15 Lessons Learned
God has been SO faithful to our ministry over the past 15 years. Even when we have failed, He has continued to move in powerful ways for His kingdom. I have learned so much about God’s character and the way He works through the years. Here are 15 lessons I have learned along the way:
- You can’t do it alone.
The saying goes that no man is an island. When we attempt to do it alone, we are much more vulnerable to darkness, burnout, and sin. We are designed to co-labor with a community of believers and depend on the Lord. If you want to reach people, it must be done together.
- Rest is imperative along the way if you want to live out your calling for a lifetime.
God desires His people to work from a place of rest with Him. Creating healthy boundaries for rest, retreat and recharge challenge us to make Christ the center of our lives, not work. You will only be effective if you rest along the way. Afterall, God created the sabbath as a weekly practice.
- You aren’t their savior.
Our job is to point to the ONE who is the Savior, not save everyone ourselves. No matter how skilled, talented, or competent we think we are, we are also broken. Jesus is the only person who can truly change hearts and provide complete healing. We are witnesses to His power, love, and salvation.
- The women we serve are the experts on their lives.
At Scarlet Hope, we believe in empowering the voice of the women. From that belief, we have learned we can point women to resources and opportunities for their lives, but the woman ultimately makes the choice on what she wants. They have a voice and we want them to know they have a choice.
- Not everyone will want help.
If they do not want to receive help, all you can do is pray for them. Not all of the women we meet are ready to choose a different life. In those situations, we ask God for His help to guide us in prayer for the woman and trust His power to save her.
- There will be loss.
The hard and sad reality of the darkness is that the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. We have known many women sadly who have passed away because of addiction or fatally to a pimp. Jesus understands the grief and pain of the brokenness of this world and is near in comfort. During the loss, we must stand firm on the hope of Jesus. One day, God will wipe away every tear and make all things new.
- Ministry is not 9 am-5 pm.
This is a 24/7 way of life.
- God chooses to use us to accomplish his kingdom work.
It’s a gift and a privilege to serve him. God has prepared these good works in advance for us to be co-laborers with Him. God does not need us, but invites us to be witnesses to His saving grace and power!
- Never give up.
If the enemy gives you a no, pray, wait, and fast until God gives you a yes!
- The gospel is the answer.
When the needs arise it’s easy to fall in the resource or social service trap. When life becomes overwhelming, remember that Jesus is the eternal answer that everyone is searching for. The gospel is the only thing that can truly satisfy us and give us hope.
- Vision is the key
Vision is seeing something that currently doesn’t exist and inspiring others to see a future more clearly.
- There is no substitute for Jesus.
Jesus is the one and only answer to the darkness in this world.
- Nothing can stop God.
There have been many times where our plans have failed but God has never stopped working in miraculous ways to reach the women He loves. We have faced many challenges in ministry such as the club owners kicked us out, coronavirus, loss of women and others. In all these things, God has made a way.
- We cannot do this apart from God.
God is the vine, we are the branches. Without Him, we will be working out of our own strength. Walk in dependence with Him, and it will be better than you could have imagined!
- Pray always.
Before every endeavor, when things go well, when things go poorly, in hardship, in rejoicing, give it to the Lord and ask Him to guide you.
Founder & President of Scarlet Hope