Living in Oklahoma can be brutal in July and August. High humidity combined with temperatures hovering around the century mark, can be suffocating. That is why it is almost a ceremonial event flipping the page of my calendar from August to September. It makes me happy. It’s funny how a turn of the page can instantly change my mood even though the conditions are the same. The reality is it’s supposed to hit a high of 100 degrees today, and let’s not even talk about the heat index. But it doesn’t matter to me. At some point today I’ll find my way to a pumpkin spice latte to celebrate the changing of seasons. I know September 1st doesn’t mark the beginning of fall, but it does initiate feelings of hope and expectation.
I love those two words- hope and expectation, and I’ve been pondering them throughout the week. There seems to be an abundance of bad news in the world around us and at times it can feel suffocating. But we are not without hope! 1 Peter 1:3-5 reminds us:
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance- an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. (NLT Version)
As believers, regardless of what is going on around us we can live with hope and expectation because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! A couple of chapters later, Peter went on to encourage the church to always be ready to explain our hope as believers to those who are seeking.
In the past few months, Cherry and I have had the privilege of meeting people who are doing just that. And we are very excited to partner with them in varying degrees of involvement as we have entered a new season of ministry. We want to share with you a few of those ministries and let you know what they are doing and how we are partnering with them.
Ministries we love & support:
Marsha Watterman helps women bring their broken pieces back together through hope. Her organization helps those that have fallen through the cracks and are looking for a hand up rather than a handout. Marsha is also the master networker and has been instrumental in Cherry and I connect with other like-minded ministries.
Under the leadership of Nicole Monroe, Freedom Followers provides transitional housing for women in recovery. We love getting to hang out with these ladies once a month and encourage them in their journeys by sharing our Creatively Connecting with God workshops.
Flourish provides a Christian home for vulnerable young women where they can find emotional and spiritual healing while being equipped with life skills and education. Flourish founder Beth Reinwald is doing an incredible job with these young women and we count it a privilege to do creative workshops with the residents each month.
Lead Missionaries Mike & Sarah Lehew are on a mission to take the church to mobile home communities. We look forward to offering Coffee & Craft sessions once a month for the ladies of one of the communities they serve beginning in October.
This ministry offers safe houses for women coming out of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation. It is a nation wide ministry that offers an extended program free of charge to it’s residents. While we do not have a local chapter here in the Oklahoma area, we do give financially to this ministry as we are able. Cherry was on staff at RFWNTX before moving to Oklahoma and describes it as one of the most rewarding jobs she has ever had.
This is what Sarah-jane shares concerning her ministry, “A few years ago my heart broke when I learned about the atrocity of sex trafficking in America particularly in Las Vegas. Thinking about women and children being, raped, tortured, murdered, or exploited for sex,I knew I had to do something. Although I could not speak English and did not know where to start, I decided to step out in faith and come to America.”
In the near future, Cherry and I are planning on helping to create prophetic paintings for Sarah-jane to distribute as she reaches out to these women.
Defending Dignity’s is an outreach ministry in Tulsa, Oklahoma founded by Andrea Renee. Their mission is to reach women trapped in sexual exploitation to facilitate healing and restoration. Defending Dignity seeks to reach, educate, and assist victims in the sex industry. They have reached out to over 700 women through their massage parlor outreach since their formation in 2018!
In the near future, Cherry and I are planning on helping to create prophetic paintings for Andrea to distribute as she reaches out to these women.
There are many wonderful ministries doing a great work, but we wanted to highlight a few of them that we are partnering with and are near and dear to our hearts.
How you can help:
For the ministries we are working with and doing workshops for, we provide our services for little or no charge. It costs about $10 per person per workshop for us to provide all the supplies. If you would like to partner with us in this endeavor, you can donate any amount here or you can shop with us in our online Etsy shop.
Additionally, you can support any of these ministries directly by visiting their websites.
(Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash)