Dr. Ann Maree Goudzwaard – Interview 1
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Hello and welcome to the Safe to Hope podcast. My name is Ann Maree and I’m the Executive Director for HelpHer and the host of this podcast. On the Safe to Hope: Hope Renewed in Light of Eternity podcast, we help women tell their story with an eye for God’s redemptive purposes. All suffering is loss, but God leaves nothing unused in His plans. We want to help women see His redemptive thread throughout their circumstances, and then look for opportunities to join with God in His transformational work.

Today, we’re going to turn the tables a bit here at Help[H]er and have someone else handle the interview for our Safe to Hope podcast. On this bonus episode, I am pleased to introduce to you one of our newest Help[H]er board members, Julia Fillnow. Hopefully we will have each of the board members introduced to our audience in one way or another. But first up is Julia.
 
Julia is not only a Help[H]er board member, but also a friend. Though unofficially, she has been a very important caregiver for me for almost the past two years. I’ve benefited personally from her kind and gentle demeanor and incredible wisdom. She is also a licensed counselor who is certified and specializes in trauma, abuse, and addiction treatment. She’s worked in private organizations, community mental health agencies, nonprofits and church counseling centers. Julia is a member of National Professional Networks for Trauma and Addiction Therapy and Abuse Care.
 
And she desires to help build a bridge between the faith and mental health communities. She is particularly passionate about the church’s role and calling to care for the oppressed and heal the wounded. Julie currently works as a therapist in North Carolina, and she is married with four children. Welcome, Julia.
 
Julia
Thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here.
 
Ann Maree
I’m excited to give you the reins. So on this episode, several of the Help[H]er board members asked me to participate in a podcast that would basically introduce the audience further to our ministry, things like its history, and some of the behind the scenes details of what we do. The board developed these questions. You will hear more about what I do, and a little bit more about me.
I am far more comfortable behind the mic instead of in front of it. I would prefer not to be the one interviewed, and so I face this with fear and trepidation. And I have a new appreciation for our Safe to Hope guests, our storytellers, and our expert contributors.
 
I’m going to let Julia take over from here. She’s going to ask me some questions, and I will do my best to answer.
 
Julia
So the questioner becomes the questionee.
 
I’m so excited to give people the opportunity to hear from you Ann Maree. You have an incredible amount of life experience and knowledge. And I’m thrilled that people can get a closer glimpse into not only your life, but also the Safe to Hope podcast and Help[H]er ministry. As you know in your work, people are very complex, people are interesting, and you never meet the same person. We are so layered and intricate. And the same is true for you. So, as I said, I’m excited for people to get to know you and the heart behind this incredible ministry.
 
So let’s talk about this baby of yours, this podcast that is an incredible resource to the Help[H]er ministry. I would love for the listeners to get to know a little bit more about how you came up with the idea for this podcast and specifically about storytelling.
 
Ann Maree
This is our major resource right now and we’ve been hearing a lot of encouragement as to how it’s being received by church leaders and people helpers. It’s a long story, all of my stories will be long, I’m very detailed. But years ago, at our church, I hosted a seminar once a year on how to write a memoir.
I love reading memoirs. I think The Glass Castle is easily my favorite but I’ve also loved Educated, Unbroken, All the Light We Cannot See, and I just started listening to Beth Moore’s All My Knotted-Up Life which is also very interesting. And then of note, a friend has written not a memoir, per se, but Dr. Valerie Hobbs has written an autoethnographic account, which is kind of like a memoir in her book, No Love in War, just rich, rich stories.
 
I love hearing from people and how they articulate it and their unique perspective. Though I love stories, I also love writing. And I have an ability to help people draw out the words and phrases that help them articulate their own stories. So I assisted the ladies in my church as they tried to figure out where to start. In writing a memoir, what to include and the questions they needed to ask.
So the second part to the story is in 2020, I served on the PCA denominational Study Committee on domestic abuse and sexual assault, and I was tasked with hearing victims’ and survivors’ stories. I had the incredible privilege of serving alongside Diane Langberg who was also on the committee, and among other equally incredible people as well. But Diane is the person who calls us as the church to bear witness to stories. And when we sit with a person who’s been, or has experienced horrific evil in a world where we know we were not created to know evil, we sit on what she calls sacred ground. Also, Diane has said her clients were her teachers.
 
