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Taking Hope to Broken Places

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022 @ 8:46 AM Taking Hope to Broken Places ATTENTION: Major social media outlets are finding ways to block the conservative/evangelical viewpoint. Click here for daily electronic delivery of The Stand's Daily Digest - the day's top blogs from AFA.

Hannah Meador The Stand Writer MORE

(Editor's Note: This article was first published in the April 2022 print edition of The Stand.)

Since 1991, American Family Radio (AFR) has filled homes and cars and offices and retail stores and hospital rooms with scriptural truths through music, Bible teaching, encouraging family shows, and talk radio. 

“I remember how excited Dad was as he envisioned using radio to communicate not only the gospel,” Tim Wildmon said, “but also to encourage families, and address the critical moral issues facing our nation.” 

AFR has recently added three new programs that minister specifically to listeners who face circumstances that call for an extra measure of hope. These programs not only give hope to the hurting but encourage all listeners as well.

Hannah's Heart

“How can our faith ever truly be put into practice if we never experience any struggles in life?” Kendra White asked. “It changed everything when we started looking at our devastating news as an opportunity for God to be glorified in our lives.”

When it comes to being broken, White and AFA co-worker Anne Cockrell understand. In their new AFR-produced show, Hannah’s Heart, the two discuss their experiences with infertility, miscarriage, and the waiting. Inspired by the story of Hannah in 1 Samuel, Cockrell and White – sometimes with special guests – encourage couples to cling to hope in Christ during infertility and miscarriage.

“But God doesn’t waste pain,” said White.

Over the course of four years, Cockrell and her husband suffered four miscarriages. Throughout this emotional season, the Cockrells faced some of the loneliest moments of their relationship … and in their walk with Christ.

“There were times where I felt like I couldn’t come to the Lord with my request anymore,” Cockrell said. “I felt as though He was just choosing to not give us a baby.”

White had similar thoughts during her journey. She told The Stand that one of her first responses to the loss of their unborn child was to “wonder what sin [they] were being punished for,” even though she knew that was not God’s heart.

It was through these challenging and faith-testing situations that both women began to lean on the promises of God’s Word and allow Him to take control of their stories. They both agreed that without infertility and miscarriage, their faith would not be as strong as it is today.

“God is so trustworthy,” White continued. “His goodness is not dependent upon the outcome of my prayers and whether or not we have a biological child.”

By trusting God’s plan, Cockrell and White – and both husbands – began to develop a passion for helping couples struggling to cope with the loneliness, disappointment, and heartache that comes from dealing with infertility.

“I knew the Lord was leading me to do something with our ‘wait,’” Cockrell explained.

It was during that “wait” that the two created Hannah’s Heart, which began airing in late 2021.

“I just want to remind hopeful moms that God is not done writing your story,” said White. “This is one chapter. His idea of what is ‘good’ for us is not always our idea – it’s better.”

Hope Reigns

“When your faith lines up with your hands and feet, it is life-changing,” said Eight Days of Hope director of operations Chandler Gurley.

Gurley said Eight Days of Hope (EDOH) “exists to love and serve those in need.” Through rebuilding homes, responding to natural disasters, renovating homes for human trafficking survivors, and feeding the hungry, EDOH literally carries hope to hurting people.

Since early 2021, Hope Reigns, the EDOH radio show, has been a part of the AFR family. Co-hosted by EDOH CEO Steve Tybor and Mike Failla, the show discusses “God stories from the mission field.”

Each week, Hope Reigns features ministry updates and guests who discuss how they see God moving through EDOH and in their daily lives. Tybor estimates that 80% of volunteers who staff their teams are AFR listeners eager to help carry the hope.

“We have seen the Lord inspire hundreds of people to live for Jesus [through the show],” said Gurley. “You don’t have to be the most skilled, the smartest, or the most lovable. You can serve Jesus because that is what He made each of us to do – worship and serve [Him].

“A lot of people feel like they don’t have anything to offer. But we are here to say, ‘You do!’ If you can drag limbs, operate equipment, cook, clean, pray, or sit and listen to families going through some of their darkest days, you can serve with Eight Days of Hope.

“Serving Jesus is simple; don’t try to complicate it.”

Hope for the Caregiver

“I’m the crash-test dummy of caregivers,” Peter Rosenberger exclaimed. “If you could fail at it, I failed at it.” 

In 1983, after a terrible car accident at age 17, Gracie, now Rosenberger’s wife, suffered severe lower-body injuries. Through their 36-year marriage, Gracie has undergone 84 surgeries – including the amputation of both legs – and Rosenberger remains steadfast by her side.

Rosenberger quickly realized he knew very little about being a caregiver. He would soon learn to battle with insurance companies, deal with doctors, and process mounting medical bills. But during those learning years, he also realized there were others just like him, and they became his mission field.

In 2018, Rosenberger’s radio broadcast, Hope for the Caregiver, began airing on AFR. On the show, his goal is to translate the gospel into a way caregivers can understand and apply to the challenging role before them.

While he encourages individuals facing chronic impairments, Rosenberger also classifies caregivers as those caring for loved ones dealing with addiction, alcoholism, drug abuse, mental illness, and more. 

“My focus is on the person pushing the wheelchair,” Rosenberger explained. “I try to help guide caregivers and give them a voice, [and remind them] how to speak in their own voice. All too many struggle to talk in first-person singular; they’ve lost their identity in someone else’s story.” 

For Rosenberger, the most pressing issue is the heart of caregivers and the truth found in Scripture. He said he learned to speak “fluent caregiver” but came to understand it’s “our Savior’s native tongue.” It relates to feelings of fear, obligation, and guilt often connected to caring for a disabled loved one. He reminds his audience of many Scriptures that tell believers of the most repeated command in Scripture: Fear not.

“If He is Lord at all, He is Lord of all,” Rosenberger continued. “That is what anchors us in the storm when we get paralyzed by fear in such a way we can’t think straight. If our hearts are train wrecks, how are we going to be good caregivers?”

A pianist by training, Rosenberger also plays powerful old hymns live throughout his show, and Gracie, an accomplished vocalist, often sings a solo.

Purchase Peter Rosenberger’s book at hopeforthecaregiver.com 

 

More roads to hope

American Family Radio is available online at afr.net. Click the Podcast tab for past episodes.

Hannah’s Heart, 5:30-6 p.m. CT Saturdays

Hope Reigns, 11 a.m.-noon CT Saturdays

Hope for the Caregiver, 7-8 a.m.  CT Saturdays and 10-11 p.m. CT Sundays

Additional resources

▶ Music for the Soul (musicforthesoul.org) offers music and video resources for specific crises in life. Click Menu, then search for “Before We Said Hello” on the subject of miscarriage.

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