hope journey guide

Hope in the Journey of Recovery: Your Guide to Moving Forward

hope journey guide

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hope journey guide

You or a loved one may be living with or was recently diagnosed with a mental health disorder. For many, their diagnoses triggered self-shame, fueled stigmas, and many other emotions; even for some, it was a relief to know “what wa" going on finally." Some people feel overwhelmed by their diagnosis and have encountered many challenges.

About 66.5% (38.8 million) of adults with a history of mental health issues consider themselves in recovery.

Breaking the Chains of Stigma

In a world where mental illness is often stigmatized and misunderstood, we must remind ourselves that our diagnosis does not define us. Many believe mental illness means they cannot live a healthy life. Throughout countless decades, " mental illness" was a big secret. No one talked about it!

I've heard stories of people keeping their loved one separated from others in the home… keeping them in a back room because they're "crazy."

Forty years ago, we did not have as much information on mental health and psychology as we do today. 2023, and we are finally discussing mental health out loud!

In this blog, we will discuss how hope plays a vital role in your recovery journey and what are the best keys to restoring your hope. Let's get started!

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My Experience at the Recovery Center

When I facilitate various support groups in my recovery community, many peers have shared they are not always supported by their family or friends. They are sometimes told, " Cheer up ," " You'll be okay ," or " Nothing is wrong with you ." Hearing those statements invalidates one's feelings and mental health challenges.

Mental illnesses are often called invisible conditions because of the symptoms that others cannot always see one experience. Many peers feel hopeless and don't believe recovery is possible with hope for the future. Yet, I am here to attest that there is hope and recovery is possible no matter the mental health diagnosis.

Mental Health Recovery & Hope

Embracing hope in mental health is a must-have for long-term recovery.

Recovery is a path that many individuals embark upon when facing various challenges, whether it be addiction, mental health issues, physical injuries, or other setbacks in life. It's a journey that can be incredibly challenging, but one thing that can light the way is hope.

  • Recovery is not a linear process, and setbacks are a part of the journey, but hope keeps you moving forward, learning from your mistakes, and growing stronger.

Hope is a powerful force that can propel us forward, even in our darkest moments. In this blog, we will explore the importance of hope in the recovery journey and how it can be your guiding light towards a brighter future.

  • Hope fuels progress. It's the driving force behind each small step you take on your recovery journey. Every day you wake up with hope is a day that you can make progress towards your goals.

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What is Hope Recovery?

Hope recovery is a process, and those with mental health disorders can live a purposeful, meaningful, and healthy life. Recovery is not linear and doesn't look the same for everyone. With management and treatment, which consists of routinely seeing a psychiatrist/therapist, taking medications, and maintaining self-care, those with mental health diagnoses can work, go to school, pursue their goals, and attain the desires of their hearts.

Encouragement with Acceptance

Challenges can/will arise when one relapses, experiences symptoms, or a crisis, yet living a healthy life is possible. Remember, it is okay to have bad days, to feel overwhelmed, and to make mistakes. Embracing self-compassion allows us to nurture our mental well-being and cultivate a positive relationship with ourselves.

To foster a society of hope, we must first be a community of support; we must promote awareness through education and advocacy. Mental health takes a village, the village of the community, mental health professionals, family, and friends. Support looks different for each of us, based on our needs.

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Faith & Support for Transformation

Having healthy, nonjudgmental, authentic transformation about mental health allows individuals to be open about their own mental health stories. It takes a lot of trust to share what they feel internally, emotionally, and mentally. Family and friends also face challenges when supporting a loved one with mental illness and may not always know the best approach, but sometimes it's as simple as asking, "How can I support you?" Be patient, kind, and helpful with your loved one. Check in to let them know that you are there for them! Focus on their strength, and do not limit them by their diagnosis.

3 Keys to Restore Our Hope

Getting our hope back starts with dealing with long-term stress. When we feel scared, mad, or worried, we tend to stay in survival mode, which researchers call the " Downstairs Brain ." To bring back our hopeful thinking with a sense of calm and confidence, we can use the 3 Keys to Greater Hope, which help us reconnect with our " Upstairs Brain ."

Let's see how these 3 Keys work:

1🌼 Optimism with Inspiration

A hopeful outlook breeds optimism. It's the belief that no matter how challenging things may seem, there is always a way forward. This optimism can inspire others who may be struggling on their recovery journeys.

2🌼 Motivation with Courage

Hope is the spark that ignites motivation. It takes courage to face your demons and work towards a better life, and hope gives motivation to do so. When you have hope, you are more likely to take risks, try new things, and step out of your comfort zone, all of which are essential elements of the recovery journey.

3🌼 Coping with Resilience

Hope provides the coping mechanism you need to deal with life's challenges. Recovery often involves dealing with triggers and temptations that can lead you back down a negative path. Hope gives you the resilience to resist these temptations and find healthier ways to cope with stress and adversity.

Recovery: A Path to Healing and Transformation

Recovery is not just about overcoming obstacles; it's a profound transformation of the self. It's the process of healing physical or emotional wounds and emerging stronger than before. Hope is the cornerstone of this transformation, as it's the belief that healing is possible and you can emerge from the other side as a better and more resilient person.

Hope for the Future with Self-Care

Hope is closely linked to belief. It's the belief that you have the strength and the capacity to change your circumstances. Recovery often involves facing difficult truths about ourselves, our actions, and the impact they've had on our lives and the lives of those around us.

🌼 Believing that change is possible is the first step toward recovery!

Hope recovery, faith, and acceptance need to originate from within. One cannot earn long-lasting hope for the future just by temporary inspiration. Self-care is a hot topic in our society for rehabilitation. However, practicing self-care is vital in sustaining one's well-being and empowerment. Self-care isn't surface-based; resting well, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising are essential.