I had that similar experience in hearing from the many survivors, victims or even informants who veiled themselves because they had not yet reported, but I would hang up from those calls. And I would literally sense the presence of God in the room. I felt like I had stepped on holy ground. And I can’t say enough about those people I met and listened to, I mean, still today, they bring me to tears. And I still consider each one of them a friend, I want to keep reaching out to them to see how they’re doing. But they were also my teachers.
 
So those are the reasons my heart was drawn to figure out a platform suitable for sharing stories. One more piece to the story about Safe to Hope would be the trauma training that I took with Dr. Heather Evans and Dr. Phil Monroe at the Global Trauma Recovery Institute. It’s the program that he and Dr. Langberg had developed.
 
In that course, I learned how story or what might be called narrative exposure therapy, has proven to be the most effective methodology for helping child war survivors simultaneously forced to be soldiers. So they both experienced a horrific atrocity, and then they were forced to fight and kill in order to survive. So these are the people now who are using story for their healing and in their care as adults. Now they’d be asked to describe what happened to them in detail, using accurate language and employing all of their senses to draw up the memory and how they felt at the time. And by telling these stories, they drew those atrocities out of the dark, secret unknown spaces, and therefore they were able to begin a healing process.
 
You can’t heal from what you haven’t yet acknowledged has occurred. So for secular psychology, that process is effective as a patient undergoes habituation with the traumatic memory. But for me, as a counselor who has been trained theologically, I recognized how storytelling was originally God’s idea. In fact, to think about it theologically, God commands us over and over and over and over to remember in Scripture, and our stories reside in our memories. And of course, the ways in which he wants us to remember will provide a framework for those experiences and for organizing them in our minds. There’s this sweet hymn by Wendell Kimbrough called “Eternal Weight of Glory”. And at the end of the song, he sings that in glory, “We will see our wounded Savior, We’ll behold him face to face, And we’ll hear our anguished stories, Sung as vict’ry, songs of grace.”
 
And so that’s our goal on the Safe to Hope podcast. We are Safe to Hope, but not because our circumstances are necessarily safe, nor because people or churches are safe, but because there is a day coming when all wrong will be made right. All things will be made new, there will be no more tears and every single circumstance will be redeemed, I know that the present tense circumstances hurt, and that they hurt very much. I am intimately familiar with that kind of pain.
 
And I’m intimately aware of how hard it is to believe that that pain can be redeemed in any such way as to feel better. I respect that for people and I respect wherever someone are, in that process: be it angry, resigned, grief stricken, accepting, or even joy filled. But if I am who God says I am, one of His, a daughter, I believe His promises are true.
 
And so what does that mean for how I live out my difficult circumstances today? How does future justice of all the injustice I’ve suffered, inform how I see my story today? It’s an exercise and it does not come easy. Storytelling is hard work honestly, but we are safe in the arms of a Savior who will one day be singing our stories as victory songs. Safe to Hope was started so that we might be able to help just one more person journey  one more small step down that path to a victory song. And then also help just one more pastor know how to serve the victims and assist them in similar ways.
 
Julia
That’s beautiful. Thank you. Even the way that you answer the question helps people to see and know how much you honor this process and honor the individuals you encounter by honoring their stories. You honor the truths that they’re telling you. And that makes you a wise guide for anybody who knows you.
 
You mentioned the sensations that you get in your spirit and in your body. Right? That you’ve entered into holy ground with people and that the presence of the Lord is there, and you can tangibly feel it, right? The spirit is alive in that work in you. What does that usually feel like for you?
 
Ann Maree
I describe it in one of the other questions as a “God moment,” I’ll use that language a lot. And I guess I just feel in my body a sense of relaxation and paying attention because God’s doing something. That’s how I feel as His presence prepares me to ask: What are you trying to tell me in this moment, Lord? I sense that every time I talk to a victim every single time. So either it’s a learning from them about their personal experience, or it’s a learning from the Lord or both. It could be both. So it’s a physical manifestation of peace that passes understanding.
 
