Rest Ministries

Health Activist

When I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis 20 years ago I didn't know it would be the thread that connected all the things I love--writing, speaking, connecting with others, and truly understanding the journey that people were experiencing because I was on it myself. Originally I had planned to be a social worker but I didn't feel I really understood the struggles people had. God has a sense of humor on the funky path He placed me on to find my purpose! Through my organization, Rest Ministries, I have found defiant hope and joy through so many people, despite the darkness and pain they live with each day. Through our social network, The Sunroom, to daily devotionals and HopeKeepers groups in churches and communities, it is wonderful to see people connect and encourage one another. We have also had the opportunity to reach out to hundreds of thousands of people through National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week (aka Invisible Illness Week) since 2002. Through virtual conferences, blogging for the cause, and social media we have dramatically raised the awareness of how most illnesses (about 96%) are invisible to most people. I love writing books to blogs, adding resources and encouragement to our Pinterest board (over 8,000 pins!) and creating a new app for quick access to everything Rest Ministries and the people who make it a family. It is a joy to be able to discover that someone has been reading our daily devotionals for fifteen years and then finally writes to tell us what a difference they have made. One woman recently shares that she had been healed--her body and physical pain was the same, but her attitude change had given back her life to her. I love what I do and feel honored to be a part of the patient community.

Location

San Diego, CA

Nominations

Best in Show: Facebook Health Activist Hero Advocating for Another Lifetime Achievement Award Lifetime Achievement

Finalist

Best in Show: Community or Forum

Winner

Best in Show: Pinterest

I wish I had the eloquent vocabulary to describe the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been improved by Lisa. She has dozens of websites, newsletter, bookstore, has written books, held seminars, does public speaking, has created an annual event called "Invisible Illness Week" with tens of thousands of participants.  — Sheila

Rest Ministries does so much to make a difference on a daily basis in the lives of those with chronic illness of all kinds! They share daily inspiring devotionals. They provide a Sunroom forum with groups to join. They produce articles covering topics that are important to those of us who are disabled and chronically ill. Rest Ministries has an active Twitter presence and Pinterest account that keeps up with the latest and most inspirational topics for those with illness of all kinds. Lisa Copen, who began Rest Ministries, also hosts Invisible Illness Awareness Week each year, which is a phenomenal event for spreading awareness and encouraging others to become activists themselves. Lisa is a touchstone in the lives of those of us with chronic illness, and Rest Ministries is our Home.  — Shelly

Lisa's Rest Ministries boards are all just wonderful. She has them separate from her personal account and has many inspiring things, practical tips, links to articles, etc.  — Kara

Lisa has given her life to help encourage people w/ chronic illness and/or pain through Rest Ministries, which has been online and 501c3 since 1997; also through National Invisible Illness Awareness Week, which she started in 2002. Both of these have grown to touch the lives of thousands of people ea. yr., helping not just Christians but all.  — Kara

Lisa established Rest Ministries in '96 and it's been a 501(c)3 and online since '97. It's for encouragement for people w/ chronic illness and/or pain, Christian, and but all are welcome. In 2002, she also established Nat'l Invisible Illness Week yearly. She's worked tirelessly and w/o pay, despite her own illnesses and declining health. So much...  — Kara

Lisa has been a chronic illness advocate for many years! She is the founder of Rest Ministries and Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Despite her declining health and increasing pain, she continues to give of herself to the chronic illness community.  — Rachel

Rest Ministries

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