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Refuge News - August 23

Updated: Oct 18, 2023


In This Issue

The Scarlet Letter From our Exec. Director

Seven Weeks Coffee

Client Updates

Client Needs Thank You for Your Support

Beauty for Ashes Abortion Recovery

Huge Updates! Baby Bottle & Construction

Ending on the Right Note Donations and Updates Confirming and Affirming LIFE since 1984

 

Dear Friends...When I was in high school, one of our assignments was to read The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It has been such a long time, I don’t even remember the full story. Over the years, one thought about that book remained with me. I never forgot about the hurt I felt for the main character. She was a woman who had committed a secret sin of adultery. When she was outed by her community and bore public shame, judgement, and condemnation, they forced her to wear a scarlet letter “A” for all to see. One of the main reasons I started volunteering at Refuge was because of my own secret shame through abortion. You see God had forgiven me the first time I asked, but for many years I continued to wear an invisible sign with a capital letter “A” for abortion. It was the filter of everything I thought about myself. I couldn’t tell anyone what I had done. I was sure everyone in my community would think differently or less of me if they only knew about my secret. When I drew closer to God and let Him heal the worst part of me, He placed in me the desire to lead others to His healing. So, I came to Refuge to try and help at least one person not go through the pain and heartbreak that I had gone through. After arriving and volunteering for some time, it became quite apparent that I still had some additional healing to do. Our former director, Janice Olejnik was so wise and patient with me. She suggested I go through the Refuge Post Abortion Recovery Program. I stepped out in faith and was amazed at the transformation and freedom I found in telling my story to someone else who understood. Janice didn’t judge me or condemn me. I found that there was so much more to my story than I realized.

What I know about OUR GOD is that if we give Him our worst, place it at the cross, He won’t let it be in vain. He will redeem us. He will lift the heavy yoke that we carry. (Matthew 11:28-30) My dear friends, I was holding on to that secret that kept me in bondage. It was preventing me from transforming into the creation God had willed for my life. The word says in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” But yet my heart has still been broken several times. Read More>>

 

Since 2001 I have been the facilitator at Refuge for the Abortion Recovery program. One of my clients many years ago told me of her experience at church. She told me she was attending a bible study about shame with her women’s group. All the ladies were sharing the things they were ashamed of, but she just couldn’t share. So, she decided to stay after one day and speak to the group leader. She finally mouthed the words that had been too awful to speak in a larger group. She confessed to the instructor that she had an abortion when she was a teen. And the leader responded, “I wish you had not told me that, I will never be able to look at you the same way again.” Oh…what a missed opportunity to love on that woman and help lead her to the healing that was needed. My hope and prayer is that this type of reaction is rare and that most folks would handle it with more grace and mercy. This very example is the reason people are scared to tell their story. Did you know that 7 out of 10 people in a church congregation have personally been touched by abortion? Of those, 62% of women who had an abortion do not consider church a safe place to discuss it for fear of condemnation. Our experience here at Refuge has taught us that it can take someone 10-30 years to ask for help with the pain of abortion. That was certainly my experience. At first, I just tried to forget it ever happened. But it never went away. It popped up in my head and heart at the oddest times. It would bring me right back to the original grief and self-condemnation as though no healing had taken place. Most of us, even though we are Christian and have been forgiven, we carry in our hearts a scarlet letter “A” that we cannot seem to throw off. I even considered myself to be a second-class Christian. The feeling of never measuring up to others and the weight of my secret was crushing me. Have you ever felt this way? Do you feel this way still? Dear sister, I need you to know that God doesn’t want this for you! He wants you whole, restored and redeemed!! This is why Refuge offers a biblical response for those who are suffering. We offer a very private way to share your story with others who will listen and understand your pain. Our only desire is to point you to the great physician. Only He can heal you and give you the strength to break through the cocoon in which you have surrounded yourself. Jesus can transform you to become light and free as the beautiful butterfly you were created to be!

Can you surrender your secret? The Lord longs to bestow upon you beauty for ashes and replace that scarlet letter with a crown of glory upon your head. He has forgiven you, now it is time for you to forgive yourself. Please consider attending our program for healing. More details, or to register for our upcoming retreat can be found at RefugeConyers.org/HEART .

 
 
 

Thank you for your support! We could not continue to serve the families of this community without two things...God's grace and your generosity.

If you would like to find out how you can get more involved in the fantastic things happening at Refuge, please visit our Support Us page on our website.


We are always looking for partners in this ministry, either through churches or individuals that have a passion for LIFE.


Again, THANK YOU for all you do to support us!


Please prayerfully consider supporting us financially with your tax deductible donation. Details Here>>


 

The Refuge Center | 1307 Milstead Ave. | Conyers, GA 30012 | 770-922-5939 | RefugeConyers.org | A non-profit 501(c)3




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