December 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

How are you, dear ones? We, at SBM, think of you often and pray that the seeds of God’s eternal word are bearing much fruit in your lives. Without you, we would not have the stamina nor the desire to press on and fulfill the commission God has given us to serve the Bride of Christ. This labor of love is our gift to the One who created and redeemed us and to the Body of Christ that worships with us and gives us true family.

As I was in prayer this week, it occurred to me that the holiday season can often be the most difficult one for many of us. Whenever October comes around, I inevitably remember an October day years ago when I took my mom for a doctor’s appointment. She had just completed her first round of chemotherapy for colon cancer and we were anticipating good news.

I was four months pregnant and life was supposed to pick up where it left off before mom’s illness. The doctor left us in the office for a long time while he checked on the test results. It was just me and my mom and we grew silent as we waited and waited. He finally returned and I could tell by the look on his face that he wasn’t bringing us good news, He said that her cancer was not responding to chemotherapy nor to radiation.

My mom and I sat in bewildered shock. Finally, when I found my voice, I asked, “How long does she have?” He glanced at my stomach and asked, “When is your baby due?” I answered, “In March.” He nodded and said, “She should live long enough to see your baby be born.”

Five months. He was giving her five months to live. Except she didn’t even live that long. was eight months pregnant when we buried her. She never did see my beautiful baby girl here on earth. I was heavily pregnant, had a three-year-old toddler, still in graduate school and I couldn’t eat for the overwhelming grief that filled me.

That holiday season was filled with doctor’s appointments, desperate prayers, frantic research into alternative medicine, bedside vigils, and many tears. I remember the intensity of grief, the many questions I had about God and His love and mercy, the loathing filled self-condemnation for not having enough faith for her miraculous healing.

Over the next several years, I saw God bring out goodness even from that experience. Out of the ashes of grief, despair, self-loathing, and hopelessness, I arose with the divine awareness that I was created for a purpose. God commissioned my testimony to set others free of pain and bring awareness to the divine destiny we all carry.

This ministry called “Pearls of Hope” is indeed about birthing a future and a hope. Hope means nothing to those who’ve never experienced pain. It has no meaning for those who’ve never experienced despair. But for those of us who have gone through such pain, we know that hope means everything in those times. Pearls, indeed, are formed out of great pain.

During this season, if you are looking to sow into something powerful and meaningful that God is doing, we encourage you to consider sowing into this. We know that there are many different ministries and causes that are asking for your help. But if you feel led by the Lord to sow into this ministry, be assured that every dollar goes into the ministry itself and lives are being profoundly transformed. We are also a nonprofit and can offer tax deductions.

We ask you to sow with confidence because we know that God “is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” He has a divine destiny for you and we are so humbled and grateful to partner with Him as we see those destinies set free.

Merry Christmas! “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”—Romans 15:13

With love and hope,