Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
A lot can happen in two and a half years. Amazing things. Life changing things. Exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think things. That's what I realized when I logged in to this old blog of ours today for the first time in over two and a half years.
November 2015, this ministry was heading into the new year with a new name (Hope Harbor), a new logo (that fancy blue anchor) and a new Executive Director (Miss Cindy). Shortly after, we had a renewed vision and mission statement, core values and a statement of faith. Then a new website. Then a new email domain.
Then the big idea came to open a second Hope Harbor site in Winona. Things were in the works in early 2016. By the end of that year, we hired a staff that trained in Marshall to help run the home in Winona. By mid 2017, we hired a site director, counselor and teacher for Winona as well. Volunteers labored tirelessly to renovate a home that would be the future site of Hope Harbor in Winona. The team worked diligently to spread the word and secure supporters for the site. We hired and trained staff in the fall of 2017. Did I mention prayer? Yeah, we did a lot of that too. From day one and never ending still.
And the Lord sent the girls. Our first resident arrived to freshly painted walls, crisp new bed sheets and brand new bath towels on October 25, 2017. Just shy of two years since the announcement of our name change transitioning to our own private organization running a single site, we brought our first resident into our second home. As of today, we have served over 80 teen girls and their families between the two sites.
Exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or think. I never imagined two years ago that we’d have a second home. That the Lord would expand our team to a group of incredible sisters in Christ in Winona to serve in the capacity we get to serve here in Marshall. That I would rejoice with teens four hours away as they take their thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ, as they overcome the wiles of the enemy and stand on the firm foundation of Christ for their healing, as they learn their identity in Christ and walk in freedom.
According to the power that works in us. I am exceedingly and abundantly amazed (1) that we serve a God whose power is limitless, and (2) He works that power in us. Us. Little old you, and little old(er) me. The glory can be to none other than Him, as where else could it even go? There is none but our God that deserves the glory for the work He does in each of us, in each of the teens and families we serve, in each of the homes we open, and beyond our borders.
To all generations. We have obviously watched our families pass on what God has done in their lives to their children; that’s what we get the privilege of doing everyday. But since we opened our doors in 2005, we’ve now gotten to see some of our teens grow to strong women who are raising their own children. We get to see the power God worked in them, work in their children, forever and ever. And it might be even cooler than when we watched it happen to their mothers.
I look back over the past two and a half years, and the ten plus before, and I just widen my eyes and shake my head. This is a pretty good gig. We couldn’t ask or imagine what more to ask for, but we know God has much more in store for this ministry. Amen.