Rev. Deb Rensink: Shop Church Pastor

October 26, 2022 00:47:25
Rev. Deb Rensink: Shop Church Pastor
Lavish Hope
Rev. Deb Rensink: Shop Church Pastor

Oct 26 2022 | 00:47:25

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Hosted By

Rev. Liz Testa

Show Notes

Rev. Deb Rensink is known around Northwest Iowa as the “Shop Church Pastor.” She is the founder and president of Whispers of Love, Hope, and Joy, a faith-based non-profit serving women who have been impacted by domestic violence and their children as they move forward and create new meaning. She joins Rev. Liz Testa on Lavish Hope this week to share her story and offer plenty of practical tips and spiritual insights.
This episode is brought to you by Faithward.org, an online learning community where you’ll find ideas for living out your faith, reflections on Scripture and church, stories about how other Christians are following God’s call, and resources to bring your own faith community along for the ride.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 0 00:00:01 Welcome to Lavish Hope, season four. I'm your host, Liz Tesa. In this episode, I'm joined by Reverend Deb Resync, known in her local northwest Iowa context as the shop church pastor, which she'll explain all about in a few minutes. Pastor Deb is the founder and president of Whispers of Love, Hope, and Joy, a faith-based nonprofit serving women and children impacted by domestic violence. Deb shares inspiring stories of how she and her team innovatively problem solve as they meet people where they are. And she speaks honestly yet hopefully, about the challenges she has overcome as a woman in ministry, the strength of the women she serves, as they discover their agency and find their voice and the importance of community in believing in a Holy Spirit given dream, and helping bring it to life along the way. She offers lots of practical tips and spiritual insights. So let's jump in. Well, hello everyone and welcome to the Lavish Hope podcast. I'm your host, Liz Teta, and today I'm so delighted and blessed to be sharing a conversation with my dear sister Rev, Deb Rens Inc. Out in Iowa. She's got a fabulous, amazing, such a meaningful ministry out there, and I'm so excited for you all to hear a little bit about it. So welcome, welcome, Deb. We're so glad you're here today. Speaker 1 00:01:27 Thank you, Liz. It is always a delight to spend time with you. Speaker 0 00:01:31 Yes. And I know you're there in your home that sits on farmland, and I'm just imagining myself in your kitchen enjoying some Dutch pastries, almond patties, you call them. Right. Um, that's the last time that we were together in person out there, so I'm just imagining that we're doing that, even though we are many miles apart. Um, so Deb, are you, um, able to just share with our listeners a little bit about yourself and your ministry? Speaker 1 00:02:00 So as Liz said, I do live, uh, on the farm, uh, in Iowa. So I see a lot of, uh, rolling hills and beautiful crop land. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I am a wife to a wonderful man named Mark, and we have three beautiful living children who are all married and we have six grandchildren. We are so thankful that they live near us, and we realize that that isn't the most common, um, thing for most grandparents, but we are thankful for that. And so we are very active with our kids and on the farm and with ministry, and so that's just me. Speaker 0 00:02:39 Wonderful. And then some years ago, God called you to start a ministry that was definitely being considered coloring outside the lines. Yes. And that's now become this amazing, uh, church, Right. Like, I mean, it's flourishing into a church. So I'm wondering if you'll just share a little bit about, um, whispers of love, hope, and joy. Speaker 1 00:03:04 Absolutely. I would love to. So whispers of Love, hope, and joy actually, um, was birthed out of the reality that there is an amazing, uh, people group who are very underserved and that, and so what I had some, uh, I believe that God revealed this to me, that, and some of it through my own experience, that women's voices are silenced and especially the women who are, um, abused. Um, and so God called me to begin to develop and to, um, design ministry to the families because there was no ministry being done. And, and I heard three stories, and in e though three stories, the common thread was domestic violence and not feeling safe in their church, uh, not being heard nor believed, and they just didn't feel safe, and they were very hurt. And, um, and so then in essence, that then translates to God. Speaker 1 00:04:16 They then feel as though that they, that God doesn't hear them, that God doesn't care for them, and that God just lays them aside, which is what they felt that the church had done. And so out from those three stories, which is women using their voices to tell their story, Amen was birth this. And so I went looking for a ministry model, couldn't