RHM April 2015 Newsletter
So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. (Mark 16:19–20 ESV)
April Newsletter - 2015
Thank you for reading our devotional and being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries. This is our monthly update on what has been happening here. It has been a busy month at Refreshing Hope and Easter, the day that many of us choose to call Resurrection Sunday, is now upon us. What a beautiful time of the year.
While praying about this newsletter and the ministry direction in general, the Lord impressed this on me: Jesus has done His part. He said that “it is finished” (John 19:30) and then sat down at the right hand of God. Jesus is not taking any new stripes for us. He passed the baton to His disciples and then on down through each generation to us. What will be accomplished on Earth now will be done through His people working with the Holy Spirit until His return. Jesus left the Earth as a suffering Servant, but He is returning as the Glorious Reigning King. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord (Phil 2:10). Our choice is to serve Him now, or later wish that we had. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Joshua 24:15).
We have a task, an assignment, a commission to spread the good news of Jesus that has been passed down to us, and now the method of ministry is changing. There will always be remote areas of the world to reach, but a lot of the world now is online everyday. This is the first generation that has a chance to reach around the world at the same time using the power of the Internet. We are just getting started at Refreshing Hope, but it is so exciting to see what the Lord is putting together here.
We launched our new online church website last month and have had visitors from 125 countries in the last 30 days. Our devotional is now touching lives in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, India, Philippines, Nigeria, Kenya, Singapore, Jamaica, New Zealand, Malaysia and over a hundred other countries. People are printing it out and mailing it to those in prison. Each day we interact with and answer questions from people who are on the other side of the world from us in many different time zones.
One morning last week, Sylvia was helping someone in India and I was talking with someone in Uganda at the same time. It is amazing to see the community that the Lord is bringing together in one place. God is Awesome and if you obey Him one step at a time, it is beautiful to see what happens. Sure there are times of suffering, but it is so worth it.
We just watch in amazement as people are making friends, small groups are starting up, and leaders are stepping forward. People that are homebound now have a community of Christian friends who are willing to pray with them. People serving in the military and traveling overseas, now have a place to come to for encouragement. Refreshing Hope is growing and there is an excitement in the air. People of all colors, races and nations get to share their faith and learn from each other as we make Jesus the center of our lives.
We recently ran a poll on the website about an online weekly Bible study and the response was very positive. The idea is that we will slowly work through the Bible together and discuss it on the forum. For example, the first week we would read Luke chapters 1 to 4 and post questions, answers and comments on a thread in the discussion forum. The next week we would do chapters 5 to 9, etc. People can read at anytime during the week, and leave their comments day or night so it fits any time zone and any schedule that wants to take the time to do it. We will try and post questions for you, and you can post your answers back to us and each other.
We would like to do an audio version for those that would rather listen by reading the Bible myself and recording it. Now I am from South Carolina and have a southern drawl so we will see how well that works out, but so far the tests have been positive. We have asked for permission to record the ESV translation in audio from the publisher and are waiting on the reply. When we get the weekly Bible study started, we will be teaching the Word to people around the world, interacting, and answering their questions. The potential that we have to reach the world for Jesus is incredible.
We try and buy used equipment off of eBay and Craigslist when we can find it. That said, we have bought servers, and switches, and racks, and software, and plugins, and apps, and cables, and other parts until we have spent and spent and spent until we can no longer spend at the moment, but we did get the new site launched. There is still a lot to do and several more technical hurdles in the way and we are working to resolve them daily, but like everyone else, we are limited by our financial means to do so. Thank you all so much for your prayers, support and encouragement. There is no way that we could do this without you and we will move forward as the Lord provides.
Prayer Network: We have had 318 prayer requests over the last month and 1,314 replies. Our group of prayer partners pray daily over each request that comes in. To submit a prayer request, login to www.refreshinghope.org and click Prayer. There you can add new prayer requests. You will need to create an account if you have not already done so. All prayer requests are private and only seen by the prayer team.
Online Church Progress: www.refreshinghope.org has had 303,752 page views in the last month. We now have 1,024 members and 2,312 friendships. People that were lonely now have a community to be a part of. Small groups like FAAD (Fight Against Anxiety and Depression) are meeting weekly in the chat room and encouraging each other. It is a place for Christians to belong and we are thankful to be a part of this amazing community.
I want to thank you for your prayers and support during this time, we could not do any of this without you. If you have not yet created an account at www.refreshinghope.org yet, please do so and join us there. We look forward to being a part of an online community where we can connect with each other daily and share our lives with you in a deeper way.
I pray that the Lord richly blesses you and that you are covered with His presence as you read these words, in the name of Jesus. May He guide your every step and fan the flames within you.
Pastor DionRead more at: www.refreshinghope.org