Story of Hope: New Story Series Introduction

Last week, I reconnected up with a friend over coffee.  I told her what I’ve been up to this summer. I explained to her how I am the summer intern at Union Gospel Mission, and how Stacy, UGM’s Communication’s Director, wanted me to write a series of stories about LifeChange, UGM’s addiction recovery program.

“It’s incredible!” I chirped. “I get to interview these men and women about their lives, and how they ended up at LifeChange.”

“Wow. That must be hard to listen to their stories,” my friend said.

“Actually, it wasn’t really hard at all,” I said. “In fact, I think it was very hopeful.”

True – I have listened to stories of pain, loneliness, neglect, and darkness. True –I sat across these men and women with teary eyes as they shared about their vulnerability and brokenness. True – these stories would have been hard to listen to… but only if their stories had ended in a note of brokenness.

It doesn’t.

Their stories do not end in brokenness. In fact, their stories have now begun to serve as a vessel of hope, a song of freedom, and a source of pure light.

For the next couple of weeks, we will share these stories with you to read and absorb. But be warned: These aren’t just stories about homeless men and women that entered an addiction recovery program.

No, these are stories about our brothers and sisters who we care about very deeply.

These are stories of people who, much like ourselves, have experienced deep pain and deep joy.

These are stories that, if we listen to closely enough, reflect our own stories. And perhaps, you’ll hear a grander story, one that has been echoing for ages past and eons to come.

“My story is important not because it is mine, God knows, but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is also yours… it is precisely though these stories in all their particularity, as I have long believed and often said, that God makes himself known to each of us more powerfully and personally. If this is true, it means that to lose track of our stories is to be profoundly impoverished not only humanly but also spiritually.” – Fredrick Buechner, Telling Secrets


This is the first in a series of stories of hope from the men and women in our LifeChange recovery community. The stories of hope series is authored by George Fox University Journalism student and UGM intern, Leah Abraham. 


UGMCarl ParsonsComment