2016 was a remarkable year!
It began on January 1st with the vision for a chronic illness ministry then step-by-step guidance from God throughout the year. When Discovering Hope was published in September, the dream of connecting 1,000 books to 1,000 precious lives was born. But could it be done? Was it possible?
By mid-December more than 900 books had been distributed yet God wasn’t quite done. An on-line community decided to use Discovering Hope as their January study and ran a promotional piece just before Christmas to let their women know.
One brave lady commented that she’d like to participate, but couldn’t afford a book. I asked her to message me and told her it would be my honor to send her one. Then a second lady commented that she would be unable to participate, because she couldn’t afford a book. My response was the same: “It would be my honor to send you a book.”
God began tugging on my heart and quickly Chronic Joy Ministry launched an opportunity to offer free books to all who signed up. Each day there were a few requests.
Then as December 30th – the final sign-up day – approached, the requests spiked. With each comment and question energy and excitement rose a little higher. These ladies were stunned that someone would gift them a book. This simple act of giving opened the door and community blossomed – the chatter and energy and simple pleasure that each one felt important.
On December 30th, I posted a photo of the books packaged and ready to ship with a note that said, “The books are on the way!” Again, the comments of joy and gratitude brought tears to my eyes. We have had the pleasure of being messengers of your generosity, of delivering books and receiving thank-yous from so many women who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to participate. Kindness, generosity and prayers made it possible for 80 books to be shipped to 32 states and 4 countries, including England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Canada.
Our 1,000-book dream was realized!
Gifting one book at a time is changing the lives of those affected by chronic illness in real and vital ways. A gift offered in love and bathed in prayer, given to people often forgotten and isolated, changes everything.
2016 was a groundbreaking year, yet I think God is just getting started. Your partnership makes the ministry of Chronic Joy possible. So whether you pray for this ministry, share a social media image, offer a kindness to someone affected by chronic illness, or creatively live out radical hope and compassionate change, thank you for being a part of Chronic Joy Ministry!
Together, we are making a difference one precious life at a time.
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Executive Director and Co-Founder of Chronic Joy®
Pamela is the mom of three married children, grandma of three, and wife of more than 30 years. She is diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos, chronic migraines, and a host of other chronic conditions. She enjoys hot tea, reading and walking her teddy bear dog, Cocoa.