Our well-being and mental health should be our priority; we cannot be everything to everyone else until we take care of life skills first.

🌼 All we deserve to enjoy is a mental, physical, and emotionally healthy space!

At my recovery center, I often suggest self-care jewels to peers: meditating, journaling, reading a book, resting, walking, addiction recovery, solo traveling, or spending time in nature. Another key component in life skills is self-management:

  • Developing healthy coping skills
  • Peer support
  • Attending support group sessions
  • Getting involved in advocacy
  • Educating oneself about mental health

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In the recovery journey, Hope is one of the most powerful tools for smooth growth towards a better future. It is the faith that things can improve and that a better future lies ahead. Even during our addiction recovery, hope and acceptance can be the guiding light that leads us toward healing and transformation.

By holding onto the recovery community, we open ourselves up to possibilities, empowerment, resilience, motivation, and the encouragement that we have the strength to overcome obstacles.

  • To all those living with a mental illness, remember that you are not your diagnosis.
  • Be kind to yourself, love yourself, and recognize your inherent worth.
  • Hold onto hope, knowing that transformation is possible and recovery is within reach.

You are not alone on this journey, and with the right support, self-compassion, and determination, you can create a life filled with joy, fulfillment, and hope for the future.

🔍 Want to upgrade your life skills with the help of a recovery center?

Looking for support?

Join our recovery community ( MentalHappy ) and get the desired transformation.

Health & Wellness Resources

MentalHappy does not provide medical care or advice. You understand and agree that MentalHappy

(I) is not a medical care provider

(II) is not a substitute for seeking medical care

(III) does not provide therapy, medical, psychiatric, or psychological advice, an

(IV) cannot be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or condition.

This service is not for emergencies. If you or another person is in danger, call 911 immediately. If you are suicidal, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline can help. Call 1-800-273-8255 or notify appropriate emergency personnel. Contact your local protective services agency if you know a child, dependent adult, or elder abuse.

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Journey of Hope Overview

Journey of Hope (JoH) is an evidence-based psychosocial support program designed to build resilience for children. Many children endure the everyday stresses of living in communities impacted by natural disasters or poverty ; witnessing significant changes to their homes, neighborhoods and schools. Journey of Hope ofers the opportunity to begin to normalize emotions and develop coping strategies

Program Design

Save the Children developed Journey of Hope after Hurricane Katrina, and has implemented in disaster and low-resource settings across the United States and internationally since 2007.

The program is designed to help normalize emotions and develop positive coping strategies through cooperative play, creative arts and literacy. There are three modules for children between 4-12 years old. Journey of Hope is organized into 8 one-hour sessions for groups of 8-10 children. Save the Children partners with school districts, childcare centers and community organizations to implement Journey of Hope with trained facilitators during the school term or in summer camps.

In addition to the children's modules, there is a 3-hour workshop for caregivers to allow the time and space to process their experience, identify their coping mechanisms and develop community resources to increasing their capacity to support children.

The learning objectives of the program are to:

1.       Support children in understanding and normalizing emotions associate with trauma or other difficult circumstances.

2.       Support children in developing positive coping strategies to deal with these emotions.

3.       Build on the innate strengths of children, their families, schools and communities to further develop positive coping mechanisms.

4.       Instill a sense of hope, empowering children to feel more in control.

Strengths-based Approach

Journey of Hope utilizes a strengths-based approach in each of the session activities, focusing on participants' ability to manage their emotions and support each other. Group facilitators identify positive coping strategies and allow children to form valuable insights into their own well-being. This approach leads to a greater child-centered practice.

Promoting Protective Factors

The interventions, activities, and methods within Journey of Hope help children address and overcome a traumatic event or adversity through building external and internal protective factors, such as:

1.       Promoting positive relationships with caring adults;

2.       Building problem solving skills;

3.       Promoting healthy peer relationships;

4.       Teaching self-regulation skills;

5.       Promoting self-efficacy.

For more information, please contact [email protected]

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What is Hope and Why Is It so Crucial to Our Faith?

What is Hope and Why Is It so Crucial to Our Faith?

I believe one of the greatest gifts God has given you is hope. After all, that is what his promises are designed to do – inspire hope. It gives us the ability to look at any situation and know that regardless of how it may appear God is going to come through. This is the essence of what hope is.

However, if you are honest, the challenges of life can sometimes seem overwhelming. I know because I have faced those challenges just like you have. When these challenges attack, the thing they often come after is your hope. They try to move you from hope to despair, but that doesn’t have to be the case.

Today I want you to stand tall encouraged by the hope that dwells within you. I want to answer the question “what is hope,” but I want more for you. I don’t want you to just know what it is, I want you to walk in the victory that comes from hope.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Motortion

What Is Hope?

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Let’s start by taking a look at what hope is from both a dictionary definition and a biblical one.

Hope (Dictionary) – The general consensus from all dictionary definitions is that hope is a feeling of expectation, a desire or wish for a certain thing to happen.

Hope (Bible) – A biblical definition of hope takes it one step further. Hope is an expectation with certainty that God will do what he has said.

I hope you can see the difference. One is a wish or desire, the other is a certainty or guarantee.

Let me use a verse from Scripture to illustrate the point.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” ( Hebrews 11:1 ).

Why do I bring up this verse? You cannot have hope unless it is tied together with faith. In essence, you have hope because you have faith and you have faith because you have hope. However, you don’t just have faith in faith or hope in hope, there is no real value in that. What matters most is the object of your faith and hope – that makes all the difference.

The thing that separates the basic definition of hope and the biblical definition of hope is what I call The God Factor. Your hope should be based on the fact of who God is and nothing else. If God is not the object of your hope then you don’t have true biblical hope because the certainty has been removed. Without that, your hope simply reverts back to a wish.

Photo credit: RNS/Klimkin/Creative Commons

Why Can You Have Hope?

