Hope 2011 is set for Sunday, Sept. 25, at 6 p.m. at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts. Pastor David Powell is the Master of Ceremonies.
Sponsored by the Macon Christian Ministerial Association, Hope 2011 will present author and speaker Kristen Jane Anderson of “Reaching You Ministries.”
Kristen Anderson was only 17 years old on the January night she laid across train tracks not far from her home and expected to die. Three friends and her grandmother had died within two years, and she had been raped by a trusted friend. She soon spiraled into a seemingly bottomless depression that led her to a fatal choice. So begins “Life In Spite of Me” (May 4, 2010, Multnomah Books), the true account of an inspiring tragedy-to-triumph story.
Before the engineer could bring the train to a stop, 33 freight cars passed over her at 55 miles per hour. It was only after the train stopped that Kristen realized she was still alive. As she looked around, trying to figure out if she was just caught up in a horrible dream, she saw her severed legs ten feet away. Pain rocked her body, but soon peace overcame her, and she experienced a heavenly concert for one. “Amazing Grace” mysteriously rang in her ears as she waited for the end. Paramedics arrived and Anderson’s story did not end there.
“I was angry with the paramedics for trying to save me,” says Anderson, who never lost consciousness. “With all of my being, I wanted to die.” While losing her legs launched Anderson into an even deeper battle with depression and suicidal thoughts as well as unrelenting physical pain, a transformation had begun. In the midst of her darkest days, Anderson found hope in faith and a purpose for living.
Unflinchingly honest and ultimately hopeful, “Life, In Spite of Me” is the story of a young woman who experienced the deepest despair but emerged victorious over some of life’s worst travails. Her gripping story of finding joy against all odds provides a vivid and unforgettable reminder that life is a gift to be treasured.
Prior to the featured speaker, youth bands will present live praise and worship at 5 p.m. All are welcome.