Julia
That’s a beautiful description. And I think the looking for the “God moments” keeps you humble, right? It keeps your eyes open.
 
So you’re not going into these situations, wanting to lord over with any kind of authority or tell these people what to do. You’re very much coming at their level and walking beside them. And that’s what we all need to do in these sorts of circumstances, which is to have that posture of humility and teachability, because everyone’s situation is different. And where they come from is different. And we are no better than anybody that we encounter.
 
Ann Maree
Yeah, it really has been a blessing and a benefit to walk into these situations knowing that I don’t know very much. Versus, you know, a teaching experience where I’ve come prepared to teach. Instead, I’ve come prepared to learn whether it’s from the person who is telling me their story or whether it’s from the Lord or from both.
 
Julia
Yeah, you wear many different hats, and you have so many different gifts.
 
Ann Maree
I don’t know about that.
 
Julia
Now, you’ve always had some informal and also formal roles of caregiving within the church context. I’d love to hear a little bit more about the genesis of that. Where did church care initially begin for you?
 
Ann Maree
Yeah, again, an interesting long story. When we were in our late 20s, my husband and I participated on a launch team for a non-denominational church plant in the Chicago suburbs. We lived in the shadow of Willow Creek Community Church, if you’re familiar with that name. And in the late 80s, there were multiple denominations in that area, probably across the country who were planting seeker-targeted churches. And so that’s what we were doing. Our parent denomination was actually the CRC (Christian Reformed Church). But our church plant looked nothing like that traditional model.
 
I was on staff, and my job was to help structure the individual ministries alongside a pastor or ministry pastor or the director of that ministry. But because I was a female on church staff, women from the church or in other positions of leadership would show up at my door, and they’d want to talk. They came in and just told me their stories. I also led a small group at that time, and literally the first night we met, the group ended with me and another woman sitting in my car for hours, while she told me about the abuse that happened to her when she was a child. In fact, every woman who came to me with a story had some sort of abuse in their circumstances.
 
But that first case was a circumstance that happened in a Christian institution with so-called Christian men, who were actually boys, and it was seriously mishandled by those in authority. They blamed the victim. That shook me to the core. I had no idea, no idea that this type of thing could happen in our sheltered community. That kind of thing happened out there in the world. Right? And it really rocked my world.
 
Little did I know at that time that this story would set the pace for so many others that I’m working with now and have heard now. The number of cases that took place in the context of the Christian community was shocking. They were tales of abuse, and there was poor response by authority figures. Another piece of that was that I remain close to the women in those situations. I have consistently made long-lasting connections with the women who have told me their stories or women that I’ve served, and I really genuinely consider them friends.
 
But fast forward about 20 years and my kids were grown and I was decorating (though my decorating business and my designing degree were going to waste because there was an economic downturn), and the women in my now PCA church groups were still coming to me with stories. I really didn’t know how to help. So usually I would direct them to my husband who was an elder because he was getting trained for a certificate in biblical counseling. And I felt that he had more education to offer than I did.
Well, one day, I was standing in my kitchen, wondering how to use the empty space ahead of me. And it occurred to me that Bob, my husband, still hadn’t finished his counseling certification. So knowing him, I realized he would be more inclined to finish if he had a bit of competition. He’s okay with the story. We tell it all the time. I couldn’t find any design work. So I thought, maybe I should get certified to counsel myself. That way. I wouldn’t have to refer my female friends to him for counsel. And I knew he wouldn’t let me finish that training first. So yeah, I set out on my own for the next year or so. And I audited seminary classes online. I took exams I audited in person here in RTS, Charlotte. And sure enough, Bob finished his course week exactly one week after I finished mine.
 
Julia
It worked!
 
Ann Maree
It worked! So that was a certification that really amounts to crisis discipleship in the local church. It’s a lay ministry. It’s not official. But the seminary that I mentioned, RTS, started a counseling program right after we finished our certificates. And I just didn’t see any reason why we shouldn’t take advantage of that right here in our hometown. So Bob, and I both got degrees, he got a MACC Masters of Arts in Christian Counseling, and I got an MD with a counseling emphasis.
 
