Please pray for:
- Our Groups: Boundaries launched January 23rd and is being led for the first time by Coach Debbie Ferree. The group is full with eight participants.
- Our newest Group: Abiding in Hope will launch on February 20th! Abiding in Hope is a “beta group” — the first time we’ll gather women for a 45-week group experience. Women who participate will be able to offer feedback to Hope Redefined as they receive support in the group.
- Our Team Leading Groups: Please pray for discernment from the Lord with what group support options will be available this year.
- The Redeemed Hope Retreat – Training the team which will serve on the team will be on February 11th and 25th — will you pray for those days, that the team will work well together and will follow the Lord’s leadership? Pray that we’ll have a robust team serving (we’re still lacking leadership in a few spots). Pray that the Lord’s plan will reign and for the hearts of the 12 participants who have signed up.
- Hope Redefined staff and leadership. We are growing and it is exciting to bring new hands and feet into this work with us. Please pray for wisdom and guidance as we bring on new support. Please pray for protection around our health and our homes — the enemy is not fond of the work that is being done in the hearts of women touched by the ministry.
Intercessors meet once on month on the third Sundays. If you’d like to join these meeting, please click here to sign up
An email from four October 2022 retreat participants:
Stephanie emailed, “I really had no idea what to expect at the retreat, but, I know it was nothing like it turned out to be. I came to the retreat broken, weary, beat down, and feeling so far from God. For months I’ve not been able to pray. I would get out my Bible and just stare at it and then walk away. I’ve tried to worship at church but it just felt dry and like going through the motions. I read through one of the first pages of my journal after our last d-day. I wrote the phrase, “If I could go back and do it all over, I would just disappear.” I have felt unseen and I wanted to stay that way. But. . . as soon as I stepped out of my car at the retreat, I couldn’t get away from feeling seen. It was unnerving and felt way too vulnerable. Soon, though, I started to feel, not just be seen, but loved and nurtured. I didn’t understand until the end that each of the women that came to serve knew what was coming. They knew the brokenness we were bringing and you could see the determination in their eyes to get you through the hard work was ahead so that we could walk out of there with a new freedom and in victory. I had THE BEST buddy! I love her and will forever be grateful for her prayers and genuine compassion and the time she took to be there. There was a lot of hard work and I don’t think any of us could have gotten through it alone. I still start to cry and am blown away when I picture the women’s faces that were walking with me through the gut wrenching work of forgiveness and breaking unholy attachments. I pray that someday I can be that support to someone else. I didn’t realize how unforgiveness and unholy attachments have distanced me from God. . . I’ve not wanted to forgive my husband because he doesn’t really care about the damage that’s been done, I can’t forgive myself because “I’m so unworthy.” I’m the exception to “God doesn’t make mistakes.” I didn’t want to give up my victim status, etc. I’ve been trying to drag those and all of my other junk to my prayer time and Bible study time and church. No wonder I feel so far from God. I know it’s going to be a daily choice to not pick all of that back up, but I feel equipped now. I was able to praise God in a way I never have before (partly because you put a flag in my hands). After we left the retreat, my husband called and Debbie was in the car and she heard him over the speakers. When I hung up she just said “I’m so sorry” because it was the same old thing I always get from him, cold and harsh. I started to go to the place of unworthiness but said out loud, “I’m not picking that up.” He! On my way home I prayed and sang and believed God was working on my behalf for the first time in forever. My husband asked if I would tell him about the retreat so I hesitantly told him very little. He started to cry! So through tears, I told him all God did in me. This morning while everyone was sleeping, I anointed my house with oil and prayed over the whole thing and each of my kids. I was even able to share with my 18-year-old who is really struggling and my testimony really ministered to him. I would’ve never dreamed that would be a part of this! I could go on and on. But, I’ll say that coming there without paying was SO hard. I don’t know how to explain it but I felt embarrassed and so unworthy to even be there. Thank you for making me feel loved and accepted. I really don’t know what is going to happen in my marriage. But I know that God is for me and He loves me. Iwash there were better words to say than “thank you.” But, thank you so much!!!
Claudia writes, “Hello from Ohio. Just a thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart. I am, for the first time ever, deeply in love with Jesus! As I was walking my perimeter of my yard, the neighbor, who I really like, was peeking thru the curtains as I was praying out loud. Yes, I think it was an enigma to her. . . btw no crows. . . but I just waved and blessed her home, too. Since I’ve been home, I feel so renewed. “That’s how I fight my battles.” I have new life with joy in that the only one who matters is Jesus and all will fall into place in his perfect plan. Thank you all so so much. Please tell all the other staff members that they saved us from caving in to despair. I pray daily for all of you and my sisters/community. I had a long awesome talk with [a mutual acquaintance] today. Such a good friend. See you in 2 weeks or shall I say our Zoom meeting. Life is new every day for me now. Nothing can defeat me. I’m the daughter of a king!!!!!”