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There is one underlying reason why hope should spring into your heart as a believer. God cannot lie. Consider this Scripture in Hebrews:

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie , we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” ( Hebrews 6:17-19 , emphasis added).

If God has said it, you can trust his promise because it is impossible for God to lie. This trust therefore becomes an anchor for the soul. Anchors are designed to keep you steady so that you will not be moved. This anchor that it is impossible for God to lie is the foundation for your certainty and the backbone for your hope. It is the reason why you can have hope today. 

I call this type of hope “in spite of.” In spite of what you see; in spite of what is going on; in spite of how dire the situation looks, you can have hope because God cannot lie. Regardless of your situation, find out what God has said about it and let that be the truth you believe about it. This does not guarantee that your situation will change immediately but the beauty of hope is that even if the situation remains, so does your hope. Because of hope you have confidence knowing God will respond and come through on your behalf. If that is what he said you can be certain that is what he will do.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Terry Vine

Promises to Give You Hope

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The verses I am going to share with you are all things God has said he will do for you. (By the way there are more, I just couldn’t fit them all in one article.) As you read these remember what hope is, knowing that God will come through for you.

The hope of God’s provision

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them” ( Matthew 6:31-32 ).

“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” ( Philippians 4:19 ).

The hope of God’s presence 

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” ( Deuteronomy 31:6 ).

The hope of God’s protection

“You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word” ( Psalm 119:114 ).

“For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent and set me high upon a rock” ( Psalm 27:1 , 5).

The hope of eternal life

“Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness — in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time” ( Titus 1:1-2 ).

The hope of Christ’s return

“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ” ( Titus 2:11-13 ).

The hope of inheritance

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” ( 1 Peter 1:3-4 ).

The hope of answered prayer

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” ( 1 John 5:14-15 ).

As you can see throughout all these promises The God Factor is woven through them. That is the basis for your hope and the only reason you can have confidence.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/Anastasiia Stiahailo

Why Is Hope so Important in the Christian Life?

Young girl laying happily on the carpet

Having a better understanding of what hope is leads to another question. Why is it so important? Here is the answer – hope is what motivates you as a believer. Can you imagine if we had no hope? Paul himself said:

“If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” ( 1 Corinthians 15:19 ).

Your entire walk as a believer is based on hope. A hope that goes beyond this life and extends throughout eternity. Everything you do as a Christian flows from this. Why do you pray? Hope. Why do you witness? Hope. Why do you endure hardship, trials, or persecution? Hope. Why did many who have gone before us sacrifice, give, serve, even lose their lives for the message of the gospel? One word, hope. 

If you remove the element of hope then you will discover that your joy, your enthusiasm, your peace , your focus, your motivation, everything attached to your walk with God will be removed with it. That is why you cannot lose hope. It is also why one of the weapons of Satan is to attack your hope. Think of all the words that are the opposite of hope. Fear, despair, doubt, uncertainty. None of these words inspire and none of these words bring the joy and peace that hope in God brings. That’s why you must fight for it at all costs.

But you have help in God. Know today that God is the God of hope, Christ is the hope of Glory and the Holy Spirit is the one who births hope in you. Consider these verses.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” ( Romans 15:13 ).
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” ( Colossians 1:27 ).

God does not want you to lose hope today and you don’t have to. Keep your trust in the one who is faithful because he will not let you down.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fizkes

A Prayer for Hope

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Lord help me today to put my complete hope and trust in you. You are God who cannot lie so if you said it, it will happen. Help me to never lose hope knowing that you will come through and fulfill what you have promised on my behalf.

In Jesus’ Name,

What is hope? In one word, everything. God wants to restore your hope today. Hope in him. Hope in his promises. Hope in his word. I don’t know your situation today but God does. You can look to him today with confidence and assurance knowing that he will help you in your time of need. You can put your full hope in that. 

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” ( Hebrews 4:16 ).

Let all God’s people say amen.

Photo credit: ©Getty Images/pcess609

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Inside the Hope for the Journey Conference

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In late spring of this year, Show Hope announced that our Empowered to Connect Conference is being recast and retooled as the Hope for the Journey Conference . Building on the knowledge and experience gained over the past years, the aim of this one-day simulcast event will be to guide parents and everyday caregivers to a deeper understanding of their children’s needs.

“By introducing robust resources and sharing practical experiences of successes and failures of the day-to-day, it is our prayer that parents and caregivers will leave encouraged as they continue to journey well with their children,” Show Hope Executive Director Emily Chapman Richards said. “As more and more families within the Church have responded to meeting the needs of vulnerable children by adopting and providing foster care, the demand for practical and proven resources and tools continues to grow.”

For more than 10 years, Show Hope’s Empowered to Connect Conference has served and impacted more than 100,000 parents, caregivers, churches, and professionals who are seeking to better understand the complex needs of children impacted by adoption and foster care in order to provide much needed love, care, and security. It is this rich history on which a new chapter in our Pre+Post Adoption Support begins.

“Central to our new Hope for the Journey Conference is children,” Show Hope Director of Programs Jaimee Marks Brown said. “Their needs, their dignity, and their value are paramount to all that we do, and for us, we believe that it is vital to hear from them and learn from them as much as we can.

“One of our newest and most exciting additions to the 2021 conference is the plan to elevate the voices and experiences of adult adoptees,” Brown continued. “With these individuals inviting us into their stories, our hope is to walk away with even more insight and action steps to take in the day-to-day.”

While the conference will look different this year, we will continue to honor and build upon the legacy of Dr. Karyn Purvis and her teachings found within Trust Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) . Amanda Purvis and Daren Jones, from the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development at TCU (KPICD) , will lead us in exploring the Empowering, Connecting, and Correcting Principles foundational to TBRI.

