Review

Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts

by Kathe Wunnenberg

Author Kathe Wunnenberg is the founder and president of Hopelifters Unlimited. She pens this inspirational resource to aid those who are in need of hope, as well as those who aspire to give out hope. Wunnenberg, herself the original hopelifter, writes from what she lives out in practice. Throughout this dynamic story-filled text, she shares her own experiences of giving hope whenever and wherever it is needed. Her tender heart is evident with every story she tells, whether she is the giver of hope or its grateful recipient.

In this three-part book, Wunnenberg opens with “Part One – Discovering Hope,” where she discusses the foundation for offering hope to others from both a biblical basis and a practical one. She explains how readers can realize hope in Jesus Christ and have the power through Him to overcome their own hopeless situations. She also cites how hope can become real in specific places, through various processes, and through the giving of possessions. Finally, she shares how to pass on hope to others through intimate connection.

"Throughout this dynamic story-filled text, [Wunnenberg] shares her own experiences of giving hope whenever and wherever it is needed. Her tender heart is evident with every story she tells, whether she is the giver of hope or its grateful recipient."

“Part Two – Embracing Hope” focuses on overcoming hope blockers, recognizing that hopelifters need hope themselves, how to develop your own realistic hope plan, and ways to creatively spread your hope around. In “Part Three – Giving Hope,” Wunnenberg shares  100 stories of hope (the giving and the getting) from real-life men and women. She offers poignant and powerful stories of hope that deal with life’s toughest issues, such as abortion, abuse, addiction, adoption, adultery, cancer, depression, divorce, homelessness, infertility, the loss of a child, military deployment, a prodigal child, stress, suicide, terminal illness and workplace challenges.

Readers will also find additional helpful material in Wunnenberg’s three appendices, where she provides a series of in-depth discussion questions for individual or group study. The second appendix supplies Christians with numerous scripture verses that will infuse readers needing hope for themselves or to share with someone else who is suffering from a severe case of hopelessness.

Finally, Wunnenberg concludes her go-to resource for hopelifters with a full listing of “helpful, hopeful websites for caring” in practical ways. Because this book is all about offering one’s hand and heart in service to others in need, the very practicality of the text is the heart of this encouraging work. She and her staff reach out to individuals across the nation every single day and encourage those reading her text to do the same. Regardless of one’s experience (or lack thereof) in offering hope to someone who is hurting, Wunnenberg believes it is our purpose and calling to step forward and serve even when we’re most uncomfortable.

Readers will quickly realize that Wunnenberg doesn’t merely issue a call to serve from the sidelines. She is out there in the trenches of life giving, giving, and giving some more. Her testimony to God’s faithfulness in every circumstance underlies each and every hopelifting Wunnenberg undertakes to provide.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on August 13, 2013

Hopelifter: Creative Ways to Spread Hope When Life Hurts
by Kathe Wunnenberg