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Good Shepherds

John 10:10-15 – The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

 

My aunt Kristen was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer on her 30th birthday.  She and her husband, Deric, had 3 kids, who at the time were 4 years old, 2 years old, and less than a year old.  Their life, their whole world, suddenly was turned upside down.  You could say that a thief had come to steal, kill, and destroy.

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Volunteer Spotlight: Isaiah Douglas volunteers for families like his own

The families Isaiah Douglas has volunteered for consider him a hero, but the soft-spoken college freshman shrugs off their praise with a “that’s what I’m here for” attitude.  Known as patient, kind, and wise beyond his 18 years, Isaiah has a knack for connecting with the most nervous and shy of teens coming to Inheritance of Hope Legacy RetreatsⓇ.

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Introducing Spencer Reid, Inheritance of Hope’s new Development Coordinator

Spencer Reid represents an exciting direction for Inheritance of Hope: He is one of two recent hires that were served on a Legacy RetreatⓇ as a child of a diagnosed parent.  “The start for my family with IoH was when we were served in May 2015,” he remembers. “My mom had Metastatic Breast Cancer, and not only was it a great, impactful trip, but the timing was very important for us, because my mom passed away just a month later.  Our Legacy RetreatⓇ was the last thing we did together as a family.”

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Kendra Scott to provide life-changing experience for families affected by metastatic breast cancer

In January 2018, fashion designer and philanthropist, Kendra Scott provided a Legacy Retreat® for 10 families facing a metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. IoH is dear to Kendra’s heart, and she and her company are quickly becoming dear to the heart of IoH.

 

Kendra (left) and Holley (right)
Kendra (left) and Holley (right)
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Funeral Reunion

In May 2017, when we had a big Legacy Retreat in Orlando, I got to know one of the families, the House family, pretty closely.  We had four days with the House family, and they flew by like they always do.  We do these retreats trusting that the impact is not only for four days but goes far beyond that, and with this family, I got to see that lasting impact in a powerful way.  Matt House died less than two months after the Legacy Retreat, and there were memorial services in Texas where he lived and Minnesota where he grew up, and I was able to go to the Minnesota one.  And what a funeral experience it was!

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Love Always, Serve First, Listen Well

As a new or experienced volunteer, the days leading up to a Legacy Retreat can be quite nerve-wracking. There is a lot of information to read through prior to the retreat and then abundantly more poured at you during the volunteer meeting (the night before families arrive). Beyond all that information, I knew this devotion would also be good to deliver.

 

I was inspired to do this devotion from a sermon my pastor, Brandon Bruce (Church Experience), gave back in February of this year. I actually wrote “IoH Devotion” on my sermon notes and held on to these, you know, in case I ever actually got the courage to give a devotion. I kept it all this time waiting for the right time to share, and God made it abundantly clear to me that now is the time.

 

On my sermon notes, I wrote several things, but there are three I want to share with you. If you remember nothing else from this devotion, please remember this:

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“Instant Connection” Tenth Anniversary Conversations:  Deric Milligan shares his memories from the very first IoH Legacy RetreatⓇ

In our final installment of this series, Co-Founder and CEO Deric Milligan talks with Communications Manager Angie Howell about his memories, and what has changed in the past ten years.

 

IoH: What are some of the memories that stand out to you the most from the August 2008 Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George?

 

Deric: I remember each of the families and the instant connection we all felt because we were going through similar situations. The bond was simply incredible, and unlike anything I had ever experienced. One of the participants, Mark Contreras, had ALS. I remember his incredible strength and peace. Even though he struggled to speak, everyone was patient in allowing him to finish his thoughts. I remember riding the Comet, a wooden roller coaster, time after time with Mark Heinzelman as if there wasn't a care in the world, even as he battled cancer. I remember Shannon Dodd gleefully riding rides with sons Jakob and Tae just over a month before she died.

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“The Heart of IoH is still there every time” 10-year Legacy RetreatⓇ conversation with counselor Meg Hill

Communications Manager Angie Howell continues our conversations with members of the IoH family who were on our very first Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George in August 2008. Meg Hill served as the children’s counselor that weekend, and leading up to the retreat, began to write the curriculum that we still draw from today! Below, Meg shares her memories from ten years ago, and her thoughts about what is still the same.

 

IoH: Tell us what you remember about the August 2018 retreat at Lake George.

 

Meg: I was nervous being in charge of all the kids--Kristen and Deric had trusted me to do all the children’s groups and activities, and at one point, said to me, “you’re the kid person, tell us what to do!”

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“There is hope for the future” - Conversation with Sue Heinzelman Katzmire, family member from our first retreat

The Heinzelmans--Sue, Mark, Jessica, and Robbie--were one of seven families on our first Legacy RetreatⓇ to Lake George in New York during the summer of 2008. Our Communications Manager, Angie Howell, recently caught up with mom Sue to hear how the family is doing now. Mark passed away in October 2009, but Sue wants other families to know that “There is hope for the future.”

 

The Heinzelman Family in Lake George, New York
The Heinzelman Family in Lake George, New York

 

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“Too Big to Not be Involved in…” - Stephen Poquette Inspires Hope in Families Like His Own

These days, Stephen Poquette is the director of fall retreats and internships at Camp Timberline in Estes Park, Colorado. Back in November 2016, his most important job was that of caregiver to his mom, Teresa Bloss. Stephen and his brothers Josh and Andrew Bloss attended Inheritance of Hope’s Legacy RetreatⓇ to New York City shortly before Thanksgiving that year, with their mom, for what turned out to be their last family vacation together.

 

Stephen (left) with his mom and brothers at their NYC Legacy RetreatⓇ
Stephen (left) with his mom and brothers at their NYC Legacy RetreatⓇ

 

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