I am so excited to announce the arrival of my first book, Hope Rising: Finding Hope in a Turbulent World!
In this blog post, I want to give you a little of the backstory and context for why I wrote this book, along with the Founder (Lars Dunberg) of the mission organization I lead, called ServeNow.
Several years ago, our Lars and I were meeting with a couple in their home in Texas. As we talked, the husband commented, “you know, what ServeNow gives me is hope.” As soon as he made this statement, I had a vision for one day writing a book on hope that shared the ServeNow story.
Later that day, as our Founder and I talked over a meal, I even mentioned to him that we needed to write a book together one day! That evening, we also came up with the phrase that is being used for our 3-year vision plan based on the dreams of our National Leaders around the world: Providing Lasting Hope. ServeNow does many different things in many different countries around the world. Still, no matter the specific project or program, what is really being extended to people is hope! And it is a hope that arises from the person of Jesus Christ himself working in and through his people worldwide.
While the seed for the dream of writing this book was planted several years back, it was a project that was supposed to still be a few years away. Between a growing ministry, obtaining my master’s degree, travel, and tending to my family, it did not seem realistic or possible to take this additional task on yet.
But then COVID hit! In the first week of the lock-down measures being put in place, Lars and I were asked by one of our leaders in Asia to write a special edition booklet as part of our Basic Series Discipleship program. The Basic Series is a set of 30 booklets, just 32 pages each called The Basic Things You Need to Know. They were written and designed so that anybody, at any level, anywhere in the world, translated in multiple languages, could read and grasps the basic truths of the Christian faith.
We had just finished the last book in the series when we got this request. Within a couple of weeks, we wrote, edited, typeset and had out for translation in multiple languages, a special edition book called The Basic Things You Need to Know When Your World Falls Apart.
But as time went on and international travel was put on hold, I started feeling more and more compelled to work on this book now rather than later. One of the things I decided early on during COVID was that I would not get focused, paralyzed, and depressed about all that I couldn’t do with all the limitations and restrictions. Instead, I committed to staying focused and excited about what I could do, and even opportunities this may afford, even if not part of our original plans.
And so, I started writing before I said anything to anyone else. One day, I wrote 10,000 words and another day even wrote 20,000. The main content just flowed! The hard work of revising, editing, citing, and other details would come later. But the more I wrote, the more excited I got and timelier I felt this book could be, especially as 2020 is also an election year.
If there is ever a time that the world needs hope, it is now! On the back of the book, I wrote this:
“The world feels more turbulent and hopeless with each passing day. Fear, anxiety, and despair darken and grip our hearts. From disasters and diseases to scandals and divisiveness. Where can we find real and lasting hope?
Hope Rising does not sugarcoat the stark realities of the world or the individual circumstances each of us may be facing. But it does tell real stories of hope rising from around the world, even from what seems to be the most hopeless situations. It’s also a call to each of us to bring hope to a world in need.”
Hope Rising is not just a book about ServeNow. Included in it are personal stories of both myself and Lars. I share stories from right here in the US, as well as around the world. This is also not just a book for those who may be hopeless or depressed. We all need our hope renewed at times, and we all need to be reminded of the hope we have ultimately in Jesus Christ. Young and old will benefit from this book; there is a specific chapter addressed to both the old and young!
There is also a call for us to become conduits of hope in a world desperately in need. I don’t know about you, but have you noticed more and more commercials and billboards for all kinds of businesses emphasizing the word hope? Even marketers are recognizing people need hope!
I encourage you to pick up not only a copy for yourself but consider buying a few copies to give as gifts this holiday season or to family and friends. As we write about in this book, there is another story out there not being told enough. It certainly is not making the daily news. We want to tell you that story because Hope is Rising! Join the movement and help spread the word!
***You can Pre-Order Hope Rising here: https://weservenow.org/books/.