Throughout those years of training in seminary, we did a lot of unofficial ministry in the local church, helping anyone who found us and wanted to deal more specifically with certain issues. And again, most of the women I helped had, in some way, been abused in their past, or as we quickly found out, were presently being abused predominantly in their marriages, and often, subsequently by church leadership. And I was just as guilty as anyone else. I had a lot to learn at that time. So it led me to further education. I’m currently pursuing a DMin in biblical counseling. I received trauma training at the Global Trauma Recovery Institute, as well as a couple of other small cohorts that I took, and I did the Called to Peace certificate in domestic abuse advocate training program. Abuse, as I’ve mentioned a few times now tends to be the most frequent cause for women seeking counsel, whether it’s because of the actual abuse, or the long term impact that may show up later as anxiety or an eating disorder or so many of the other related potential issues.
 
Julia
Well, I don’t think anyone would ever accuse you, Ann Maree, of being a slouch.
 
Ann Maree
Well, I am done with education. I am done, done – that was the end of it! I say that, and I’ll get into a situation and be like, “Oh my gosh, I need to learn about that.”
 
Julia
Yes. Well, we’re all lifelong learners anyways. Right?
 
Ann Maree
Yes, just hopefully without papers and quizzes and, and finals anymore.
 
Julia
Already, we hear that God was perfectly knitting together all of these elements into your life to make this cohesive whole. I mean, your love for the church, your heart for people, your desire for justice and mercy, your passion for learning theology and for teaching. And, you know, some people’s callings are pretty obvious. Sometimes people’s callings come by way of experience and are layered over time. But as you look back, you can see that God was preparing you. He was actually opening up so many doors, and women felt comfortable coming to you. And it just felt like a natural thing to sit with them and to hear from them. So it’s such a testimony to God’s faithful call to you, and then your faithful response also to Him.
 
So you already had your own personal experience caring for people and the church, you pursued further education. And as you continue to minister to others, how did God place this ministry on your heart? How did it come to be?
 
Ann Maree
Well in February of 2020, a book I had co-authored was released. It was about a particular ministry which I’m not necessarily willing to platform anymore. But at the heart of that ministry, there was a really helpful nugget – women advocating for women in crisis in the local church. The book is no longer in print. The book was released to churches and sessions, (sessions are elders, and sometimes deacons) and then also to the presbyteries who oversee churches in NAPARC churches (North American Presbyterian and Reformed Churches). And from that point on, victims started contacting me for help. After working with a few different leaders to educate them on how to advocate for the woman, or sometimes I even spoke on the victim’s behalf because they didn’t want to be identified, I recognized there was a gap in how we care for these women in these churches.
 
I realized that no one was walking alongside an informant ( someone who’s reporting the abuse), victims, or survivors. No one was helping them navigate how to report, who to report to. And no one was walking alongside the pastors and the church groups, who are all men, to help them understand the dynamics of abusive crises, and understand these mostly traumatized victims. I think that was the first question one of the presbyters asked me was about her behavior. And I told him, “Oh, no, that’s normal.” To them, that wasn’t normal.
 
But as I pondered this gap, I was seeing a ministry. I guess you would call this my pandemic project. I imagined a ministry that would offer resources and training and qualified advocates available to these churches and parachurch leaders for the purpose of serving them as they care for women in crisis. I mean, women in the church are desperate for care-filled shepherding in the local context. We continue to hear that pastors and church leaders are a woman’s first go-to in a crisis. We want to help those leaders be that refuge for the weary and oppressed.
 
But also, in my mind, I was thinking about the women who are looking for ways to serve. So often we hear what we can’t do in a church setting and our reformed seminaries are pumping out these women graduates who now have nowhere to use their gifts. Help[H]er, in my dream of a ministry, would not only provide resources and training and people to help these church leaders with caregiving, we would also as a ministry come alongside the churches interested in developing their own similar ministry in their local context. And in that way, they would be including these wise and experienced women to use their gifts in the church. Help[H]er then would remain available to the church leaders, and now their advocacy ministry partners for resources, training, continuing education, and outside network connections that we have to help when their circumstances require expert intervention.
 
