You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above
And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You
I Stand In Awe written by Mark Altrogge
As I reflect over Refresh 2019, I struggle to put into words all that is in my heart. First and foremost I stand in awe of my good, gracious Father. He is due all my praise. His love exceeds the depths of the oceans; His wisdom is immeasurable. My heart is grateful for His sweet presence that covered Refresh like a warm blanket.
I would like to thank several prayer warriors that walked closely with me leading up to Refresh: Nan Freed and Verba Cross. Prior to Refresh Nan met with me several times for prayer walking at the venue; it was such a rich time. She also encouraged me faithfully throughout the weekend, assuring me of her prayers. Verba graciously listened to me process as I prepared for Refresh, gave guidance and most importantly called me to spend time in prayer. She messaged numerous heartwarming prayers to me. God is so gracious to provide the gift of other women coming alongside me and praying for a vision that has burned in my soul for years.
The eight ladies that stood with me Friday evening are outstanding.They have a heart and vision for ministry and they gave out of their giftings! Angela Hartzler took on many behind-the-scenes-yet-crucial responsibilities: not only the financial part, but registration and more. Name tags and the handouts that continually showed up at your seats were because of her faithful service. Anita Martin was indeed a flexible floater and a cheerful one at that! She blessed me throughout the weekend with her steady faith and encouragement. Rachel Zehr, my assistant was a tremendous support leading up to the event and throughout the weekend. I called on her many times and she eased my load by attending to details as Refresh got closer. Our wonderful food gals went above and beyond not only in quality and deliciousness but in presentation. Wow! Also, Rhoda Oberholzer, Sharla Martin and Lindsey Martin exceeded my expectations of a coffee bar (and probably yours too.) The decor ladies shone; they brought much beauty to the gymnasium. One of the joys of serving on this committee has been seeing each lady excel in her gifting.
As we mentioned at Refresh, Donna Kauffman was not able to come due to the passing of her mother. Our hearts ached for Donna’s loss; we also momentarily felt some stress about finding another speaker. The Lord so beautifully provided Amy Hershberger, my sister-in-law who had just written a blog post, Shattered Dreams for the Refresh website. She agreed to share her story, one that involved the devastating loss of her Abigail at two years old in a farm accident. We wept as she openly shared her story, resonated with the losses that are reality in our lives on this earth and found hope in the beautiful promises of scripture. What a powerful testament to God’s beautiful work of healing and redemption despite the deep pain.
Brenda Weaver courageously shared four sessions Saturday after only 45 minutes of sleep the previous night. She said she had a special time of prayer and praise with her Father during those hours that sleep eluded her. She shared on Refreshment in the Wilderness, gave her life story, weaving praise and laughter through its twists and turns, and then offered practical guidelines on how we can make our homes a haven of rest. We so appreciated her dedication and willingness to be flexible! She covered an afternoon session at the last minute that she wasn’t originally planning to take. I personally found her out of the box style refreshing and her well-told stories added interest to the day.
Elaine Waldron beautifully captured Refresh through her gift of photography. Thanks Elaine for documenting Refresh 2019.
We as a committee thank each of you for coming and supporting Refresh. We look forward to the opportunity to plan and prepare for Refresh 2020. To God be the Glory!
P.S. If you’d like to listen to or download the audio from this years Refresh Conference you may do all that right over here.