment because we were willing to share our struggles. We are better together!

~ Terry Derstine

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.
– Galatians 6:2 NIV

Those who have HOPE in the Lord Will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary, They will walk and not be faint.
– Isaiah 40:31

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.
– Matthew 25:40