October 2017 Newsletter
A Word From Our Director ~ Pastor Andrew Pistone
This month, I have asked Tamara Reeves to share her very personal testimony.
I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for victims of domestic abuse. This abuse can take several forms - mental, physical, psychological, and manipulative, and there are too many people who suffer in silence while their abuser feels empowered.
There are many needs in our community, and the Door of Hope would like to be able to help more people who are hurting and who feel like they are in a hopeless situation. We want to be able to help them with their physical and emotional needs and point them to the Lord, who can give them ultimate joy and peace. Please consider helping us with your financial gifts, so that we can expand our reach. With God's guidance, and your help, we can touch lives for His kingdom. Remember that it's not about us. God has blessed us above and beyond so that we are able to reach out and be a blessing to others.
Prayer request for October 2017
Please pray for the Mission, that we will have the resources we need as we prepare to help the needy during the upcoming holidays.
A testimony from Tamara Reeves
Ahavah ~ A Love For Eternity
I'm so honored to be asked by Pastor Andrew to share my testimony in the newsletter this month. In order to fully explain what led me to the Door of Hope Mission in Odessa, Texas, I'll have to rewind eighteen years. Fortunately though, the Lord prompted me to write my full testimony in a book that I wrote recently. I'll include the link to the book at the end of this article.
To give you a little background on me, I'll start by stating humbly that I am a restored and redeemed sinner, and a child of God. I'm a disciple for Christ first, a mother of two healthy, beautiful daughters, and a grandmother or "Tam-maw" to a precious seven-month-old grandson, who is the apple of my eye. By the grace of God, I'm also a survivor of domestic violence. It's only because of Him that I am alive today to share my story and help others avoid the same, almost fatal mistake I made.
Prior to fulfilling my calling in the ministry, I was a fitness ttrainer and nutritionist for 24 years. My fitness business was always my platform, where I was able to teach others to improve their health and transform their physiques into the temples that God intended - from the inside out. My motto was, "Fitness Begins from Within," and I stressed the importance of total health - body, mind, and soul.
Little did I know though, that I would someday be faced with having to hide bruises and injuries due to the abuse I was having to endure behind closed doors. I learned many profound lessons from that one very painful trial, and I'm most eager to share openly with the world today. I experienced betrayal, abuse and injustice on a scale that was very large and demoralizing. Not only was I victimized by someone who vowed to me and to God - to love me like Christ intended, but I was also victimized by a ”Christian” counselor who twisted scriptures and read bible verses out of context, in order to keep me bound to that very toxic relationship.
After surviving the two-year marriage of domestic violence, and an additional three and a half years of abuse and revictimization from afar, I dedicated the rest of my life to helping others escape to freedom like I did. It was through Christ and His wise counsel that I was able to escape with my life, and be completely restored.
Domestic violence is a crime that's grossly misunderstood by society - as well as by the criminal justice system. It often centers around manipulation and can involve physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual abuse.
I wasn't educated whatsoever about the dynamics of domestic violence prior to meeting my abuser at church in the summer of 2010. However, I learned every single facet of that manipulative and secretive crime throughout my two years of terror during my abusive marriage.
I also learned much and grew in wisdom during the three and a half years following the termination of that marriage. I became very disheartened and alarmed to find out just how uneducated and ill-equipped our criminal justice system - and also society - truly was, in regards to this crime.
I learned these sad facts personally - after numerous violations of protective orders by my ex abuser, and after being forced to live in my car - due to the irreparable damage that was done deliberately by him - to ensure I'd never be able to make it on my own - without His assistance. I was failed repeatedly by our criminal justice system, and by numerous government assistance programs who were profiting daily from my pain and from the pain of other victims too.
I knew all too well from my own personal experience that this was an area in desperate need of reform in our nation and in the world.
My main mission in life, prior to January of this year, was to prevent anyone else from having to endure the horror I had to experience. I wanted to expose the root cause of what domestic violence is - power and control; and to make certain that all repeat offenders are punished appropriately. I was in the process of changing laws in the state of Texas, and had started two non-profits for domestic violence victims, when the Lord called me into full time End Time Ministry.
The amazing blessing that I received from surviving domestic violence, is a second chance to be built in His image - from the ground up. Today, I'm so much stronger, wiser, and happier – and I'm at complete peace. I'm closer in my walk than I ever was before that fiery trial blessed my life.
Unfortunately, not many victims of domestic violence are as fortunate as I was - to be able to live through this very devastating crime. If they do survive, they rarely recover fully from the debilitating effects it has on their lives. Because it's a secretive crime, based on manipulation, power and control, not many victims come forward and seek help. The victims are made to believe it's their fault and therefore keep their pain hidden - out of shame and guilt. Many victims of domestic violence aren't even aware that they are victims - based on the skewed views and false information that's sometimes presented to the public.
I'm grateful to the Lord for being so merciful to spare my life, and to restore and redeem me. My life is now dedicated to standing in the gap for those who are overlooked in society - suffering in silence, and feeling hopeless and helpless. He's coming back very soon to establish His Kingdom for eternity. I'm so very excited for that day, and that's exactly what has led me to the Permian Basin and The Door of Hope. I don't know all the details. I'm only walking in blind obedience once again. I do know without a doubt though, that God is faithful to finish a work He has begun in us all. I'm living proof that God is exactly who He says He is, and that when we feel He has abandoned us, He's actually carrying us through the storm.
I invite you each to read my eighteen-year testimony and rejoice in knowing that - regardless of the many painful trials we may face in this life - what Satan meant for evil, God will use for good.
God bless each of you, and thank you for welcoming me into your family for this period of my journey.
Love in Christ,
Please pray about becoming a supporter of The Door Of Hope Mission. ALL donations are tax deductible.
We are in need of supporters who can help with a monthly donation. To make a donation, click the link below or mail a check to: P.O. Box 1789, Odessa, TX 79760
DOOR OF HOPE THRIFT STORE UPDATE
We are in need of good furniture and antiques that you might want to donate to our ministry, and of course - we continue to take ALL donations with grateful hearts. We can also accept cars, trucks, RVs and boats.
Please come and visit the Door of Hope Thrift Store. We are located at 1611 E. 8th Street, Odessa, TX 79761.
If you need us to come pickup your donation please give us a call at the Mission 432-337-8294 and we will send someone to pick it up.
Don't forget that ALL proceeds from the Thrift Store go directly to support the ministries of the Door Of Hope Mission.
Our hours for shopping are Monday - Saturday from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm
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A CHRISTIAN MISSION