We only have a few more chapters to share from SURRENDERING TO HOPE. It is my prayer that these sketches will give you an idea of the scope of pain and struggle that the authors of this book relate, and how each one finds guidance and hope in Jesus. That same hope is available to you, dear friend. In your pain, you are not alone.
This is certainly a message that Jim Holway needed. His story contains many elements of painful experience that might have defeated many men. Jim was born in Seoul, South Korea. His mother was Korean, his father was a U. S. Soldier who had no intentions of raising a family. Before he was a year old he contracted polio. Because he was mixed race, he was treated with contempt by his culture. Ultimately, unable to provide the kind of care and help he needed, his mother put he and his brother up for adoption. In the orphanage, his half-brother contracted tuberculosis of the spine.
While it might have seemed like the end of the world, this was one of the first demonstrations of grace in my life … At every turn, when things could have gone quite badly, God found a way to break through the gloom and darkness to provide a ray of light and hope. But it was a ray I would not be able to see for half a lifetime.
The two hurting brothers were adopted by John Holway and his Japanese wife, Motoko, and raised in Manassas, Virginia. Multiple health problems continued to plague Jim, the resulting complications of polio. But that was not the only painful problem Jim faced. His parents were not Christians, and his mother was “physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive”. This and the effects of the divorce of his parents led him down a path of drug and alcohol abuse. Further risky behavior ended with an arrest.
When Jim was nineteen a group of college students fro Freed-Hardeman College came to Manassas on an evangelistic outreach mission.
Their warmth, love, and acceptance led me to the healthy relationships for which had longed my entire life. In Jesus and his family, I found the belonging for which I had been searching. I followed the campaign group to Freed to attend school.
It as there that he met Kathryn and they moved to Argentina to do mission work. They had two children and adopted a third. The painful problem with polio seemed in the far distance and he was able to do all he wanted to do. Upon moving back to the States, however, post-polio syndrome struck.
I hope you’ll pick up a copy of SURRENDERING TO HOPE to find out how Jim faced yet again the physical debilitating challenges in front of him. After noting the pain he now lives with he writes:
God has been watching over my life, and every time Satan made a move against me, God countered that move with divine grace. I can’t choose the pain or discomfort I feel, but I can choose my perspective in response to that pain.
I don’t know what pain you are facing today, but reading about Jim’s struggles and how he turned to God to find grace is truly inspirational.
Jim Holway is Field Coordinator for Latin American Mission Project (LAMP), and Minister, Sunset Church of Christ, Miami, Florida.
In the next post about Surrendering to Hope, we meet a minister who manages to find gifts from God in the midst of his shattered dreams when divorce becomes his reality.
Surrendering to Hope is edited by John Mark Hicks, Christine Fox Parker, and Bobby Valentine. It is published by Leafwood Publishing.