According to the KPICD’s website, “TBRI is an attachment-based, trauma-informed intervention that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children.” And while the intervention model is based on years of scientific research, at its core is connection. As Dr. Purvis once said, “When you connect to the heart of the child, everything is possible.”

With that conviction helping to guide us, the 2021 Hope for the Journey Conference will also introduce a brand-new learning module—TBRI and the Gospel.

In her book “Raising Worry-Free Girls,” licensed counselor Sissy Goff writes, “We need and want practical tools [for effective caregiving]. But we need more than tools. We need cornerstones.” At Show Hope, we understand the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be the cornerstone upon which TBRI principles are built.

“At our very core, there exists a deep desire and fundamental need for connection, belonging, and security found only within relationships. This eternal truth can be traced back to God creating humanity in his image. Furthermore, the image is made visible in the person of Jesus Christ as Emmanuel, God with us.” Emily explained. “As parents and caregivers we have the incredible opportunity to discover this truth together alongside our children.

“One aim, with our new Hope for the Journey Conference, is to further explore and explain how a family’s faith is lived out in everyday life when putting into practice tools that foster connection,” Emily continued. “When parents or care providers begin to fully recognize their own longings for connection, we believe they will be able to see, understand, and even empathize with their children’s.”

With a greater focus on real-life, practical insight and wisdom, the Hope for the Journey Conference will also address fostering and maintaining connections within your marriage and family. Relationships with your spouse and children are impacted by the decision to welcome a child into your family whether through adoption or foster care. And while it is sometimes challenging, it is crucial to ensure openness and honesty within your home as you process and navigate the evolving dynamics of adoption and foster care.

“As we often say at Show Hope, the adoption journey doesn’t end the day a child is welcomed home; in fact, the journey is just beginning. With that in mind, it is our prayer that the Hope for the Journey Conference will serve as an encouragement for children and families,” Show Hope Co-founder Mary Beth Chapman said. “As it has been for more than a decade, our vision will not waver in working to provide practical resources and teaching to better equip parents, care providers, and churches in their journeys to love and care well for the children entrusted to them.”

The Hope for the Journey Conference will take place on Friday, April 9, 2021, and will be available for simulcast around the globe (with a special rebroadcast period of April 16 through May 31, 2021).

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Hamas Took Her, and Still Has Her Husband

The story of one family at the center of the war in gaza..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

I can’t remember the word, but do you know the kind of fungi connection between trees in the forest? How do you call it?

Mycelium. We are just — I just somehow feel that we are connected by this kind of infinite web of mycelium. We are so bound together. And I don’t think we really realized that until all this happened.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

It’s quite hard to explain, to me in a sense, because some people would say, oh, I’m so hoping your father will come, and then everything will be OK. And it’s very hard to explain that really this group of people decided to bring us up together, shared all their resources over 75 years, grow into each other, fight endlessly with each other, love and hate each other but somehow stay together. And their children will then meet and marry and make grandchildren.

And there’s so many levels of connection. And I’m sitting here in the room, and I see their faces, some of them. And we are incredibly — it’s hard to explain how much these people are missing from our kind of forest ground. [CHUCKLES SOFTLY]

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise, and this is “The Daily.”

It’s been nearly six months since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and took more than 200 people into Gaza. One of the hardest hit places was a village called Nir Oz, near the border with Gaza. One quarter of its residents were either killed or taken hostage.

Yocheved Lifshitz was one of those hostages and so was her husband, Oded Lifshitz. Yocheved was eventually released. Oded was not.

Today, the story of one family at the center of the war.

It’s Friday, March 29.

OK, here we go. OK.

Good morning, Yocheved. Good morning, Sharone.

Good morning.

Yocheved, could you identify yourself for me, please? Tell me your name, your age and where you’re from.

[SPEAKING HEBREW]

OK, I’ll translate. My name is Yocheved Lifshitz. I’m 85 years old. I was born in 1938. When I was 18, I arrived at kibbutz Nir Oz. I came alone with a group of people who decided to come and form and build a community on a very sandy territory, which was close to the Gaza Strip.

And my name is Sharone Lifschitz. I am 52 years old. I was raised in kibbutz Nir Oz by my mom and dad. So I lived there until I was 20. And I live for the last 30-something years in London.

And, Sharone, what do you have next to you?

Next to me I have a poster of my dad in both English and Hebrew. And it says, “Oded Lifshitz, 83.” And below that it says, “Bring him home now.” And it’s a photo where I always feel the love because he is looking at me. And there’s a lot of love in it in his eyes.

And why did you want to bring him here today, Sharone?

Because he should be talking himself. He should be here and able to tell his story. And instead, I’m doing it on his behalf. It should have been a story of my mom and dad sitting here and telling their story.

The story of Oded and Yocheved began before they ever met in Poland in the 1930s. Anti-Semitism was surging in Europe, and their families decided to flee to Palestine — Yocheved’s in 1933, the year Hitler came to power, and Oded’s a year later. Yocheved remembers a time near the end of the war, when her father received news from back home in Poland. He was deeply religious, a cantor in a synagogue. And he gathered his family around him to share what he’d learned.

And he said, we don’t have a family anymore. They’ve all been murdered. And he explained to us why there is no God. If there was a God, he would have protected my family. And this means that there is no God.

And suddenly, we stopped going to synagogue. We used to go every Saturday.

So it was a deep crisis for him. The shock and the trauma were very deep.

Abstention.

Abstention. Soviet Union? Yes. Yes. The United Kingdom? Abstained.

Yocheved’s father lived long enough to see a state establish for his children. The UN resolution of 1947 paved the way for a new country for Jews. And the next spring, Israel declared its independence. Yocheved remembers listening to the news on the radio with her parents.

The General Assembly of the United Nations has made its decision on Palestine.

We had a country. So now we’ll have somebody who’s protecting us. It’s a country for the people, to rebuild the people. This was the feeling we had.