find a ministry model <laugh>. So I said, Okay, God, what does that mean then? And so he revealed a couple of different aspects of what that might look like. So I held them at that time very carefully trusting God and just began to be present with people. So I went to the people and, uh, so began to develop relationships with, with women and children, um, whether they were in shelter or whether they were, um, just in, uh, community, in the community where, where they were living yet and just began to do and to be, but to actually listen, to be the, to bring the ministry of presence really is, is how I would describe it. Speaker 1 00:05:32 And it's been amazing how that ministry of presence has just, um, grown and it brings healing. And so every time we go into, um, an encounter with someone, whether it's in a coffee shop, whether it's in their home, whether it's, um, elsewhere, like at a, at a public park, we always pray. We pray that we always bring the peace and presence of Christ with us. And at, so this was in like 2017, I began to, um, to just engage in ministry with the families. And in 2000 and, uh, 21, Oh yeah, actually it was the end of 2022 people approached me. And what was so interesting is that they were having conversation as couples five miles apart from each other on the same weekend and about the same topic. And that was about, um, forming a place to worship for the people that we minister to. And, uh, and so in, uh, January of 2021, we, um, began to worship in a local working farm shop. Not our farm shop, but, um, a a farm shop in the area. And it has truly been amazing what God is doing in that space, uh, and elsewhere. Speaker 0 00:07:14 So you took us so nicely, so quickly to the point where I wanted to get us to, which is that you are known over there in those parts of northwest Iowa as the lady pastor of a shop church. Yes. And you know, for we urbanites, we just love that concept. Of course, we had to understand what a shop was of <laugh>, but it's a shop where big farm machinery is held, right? Yeah. And so just that concept that there's a woman who's leading this church, so that already is not as common as we would, you know, maybe imagine it would be, um, to be leading any kind of church. But there you are in this setting and just how, you know, we serve a God of surprises. And so what, just such a beautiful, like not your usual story, right. Uh, kind of thing, and serving this group that is so desperately needing to have a safe, loving, nurturing place, right? Yeah. So we give God thanks for that and for those two couples that had that vision for that. Yes. Yes. And so then knowing this, that here you are serving these, uh, these women and their families, and that God has been really prospering this, um, ministry and helping you develop it into a full blown church. Yes. Let me ask you the question I always ask my guests, which is, what does resilience mean to you? And how has, uh, your, how has your past, you know, intersected with it? And, um, maybe how have you been changed or how has your concept of resilience been changed by your experiences? Speaker 1 00:08:55 Well, when, um, when I hear that question, Liz, what does resilience mean to me? I, I go to this short little phrase and it, and it really speaks to my journey. And it's never, never, never give up. There's nothing scriptural about it, but it's, it's what resilience means to me. It is about even though, or in spite of experience, re resistance of one kind or another seems like it will derail you. And it has, you never, never, never give up. You by the grace of God, you pick yourself up. And I'm so thankful for the friends and my husband that he has blessed me with, because quite truthfully, they are the ones who have helped me to, um, get back up, um, the wonderful people that he has put in my life who firmly, um, believe God's call on me as a, as a woman and a, um, he, he has called me to this to be a woman who is, who is a pioneer. Speaker 1 00:10:12 And that was interesting when I, when I did one of the many assessments that we tend to do. And it was like, it says, you are a pioneer. And it's like, Oh my goodness, you are so right. We are breaking ground, and this ministry truly is breaking ground and has been breaking ground and continues to break ground. And having, um, worship in an actual farm shop that tinkers, um, on the inside of pretty complicated machinery. And this machinery, it's so beautiful when you think about it. This machinery is used to till the soil, this machinery is used to plant the seed. This machinery is used to care for the, the crop. And then this machinery is used to begin the harvest to bring it all in. And it's such a beautiful picture when you think about it, that this is what whispers of love, hope, and joy does. And it just, it it truly fascinates me and I am so humbled by it and it makes me very emotional, Uhhuh <affirmative>. And I'm so grateful to God that he is so very