If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Following the traumatic loss of her unborn child, Dulce Cantu faced the challenge of her life when she was diagnosed with an aggressive and rare form of cancer caused by the failed pregnancy.
“I didn’t have time to process the miscarriage because it quickly shifted to fighting for my life,” Cantu says.
Since her diagnosis, she has clung tighter than ever to the hope from the Scriptures that she’s cherished for more than thirty years.
“Am I the same person physically that I was before? Absolutely not,” Cantu says of the lingering effects of multiple surgeries and aggressive chemotherapy treatments. “But spiritually, I’m even stronger. The hope that the Bible gives us — to live forever with no sickness or pain — really helps me.”
This spring, after two years of holding religious services in a virtual format, Cantu has returned to the traditional in-person services being offered by churches and faith centers across the nation, among them the Jehovah’s Witnesses, of which she is a member.
During the week of April 4, Cantu was able to learn more through a Bible-based lecture about the message of hope that would sustain her during a time of fear and uncertainty, and she believes it has given her strength to face the future.
The presentation entitled “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” was made by the Jehovah’s Witnesses at the same time as congregants began returning to in-person services, a development that spokesman Robert Hendriks describes as joyful.
Exploring the theme of “real hope” resonates with many who feel hopeless in the face of relentless bad news and mounting problems, the organization wrote in a prepared statement.
For teen Hailey-Ann Seavey, negative thoughts became a vicious cycle before she found some relief. By her sophomore year of high school, painful memories of past trauma left Seavey unable to envision a future worth living for.
“I kept cycling through the same negative feelings over and over,” she says. “I thought, ‘If this is how my life is going to be, what’s the point?’”
Seavey confided in a classmate, who comforted her with the Bible’s promise of a future time when pains of the past will plague no one.
Hope began to rise in Seavey’s heart, she says. She started an in-depth study of the Bible and accepted her schoolmate’s invitation to attend congregation meetings. Soon, she was sharing her newfound hope with others.
“Learning what the Bible teaches gave me something to look forward to,” says Seavey, now 18. “I feel refreshed and uplifted, and I want others to have that too.”
Mike O’Connell, 70, finds comfort in the same Bible promises.
His wife, Dee, contracted COVID-19 last year while hospitalized with a stroke and died just days before their 39th wedding anniversary.
“I miss everything about her,” O’Connell says.
Picturing how he will be reunited with her in the manner described in the Bible helps O’Connell endure the pain of Dee’s absence.
“I have no doubt I’ll see her again,” he says. “Staying focused on that time keeps my hope alive.”
The 30-minute program “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” is being hosted worldwide by congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in person at local Kingdom Halls. The public is also invited the following week to the annual memorial observance of Jesus Christ’s death on the evening of Friday, April 15. Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Information on how to attend locally is available at www.jw.org.
“In times like these, we need hope more than ever,” Hendriks says. “Hope helps a person look ahead with courage and confidence to the fulfillment of God’s beautiful promises. That’s why attending one of these special programs can be life changing.”