Hope Moments: Living Out the Way of Jesus

I want to tell you about every moment from Hope Heals camp.

But even with all my words and stories, and even with Ashley Monogue’s gorgeous photography (montage below), and even with video clips, I won’t come close to conveying the depth of the experience. 

There was the moment when Penny stood between Jay and Katherine Wolf, Hope Heals founders, and their son James, and hugged anyone who wanted an embrace as the volunteer team took communion.

black and white photo of Penny standing at the front of a room with the Wolf family as communion is served

There was the celebration for all the participants using wheelchairs as they danced.

There was the chance to watch teenagers (including my own) operate with an instinct for kindness and generosity.

photo of Marilee, William, and Peter all wearing Hope Heals Camp t-shirts and sitting on the back of a golf cart

There were the holy tears shed around the table of adults who talked through stories of loss and crushed dreams and hope that the goodness of God is real. 

Perhaps one reason that words fail is that Hope Heals is not a camp that relies on words to convey its message. There is no systematic explanation of why disability happens (though there is plenty of room to ask questions and express fear and doubt and anger). There is no argument in favor of God’s sovereignty. There is just a lived reality of caring for one another in the midst of pain and celebrating in the midst of daily joys and affirming the inherent value of each and every one of us. 

Hope Heals is not Christian camp that lays out a message of salvation. It is a space that lives out a message of belovedness and belonging. I’m grateful we get to be a part of it.

More with Amy Julia:

Hope Heals and Hope Heals Camp
Penny’s Take on Hope Heals
Hope Heals: Everyone Lifted Up

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