I appreciate every person who has read this blog, joined our Facebook group, or participated in our support group. We are still in the middle of our first year and I think it is important to take a moment and take stock of where we are and where we are going as a ministry.
Social Media Presence
The Broken and Mended Facebook group is approaching 70 members! We have recently added several new people. The group serves as information central for Broken and Mended ministry and also a place where people can share prayer requests and offer other helpful insights and information about struggling with chronic pain. I hope to develop an Instagram presence soon. Younger people aren’t using Facebook like middle-aged people and older people are. There’s a lot of people we might able to reach through Instagram. If you are on Twitter, you can follow my account @BrokenandMended_18.
Support Group Report
Our support group has had a good core group of around 10-11 local people from the beginning. We’ve had another ten or so who have participated from other places via Zoom. It has been harder to grow that core group than I imagined and also difficult to get people involved that are not a part of our home church (Woodward Church of Christ). Part of the struggle is just getting the word out. Part of the problem may be geography. I have thought we may need to move the meeting into town at a neutral location. I am not planning on any changes until fall, but I am really considering a change in location to make it clear that this is a support group for all and not just folks from the Woodward Church of Christ.
The Bigger Vision
There is a bigger vision underlying all of this. It just takes time to get there. The dream is to develop a curriculum that could be used in any city across the world. This summer, I am going prioritize development of a workbook that will be designed with the support group in mind.
Other group leaders then could start Broken and Mended support groups in their towns. A little further in the future, I plan to work on a video curriculum to accompany the workbook. I can imagine a group meeting somewhere across the nation or even the world:
They gather to welcome their new members. They play the video, a 15 minute discussion on a relevant chronic pain topic. Then a discussion based on their workbook ensues. Finally, they close with prayer requests and a blessing. Through the years, thousands of chronic pain sufferers could be helped to stay connected to their God and to other fellow sufferers.
I share all this for three reasons:
- Those of you who are active participants in what we are doing right now are a part of a very special beginning. Thank you for your patience, as we figure this out together. I hope Broken and Mended blesses you in a special way. By believing in what I am trying to accomplish, you are blessing me. Please stick around!
- I want to plant a seed for those of you who live outside of Woodward, OK, to consider starting a group in your location. Could you get 8-10 people in your church and/or community, who struggle with chronic pain, and are willing to meet twice a month? What if all you had to do is find a place to gather and provide consistent communication to your group, while the curriculum and model for what to do was put together for you? Broken and Mended is not just a support group in Woodward, OK, but a movement to “connect hurting people to Jesus and each other.” Maybe you could be one of the first to start a group!
- To develop quality materials and to make Broken and Mended a duplicatable ministry, I am going to need to raise some money. So far, the expenses have been minor. I paid for our website and graphics. My church paid for the annual subscription to Zoom. Obviously, the church currently provides the location and other logistical support. However, if I am going to develop professional quality curriculum and video content, I will need professional help. There are other costs associated with providing resources, guest speakers, etc. I’m not ready to start accepting donations yet, but as we move to phase 2 of the development of this ministry, the opportunity to bless this ministry with a financial gift is coming. Perhaps, you will prayerfully consider making a contribution.
I could say a lot more about future plans I have for Broken and Mended (e.g. start a support group for parents and children who have chronic illness), but this is enough for now to let you know where we want to go. I share it because I hope you are inspired to be a part of it or stay a part of it. I am going to need help and I am open to not only suggestions but to whatever practical help you want to provide. I am excited about the future of Broken and Mended and I hope you are too!