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RHM Newsletter 38: 2020 Year-end Wrap-up

  • RHM 2020 Newsletter Photos from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Luke 2:7–11 NKJV  And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

    Thank you for reading the Daily Word of Hope devotional and being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. I hope this message finds you warm, safe, and happy wherever you happen to be. This is our year-end newsletter, and I wanted to update you on what has been happening here at RHM during 2020.

    What a year. It has certainly not been a boring one. There has been so much going on in the world this year. We have seen COVID-19, protests, election drama, storms, and much more. But I can’t cover all that, so I will stick to what has been going on here at Refreshing Hope. We have been staying at home as much as possible. Most of our time is spent working on things around here that need to be done.

    It has been a challenging but successful year at RHM that involved a lot of hard work. The Lord has placed us here for such a time as this to bring hope to His people. Our ministry focuses on bringing a word of hope each day to His people, especially those who are unable to attend church. To reach the disabled or those who have fallen through the cracks. Because of that, we found that we were already in place when the lockdowns came and church doors began closing because of COVID-19. When many began struggling to get their services online, we were already there and bringing hope to His people right where they are.

    The Lord will always let us be prepared for what is coming on the Earth, and this time is no different. But we have to walk close, we have to listen, and be open to radical change if it is needed. In general, we are too passive and take too much for granted in life. We are literally dust in the wind. Everyone is planning tomorrow, yet, not one of us can be sure we will see it. The Lord is giving the world a tap on the shoulder, “Hey, remember Me?” 2020 was wild, but there is still more to come. Keep your to-do list short. Live your life ready to die with no regrets.

    Here are some of the things we have been working on at RHM:

    * Thanks to your support, Refreshing Hope is now ad-free! I never liked having ads on the site, but they helped support us at the time. We prayed about it, took a leap of faith, and removed them. We have managed to get by without them now for several months. That was entirely made possible by your support! Thank you!

    * We have over one hundred video devotionals now and create a new one each week for Monday. We also provide a spirit-filled devotional that goes out seven days a week via email. These accompany our chapter by chapter video Bible studies and interactive quizzes. We have covered the entire book of Luke and Acts so far. Now we are working on the Gospel of John as time permits.

    * We released our second music CD in April of 2020 called “I Choose You” It is based on Joshua 24:15 and contains 12 songs written and recorded right here at Refreshing Hope. It is a follow-up CD to “Wings of Love,” which was released in October 2018. We are also working on a third CD called “Small Beginnings” as time permits. You can stream music by “Refreshing Hope” with most streaming services today. Our books and CDs are available on Amazon.

    * RHM has a new t-shirt store set up for us by one of our wonderful members. You can buy shirts with the RHM logo as well as various other Christian wear. Our books, CDs, and shirts are priced as low as possible, but they are all basically print and ship on demand. These types of distributions cost more, just so you know, but that is the easiest method for us at the moment.

    * New additions: Sylvia and I share pictures taken throughout the week during the live service to make it more intimate and connect with you better. We are studying photography and trying to improve on it. I gathered about 100 photos from the year and have asked Sylvia to create a slideshow that we can embed in this newsletter. If you want to see what has been going on in our lives, please watch it.

    * Jasmine! We are getting a puppy for Christmas! We spend a lot of time with our daughter’s two dogs, River, an Australian Shepherd, and Layla, a Chihuahua. Now we have decided to get one of our own, a Miniature American Shepherd. She was born last month, so we will get to bring her home mid-January. Sylvia has never owned a dog before, so this will be new to her.

    * Upgrades and repairs: There has been a lot of hard work at RHM this year. The studio room where we stream the live services take place has always been too hot. There is just so much equipment and lighting packed into a small room that it overheats. When I come out of the room after a meeting, my shirt would be soaked with sweat.

    The office where the servers and network equipment lives overheats as well. The only way to fix it correctly was to install a multi-head mini-split A/C unit. We tend to do things ourselves as much as possible these days, so we bought all the equipment wholesale and installed it ourselves. It is such a blessing now to be able to control the temperature separately in each room!

    The bathroom floor warped, then became spongy, then soft. I hoped to put it off until spring, but it became dangerous, and I was scared we would fall through it. So I had to cut up the old flooring, reinforce the floor joists, and replace the plywood there. We do all the work ourselves in our spare time and are nearly done with it. You can see the pictures in the slideshow.