Ultimately though, to answer your question, my heart was drawn by God’s heart for women. Chris Moles has a saying but I’m going to say it a little differently, but the church should be a place where women can both receive care from their shepherds and give care to one another. I believe that church is a primary place where it can happen. Albeit, not exclusively, not just the church, but good care should happen in the church, for sure. And I’m passionate about seeing women cared for well, and cared for comprehensively in one of the key spaces where God has provided caregivers.
 
Julia
I definitely hear that and see that in your life. You certainly live out that very passion. One of the reasons I was drawn to this kind of ministry is that there’s the branch that loves the hurting and cares for the oppressed, while at the same time, there’s another branch that loves Jesus’s Bride the Church and wants the church to be a safe place in all ways.
 
Those of us who are in this work, unfortunately, have all heard stories of churches that can miss the mark, even if their purposes are well-intentioned. We don’t always hear the good stories or the victories, though. And from your experience, when you see churches care well, what are some of the biblical principles and guidelines that you see, guiding their care for others?
 
Ann Maree
Super great question. Thank you for asking that. I would love to describe it for you. Nirvana. It is a place that ideally would exist even in a fallen sinful world. I don’t know if this is comprehensive. This is just what came to my mind. How do we define a church who cares well for women in crisis? I do think this is primary, this is foundational.
 
First and foremost, they will have a healthy doctrine of woman, not a doctrine built on a poorly interpreted passage only from Genesis, that a woman is an authority-usurper. That’s a passage interpreted solely on language, which is not how we even learn how to interpret Scripture. And just as a sidebar, I’m often asked my opinion for why the church is currently witnessing such an increase of reports of spiritual, emotional and domestic abuse. And I would say that this mistreatment of an ancient text is likely the reason. But anyway, a church seeking to care well will have a doctrine of woman built on more than that Genesis passage. It would also be built on more than the passages from Paul’s instruction to the church that women are easily deceived so they’re forbidden to teach or have authority. A church that cares well is going to build a doctrine of woman from the image of God.
 
The answer to Question 109 in The Westminster Larger Catechism deals with the Second Commandment which prohibits having or worshiping idols. It states that the making of any miserable representation of God is ultimately a desecration of Him. And so that includes the misrepresentation of His image, specifically in man, yes, and in woman. So a church that’s going to care well, for women in crisis will have developed an agreed upon statement, a doctrine of who and what a woman is, and how she will be valued as an important, active and vibrant member of the congregation, worth hearing worth being listened to, worthy of having an opinion, even if that opinion does not line up with everybody else’s. And everyone in the church will know what they believe about who and what a woman is, and who and what a woman is not.
 
I’ve heard recently of one PCA church that developed such a statement, a really healthy statement, and a Reformed Baptist church that actually developed a manual and training for their leadership for how they will, as a body, think about men and women, husbands and wives. So that’s a great starting point.
 
Julia
Yes, I would say that’s essential. And I don’t know how you can go much further unless you have that unhealthy doctrine of woman. Because ultimately, our doctrine of woman, for better or worse, will leak out and impact all areas and all parts of the church, men and children included. And sometimes we can profess one thing, but then the implementation goes awry, and is out of alignment with our stated values and beliefs.
 
Ann Maree
I’m a big mission statement person. You may have noticed this already as I’ve told my story, but I love starting ministries and structuring things, and I always start with a mission statement. What are we doing? Why are we doing it? How are we going to get it done? And I bump up against that with everything else I do. It sets the pace. So that’s why I started there. Doctrine of woman is key for how the future of your abuse care and crisis care will go.
 
Secondly, a church who cares well, is going to have a biblical joy, guiding their care. And I know that might  sound strange, but as Spurgeon once said, Scripture is addressed to saints. So a church who cares well is going to spend a lot of their time reminding people who God is and what He’s done, rather than who the people are not and what they need to do or be. They’re going to make God more beautiful, something one of my professors at RTS said all the time, “We’ve got to make God more beautiful than any other person, place or thing.” Jesus is going to be the biggest personality in their sanctuary. And then they’re going to tie that knowledge of their Savior to their congregation’s internal world, and remind them (remember, remember, remember) remind them of that kind of God in their day to day world – connect those two things.
 