faithful. Mm. And um, and he is one of my very good friends that Yeah, <laugh>. Yeah. Speaker 0 00:11:37 That's so beautiful. So can you share for us like a, a particular story, uh, from within this beautiful narrative of this kind of emerging pioneering ministry, but a, a story of resilience and overcoming? Speaker 1 00:11:54 Mm. Speaker 0 00:11:56 I know you've got many, but is there one that you might share with our Speaker 1 00:11:59 Listeners? Yeah. Yeah. Well, you know, I think, um, I think it was, uh, when I was, um, at my second church and there was, um, I thought that, I thought that I had asked all the right questions when I was being interviewed for that position. And as I began ministry in that congregation, and I began to spend more time, uh, in the pulpit that began to ramp up anxiety within, um, some of the people within that church, which then led to, um, pretty aggressive conversation about, uh, women clergy. Um, what is it? What does that, what does that look like? What does scripture say about it? And so on and so forth. And at one time, I, um, I needed to go back to my ordination and to look at the vows that I had made at that very sacred event, my ordination. Speaker 1 00:13:24 And, um, and I just needed to remind myself, God truly called me. He gave me the grace to make it through seminary as a late learner, because I didn't go to seminary until I was 50. I had already been over 25 years out from nursing, uh, from having been in, in, uh, nursing nurses, training and all that education. And, and so I just needed to remind myself that God truly called me. And when he calls, he equips. And it doesn't mean that that road is, is is an easy road. He just asks us to be faithful because he promises to be faithful. And so I just, I needed to remind myself that he truly called me. He, I, I truly made these vows. It was a real time experience and God was so very present there in, at that sacred event. And, um, and that is one story where God showed up and he said to me, Deb, I have called you to this place even though this place is hard, and the place is the area where I serve the geographically, if I can say it that way. But he has poured himself into me, and through the power of his Holy Spirit, I have been able to continue to be resilient, continue to show up in places where we aren't the, um, the majority, but instead we are the minority. Speaker 0 00:15:13 Do you think that that perhaps was, um, a, a an opportunity to strengthen your own resolve and your own wisdom for when you went, Like, then what came after that? Right. That then you were called into, uh, you know, you, you, you, you completed your assignments in the church setting and then you started working, um, alongside women in Shelter. You felt a very strong calling there. And that's also where I'm glad you mentioned your nursing because you know, we know that your nursing background, nothing is lost in God's economy. That is correct. So God was using that your nursing experience, I think alongside your call as a minister Yes. To then be able to go into that, you know, it's kind of a shelter's got a little bit of, it's not a clinical setting in the traditional sense, but it's a, you know, you've got people that are in crisis there. Speaker 1 00:16:08 Yes, absolutely. And do Speaker 0 00:16:09 You think that all of that, that that's that experience that you named for us and you so beautifully spoke about how you were able to overcome the situation, but that then, as you were taken into the next season, Yes. Perhaps that was part of what you know, was necessary. Yes. You know, we never wanna be suffering and our God does not want us, you know, it does not cause suffering for us. But that it was something that, that helped strengthen you for what was next, for that pioneering work. You know, that Speaker 1 00:16:38 Yes, that is, that is correct. And it, and it is amazing how, um, I have been able to use the, um, the formation that, that God was busy doing at as I was nursing. And, um, because I use my assessment skills all the time, and I use my listening skills. So it's not just hearing what the person is actually saying, but, but hearing what else is being said, which isn't vocal. And, um, and so, you know, you, you read between the lines and, and you become very observant, which then means that not only are you observing what the person or how the person is presenting, but then recognizing that this is an area where there is, um, some cause for, uh, potential danger or harm. It is about being observant of who is around you and what's around you, and being aware of, uh, what's safe and what is not. Speaker 1 00:17:43 And so, you know, um, it's, it's actually multiple levels we come alongside of families and I am so thankful, thankful that we do and that God has called us to this area because it is also, you know, as my voice had been silenced as a woman, uh, clergy, um, their voices have been silenced over and over and over again. And