Anchorage, AK

Finding Real Hope in Times of Trouble

Grant Perry

For Cherry Perry, a routine diabetes check turned into a life-altering appointment when her doctor heard something abnormal in her lung. An X-ray confirmed the worst – lung cancer.

Even with a cancer diagnosis, Perry, 75, of Anchorage, spends more time worrying about others than she does worrying about herself. But when those worrisome thoughts do turn inward, it can be hard for her. “I get emotional,” she said. “But I fight that really hard.”

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=12a5Wy_0f3hE22G00
Cherry Perry of Anchorage enjoys a virtual Bible lecture that helps to solidify her faith in the Bible's promise of a better future.Courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses' Public Information.

Faith has gotten Perry through her worst moments – faith that has grown stronger since her baptism as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses over 50 years ago.

Battling cancer since 2016, Perry has undergone many treatments that cause severe side effects. She is comforted by the Bible’s hope for a cancer-free future. “I can see it already happening,“ she said. “It's so real to me.”

This spring, Perry joins millions of Witnesses worldwide, including over 2,000 Witnesses in Alaska, inviting all to hear about that hope in a Bible-based lecture held during the week of April 4, 2022. This special presentation entitled, “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” comes at a very special time for Jehovah’s Witnesses locally, who will be heading back to their meeting places April 1 for the first time in two years.

“We’re overjoyed to be able to come together again in person at this very special time,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “This event takes on a new dimension as we return to our Kingdom Halls and invite our neighbors to join us. It’s very exciting!” Congregations will also offer a videoconferencing option for all congregants and visitors.

Exploring the theme of “real hope” resonates with many who feel hopeless in the face of relentless bad news and mounting problems. For Las Vegas 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 said. “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 started an in-depth study of the Bible and accepted her schoolmate’s invitation to attend congregation meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses; soon, she was sharing her newfound hope with others.

“Learning what the Bible teaches gave me something to look forward to,” said Seavey, now 18. “I feel refreshed and uplifted, and I want others to have that too.”

Mike O’Connell, 70, of Marietta, Georgia, 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,” said O’Connell.

Picturing how he will welcome her back in the global resurrection to life on earth as described in Scripture helps O’Connell endure the pain of Dee’s absence.

“I have no doubt I’ll see her again,” he said. “Staying focused on that time keeps my hope alive.”

The 30-minute program “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” will be 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, 2022.

Admission to both programs is free, and no registration is required. Information on attending locally is available at jw.org.

“In times like these, we need hope more than ever,” said Hendriks. “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.”

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I have lived nearly my whole life in Alaska, mostly in Anchorage. I am interested in local, national, and global news, local food and events, games, and music.

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