Monday, July 30, 2012

Hurting Hope by Charles and Joanne Hewlett

Hurting Hope

What parents feel when their children suffer

hurting-hope-book-cover1.jpg (258×400)

what's up
We're enormously privileged to have Charles and Joanne Hewlett sharing their story in our services this Sunday. Recently they published their book, 'Hurting Hope: What parents feel when their children suffer.' 
Their story is deep, raw and honest. Charles notes, "Often church and pastoral leaders don’t have a good theology of suffering and it’s important people do. What happens when the difficult times come? How do we make sense of God and our faith? Over the years we’ve met many people who have had difficulty come into their lives and have walked away from Jesus, which has been hard to watch… We need to learn to value suffering. While we never wanted this to happen to our kids, we have learnt over the years that maybe there are some positive things about suffering as well." 
The Hewletts will be sharing 10 reasons they now value suffering. Copies of their book will also be available for purchase. 
Jonathan Dove, Lead Pastor, Mt Albert Baptist Church, Auckland.
I just got back from an action packed 5 weeks in hot humid tropical Singapore and Borneo. I survived on adrenalin, and had little sleep as their time is 5 hours behind New Zealand. Then just as I have adjusted, I am back to freezing cold New Zealand.
The MABC email came to in inbox. I didn't want to open it, I wanted to sleep, so I can be ready to start work on Monday. God had different ideas, I read the newsletter, Hmmmm! I wonder what they have to say?
I was up till 5 am on Sunday, I definitely wasn't going to church that morning. God woke me at 10.15am. I might as well go to church and catch up with my friends.
They were awesome. Their story paralleled mine. As Joanne started telling why she wrote their book, I felt that she was reading my mind.  It was refreshing to hear from Charles' point of view. Most of these stories are written by women. 
I am sure there was not a dry eye, including Jonathan who himself had buried a son. 
I am with Sands and have met many bereaved mums and dads, so many of them have been struck by lightening more than once. Joanne and Charles' affliction is more intense than mine, none the less, we are all members of that awful club, club of the bereaved parents.
At the end of the service, I had to go up to tell Joanne how she had inspired me, and I am sure their book would inspired many others. A friend who delivered her son at the same prematurity remembered that daunting time. She empathized with them. She praises God that her son is now a healthy adult, loving God. I didn't control my tears, Joanne would understand.
I wanted to give her a copy of my book, "Dairy of a bereaved mum, Goodbye my baby." When I went to buy their book, after paying for it, it has been sold out.
God Bless you , Joanne and Charles. From an older bereaved mum,"It is OK to cry." 

Charles is the Principal of Carey Baptist College, Auckland.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Auction for Charity

I donated two books for this Manukau Sands Charity for bereaved parents.

Ann Chin is the author of "Diary of a Bereaved Mother" and has offered 2 copies of her 3rd edition of the book. These reatil at $35 each.

Ann was featured in our story on national TV "It's OK to Cry" You can view it here

Starting bid 10.00
...See More

Fundraising Auction For Sands Manukau 1943002&type=3&theater

Photo: Information on Sands Manukau

Sands Manukau is a registered charity supporting families who have experienced the death of a baby at any stage of pregnancy and up to a year following birth. We enable grieving parents to recognize their baby as a member of the family offering practical advice and support materials that create the memories that last a life time. We offer bereaved parents the opportunity to share experiences, talk and listen, offering empathy and understanding for their situation through phone support, one on one contact and monthly meetings. We are not counsellors but we are all bereaved parents who volunteer our time to support other parents and their families.
Sands Manukau volunteers are available to support parents during their time in hospital or at home following the birth if required.
Parents can be supported throughout a pregnancy where the baby is terminally ill and will not live long after birth by someone who has been in a similar situation. Whether the choice is made to interrupt the pregnancy or continue with it, we are here to help.

What they Offer:
During your stay in hospital - We are available to assist with memory making and parenting ideas while you and your baby are in hospital. Would you like to talk to someone who has been through a similar experience and understands what you are going through? If so please ring us or ask your bereavement team member to ring us on your behalf and we will arrange this.
Free Hand/Foot Casting – We cover the cost of 2 hands and 2 feet mounted on a granite or wooden base with name plaque. Included in this service are photos (placed on CD) and inkless hand/foot prints.
Care Bags - for parents whose baby dies from 12 weeks gestation up to one year of age. These Care Bags contain various memory making opportunities including items such as a special memories book, candle, and 2 teddy bears (one for mum, one for baby).
Miscarriage Packs - For parents whose baby dies less than 12 weeks gestation.
Monthly Meetings – These adult only meetings allow for the expression grief in a safe and caring environment. Parents who share similar experiences can often listen, acknowledge and accept feelings that others may find hard to comprehend. The group meetings offer a non-judgmental space to share stories, concerns and feelings.
Coffee Mornings – These monthly mornings are a great way to get together

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Remembering our Children who had died.

Spider lily in NTU.

Tomorrow, 27 July is International Day of Kindness, founded by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore,the MISS Foundation is a 501 (c) 3, volunteer based organization committed to providing crisis support and long term aid to families after the death of a child from any cause.

There is a group of beautiful women I befriended during the 16 years I lived as faculty wife at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Together with many others who had left, we were touched and worked hard to raise funds for the Deaf children of Kenya. Some of these poor kids had died due to AIDS. We also raised funds to separate a pair of Siamese twins. Sadly Ganga died. I have blogged this and written in my book.

Today, I give a face to these ladies. They gave me a roaring time by taking me to Penang Place when I revisited NTU. It's great to know that though I have been away for 6 years, they still love me as though I had never been away.