so now as I have begun to find my voice and it's becoming stronger, that is what we want to bring to that ministry as well to, for them to use their voices. It's amazing when we use our voice, how empowering that is. And we speak about what is inside and sometimes we don't. Or oftentimes we don't have the opportunity. Um, and we don't always have the courage to speak what is inside. But as we whisper those words of love, which then begins to, um, fuel that flame of hope, my prayer is that the joy that they have underlies all of that, of whatever that is, because they're, because it's hard. Healing is hard work. And, and grabbing onto courage is hard work. And beginning to use your voice is terrifying. Speaker 1 00:19:19 And yet we had a beautiful, beautiful opportunity in May when we celebrated women in leadership within Shock Church. And, um, we had, um, some of my board, uh, use their voices and some of the women that we serve used their voices during the service. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So we had, uh, I invited a couple of, uh, women to um, join me in the call to worship. Uh, I invited a couple of women to, um, do a prayer together. Um, and I had two women share, um, their own testimony just in relationship to the message that that was being shared that day. And, um, so we had a total of, I wanna say eight, eight people that day who had a space where they felt safe and their voice was welcomed and they were heard. And it's so powerful. Our voice is so important. And, um, and quite truthfully with domestic violence or intimate partner violence, however a person wants to, um, uh, label it for them to be able to, to bring their voice out and have it be louder than the voices that they've been hearing is so, so healing. And so we work at providing opportunities and invite them to engage in those opportunities. We never force them to, because then that then is us using our power over them. We always invite. And, uh, and so, um, we have been able, um, a few of the women went with us to our state capital and um, and began to advocate to the legislators in Jan last January. And they That's Speaker 0 00:21:25 Amazing. Speaker 1 00:21:26 It is amazing. And they used their voice and I just stood back and watched them and yet was so ama and I was like, I was just like, My goodness, God, this is so, this is so unbelievable. And yet it is about providing opportunities. So you make those discoveries and then you begin to invite. And in fact, I, I am, um, working with someone, um, who is in the governor's office and, um, am hoping to get a private audience with the governor before the end of the year, um, and bring a, just a couple of women, um, who are facing some barriers. Cuz there's a lot of barriers. And that's why it's so important for us who, um, who do the ministry of Whispers to come alongside of the people and be their support and, and help to connect them to other support networks cuz they need to be supported as they do this hard work. Speaker 1 00:22:24 Cuz it is the hard work of healing and they are the only ones who can do it. Yes. But we are alongside of them. And so providing an opportunity, and that's my prayer and I would invite you folks to pray with me, um, that the governor will be open to, um, to myself and, uh, and about three women to go to, um, our state capital and sit with the governor and share a personal story that just expresses some of the barriers that they have and continue to experience. Um, and, um, and yeah, just bring the personal story. Speaker 0 00:23:03 It's amazing. Amazing. Well be assured of our prayers. My goodness. That is so exciting. And you know, there's this both and, um, aspect to your ministry that you've got this kind of communal, worshiping, beautiful kind of alternate right. Experience for people that have been hurt by church or rejected by church. And then you're also doing this very important advocacy work. Yeah. Speaker 1 00:23:30 Very Speaker 0 00:23:30 Important. It's just amazing how that's, it's very multidimensional, You know, a lot of times you hear about stuff out in kind of the non-profit sector doing the advocacy work, and then you hear of church doing the church work and the way you're integrating, there's this beautiful integration of those. Speaker 1 00:23:48 Yes. Yeah, it is. It is, it is, it is amazing. It truly is. And mm-hmm. <affirmative> and, you know, and, and we are, um, also, so like it's about bridging the gap mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but we do have a gap between our faith communities and, and, and our, and the survivors. And, um, and so it is about bridging that gap. And, and also I believe that we are, um, what whispers does, um, invites people within our faith communities to, um, identify some of the gifts that they have that are gifts that they could bring to the, to the people that we serve. Like for instance, I had someone call me, uh, towards the end of the summer, and she