Support Group Spotlight
I’ve concluded over my years of struggling with infertility — I needed support! Support beyond what was given by my family and closest friends. I needed support from one who is going through it, just like myself.
Not only have I been a founder / leader of several Christian Infertility Support groups, but I’ve been a member as well. As we all know being a member of anything has its’ benefits. I found such benefits in a Christian based support group. Benefits such as like-minded women on a similar journey, encouragement through the scripture and emotional support through prayer.
Since I’m passionate about support groups I thought I’d something new here at Dancing Upon Barren Land ministry, “Support Group Spotlight”. This is the time where I interview Christian Infertility Support Group Leaders asking questions about their group. Hopefully, this will give get the word out about a local support group in your area, plus, offer some encouragement and a testimony or two of God’s faithfulness during infertility, adoption and early infant loss.
My first “Support Group Spotlight” is from my dear friend, April Jones of The Ark Church in Conroe, Texas. I came to know April a few months after I started my support group at Lakewood Church in Houston. We instantly connected and became one another’s burden bearers and close friends. She’s such a dear heart to me.
Together, we’ve walked not only our own fertility journey’s out, but have walked alongside with 100 fertility challenged women or more! We’ve witnessed God’s faithfulness during the hard time of waiting and have held ‘answered prayer’; a newborn or newly adopted child. We’ve seen over 60 babies born or adopted into families where a woman was told, “No hope!” All praise and glory to Him!
Here’s my friend, April Jones and her group, HOPE – Hearts Of Promise & Expectation for Women in Conroe, Texas.
Support Group Spotlight
HOPE Christian Infertility Support Group in Conroe, Texas
1) What is the name of your support group and what state are located?
HOPE (Hearts Of Promise & Expectation) at The Ark Church in Conroe, TX located north of Houston is a group for women experiencing infertility, secondary infertility, miscarriage or adoption. Join us and you will be strengthened in your faith through God’s word, find healing for the grief of infertility and emotional support through fellowship with others on a similar journey.
2) What is the mission of your group?
Speaking truth, hope and life into women – Stirring up the spirit of hope and expectancy through the word of God.
3) Tell us the story, how did the support group began?
HOPE at The Ark began through a vision of Victoria Osteen at Lakewood Church. God birthed the desire in Victoria to help women experiencing infertility through the women’s ministry. After attending the group at Lakewood and volunteering for many years God laid it on my husband’s heart to begin attending The Ark in Conroe, TX. Through our involvement with the marriage ministry and the church leadership I felt God calling me to begin a second group here in Conroe. Through the support of my dear friend and founder of HOPE, Lesli Westfall and the leadership team at The Ark and we began reaching out to women in the Conroe area. Hope at The Ark began on February 14, 2012.
4) How long have you been meeting together? Is your group specialized, i.e. adoption, secondary infertility, loss?
Our group encompasses women experiencing all fertility related issues. A good majority of the women are choosing to open their homes to children needing a temporary or forever through fostering and adoption.
5) Is your group for women only, men only or couples?
HOPEat The Ark Church is a support exclusively for women only.
6) If someone new is coming to your group, what could they expect?
HOPE at The Ark Church meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm. During our meetings we have a devotional and time for sharing. During the sharing women open their hearts and we stand beside them in support and prayer.
7) Why would I want to come to your group?
HOPE at The Ark Church is unique in that we don’t just have women desiring their first child attending our group. We have a group of women experiencing secondary infertility that we stand alongside as we believe God to fill their quiver full. Our group also has a sister group “All in Orphan Care,” for couples. This group will provide special speakers, topical studies and discussion driven activities to address the unique challenges of foster care/adoptive parents. (All In means – we all have a part to play as believers – James 1:27.) Whether you are new to the experience or are a veteran family.
8) Can your share ONE STORY/testimony from a group member?
When I asked the group for a testimony a few women gladly shared their experiences with a support group. Today, I’ll choose to highlight the story of Collins, she says..
I came to find HOPE through my mom. She had heard about it and pushed me to seek help because she knew I was hurting. Little did either of us know I would find amazing prayer warriors, close friends, the empathy I desired, and a pouring out of The Word that I needed. I am so thankful that God made a path where one seemed hopeless. He literally gave me back my hope and so much more through these ladies and this group. After a 4 year journey with infertility, I received my biggest blessing-Gwendolyn Grace. I know he directs our paths and that he uses our struggles for his kingdom because I have been able to speak encouraging words over other friends dealing with infertility many times over the last year and a half. I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to share my story with others had I not been involved in this group! Glory to God! – Collins H.
9) Share ONE resource, book or website that you highly recommend.
I highly recommend Dancinguponbarrenland.com. It’s my go to resource along with the book written by the famous Lesli Westfall entitled the same. (I do always recommend the DUBL ministry all the time).
10) List your location and time your group meets.
HOPE at The Ark meets the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm at The Ark Church, 450 Humble Tank Rd. Conroe, TX 77304. For more information contact April Jones at 281-636-4573 or [email protected]
Thank you, April for sharing about your group! If you live in the north Houston area or the vicinity, please come to April’s group. You’ll be so glad you did!