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Finding light and life in mental illness

3 May 2015 Wesley Impact! TV

This week on Wesley Impact! TV we meet mum and author Wendy Collins and the Rev Dr Keith Garner explores John.

Wendy's story
Wendy Collins shares how her daughter Claire decided to write about her struggle with undiagnosed Asperger's syndrome, depression and an eating disorder, after she was unable to find books written by people who had experienced what she was going through. The raw account she has published also includes the perspectives of Wendy as her mum, and some of her teenage friends. While many might ask why difficult things happen, Wendy shares how hope can be found even when answers cannot, and how the words 'light' and 'life' have encouraged her to persevere. Wendy hopes that others facing similar trials will learn that they can stand firm on God's promises and trust that they will come through their time of difficulty with his help. Claire, who is now studying nursing at university, has seen this happen in her life and believes the same can be true for others.

Wesley Mission story—Wesley Operation Hope
We take a look at Wesley Operation Hope and what it is doing to offer help and guidance to youth in need. Wesley Operation Hope is a sponsorship program designed to support children from 10 to 16 who have faced hard times. For Sinead, family breakdown led to years of bullying at school. We hear Sinead’s story and how Wesley Operation Hope offered her hope when she needed it most. Sinead has learnt to believe in herself again and gain the confidence she needs to develop a positive outlook on life.

Keith's reflection
The Rev Dr Keith Garner explores Jesus' teaching of himself as a vine that brings forth good fruit. This contrasts with Israel, whom Isaiah described as a vine that produced bad fruit. Just as the vine and branches remain joined together, so we need to remain close to Jesus in order to bear good fruit and make a difference in this world. We also see the value of pruning, another gardening term which at first might seem harsh, but is essential for growth, and makes the fruit so much better. 

Guest performers
Today we hear from gifted Australian performer Ann-Maree Keefe. Ann-Maree is an acclaimed songwriter, writing prolifically over the years to amass a large body of work including her solo material, worship songs for the wider church and even kids songs. We are also joined by Elizabeth Scott, whose remarkable gift for music is well beyond her young years, combining musical talent with poetic lyrics.