is a hairstylist, and she says to me, Pastor Deb, she says, you know, I, I recognize that when families, um, um, when kids head back to school that it's expensive for families because of all the things that they need to purchase school supplies and et cetera, et cetera. Speaker 1 00:24:48 And she says, you know, what, would there be anyone who would be interested in, um, in having their child's hair cut prior to going to school? Because, you know, we always wanna look spiffy at the first day of school. And I said, Oh my goodness, that would be amazing. Let me check with some of the people. So I checked, I began to check with some of the families and they said, Oh, wow. Yeah, I would really love that. So on a Sunday, we, um, we had shop church, and then we, um, we had a potluck. And, and, and this gal who is a hairstylist, she has a, a portable hair chair, <laugh>. So she took her portable hair chair and she cut, uh, seven heads of hair. And so here we are, fellow shipping and growing community. And the way that she cared for the people, not, it was just so amazing because she was using the gift that God had given her mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:25:53 <affirmative>. And she was caring for the people. And not only was she blessing them, but she also was being blessed. Yes. And it was, and it, so it's like there are so many gifts out there that, um, that we don't always tap into because we don't think outside of the box mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I believe that, you know, God has, has blessed whispers in such a way that we are quite innovative mm-hmm. <affirmative> and we think innovatively. And I love that it's hard work and it's scary because we're doing something different at times and at ti and at times we are stepping on people's toes. But there is something amazing ab about how this, this gal, she was thinking, What can I do? She recognized that, that she is a hair stylist and I can bless other people, um, by using my gift of being a hair stylist. And then they bless her by saying yes. Speaker 0 00:27:00 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:27:01 And I have men who love Jesus and love to love to, um, uh, to service vehicles. And so every fall we're gonna have our fifth, our fifth, um, uh, event day coming up in November where we will service, um, vehicles. So we're winterizing the vehicles, getting them ready for our Iowa winters. So the families are being cared for. And the women, especially as men who love Jesus and are passionate about serving, and they want to do maintenance service cars. So in our farm shop here in our farm, we have, uh, right around a dozen guys or so coming onto our farm and we have three, um, uh, three bays, if I can put it that way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, um, the guys are, so the women come and their children, their children are always invited. And so they come in the house and we do fellowship and grow community and rub shoulders. And we also do a teaching, a slight, uh, a light teaching on car maintenance, just basic car maintenance so that they know what they have to do if something happens. And, um, and then while they're doing that here in the house, then the guys are out in the shop and they are caring for the women and respecting the women by servicing their vehicles, changing the oil, washing the windshield. Speaker 0 00:28:26 Mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:28:27 <affirmative> praying over the vehicle mm-hmm. <affirmative> checking the air pressure in the tires. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, sometimes the guys have even replaced breaks. Speaker 0 00:28:38 Wow. Speaker 1 00:28:39 And they do that on their own. Speaker 0 00:28:41 And how beautiful. These are women who are coming out of abuse settings. Correct. So for them to be in a place where there are, this is why it's important to name gender, Right. That like the, these are men that are honoring them and wanting to help them in inappropriate ways, right? Yes. Correct. And, and that is gotta also be part of the healing and trust building and just to be able to show them. So I love that. And then you also, um, I know when I was with you once, you had just had it, I think you had just had one of these, um, one of these events and you said that the children were able to, like, they kind of had a nice little, you had like games set up for them and kind of like bible games and like, just, it was almost like a little mini VBS that they got to, to participate in. Speaker 1 00:29:31 It was, And, and that's about growing their own community as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it's, it's more than just growing the community for the women, but it's growing the community for, with the, for the children too. So, um, I have, uh, a gentleman who will repurpose, um, children's bikes. And so this one little guy, he didn't have a bike and his mom couldn't financially afford getting him a bike. Well then, so the, the other kids in the neighborhood were busy riding their bikes, but he didn't have a bike. And so this gentleman repurposed a bike, and we had a couple of them on hand, and in fact, we still have a few in our barn. And he was able to come to our farm with his mom, and he was able to pick a bike out. And so now then he was able to ride bike with the other neighborhood kids Yeah. Speaker 1 00:30:18 Which then is growing his community. Yeah. Because in abusive situations it's about isolating, you know, like uhhuh <affirmative>, like, so that they, they have no one. Right. Absolutely no one. And then, uh, and so they come out from that, um, being completely isolated. And that's one of the reasons that, and it's, it's complicated. It's very complex. You know, people will say, Well, why do they, why do they stay? And it's like, it's very complex mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And it's, and, and one of the reasons is because they, everything has been removed from them that, number one, they feel like they cannot because they're not going to be successful, they're not going to be able to do it on their own, and they are not able to do it on their own. But praise God, he has birthed whispers of love, hope, and joy who now comes alongside of them and helps them and walks with them as they are the ones who create a new life going forward. Speaker 1 00:31:17 Yeah. And so, you know, we have these labels, victims or these titles, I guess maybe is a better way. And I don't like, and I, and I, and I don't, it's, I don't always like it, but this is the deal. So we do say victims of domestic violence, We do say survivors, which is great, but we want them to be more than survivors. We want to them to be thrivers. And so that is what we, and and when I say thrivers, it is about that biblical shalom, that flourishing. And so God has called whispers of love, hope, and joy to a very audacious, audacious vision for what's next. And that next is developing a healing campus. And so we, um, we actually, um, um, are having conversation around, um, purchasing, um, some acres, some land because we believe that it is, that we can, we have such a beautiful resource in our agriculture mm-hmm. Speaker 1 00:32:22 <affirmative> and, um, and, uh, and so yeah. That, that is, uh, what is next. One of the nexts that's coming up for whispers of love, hope, and joy is to purchase around 40 acres of land in Sioux County and to develop a healing campus, which has a min, which is, so it has a ministry center which has living, living space, because we recognize that when they, they, um, yes. When they first come out of crisis, you know, they need the crisis support, but when they're out of that crisis, there is so much more healing that, that need that it will still take place mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so because we're passionate about long term relationships, that's why we continue to walk with them mm-hmm. <affirmative> for as long as what they want us to. And then it is about, um, that, that, that bringing them from survivor to thriver Speaker 0 00:33:21 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 1 00:33:23 And so Speaker 0 00:33:24 It's, so it's this ongoing journey that you, that you take Right. That it's, you're gonna be walking with them until they're fully into their flourishing mode. Exactly. And I think that's so, you know, I think that's, that's, you know, I'm just, you know, I've got my list of questions that, that I ask my guests and you've been so naturally answering them as you've been talking, so I haven't had to ask them, um, overtly, but I just wanna say like, I mean, you named very clearly places that you find hope. Right. Um, and then, and then you're also naming, I think I just wanna articulate this for our listeners, that when we're talk about like, where do you find resilience when you don't have it, Right? Yeah. And so the things that you're talking about is, I, I'm just thinking about the courage and the bravery that these women have to have to break out of those systems that they're, you know, where they have that isolation, being able to come forth and request and receive help. Speaker 0 00:34:21 Um, I'm also finding, um, I mean, you, you know, you, you named it before when you had to have the resiliency around, you know, just the challenges that you had in that pastorate about trusting that God's going to help you. Um, but, but there's this beautiful piece about community, Deb, that you talked about. And I'm seeing that the ripple effect of that for these families and these women, and then for you Yes. When you're talking about these couples, you're talking about your spouse who, you know, he's such a dear man, and I know he is such a champion of yours and loves this ministry, loves to participate, and then these gentlemen, you know, these guys that come along and wanna help with the cars. And it just sounds like