RHM Newsletter 39: Looking Back at 2021

Looking Back on 2021 from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

Thank you for being a part of Refreshing Hope Ministries and taking time out of your day to read or watch this message. I hope this finds you blessed, warm, safe, and happy, wherever you happen to be. This is our year-end newsletter, and I wanted to take some time to update you on what has been happening behind the scenes here at Refreshing Hope during 2021.

(Deuteronomy 8:4–10 NKJV) Your garments did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. You should know in your heart that as a man chastens his son, so the LORD your God chastens you. "Therefore you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him.

For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, that flow out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper. When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

When the Israelites came out of Egypt, they spent forty years in the wilderness before entering the Promised Land. During this time, the Lord provided everything they had need of, but not necessarily their wants. When they were hungry, He gave them manna from heaven. In time, they grew tired of eating manna (Numbers 11:6). When they were thirsty, He gave them water from a rock (Exodus 17:5). Their clothes and sandals never wore out. Yet, they grew bored of wearing the same garment for 40 years.

The Israelites had all they needed, but not all they wanted. One day, they were going to have it all in the Promised Land. But first, the Lord wanted to teach them to depend on Him in the wilderness. How many of us are in that holding state? We have come out of the bondage in Egypt, but we are not yet living in the land overflowing with milk and honey. That's Refreshing Hope in a nutshell.

Before we began Refreshing Hope, the Lord gave me a very vivid dream where He took me to a seven-acre field He wanted me to work. It was neglected, overgrown with weeds, and badly needed care. He explained to me that He really needed the harvest from this particular field. The fruit He was seeking could only be grown here, and if we worked it for Him, He would provide everything we needed. I happily accepted His offer to take care of it.

Soon we found ourselves in ministry and surrounded by those who had fallen through the cracks through church hurt, disabilities, or various reasons. It was easy to see that the Lord was going after His scattered flock and reaching them right where they were. It was the beginning of something beautiful He is doing: providing a family to those who don't have one.

As with the Israelites, the Lord has provided for our every need, but not necessarily for our wants along the way. We do the work, and He provides whatever we need to accomplish it. That is about all you can ask for and is considered prospering in the Bible. To be successful in whatever He gives you to do.

For example, when we decided to start an online church, we calculated we needed $2,500 to get started. I pulled an old Dell server out of our closet, put it on our kitchen table, and began formatting it. Without us telling anyone, within 30 minutes, someone came to our website and donated exactly $2,500. He has taken care of us like that ever since.

We are not yet living in the Promised Land overflowing with milk and honey, but we have our needs met as they come due. In the Bible, an abundance means having enough to cover your immediate needs and a little leftover to help someone else. In that light, He has given us an abundance, and we are extremely grateful.

Don't give up when you are between Egypt and the Promised land. Keep a positive attitude. Remember, each time Israel whined and complained, they had to take another lap around that mountain!

We put together a slideshow for you. Now, we have done many things over the year like upgrading our camera to a new high-definition Canon with a prime lens. Upgrading the audio system for better sound. Swapping out our network firewall and switches for faster versions so we have better Internet for streaming our videos and a speedier website, as well as many other small improvements.

Yet, this video is mostly a quick overview of life here at RHM after hours. I felt it would be meaningful to share our life here with you. When the writing, programming, and computer work is done for the day, we work on other things like wiring, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and landscaping. We enjoy cooking good food, smoking meats and cheese, crafting, reading, and playing with the puppies. It's been a busy but happy year for us here. 

Year-End Giving:

The Lord has faithfully taken care of us here, and each time we have had a need, He has provided for it somehow. We have to do the actual work, which I am ok with, but He gives us what we need to accomplish it and the strength and skills to do it. I am happy to say that we aren't driven by financial needs, but I do want to mention this:

As a supporter of RHM, you may have plans to contribute at the year's end. If that's the case, then we welcome your support. We would be glad to receive your year-end donation, which may 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. So if you wish to send a year-end contribution, please be sure that your gift is made by December 31 to be credited in 2021. You can donate securely online here.

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 couldn't make it without you. I know that God has great things in store for RHM, and we so appreciate each of you that has 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). Here also is the direct link: http://www.refreshinghope.org/pages/prayer. For our prayer warriors, if you are interested in joining our prayer team, please do contact us.

We pray for each of you daily and are very grateful for the group of people God has put here. We love you. God loves you. Thank you for being a part of Refreshing Hope!

Pastor Dion

Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org