In other words, if God could not protect you, this nation maybe could?

Yes. But the next day, it was already sad.

Israel was immediately forced to defend itself when its Arab neighbors attacked. Israel won that war. But its victory came at a great cost to the Palestinian Arabs living there. More than 700,000 either fled or were expelled from their homes. Many became refugees in Gaza in the south.

Suddenly, Yocheved and Oded saw themselves differently from their parents, not as minorities in someone else’s country, but as pioneers in a country of their own, ready to build it and defend it. They moved to the south, near the border line with Gaza. It was there, in a kibbutz, where they met for the first time.

The first time I met him, he was 16, and I was 17. And we didn’t really have this connection happening. But when we arrived at Nir Oz, that’s where some sort of a connection started to happen. And he was younger than I am by a year and a half. So at first I thought, he’s a kid. But for some reason, he insisted. Oded really insisted. And later, turned out he was right.

What was it about him that made you fall in love with him?

He was cute.

He was a cute kid. He was a cute boy.

What’s so funny?

He was a philosopher. He wrote a lot. He worked in agriculture. He was this cute boy. He was only 20, think about it.

And then I married him. And he brought two things with him. He brought a dog and he brought a cactus. And since then we’ve been growing a huge field of cacti for over 64 years.

What did it feel like to be starting a new life together in this new country? What was the feeling of that?

We were euphoric.

And what did you think you were building together?

We thought we were building a kibbutz. We were building a family. We were having babies. That was the vision. And we were thinking that we were building a socialist state, an equal state. And at first, it was a very isolated place. There were only two houses and shacks and a lot of sand. And little by little, we turned that place into a heaven.

Building the new state meant cultivating the land. Oded plowed the fields, planting potatoes and carrots, wheat and cotton. Yocheved was in charge of the turkeys and worked in the kitchen cooking meals for the kibbutz. They believed that the best way to live was communally. So they shared everything — money, food, even child-rearing.

After long days in the fields, Oded would venture outside the kibbutz to the boundary line with Gaza and drink beer with Brazilian peacekeepers from the UN and talk with Palestinians from the villages nearby. They talked about politics and life in Arabic, a language Oded spoke fluently. These were not just idle conversations. Oded knew that for Israel to succeed, it would have to figure out how to live side by side with its Arab neighbors.

He really did not believe in black and white, that somebody is the bad guy and somebody is the good guy, but there is a humanistic values that you can live in.

Sharone, what was your father like?

My father was a tall man and a skinny man. And he was —

he is — first of all, he is — he is a man who had very strong opinion and very well formed opinion. He read extensively. He thought deeply about matters. And he studied the piano. But as he said, was never that great or fast enough for classical. But he always played the piano.

[PIANO MUSIC]

He would play a lot of Israeli songs. He wound play Russian songs. He would play French chansons.

And he had this way of just moving from one song to the next, making it into a kind of pattern. And it was — it’s really the soundtrack of our life, my father playing the piano.

[PLAYING PIANO]:

[CONVERSATION IN HEBREW]:

[PLAYING PIANO]

So one side of him was the piano. Another side was he was a peace activist. He was not somebody who just had ideals about building bridges between nations. He was always on the left side of the political map, and he actioned it.

[NON-ENGLISH CHANTING]:

I remember growing up and going very regularly, almost weekly, to demonstrations. I will go regularly with my father on Saturday night to demonstrations in Tel Aviv. I will sit on his shoulders. He will be talking to all his activist friends. The smoke will rise from the cigarettes, and I will sit up there.

But somehow, we really grew up in that fight for peace.

Yocheved and Oded’s formal fight for peace began after the Arab-Israeli war of 1967. Israel had captured new territory, including the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Gaza Strip. That brought more than a million Palestinians under Israeli occupation.

Oded immediately began to speak against it. Israel already had its land inside borders that much of the world had agreed to. In his view, taking more was wrong. It was no longer about Jewish survival. So when Israeli authorities began quietly pushing Bedouin Arabs off their land in the Sinai Peninsula, Oded took up the cause.

He helped file a case in the Israeli courts to try to stop it. And he and Yocheved worked together to draw attention to what was going on. Yocheved was a photographer, so she took pictures showing destroyed buildings and bulldozed land. Oded then put her photographs on cardboard and drove around the country showing them to people everywhere.

They became part of a growing peace movement that was becoming a force helping shape Israeli politics. Israel eventually returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982.

[NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

Whenever there is a movement towards reconciliation with our neighbors, it’s almost like your ability to live here, your life force, gets stronger. And in a way, you can think of the art of their activism as being a response to that.

And why did he and your mother take up that fight, the cause of the land? Why do you think that was what he fought for?

My father, he had a very developed sense of justice. And he always felt that had we returned those lands at that point, we could have reached long-term agreement at that point. Then we would have been in a very different space now. I know that in 2019, for example, he wrote a column, where he said that when the Palestinians of Gaza have nothing to lose, we lose big time. He believed that the way of living in this part of the world is to share the place, to reach agreement, to work with the other side towards agreements.

He was not somebody who just had ideals about building bridges between nations. Two weeks before he was taken hostage, he still drove Palestinians that are ill to reach hospital in Israel and in East Jerusalem. That was something that meant a lot to him. I think he really believed in shared humanity and in doing what you can.

Do you remember the last conversation you had with your father?

I don’t have a clear memory which one it was. It’s funny. A lot of things I forgot since. A lot of things have gone so blurred.

We actually didn’t have a last conversation. The last thing he said was, Yoche, there is a war. And he was shot in the hand, and he was taken out. And I was taken out. I couldn’t say goodbye to him. And what was done to us was done.

We’ll be right back.

Yocheved, the last thing Oded said was there’s a war. Tell me about what happened that day from the beginning.