there's this vision of community Speaker 1 00:35:08 Yes. Speaker 0 00:35:09 That has lots of layers to it. But is that perhaps one of, like, that's the way to keep your resilience Speaker 1 00:35:19 Yes. Speaker 0 00:35:20 Strong, is by looking around you to see who are your partners for the journey. Speaker 1 00:35:26 Yes, yes. Absolutely. And partners are so important. And so, and that is, that is what we do because we want to partner. Because there is no way that any of us can do life alone. And it makes no difference how, um, how strong we think we are. We, we need, we need people alongside of us. And I am so thankful for the people I have alongside of me who have truly believed and supported me when I didn't have it in myself. And so, once again, Mark, he has been such a, such a life giver. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you, Liz, have been such a life giver, Leslie, such a life giver, my board, such life givers and the families that we serve, such life givers. So not only do we speak into their life, they speak into our lives as well. Speaker 0 00:36:49 It's that beautiful mutuality. Yes. It's, that's our, our, the foundation of what we call equity based hospitality is that the guest and the host co-mingle. Right. And it's just beautiful mutuality. Yeah. Yeah. So, Deb, as we're, as we're closing out our conversation today, I'm wondering if you can just share, uh, you already gave your never, never, never give up quote at the beginning. Yeah. Which I believe is that Winston Churchill? I think he's Speaker 1 00:37:14 Yes, it is. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Speaker 0 00:37:15 Yes. Isn't that wonderful? And so also, Speaker 1 00:37:18 This is another little thing. So Thomas and his friends, they have a song, you know, Thomas is a little Oh Speaker 0 00:37:23 Yes. It's the Little Tank Engine. Speaker 1 00:37:25 Yes, yes, yes. So they have a song, and it's called Never, Never, Never Give Up. And it's really, it's like I was, I had, uh, that little song is so <laugh>, like full of energy and, and is so vivacious and the words, even though there's no scripture in it, it, it just, it reminded me of Isaiah 43 versus one through five, where it's like, if you climb the highest mountain, cross the river deep, maybe you'll find it's never as easy as it first appears. Just remember not to worry or get down at heart, never lose faith in positive thinking, which brought, that brought me to the scripture of, of Isaiah, uh, 43. And I shared it just, um, two weeks ago with a person that I had met for the first time. And, um, and it's a beautiful scripture. It's a powerful scripture. And, um, it talks about, you know, where God knows us by name. Speaker 1 00:38:25 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, he has chosen us, He has redeemed us. And so I make it very personal. And when you walk through the rivers, I will not let that overflow you. You will not sink. I'm paraphrasing. And when you walk through the fire, you will not be consumed. That those little words in that little song, <laugh> just brought me there. And then quite truthfully, I have to say Romans 8 28, you know, it's, it's such a, that too is a wonderful scripture verse. And it really speaks to the, to the story of what we're talking about here, Liz. And it goes like this. And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. And it just, it struck me anew actually how he truly has called each of us according to his purpose. Speaker 0 00:39:36 Yeah. Speaker 1 00:39:37 And he has a purpose for each of us and for the women themselves. He has a purpose for them. And I believe that there are many of them who are beginning to speak open to others, which is so beautiful to see Speaker 0 00:39:54 Isn't that ripple effect? That's the ripple effect. That's so beautiful. Deb, thank you so much for sharing that. That's your pastor coming out, your preacher coming out <laugh>. That's a good word, as we say. Yeah. But, but it is so important for us to understand that too, that as we're in these mutual community based partnerships and relationships with people, Right. That that can just be part of what helps to create that space for healing and for courage. You named that at the beginning, that that's hard work. You've said that several times. So I think that's so important as we're talking about, you know, lavish hope, and I love that we both have hope in our titles right. Of our, of our, um, of our organization entities here. But, um, but just as you're trying to build that, just knowing that, that that needs to be part of the healing and the overcoming the resilience mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that that, that it is hard work. We have to, we have to be ready for that. Speaker 1 00:40:53 Yes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Absolutely. We do. We do. And, um, and because healing is not a linear path, and so many times when we feel as though we have failed in some way, it's a lie from the devil quite truthfully. