By Elaine James
Sunday′s installment of THE MESSENGERS brought the contestants to the Children′s Hospital of Orange County and where they were greeted outside by Jonathan, a 17-year-old cancer patient. Jonathan leads them inside the hospital, where they met young patients undergoing treatment and spoke with devoted parents whose daily vigils provide strength to their weakened little ones.
The seven contestants still left on the show also attend a party celebrating the recovery of patients who have undergone drastic heart surgeries. This reunion brought blessed children and thankful parents into the lives of the contestants.
To end their moving afternoon, they visited the Rainbow Room, a place where children spend their final days with family and friends. The contestants shared a sobering moment with one of the nurses as she tells an inspiring story about a young girl whose bright spirit never faded even while facing death.
This young girl had Hope. This was also the topic given to the contestants for their next speech in front of the studio audience.
Panelists Richard Greene and Bobby Schuller were relieved that the contestants seemed to be bouncing back from the less-impressive speeches that were given the previous week. Many told of times in their own lives where they had given up hope, only to have life changing experiences that sought them through.
Both Angelica and Karen relieved failed suicide attempts that proved to be too dark to impress the audience. While Angelica squeeked by to the next round, Karen Michel, the filmmaker from Los Angeles, was sent home with her off topic speech that was called "fake and empty" by the panelists.
The foundation of each episode, airing Sundays at 10:00 p.m. EST, is a field trip designed to give the speakers a profound learning experience - the opportunity to live life by walking in someone else′s shoes. In the next episode, a field trip will lead them to powerful moment of forgiveness between a man convicted of vehicular homicide and the deceased mother. At the end of each trip, the group is given the speaking topics and will appear before a studio audience. At the conclusion of the series, one speaker will be crowned THE MESSENGER and will be awarded a publishing deal and the opportunity to host their own TLC special.