Katherine and Jay Wolf were college sweethearts. They moved to California to pursue their dreams. Katherine was pursuing a career in the entertainment industry while Jay finished up law school. They had just welcomed a new baby when the unthinkable happened. Katherine suffered a major brain stem injury. While she survived, she would have to re-learn how to eat, speak and walk. Risen interviewed the couple in 2016 and talked with them about how they started their ministry Hope Heals, and their perspective on overcoming setbacks or facing a detour.
The Wolfs share how they decided to start Hope Heals and how they have seen support in doing digital ministry.
“(Katherine) Basically, the ministry started organically by many people. Our friends and family were sharing the video and story on different websites and we decided to centralize everything. In 2011, we decided to put everything on one website, which is HopeHeals.com. Then in 2013, we decided to create the ministry and non-profit…(Jay) Katherine can’t drive or walk, and can’t get along very easily by herself; this digital age has really inspired and facilitated this integration of our lives and our story and the telling of the gospel through the lens of our story. We were being encouraged and motivated that we could play a role in the lives of others through sharing our story. It is cool to see in this day and age that we live in where technology keeps us disconnected, we can [also] use technology to redeem that and talk to people on our cell phones from all over the world about what God is doing in our lives. Digital ministry has enabled Katherine to be able to work from her dining room table. Likewise, it allows people who might also be disabled to engaged with us from their own homes…He is using Katherine’s communication skills that she developed when she was pursuing the entertainment industry and my sort of legal background to equip us for ministry. It’s been a blessing to step into that fulltime. He used all these things in unexpected ways to do ministry digitally together to encourage people with the hope of the Gospel through the lens of our story…”
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope; And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
Katherine shares her perspective on what others can do when they face a detour or setback in life.
“In a world that really wants to reject anything that is not beautiful, clean or perfect and exactly like what they expected it was going to be, there is such joy available in accepting what is and going with that. One of the great tragedies of our modern era is entitlement, where you feel like you are owed this type of life, this amount of money or a certain number of kids. We expect this life to be easy, but the reality is that none of that is promised. One thing we can be sure of in life is that there will be pain and suffering. The people who are filled with the most joy in life are often the ones that can just go with it. To be able to say, ‘This is not what I would have chosen in my life, but for some reason this is what God had planned for me. I am going to live into it and celebrate the life that I have been given even if it isn’t the life I thought I would have. Just making it beautiful and redeeming it every day.’”
Share your faith digitally. We live in an exciting time. We can share our faith with people around the world from our phones and computers. From videos to inspirational faith stories, there is so much content that we can share. Take time this week to think about a pastor or speaker that encourages you in your faith. Find a video or message that they have shared on social media and share it with your friends and followers. Consider recording your faith story on video and sharing it through social media as well. There are many sites where they walk you through the steps of how to share your faith. This can be a great place for people who are searching for answers about spiritual things.
Have joy! When you face a detour or challenge in life, don’t get frustrated. Instead, ask God to give you His perspective on the situation. Take time this week to reflect on characters in the Bible who faced adversity-Joseph was betrayed by his own brothers, David was called to be king but the current king wanted him killed-there are many examples. Look at how they turned to God and how he was their source of joy and hope. If you are still having trouble finding joy, meet with a pastor or small group leader and ask for their perspective and encouragement. Remember that joy is not necessarily feeling happy.
Be a messenger of hope. God has given us His message of hope. While people and circumstances may fail us, He will never leave us or forsake us. Ask God to show you someone in your life this week that needs to hear about the eternal hope that you have in Jesus. Pray for boldness and an opportunity for a spiritual conversation.
To read our entire interview with Jay and Katherine Wolf, click here.