Support Group – May 2013

I have been volunteering for Inheritance of Hope for almost four years.  In those years of witnessing amazing moments, my eyes have been opened to the significance of support and encouragement.  I want to focus on the loving assistance that we volunteers strive to accomplish for these families living with a parent who has a life-threatening illness.

I do not take lightly this privilege to serve these individuals.  As a volunteer, you become a support for burdened people throughout the Legacy Retreat® and even after.  While reading Exodus last year, I was struck by chapter 17, verses 8-15.  Here Israel is being led by Moses to Mount Sinai to receive the law.  On the way, the Amalekites attack the Israelites, and Moses places Joshua in charge of the army.  The day of the battle comes, and Moses goes on top of a hill with Aaron and Hur.  Something fascinating happens: when Moses’ hands are lifted high, Israel is winning the fight, but when his hands lower, the Amalekites succeed.  Verses 12-13 really jumped out at me:

When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it.  Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

Wow!  What an amazingly wonderful passage revealing the significance of support.  Aaron and Hur are great models for any Inheritance of Hope volunteer.  Whether we are pushing wheelchairs, riding a rollercoaster with an excited child, or talking about the struggles a family member has with being sick, we strive to be support systems for the families.  Without the care of Moses’ brother and friend, the Amalekites may have defeated the Israelites.

This is not to say that as a volunteer we make everything better, but we want to be of help to families who are in a battle against sickness, whether that is by giving them a relaxing time or a listening ear.  We desire to ease their burdens through friendship and actual physical assistance, like we see in Exodus.  I am sure that Moses not only appreciated the physical help of maintaining steady hands but also enjoyed having moral support while the battle was raging.  I know that I am better able to aid these families because I have needed assistance from my own family and friends.  This life cannot be walked alone, and I would be lost without those who have held me up in trials.

Ultimately, this passage is symbolic of lifting hands in prayer and supplication to God.  As verse 16 says, “For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD.”  With an Inheritance of Hope retreat, so much prayer is done.  Without approaching our Heavenly Father, the Israelites would have failed.  Without prayer, no Legacy Retreat® would be successful.  This just further emphasizes the power and importance of prayer in our daily lives.

Even the men giving Moses a stone to sit on reminds me of the comfort and tenderness the Inheritance of Hope team gives all families in attendance.  If I wanted to paint a picture for someone of what it is like to volunteer, this account in Exodus 17 is what I would depict – ultimate victory through hardship because of help from people and God’s power.

Volunteering is a group activity.  I love how it took two people, Aaron and Hur, to assist Moses in this feat.  Without a group of volunteers, Legacy Retreats® would be impossible.  Working together lets us learn from one another and reveals that no one is greater than another.  We are all working toward the same goal – to care and support.

I would love to encourage any family timid about attending a retreat with this passage.  We are not perfect people, but we are willing to come beside you and be your Hur or Aaron during your battle with sickness and the other trials that come along with illness.  Inheritance of Hope embodies support and encouragement that can refresh only by the grace of God who values and loves when his people help one another.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Aaron Hedges

    Good word, Jacey. Our volunteer team wouldn’t be the same without you. I’m looking forward to serving with you again soon!

  2. franicne lawler

    Thank you Jacey from one who has been “lifted” up by your love,encouragement,humor and service.

  3. Angie Howell

    This is beautifully written and so very well said! What a great devotional that can be applied to so many situations! Thank you.

  4. Lisa Daly

    That was beautiful Jacey. We appreciate you and all of the IOH volunteers! xo

  5. Paris

    Isomehow came across this site and this poped out at me. I an 24 years old and my mom is 47. Im in recovery from alcohal drugs, and mental health issues, im currently in a halfway house an hour from my mom. My mom has terminal cancer stage 4 breast and bone, they dont know how much time she has, she is currently living alone, her kids my brother ans sister (age 11 and 12) were taken by child protection becase they dont believe she can care for them. She also stuggles with mental health issues (we both have major anxiety) She is very scared, to die and wants to be healed. I pray for her every day but neither of us have any christian support. She doesnt have friends that visit her and latly has been feeling hopeless, stopped caring about what she enjoys and has gotten used to being alone. I love her so much and this is the greatest thing that hurts me. I would truely be a miricle if there was someone out there to help bring us together, (neither of us can drive) and bring christian support hope faith encouragement and to pray with us. If there is anyone that can help please help us we are in desperate need of a christian friend to talk with, and to share insiration and hope. My mother is a good woman and has power in the lord. I have seen miricles happen from our prayer, but has greatly struggled with deep depression, anxiety and not feeling loved by anyone. She deserves so much more then she has experienced. I pray that this messege would be heard. Im trying to head down the right road, ive lived in addiction for 11 years and despertly trying to develop a way to have a healthy successful life. I want to someday give back and reach out to children and people who have been hurt. Thanks for listening. I dont know how to reach out but Im give this a shot. THank you and God bless everyone in this program.

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