A healthy church will talk about “God moments,” the times in their lives when the care that they felt or received was from a fellow brother or sister. But they also saw and, dare I say, felt God’s hand as well. And they celebrate those moments. They share them. They share them in their stories. They talk about them when they sit in their houses when they sit in their pew or folding chair. They share them as they walk alongside each other. They text them to one another before they go to sleep. And when they rise up. I have friends that text me these things daily, which are such encouragements, so they write them on their doorposts. These are their stories, which are sometimes painful and sometimes joy filled and they’re sometimes both. As mentioned, their anguish stories will ultimately become their Savior’s victory songs of grace. And they’re going to remind one another about Him as long as the day is called day.
 
When God commanded Israel to put His words on their heart. He didn’t just mean the 10 commandments. And what does that even look like? Anyway, practically speaking, how do you apply it to your heart? I’m working on that. But in Deuteronomy 6:16, He says to diligently keep the commandments. Yes, of course, but also His testimonies, or in other words, His demonstrations, His “God moments.” And those are the stories of what He’s done for us. It says that in verses in Deuteronomy 6:10-12.
 
One more thing, a church who wants to care for women in crisis will be guided by a biblical perspective of relationship. The first thing we learned about God when we opened the Bible on January 1 to the first thing we learned, is that he’s relational. It says in the beginning, Elohim. And Elohim, is grammatically plural for God. It’s a category that denotes the Godhead, a community. So together, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are present in creation. They’re present creating the world, heaven, earth, people. And if relationship was primary in that first revelation about God, then it should be primary in our church experience as well.
 
Healthy relationships, like I said, are rooted and soil nourished with joy, joy of the Lord, joy with one another, like you’re actually happy to see each other when you get together, you smile at one another. And you almost see that in the Godhead. They’re happy to be together. And then the church culture is nourished with welcome and that is in life’s joys for sure, but also in the messes. They are nourished in a secure knowledge of a common identity in Christ. And each person in the congregation will be considered with dignity, having the right to their own thoughts, feelings and desires. And they’ll prioritize one another outdoing one another in showing kindness. Healthy relationships will encourage one another to be who we are as people of God and reject condemnation.
 
And another quality that a church will have that wants to care well for women in crisis will be that they have God’s heart for sufferers. Fallen world trauma will not surprise them. I know I’m using a hot word but Peter writes, “Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you as if it’s something strange” in 1 Peter 4:12. He’s saying, trauma, “a fiery ordeal” is normal. Trauma is the human experience. As one author writes, “We were not created to know and experience evil.” That’s evidenced by the prohibition God gave to Adam when the first humans ate from the Tree of Good and Evil. Their whole person, body and soul, was overwhelmed by evil. So Peter is describing something that happens normally. It happens on a normal day. The unusual days are the ones without a fiery ordeal, or trauma, or call it whatever you want to call it.
 
And that cross reference for 1 Peter 4:12 is 3:16 where it says “when” not “if.” And then it also says when you’re slandered. Scripture doesn’t soften language. A fiery ordeal is everything from harm filled words to harmful actions. These are traumatizing. They are fiery ordeals. So the church that cares well, calls it what it is (truth-telling), gives it the appropriate language, and then handles the harm and injustices accordingly. The church handles the harm according to the severity and biblically. And I want to say that everything I just said here should be happening before the church has to deal with their first crisis. It should be baked into their mission, their vision, their goals.
 
Julia
Yes, that should be part of the culture of the church, part of the heartbeat of the church. I say yes and amen to all. You have a gift of being able to see the big picture and the vision. God has given you a creative mind and a curious mind and a mind that reaches for His original intent, and His heart for people. So you’re able to have these amazing visions for what the church can be and is at its best.
But you also are able to make this vision practical, made flesh as it were. A part of your calling does also happen on that ground level where you’re interacting with church leaders and sessions and presbyteries. How does this ministry specifically help to better equip those church leaders, men, women to walk alongside victims and survivors?
 