That morning, there was very heavy shelling on Nir Oz. We could hear gunfire. And we looked outside, and Oded told me, there are a lot of terrorists outside. We didn’t even have time to get dressed. I was still wearing my nightgown. He was wearing very few clothes. I remember him trying to close the door to the safe room, but it didn’t work. He wasn’t successful in closing it.

And then five terrorists walked in. They shot him through the safe room door. He was bleeding from his arm. He said to me, Yoche, I’m injured. And then he fainted. He was dragged out on the floor. And I didn’t know if he was alive. I thought he was dead. After that, I was taken in my nightgown. I was led outside. I was placed on a small moped, and I was taken to Gaza.

And we were driving over a bumpy terrain that had been plowed. And it didn’t break my ribs, but it was very painful.

And I could see that the gate that surrounds the Gaza Strip was broken, and we were driving right through it.

And as we were heading in, I could see so many people they were yelling, “Yitbach al Yahud,” kill the Jews, slaughter the Jews. And people were hitting me with sticks. And though the drivers on the moped tried to protect me, it didn’t help.

What were you thinking at the time? What was in your mind?

I was thinking, I’m being taken; I’m being kidnapped. I didn’t know where to, but this decision I had in my head was that I’m going to take photographs in my mind and capture everything I’m seeing so that when I — or if and when I am released, I’ll have what to tell.

And when I came to a stop, we were in a village that’s near Nir Oz. It’s called Khirbet Khuza. We came in on the moped, but I was transferred into a private car from there. And I was threatened that my hand would be cut off unless I hand over my watch and my ring. And I didn’t have a choice, so I took my watch off, and I took my ring off, and I handed it to them.

Was it your wedding ring?

Yes, it was my wedding ring.

After that, they led me to a big hangar where the entrance to the tunnel was, and I started walking. And the entrance was at ground level, but as you walk, you’re walking down a slope. And you’re walking and walking about 40 meters deep underground, and the walls are damp, and the soil is damp. And at first, I was alone. I didn’t know that other people had been taken too. But then more hostages came, and we were walking together through the tunnels.

Many of whom were from kibbutz Nir Oz. These were our people. They were abducted but still alive. And we spoke quietly, and we spoke very little. But as we were walking, everybody started telling a story of what had happened to him. And that created a very painful picture.

There were appalling stories about murder. People had left behind a partner.

A friend arrived, who, about an hour or two hours before, had her husband murdered and he died in her hands.

It was a collection of broken up people brought together.

So you were piecing together the story of your community and what had happened from these snapshots of tragedies that you were looking at all around you as you were walking. What’s the photograph you’ll remember most from that day?

It would be a girl, a four-year-old girl. People kept telling her — walk, walk, walk. And we tried to calm her down. And her mom tried to carry her on her arms. It was the most difficult sight to see a child inside those tunnels.

What were you feeling at that moment, Yocheved?

Very difficult.

Where did they lead you — you and your community — from Nir Oz.

They led us to this chamber, a room, that they had prepared in advance. There were mattresses there. And that’s where we were told to sit.

I saw people sitting on the mattresses, bent down, their heads down between their hands. They were broken. But we hardly spoke. Everybody was inside their own world with themselves, closed inside his own personal shock.

Yocheved was without her glasses, her hearing aids, or even her shoes. She said she spent most days lying down on one of the mattresses that had been put out for the hostages. Sometimes her captors would let her and others walk up and down the tunnels to stretch their legs.

She said she was given a cucumber, spreading cheese, and a piece of pita bread every day to eat. They had a little bit of coffee in the morning and water all day long.

One day, a Hamas leader came to the room where she and others were being held. She said she believes it was Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, who is believed to be the architect of the October 7 attack. Two other hostages who were held with Yocheved also identified the man as Sinwar, and an Israeli military spokesman said he found the accounts reliable.

He came accompanied with a group of other men. He just made rounds between the hostages, I suppose. And he spoke in Hebrew, and he told us not to worry, and soon there’s going to be a deal and we’ll be out. And others told me, don’t speak. And I said, what is there for me to be afraid of? The worst already happened. Worst thing, I’ll be killed.

I want to say something, and I spoke my mind. I told Sinwar, why have you done what you just did to all of the same people who have always helped you? He didn’t answer me. He just turned around and they walked off.

Were you afraid to ask him why Hamas did what it did, to challenge him?

I wasn’t afraid.

I was angry about the whole situation. It was against every thought and thinking we ever had. It was against our desire to reach peace, to be attentive and help our neighbors the way we always wanted to help our neighbors. I was very angry. But he ignored what I said, and he just turned his back and walked away.

In this entire time, you had no answers about Oded?

What was the hardest day for you, the hardest moment in captivity?

It’s when I got sick. I got sick with diarrhea and vomiting for about four days. And I had no idea how this will end. It was a few very rough days. And probably because of that, they decided to free me.

They didn’t tell me they were going to release me. They just told me and another girl, come follow us. They gave us galabiya gowns to wear and scarves to wear over our heads, so maybe they’ll think that we are Arab women. And only as we were walking, and we started going through corridors and ladders and climbing up we were told that we’re going home.

I was very happy to be going out. But my heart ached so hard for those who were staying behind. I was hoping that many others would follow me.

It’s OK. Let’s go. It’s OK. Let’s go.

You go with this one.

Shalom. Shalom.

There was a video that was made of the moment you left your captors. And it seemed to show that you were shaking a hand, saying shalom to them. Do you remember doing that?

I said goodbye to him. It was a friendly man. He was a medic. So when we said goodbye, I shook his hand for peace, shalom, to goodbye.

What did you mean when you said that?

I meant for peace.

Shalom in the sense of peace.

An extraordinary moment as a freed Israeli hostage shakes hands with a Hamas terrorist who held her captive.