    There have been so many things in the past year, far too many to list, upgrades to workstations, racks, servers, battery backup units. The slideshow will give you some idea. One of the next things I would like us to have is a generator. We live near the coast and face hurricanes and random power outages. Right now, we have a portable gas generator that we can pull out and connect to keep the equipment online if needed. But a real Generac would be a great addition and keep us online longer during electricity blackouts. It would also be nice to upgrade the camera that we use for live services. The one we currently have is a Canon GL2 from 2003. Technology is so much better these days. Those are just things on our wishlist.

    Year-End Giving:

    The Lord has again faithfully taken care of us this year. Each time we have had a need, He has provided for it - no matter how impossible it looked. That said, He has provided what we need to do it, but we have to do the actual work, which I am ok with. I am happy to say that RHM is a debt-free ministry and that we are not driven by financial needs, but I do want to mention this:

    As a supporter of RHM, you may have plans to contribute at year’s end. If that is the case, then we welcome your support. We would be glad to receive your year-end donation, which will allow you to “render a little less to Caesar and a little more to the Lord.” RHM is a non-profit organization, and your donations here are tax-deductible. If you wish to send a year-end contribution, please be sure that your gift is made by December 31 to be credited in 2020. You can donate securely online at our website.

    Thank you:

    I just want to say thank you so much for those that take a moment out of their day to encourage us, send us a card or a gift, and support us. We could not do any of this without you. I know that God has great things in store for RHM, and we so appreciate each of you that have stood by us through the hard times. Our prayer wall is covered with your cards and letters:

    If you need prayer, just click on the Prayer link on the website menu (you will need to be logged in). For our prayer warriors, if you are interested in joining our prayer team, please do contact us.

    Many thanks to each of you for being part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. We pray for each of you daily and are very grateful for the group of people God has put here.

    Pastor Dion


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10 comments
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb What a blessing to see all the RHM projects as they came to completion! Thanks, Sylvia, for putting this slideshow together. I'm very certain that River and Layla simply want you both to sit on the couch and give them a good petting after this year of challenges and accomplishments. The Lord is blessing your faithful service at RHM -- well done. On to what He brings in 2021! I'm thankful to be a small part of this family.
December 23, 2020
  • 2
Debi Burton
Debi Burton Awesome video of 2020 Wrap up! A lot of accomplishments done thru year.Love your dogs! Merry Christmas! :)
December 24, 2020
  • 2
Mari Kaufmann
Mari Kaufmann

I truly enjoy this daily devotional so much. It gives me hope and encouragement. Thank you. 

December 23, 2020
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Kevin J. Eck
Kevin J. Eckedited: December 23, 2020

Amen, I have been reading your devotionals for 4 1/2 years! Thank you RHM!

 

December 23, 2020
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Kathy Banfield
Kathy Banfield

My day wouldn't be complete without the daily devotional and message from Pastor Dion.  God bless you and Sylvia! Oh yes, and adorable Jasmine,  too. What a little cutie!

December 23, 2020
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Elena Vasquez
Elena Vasquez

Amen pastor Dion. Thank you for your love in writting that spiring and refreshing devotionals. They are really a blessing to me. God bless you, Sylvia, your family and your adorable dogs

December 24, 2020
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Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jacksonedited: December 24, 2020

I loved the video, God has given you such a wonderful gift along with the ministry you provide for all of us everyday!  I look forward to the daily devotionals as they have gotten me through good times as well as not so good times; however, I have continued to stay strong as God is always there and we must keep the faith and know that he is the guiding light in our lives and that light continues to shine even during the darkest times in our lives.  I love the doggies in the video as I love animals and the new puppy is so adorable and will bring much joy. May you and Sylvia have a most blessed Christmas as we celebrate the season of Jesus the gift that God gave us to save us; and may the new year bring must joy, peace, love and happiness to you both and to all of us as we embark on what may come in 2021!  

December 24, 2020
  • 2
Dion Todd
Dion Todd

Thank you, everyone, for taking a moment to read and say Merry Christmas! May you be richly blessed over the coming year.  :D

December 24, 2020
  • 3
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Thank you for the year end message and video! I enjoy hearing about your daily lives and seeing the pictures too :) I am so grateful to be a part of the RHM family, your devotionals are uplifting and bring me closer to our Lord. The encouragement and prayers of others here have helped me through this year and I look forward to spending the next year with y'all! Love you all <3

December 26, 2020
  • 1
John Smith
John Smith

Nice slide show - Dion is handy.  River is a loyal little helper.  :)

Jasmine reminds me of my Miley aka "Goo" - so white and fluffy. 
Not to leave out Sylvia, but someone has to take the photos. :)

Hi Layla. :)

Hope to see y'all Weds and/or Sunday.

 

Mar 9