Hickory – Redhawk Publications, an initiative of Catawba Valley Community College, is honored to announce the publication of Exodus Diaries, a collaborative writing project for Exodus Homes, a faith-based United Way agency and Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ. Mr. Robert Canipe performed both editing and writing coach duties for this unique collection of stories. He is currently the publisher and editor-in-chief at Redhawk Publications as well as a professor of composition at Catawba Valley Community College.

“The outcomes of writing can come from painful circumstances,” said Canipe. “A project like Exodus Diaries required each person involved to revisit trauma and pain they’d hoped to forget. Each of the students started with a story, that while personal to them as an individual, had similar threads to others in the group. I entered the first class intending to put everyone at ease, as I do all students. ‘If you can carry on a conversation, you can write an essay.’ I told the participants a few of my traumas and became one of them by being vulnerable and transparent. Distance helps trauma not hurt as badly. It helps us stay rational.

It helps us help others who might be at the beginning of their healing journey that we’ve already traversed through. Writing our story gives us added distance and perspective of how far we’ve come in our lives.”

Rev. Reggie Longcrier, Executive Director of Exodus Homes and Senior Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ Church who is an accomplished author himself explained, “The people whose stories that are highlighted in this book are representative of the thousands of people who have passed through the doors of Exodus Homes and Exodus Church. They have experienced a remarkable recovery from drug addiction, incarceration and homelessness. This is not just a book about people in recovery but it is a book about people.”

Rev. Susan Smith, Assistant Executive Director of Exodus Homes and Senior Associate Pastor of Exodus Missionary Outreach United Church of Christ says, “Exodus Diaries was created to share hope with those seeking a place to heal and find support as well as enlighten others that it is never too late for anyone. This book proves we can recover, with heartfelt success stories from all over the human map. Exodus Diaries is for anyone looking for stories of redemption, faith, and freedom. The human condition includes great suffering but with God’s help, we can be transformed in our suffering to emerge stronger and wiser. Each writer in Exodus Diaries shares their experience, strength and hope because we know in recovery that we can only keep what we have by giving it away.”

The public is welcome to attend the “The Exodus Diaries” book launch on October 27, 2022 at 6:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Hickory, 237 2nd St. NW Hickory, NC. “This book event will feature all 14 writers and several excerpt readings which highlights participants’ transformational journey. Books can be purchased at the event for $15, signed by the writers ahead of time. The Exodus choir will sing and we will have a time of light refreshments and fellowship after the program,” said Rev. Smith. “We hope the community will come out and support our residents and program.”

To purchase Exodus Diaries, visit https://tinyurl.com/ExodusDiaries