Ann Maree
This is truly the heartbeat of this ministry. We love helping women and advocating on their behalf. But the preferred path of accomplishing our goals would be to train and resource the church and Christian leaders before the crisis devolves into a need for an advocate.
 
As mentioned, our major resource is the Safe to Hope podcast. And so when you listen in to the storyteller, and then the expert contributor, interacting with that story, you’re getting an incredible education, both from the story, from storyteller’s perspective of a circumstance, and from the person who has practiced and experienced caring well for those most impacted by those types of circumstances. I have a history of multiple years of education and of caring for others and experience and I still sit in awe every time I interact with those podcast guests. I find out just how much I don’t know and also how much I need to know. I’ve said this on another platform. But really the best way to start learning how to help means listen, listen to the stories, listen to the people, listen to those who care, we provide the resource Safe to Hope. So all you have to do is listen.
 
We have so many idea people on our staff and board too. And I want to just kind of move a little away from the original question and share with you some of the things that we are doing. We have people like you with intimate knowledge of crises, many types of abuses, many creative and knowledgeable ways of caring for people, and great ideas for sharing that information.
 
So besides our podcasts, we’re going to be doing webinars. That will be another major resource that Help[H]er will provide beginning in 2024.
 
We’re working on some exciting tools that advocates can use to enhance their care, and one particular resource that will help with the many tasks that victims and survivors need to accomplish and decisions that they need to make. We are constantly looking for the most effective ways to help women in crisis, whether we develop them or someone else does. And we just make the connection. So networking is a really big deal here, too. We’re just here to serve the church body as best we can. And that includes the whole body. And we are, like you’ve said, passionate about it.
 
Julia
And you’re right. There are so many ideas flowing through the ministry. There are so many hearts who are on fire and on mission together, which is really neat and encouraging to see. I hope that also inspires the listeners and church leaders out there to know that if there is a need that we are not resourced for, we will find it for you.
 
Ann Maree
Yes we will, and if we can’t find it, we will figure out how to develop it, you know?
Thank you, Julia, for being our host today.
 
Julia
Thank you for the opportunity and for sharing more of your heart with us.
 
Ann Maree
Thanks to the audience for listening in on our discussion. I’m sitting here hoping that you’ll hear more from Julia on our Safe to Hope podcast soon. If you want to know more about the Help[H]er ministry you can go to helpherresources.com If you’d like more information about our advocacy work specifically click that care button on the menu, and then you can choose from some options. If you’re interested in having Help[H]er to your location for training, you can click on the training button on the menu and then again, choose the option that most closely addresses your needs.
 
 
 
Safe to Hope is a production of Help[H]er. Our executive producer is Ann Maree Gouzdzwaard. Safe to Hope is written and mixed by Ann Maree and edited by Ann Maree and Helen Weigt. Music is “Waterfall” and is licensed by Pixabay. We hope you enjoyed this episode in the Safe to Hope podcast series.
 
Safe to Hope is one of the resources offered through the ministry of Help[H]er is a 501c3 that provides training resources and the people necessary in order for the church to shepherd women well. Your donations make it possible for Help[H]er to serve women and churches as they navigate crises. All donations are tax deductible. If you’d be interested in partnering with this ministry, go to helpherresources.com and click the donate link in the menu. If you’d like more information or would like to speak to someone about ministry goals, or advocacy needs, go to helpherresources.com. That’s helpherresources.com
 
We value and respect conversations with all our guests. Opinions, viewpoints, and convictions may differ so we encourage our listeners to practice discernment. As well. guests do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of HelpHer. It is our hope that this podcast is a platform for hearing and learning rather than causing division or strife.
 
Please note, abuse situations have common patterns of behavior, responses, and environments. Any familiarity construed by the listener is of their own opinion and interpretation. Our podcast does not accuse individuals or organizations.
 
The podcast is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional care, diagnosis, or treatment.

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Looking Forward
  • Swag Shop of branded goodies
  • Festival of Remembrance journal
  • Theology of Story II course
  • Remember Bible Study
  • Documenting resource for counselors