God is our refuge and strength

an ever-present help in trouble.
Ps 46:1

Over the past 19 years many, many people have given of
their time, talents and finances to this Christian ministry.
It would be impossible for me to name them all, but the
Lord knows them better than anyone. I’ll mention a few
of them to show some of the amazing ways God has
brought others to serve in His Kingdom here on earth.
The first one who invested in the starting up of the Refuge was Ted, my beloved husband. His love for the Lord
and his encouragement to me has been the heartbeat
behind all I’ve done. Also instrumental in our founding
are my brother and sister, Roy and Barbara Gardner. I
recall that the first Board of Directors came from a Bible
study that we had in Ted’s and my apartment right after
we got married in 1996. The first board president was Jim
Davis and his wife, Laura, was the first secretary, treasurer and bookkeeper.

Then there were the first residents, community counselees, in addition to our chef .
par excellence, Ann Murray, who prepared
all of our Wednesday luncheons. There
were those first volunteers who manned
the many garage sales and car washes.
And we can never forget the man who sold
us our property for half of the asking price.
On through the years, God has called
churches, foundations, businesses, families
and individuals to invest their time and resources into the
furtherance of this ministry’s vision to offer a sanctuary
for wounded women, community counseling for couples
and families, and support groups for overcomers in the
faith. The Resale store has also been an important
outreach for us as a connection to the community.
I wrote last month about the Refuge entering into a new
era of growth in all areas. We’ve promoted Cheryl Wood
to be the new Director of Counseling Services where she
will be taking over the responsibilities of the residential
and community counseling programs, support groups and
the updating of all the curriculum. Diane Ludwig has been
promoted to the position of Director of Administration

over the office, finances, volunteers and IT. We’re praying
about a new PR, Events and Grants coordinator coming
on our team soon. Our support staffmembers are taking
on their important roles as well in counseling, facilitating
support groups, house managing, computer programming
scheduling appointments, making deposits, store management, sales, maintenance, landscaping and helping in
all events and advertising. Whew!
Now, the questions is: “What about you, Donna?” With
all these changes taking place and needing to fit together,
I’ve been placed in the role as CEO until my replacement
is hired by next winter, after which time I will more than
likely become Director Emeritus or something similar (as
the Board decides). I would probably be here around 2-3
afternoons a week as a volunteer counselor and support
person then. Ted and I plan on staying in Vero Beach, but
we also want to visit some of our new great grandbabies
more often. I’ve been looking forward to
having time actually to return to surf fishing. Granted, as long as God gives me the
ability, I’m unabashedly wired to be a
“fisher of men” with a desire to speak
encouragement and truth to others. But I
will be 80 years old next year and younger
people need to be the ones doing the main
haul of the “fishing” in this beloved ministry. And I am especially blessed to see this taking place.
And now, I’m delighted to share this “Support Statement”
from one of our longtime support couple friends of the
Women’s Refuge. They recently sent a $10,000 check to
us and wanted us to pass this along to you:

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We encourage other supporters of the Refuge to join
us in giving now, and to give even more than you usually do if God moves you to.
Investing in the Refuge's work is an exciting chance to
be a part of front-line action in furthering God’s kingdom.” This couple requests anonymity, but God
When God brings people to the Refuge, the surf of
their lives is often churning widely. They long to know
the calming peace of trusting the Lord with all of their
lives. We are thrilled at seeing time after time, the
Lord Jesus aligning hearts with the truth as they fasten
onto His word and learn to rest. Come be a part of this
exciting adventure with us as we seek to follow
Christ’s invitation to be fishers of men.
Thank you for sharing, caring and praying for the
Women’s Refuge.
God bless you!

We’re Expanding!

Our resale store is a big blessing for this ministry. Not
only do we have the opportunity to help the community with affordable clothing and goods, the revenue
from this venture supports
our program in so many
ways. When our residents
work at the store, they
gain valuable job skills and
confidence which serves
them well for their future
in the workplace. In addition, they learn responsibility and life skills helping
customers as well as accountability required when working for an employer.
We can’t help but mention the financial benefit we
have from the Resale store. If you have any donations
of gently used items, we are happy to accept them.
We’re excited to share the news: we are adding an
additional 1300 square feet onto our existing Resale
store. God has blessed with the opportunity to lease
the space next to ours and this will give us the
capability to display more furniture and larger household items. We are calling all volunteers who are willing to help us on Saturday, July 9th 8am-5pm with
demolition, removing debris, electrical, rearranging
displays, clean up and anything else that a big move
entails. Please contact our store manager, Lisa Miller
at 772-567-3598 if you are interested in helping.
Thank you!

Leadership Conference
Our week long Leadership Conference is just around
the corner. If you or your ministry are interested in
learning the fundamentals for starting or running a
ministry, this is the conference to attend. We share
specifics such as House Management, Effective
Support Groups, Finances, Fund Raising and Leadership Roles, just to name a few. We encourage you to
sign up today! Space is limited. Call our office for more
details and schedule 772-770-4424.

Kayla’s 3 month Graduation
“Following a bad breakup, I was pulled into a year of
depression, anxiety, fear and anger that led me into
acting out all of my
hurts and pains through
a life of full blown sin,
drugs and alcohol. I was
a little girl drowning in
the pool of rebellion and
selfishness. My pitiful
attempts to gain control
Cheryl, Kayla and Donna
over my life was killing
me. I was at the end of my road and dying. My entire
world was crumbling right before me eyes. But then, by
the grace of God, the Lord opened my ears to hear His
gently whisper leading me to come to the Women’s
Refuge and commit to stay for nine months. It has
been a very painful and difficult road as He strips off
my dying flesh and crown me with His righteousness. In
my weakest, deepest pains and tears, He has held me
strong and shown me that He is in total control. My
entire life is held in the arms of my Savior and I’ve
never been more joyful.”

Our new look!
We are so grateful to
Sherry at Cutting
Edge Sign Arts for
our new signage on
the minivan. Look for
us around town with
our name, logo and
website proudly
displayed. This gives
us a great avenue to
promote the ministry
and share with our
community the great
work the Lord is
doing in the lives of
all who come here.