I literally saw my mom on CNN on my phone on the way to the airport. And it was the day before I was talking to my aunt, and she said, I just want to go to Gaza and pull them out of the earth. I just want to pull them out of the earth and take them. And it really felt like that, that she came out of the earth. And when she shook the hand of the Hamas person, it just made me smile because it was so her to see the human in that person and to acknowledge him as a human being.

I arrived in the hospital at about 5:30 AM. My mom was asleep in the bed. And she was just — my mom sleeps really peacefully. She has a really quiet way of sleeping. And I just sat there, and it was just like a miracle to have her back with us. It was just incredible because not only was she back, but it was her.

I don’t know how to explain it. But while they were away, we knew so little. We were pretty sure she didn’t survive it. The whole house burned down totally. So other homes we could see if there was blood on the walls or blood on the floor. But in my parents’ home, everything was gone — everything. And we just didn’t know anything. And out of that nothingness, came my mom back.

It was only when she got to the hospital that Yocheved learned the full story of what happened on October 7. Nir Oz had been mostly destroyed. Many of her friends had been murdered. No one knew what had happened to Oded. Yocheved believed he was dead. But there wasn’t time to grieve.

The photograph she had taken in her mind needed to be shared. Yocheved knew who was still alive in the tunnels. So she and her son called as many families as they could — the family of the kibbutz’s history teacher, of one of its nurses, of the person who ran its art gallery — to tell them that they were still alive, captive in Gaza.

And then in November came a hostage release. More than 100 people came out. The family was certain that Oded was gone. But Sharone decided to make some calls anyway. She spoke to one former neighbor then another. And finally, almost by chance, she found someone who’d seen her father. They shared a room together in Gaza before he’d gotten ill and was taken away. Sharone and her brothers went to where Yocheved was staying to tell her the news.

She just couldn’t believe it, actually. It was as if, in this great telenovela of our life, at one season, he was left unconscious on the floor. And the second season open, and he is in a little room in Gaza with another woman that we know. She couldn’t believe it.

She was very, very, very excited, also really worried. My father was a very active and strong man. And if it happened 10 years ago, I would say of course he would survive it. He would talk to them in Arabic. He will manage the situation. He would have agency. But we know he was injured. And it makes us very, very worried about the condition in which he was — he’s surviving there. And I think that the fear of how much suffering the hostages are going through really makes you unable to function at moment.

Yocheved, the government has been doing a military operation since October in Gaza. You have been fighting very hard since October to free the hostages, including Oded. I wonder how you see the government’s military operation. Is it something that harms your cause or potentially helps it?

The only thing that will bring them back are agreements. And what is happening is that there are many soldiers who have been killed, and there is an ongoing war, and the hostages are still in captivity. So it’s only by reaching an agreement that all of the hostages will be released.

Do you believe that Israel is close to reaching an agreement?

I don’t know.

You told us that after the Holocaust, your father gathered your family together to tell you that God did not save you. It was a crisis for him. I’m wondering if this experience, October 7, your captivity, challenged your faith in a similar way.

No, I don’t think it changed me. I’m still the same person with the same beliefs and opinions. But how should I say it? What the Hamas did was to ruin a certain belief in human beings. I didn’t think that one could reach that level that isn’t that much higher than a beast. But my opinion and my view of there still being peace and reaching an arrangement stayed the same.

You still believe in peace?

Why do you believe that?

Because I’m hoping that a new generation of leaders will rise, people who act in transparency, who speak the truth, people who are honest, the way Israel used to be and that we’ll return to be like we once were.

I go to many rallies and demonstrations, and I meet many people in many places. And a large part of those people still believe in reaching an arrangement in peace and for there to be no war. And I still hope that this is what we’re going to be able to have here.

Bring them home now! Bring them home now! Bring them home now! Bring them home now! Bring them home! Now! Bring them home! Now! Bring them home! Now! Bring them home!

Yocheved is now living in a retirement home in the suburbs of Tel Aviv. Five other people around her age from Nir Oz live there too. One is also a released hostage. She hasn’t been able to bring herself to go back to the kibbutz. The life she built there with Oded is gone — her photographs, his records, the piano. And the kibbutz has become something else now, a symbol instead of a home. It is now buzzing with journalists and politicians. For now, Yocheved doesn’t know if she’ll ever go back. And when Sharone asked her, she said, let’s wait for Dad.

So I’m today sitting in this assisted living, surrounded by the same company, just expecting Oded, waiting for Oded to come back. And then each and every one of us will be rebuilding his own life together and renewing it.

What are you doing to make it a home for Oded?

We have a piano. We were given a piano, a very old one with a beautiful sound. And it’s good. Oded is very sensitive to the sound. He has absolute hearing. And I’m just hoping for him to come home and start playing the piano.

Do you believe that Oded will come home?

I’d like to believe. But there’s a difference between believing and wanting. I want to believe that he’ll be back and playing music. I don’t think his opinions are going to change. He’s going to be disappointed by what happened. But I hope he’s going to hold on to the same beliefs. His music is missing from our home.

[SPEAKING HEBEW]:

[SPEAKING HEBREW] [PLAYING PIANO]

I know that my father always felt that we haven’t given peace a chance. That was his opinion. And I think it’s very hard to speak for my father because maybe he has changed. Like my mom said, she said, I hope he hasn’t changed. I haven’t changed. But the truth is we don’t know. And we don’t the story. We don’t know how the story — my father is ending or just beginning.

But I think you have to hold on to humanistic values at this point. You have to know what you don’t want. I don’t want more of this. This is hell. This is hell for everybody. So this is no, you know? And then I believe that peace is also gray, and it’s not glorious, and it’s not simple. It’s kind of a lot of hard work. You have to reconcile and give up a lot. And it’s only worth doing that for peace.