Closing sentiments about the retreat from KK, “As I listen to the Redeemed Hope October playlist while I type this, I have to say thank you, Lyschel and Julie, for inviting me to join the retreat as a participant. It was truly special. I met the Lord and regained my voice, especially around spiritual warfare. I have gold nuggets in my heart thinking about how spiritual warfare was robbed from me (and I agreed with the enemy to release my fight) when I was removed from Mars Hill/North Church staff team and now I’ve regained my grip in this battle! I wondered how our Lord would meet me around betrayal trauma, but He reminded me I can still grieve and give weight to the loss, while allowing space for gratitude for how He continues to grow me as an individual and in the couple-ship of my marriage. The growth doesn’t end at the retreat — I know there are definitely places to mend relationship. Looking ahead, I’m thankful for the support of the AfterCare group to keep walking out these tender places.”
Kayce shared, “I felt very taken care of and led to the Father over and over. I really appreciated the detail and thought and scripture that went into every part of it. The emphasis on prayer was amazing. I was super nervous about not knowing anyone and I felt like everyone was so kind to me.”
“It’s amazing what God can do in a weekend!”
October 2022 Retreat
Thoughts from Toni, lead intercessor: “The October retreat was covered in prayer from beginning to end. Several days before the retreat the team was given the names of their “buddies.” Prior to the retreat each participant was contacted by their buddy and prayed for specific to the needs of the moment. When the team arrived at the retreat site they armored up as God instructs His people to do in Ephesians 6
- Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
. . . and they walked the property praying, beginning at the entrance and making their way to every bedroom (participant and team member). Intercessors were assigned the job of praying throughout every session and for every session leader. At this retreat the LORD gave the intercessor team Ezekiel 36 as a foundational prayer.
- The man brought me back to the entrance to the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was trickling from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a though sand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in — a river that no one could cross. He asked me, “Son of man, do you see this?” Then he led me back to the bank of the river. When I arrived there, I saw a great number of trees on each side of the river. He said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the rive flows everything will live.
As each session led the participants deeper and deeper into the River of Life, the team prayed. Chains were broken, freedom was restored, healing took place.”
March 2022 Retreat
Anyone who’s ever served on a Redeemed Hope Retreat will say that, whether it’s their first retreat or seventh. Every retreat is the same, at least in one aspect. If Jesus doesn’t show up we’re toast. And yet every retreat has a different feel or theme, if you will. This retreat was spiritually hard to prep for. The story of Gideon was referred to often. There were 12 participants with hard stories and we felt lacking as a team in numbers. Even so, over the coming weeks God would continue to dwindle our team. The participants were locked in. Plane tickets were purchased. We were moving forward.
Redeemed Hope is a retreat for which no one wants to qualify. So many women come in skeptical but desperate for healing. So many have spent untold hours and dollars in counseling and still find themselves with gaping wounds and questions. So again here we are, a Gideon-esque team, that is aware we are toast without Jesus. Because, the truth is, there is no counsel that can fix these pains in a weekend. Maybe even a lifetime. But God.
Isaiah 61 has always been a lighthouse for the Redeemed Hope Team and participants but this weekend the scripture was particularly highlighted. The power of the “instead “. Jesus reminded us that his own calling would be fulfilled in this scripture as he quoted it himself in synagogue over 2000 years ago. As we walked out our calling as “little Christ’s” we were called to release the captives so they could receive from God the great insteads:
Beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of spirit of despair, a double portion instead of shame, a joyful inheritance instead of disgrace.
Our calling as priests and servants was to walk our sisters down a path towards these “insteads”. We did so by walking them into the light and sharing our stories, by praising and worshiping God, by acknowledging hard truths, through grieving and tears, through spiritual housecleaning, forgiveness work, breaking unhealthy attachments, through celebration and testimonies, through laughter, rollicking laughter, and a whole lot of scripture and prayer.
When Jesus honored our meager offering of a few fish and loaves he multiplied our efforts beyond what we thought would be possible! He does it every time! Countenances were changed, hope was given, perspectives were shifted from worldly to godly, soul weights were lifted, some people shared their stories or aspects of their stories for the very first time because they felt safe, friendships were made, worship was restored and godly tools and weapons were given to each participant to take back into their world. Our weapons are not of this world as scripture tells us. Of the many spiritual weapons God can give us there were several that were highlighted this weekend: The word of God, joy, humility, laughter and words of grace.
Lastly, these 12 ladies received reminders of God‘s lavish love over them on Sunday, reminding them that they are beloved, holy, righteous, made clean, redeemed, adorned and bought by the most precious gift ever given -Christ’s own Blood – which sealed these truths and the work that was done.
A quote from Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien is so fitting for this retreat, “ I wish it need not happened in my time. “Said Frodo. “So do I,” Said Gandalf “ And so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time given us. “ And that is where the journey for these ladies continues. They look forward with Hope and the knowledge that Jesus can “make everything beautiful in its time”, as they surrender it to Him.