YOUR LIFE MATTERS.
SELF HARM AWARENESS & PREVENTION MINISTRY
A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR MARK
When Brenda and I stepped into our first youth pastor position years ago we had know idea how to handle the death of a student just two weeks prior. Coming from Bible School, we knew there had been a tragedy, but didn’t find out that it was a suicide until we arrived. The family was in shock as well as the church. So much so that no one was talking. There were no conversations happening, especially with the students. We learned pretty quickly about the struggle the church, every church seemed to be having with the issue of mental health. I remember going out to the Christian bookstore in town trying to find any information on how to help. In four years of Bible school, the subject was never discussed in a classroom. The shelves weren’t lined with much resources either. So, Brenda and I did what we do best. We fought past the stigma, asked questions, and spent hours just listening. Our focus was to bring hope into the darkness rather than pretend it hadn’t happened.
Although we have come a long way in the local church scene and with resources in general, there is still a big gap in education and help when it comes to the subject of suicide prevention. Our hope with the FUTURE MOVEMENT is to break past barriers and offer resources, hope and support. We want to see those struggling find help. We want to see survivors filled with hope. We want to see the stats in our communities go down. We want to see those who need mental health supported and loved. God has a PLAN, A HOPE, A FUTURE for each one of you! Join us and let’s make a difference in our local community to save-a-life.
If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm, reach out to the resources we have in this section and get help now. Don’t wait. Your life matters!
If you want to be a part of helping someone on their journey of finding hope amidst life’s struggles, then grab some merchandise and/or post the encouraging signs on social media and help us get the word out.
Plan for the FUTURE! It starts by helping someone today.
Love, Mark Rempel
- Head Pastor
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a message from acon
Mental illness has always weighed heavy on my family. I have fought OCD, anxiety, & depression all my life. It is a constant fight each day, between chemical imbalances, as well as continued healing from situational depression. When I was thirteen, I received a phone call that my older cousin Matthew had taken his own life. Matt was only twenty-years old. He was a brother to me. He was my hero. I watched as my aunt crumbled as I sat beside her in a church pew. Matt's death both destroyed me & saved me. God has taken that experience & turned it into the driving force of my life.
On the nights where I have come so close to giving up, I see my mom's face. She has fought so hard for my sister & I. Given everything. She has taught me how to coexist with my mental illness; to let God shine through my brokenness. I could never leave her to bury me too. On those nights I hear her voice. And along with her voice I hear God saying, “You’re not finished yet. Don't give up, Anthony. Because if your life ends right here, right now, that could mean we lose someone else who needed to hear your story. There is a plan for you. There is a hope for you. There is a future for you. Your life matters.”
Our testimony and our journey of healing are so incredibly important. Someone needs to hear your story. Someone needs you to hear theirs too. We aren't promised tomorrow so what are you waiting for? You were made for such a time as this. Don't waste a single second. Don't listen to the voices telling you no one will care, no one will miss you. Because here I am, thirteen years later, still asking myself every single day since that phone call if there was anything I could have done differently. If there was anything I could have done to change Matt's mind. You will be missed. You are loved. Your life matters.
I grew up in a small church in Gila Bend. There was always a poem that floated around; I always saw it as cliché. It didn't hit me until I saw it in Matthew's eulogy.
Much love, Anthony Conley
- Spoken Word Artist