[PIANO PLAYING CONTINUES]

After weeks of negotiations, talks over another hostage release and ceasefire have reached an impasse. The sticking points include the length of the ceasefire and the identity and number of Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for the hostages.

[BACKGROUND CONVERSATION IN HEBREW]:

Here’s what else you should know today. Sam Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Thursday, capping an extraordinary saga that upended the multi-trillion-dollar crypto industry. Bankman-Fried, the founder of the cryptocurrency exchange, FTX, was convicted of wire fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering last November.

Prosecutors accused him of stealing more than $10 billion from customers to finance political contributions, venture capital investments, and other extravagant purchases. At the sentencing, the judge pointed to testimony from Bankman-Fried’s trial, saying that his appetite for extreme risk and failure to take responsibility for his crimes amount to a quote, “risk that this man will be in a position to do something very bad in the future.”

Today’s episode was produced by Lynsea Garrison and Mooj Zaidie with help from Rikki Novetsky and Shannon Lin. It was edited by Michael Benoist, fact checked by Susan Lee, contains original music by Marion Lozano, Dan Powell, Diane Wong, Elisheba Ittoop, and Oded Lifshitz. It was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. The translation was by Gabby Sobelman. Special thanks to Menachem Rosenberg, Gershom Gorenberg, Gabby Sobelman, Yotam Shabtie, and Patrick Kingsley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you on Monday.

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Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Produced by Lynsea Garrison and Mooj Zadie

With Rikki Novetsky and Shannon Lin

Edited by Michael Benoist

Original music by Marion Lozano ,  Dan Powell ,  Diane Wong and Elisheba Ittoop

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music

Warning: this episode contains descriptions of violence.

It’s been nearly six months since the Hamas-led attacks on Israel, when militants took more than 200 hostages into Gaza.

In a village called Nir Oz, near the border, one quarter of residents were either killed or taken hostage. Yocheved Lifshitz and her husband, Oded Lifshitz, were among those taken.

Today, Yocheved and her daughter Sharone tell their story.

On today’s episode

Yocheved Lifshitz, a former hostage.

Sharone Lifschitz, daughter of Yocheved and Oded Lifshitz.

A group of people are holding up signs in Hebrew with photos of a man. In the front is a woman with short hair and glasses.

Background reading

Yocheved Lifshitz was beaten and held in tunnels built by Hamas for 17 days.

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We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

Fact-checking by Susan Lee .

Additional music by Oded Lifshitz.

Translations by Gabby Sobelman .

Special thanks to Menachem Rosenberg, Gershom Gorenberg , Gabby Sobelman , Yotam Shabtie, and Patrick Kingsley .

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

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    Journey 1 Knowing God. Knowing God. Dear Reader, You are about to embark on the first of four Journeys designed to guide you through some of the Bible's most valuable truths—truths about the God who created the universe, His plan for the human race and where you fit in it. Over the next seven days, this first Journey will introduce you to ...

  10. Hope for the Journey Resources

    Show Hope recommends that each participant or family has access to both the 2024 Hope for the Journey Conference Companion Guide + Notebook and Practical Application Guide. These supplemental guidebooks are added resources to enhance the learning experience. Guidebooks include: Key takeaways from each of the five learning modules

  11. Journey of Hope

    Journey of Hope Overview. Journey of Hope (JoH) is an evidence-based psychosocial support program designed to build resilience for children. Many children endure the everyday stresses of living in communities impacted by natural disasters or poverty; witnessing significant changes to their homes, neighborhoods and schools. Journey of Hope ofers the opportunity to begin to normalize emotions ...

  12. Mission and Vision

    Empowered by love and driven by faith, our vision at Hope Journey is to create a world where every individual experiences the transformative power of God's love. We envision communities flourishing with compassion, unity, and opportunities for growth, where lives are impacted positively, and the message of Christ's love resonates in every ...

  13. Hope for the Journey Conference

    The Hope for the Journey Conference is your gateway to a wealth of knowledge, understanding, and practical tools to help support children, parents, and families in your community. Join us online with viewing available April 5-June 30, 2024! Register Now. Show Hope's Hope for the Journey Conference has allowed our church to throw open the ...

  14. What is Hope and Why it is So Crucial to Faith

    Hope (Dictionary) - The general consensus from all dictionary definitions is that hope is a feeling of expectation, a desire or wish for a certain thing to happen. Hope (Bible) - A biblical definition of hope takes it one step further. Hope is an expectation with certainty that God will do what he has said.

  15. HopeGuide

    HopeGuide ensures you receive a holistic plan that encompasses ALL the different aspects of your healing journey. Research has demonstrated over and over again the massive impact of addressing mental health from multiple angles, many of them quite simple and easy. We'll guide you along the way, and craft a plan that's just right for you.

  16. General 1

    Free 15-minute consultation to understand your needs and discuss your healing journey. STEP 2 | Assessment 90-minute assessment with a Guide that will consider your specific symptoms & struggles, plus your financial and scheduling needs, and create your personal path to healing. ... Learn more about Why Hope Guide is Different. Learn More A ...

  17. General 1

    Sometimes all we need is a guide; ... Guided Journey. They'll help you understand all the potential paths of healing and find what fits you best. They'll help you choose the right therapist(s) and treatments and connect with a community of people committed to long-term healing and freedom from trauma. ... Learn more about Why Hope Guide is ...

  18. Inside the Hope for the Journey Conference

    January 20, 2021. In late spring of this year, Show Hope announced that our Empowered to Connect Conference is being recast and retooled as the Hope for the Journey Conference. Building on the knowledge and experience gained over the past years, the aim of this one-day simulcast event will be to guide parents and everyday caregivers to a deeper ...

  19. Hamas Took Her, and Still Has Her Husband

    transcript. Hamas Took Her, and Still Has Her Husband The story of one family at the center of the war in Gaza. 2024-03-29T06:00:14-04:00