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and I do believe that, um, evil is very much in all of this with, uh, with the, um, uh, with domestic violence. And, and the devil doesn't want us to bring light into that very dark area. And so the other thing is, as a person experiences a setback, it is about continuing to be with them in that setback or in that failure as they will see it. And it is about beginning again. And it is all, it is all about beginning. It is not about like hitting the, the, um, uh, the end of the end of the line mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, that goal line, it is about beginning and it is about combating trauma wounds, one step at a ch at a time. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> by one choice at a time, but through one Christ all the time. Speaker 0 00:42:22 Hmm. Speaker 1 00:42:23 And so we bring that to it. Speaker 0 00:42:26 That's so amazing. Deb, let me ask you this. If there's, um, somebody listening today that is in an unhealthy, unsafe situation, what would you recommend that they do right now to, to start to get on this path of healing and restoration? Speaker 1 00:42:45 That's a great question. I would encourage them to reach out to a, um, a local hotline, um, in their area. Or if they are unable to do that and they don't know what their, um, hotline is for, uh, domestic abuse or any kind of crime, I encourage them to, um, reach out to whispers of Love, Hope, and Joy. Because we, we, we cross all over, We don't just stay in this little northwest Iowa corner <laugh>. Um, we are, we are great with, uh, going across state lines, and they can reach us either by, um, giving a call to, to myself, (712) 441-0049, or by going to our website, whispers of l hj.com, and there is a way that they can, um, contact us that way. Speaker 0 00:43:52 Wonderful. Deb, I'm glad that you're, um, able to share that information. I know that it is important because as you said, so often people are isolated. And so, um, just listening to this podcast, they may have realized something that like, Oh gosh, I've gotta do something. Or there may be somebody listening that knows somebody that needs help. So I, I know that you'd be willing to serve as a resource for somebody that just needed to say like, How do I help this person? Right? Yes, Speaker 1 00:44:20 Absolutely. Yep. Yep. It's wonderful. We're a great resource that way. Speaker 0 00:44:24 Yeah. So thank you so much, Pastor Deb, the pastor of Shop Church, and of this amazing ministry that serves your local community and beyond. And, um, just know that you're now gonna have quite a few people that are gonna be praying for you as you, um, as you dream. Yes. I'm gonna say dream into this vision Yes. Of this 40 acre healing campus. I know God is gonna bring that to fruition as we know. Right. All things work together for good. And, um, and so thank you so much for being on the podcast today and for just sharing so much about your understanding of what lavish hope, resilience, and overcoming are all about. God bless you. Speaker 1 00:45:10 God bless you too, Liz, Thank you so much. It was Speaker 0 00:45:13 Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Speaker 0 00:45:22 Thanks so much for listening to this episode of Lavish Hope, season four. I hope my conversation with Pastor Deb has inspired you and offered insights into what lavish hope, resilience, and overcoming can mean for your life's journey, as well as those around you. If you'd like to connect with Deb, she'd welcome that. Just to confirm, her website is www.whispersoflhj.com. That's www.whispersoflhj.com. She also encourages those who need support navigating domestic violence situations for themselves or others to reach out to herself or to organizations in your area. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1 807 9 9 72 33. That's 1 807 9 9 72 33. Remember, you are not alone. Speaker 0 00:46:16 If you've enjoyed this Lavish Hope Podcast, please subscribe, leave a review and reshare any place here on social. You can also connect with me [email protected] This episode is brought to you by Faith word.org, an online learning community where you'll find ideas for living out your faith and living into your calling, reflections on scripture and church, self-guided courses on topics like contemplative prayer and equity based hospitality, and lots of discipleship resources for your faith community in English, E and Espanol. The Lavish Hope Podcasts Executive Production Team includes Maria or Lorraine Parker, Grace Reuter, and me, Liz Tesa, sound design and editing by the amazing Garrett Dyer. Special thanks to New Brunswick Theological Seminary for the use of Studio 35 for the recording of this interview. Until next time, may you find ways to cultivate lavish hope and build resilience each and every day. God bless you.

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