Winter 2022 Update
Safe Haven in Greece
A Story from the Heart
What would you do to get well? It’s a question many are seeking answers to these days. For most, we can pick up the phone to call our physician, a friend, or consult the “Google doctor” about any ailment we may have. For others all over the world, the fight for healing is much different.
Tucked away at a secret location in Greece is a safe house for women being rescued from sex trafficking. During the day, women receive meals, healthy community, and training on life skills. At night they return to their safe house, certainly exhausted, but with glimmers of hope. These women come from various nations and religions, but all have one thing in common-they want to get well and be free. Each has fled for their lives to get here.
For one day in November, the safe house allowed our Fresh Start international mission’s team to come and share the Fresh Start message. Our team led training for these precious women, God’s presence leading the way, as our invite was the first of its kind. With arms crossed and heads down, the wounds of these women’s pasts were palpable that day. “I cannot imagine what you have been through to get you to this place today.” Our team breathed consolation over these shattered hearts. Our hearts were breaking with them, aware of the pain they had experienced being driven from their homelands to flee for their survival. “I cannot do this. This is too hard. I just don’t know if I can or want to do it.” Who wouldn’t question the ability to be healed after all they had been through?
We know Jesus brought our team there to help minister to their heart’s deepest needs. It was up to them to choose if they wanted to get well. With John 5:6-9 in mind, we shared visuals of the heart booklet, taught the Fresh Start process, and shepherded their hearts to the one true, safe haven-in Christ. By the end of our day, women went from shackled refugees to receiving their sonship as free daughters of the Most High God. The leaders of the safe house and even the translator agreed to be partners and continued ambassadors of hope to this area, including translating the Fresh Start booklet into French.
As we think about the impact our ministry is having across the world, we are struck by the fact it starts with one heart. Jesus is asking each of us, “Do you want to get well? What are you doing to get well? Most importantly, WHO are you seeking for your healing?” Only our Great Physician can heal wounded hearts.
We invite you to learn more about all the missions God has assigned to us locally and abroad and to pray about what God may be inviting you into as we seek to reach people all over the world to be forgiven, forgiven, and free!
PASS THE TEST!
At many times, my husband, Steven, said that when we are facing hard or painful circumstances – that we are either being REFINED or DEFINED. What is in your heart, when things go wrong, and your life feels totally out of control… when you are being “tested”? How do you respond? (James 1:2-4)
At this point you discover where you truly have put your trust, what is most important to you, and how your heart is being affected. Can you trust in God’s sovereignty in your life, if you have suffered a painful loss, been misunderstood, or mistreated? What choices have you made in response to these “opportunities” for the life of Christ to be formed in you? Are you allowing Him to REFINE you?
Perhaps you have you found yourself allowing these tests to ‘tell you who you are’, according to what others have decided about you, what you have decided about yourself, or what you have or haven’t done? Have you allowed them to DEFINE you – to ultimately decide what is true about you?
Psalm 66:10 “For you, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.”
Good news! We can choose be purged, purified and in the process, REFINED by Jesus – so that we can be DEFINED by Jesus! And in becoming more like Him, we increasingly reflect His character and qualities. Because of His commitment to us, He purges us of our sinful responses. (Philippians 1:6)
You have a choice of defeat or transformation. You have a choice in how you will respond. Will you avoid the “refining fire” of the test that you are facing – or will you participate with God’s Word in the testing of your character, and become more like Him? Will you choose to “Pass the Test?”
2022 Fresh Start Banquet
April 9, 2022
5:30pm – 8:30pm
6450 Pine Street
Omaha, NE 68106