In today’s story of hope, we hear from Betty Gomez, Director of the women’s ministry for Adventures in Missions, Beauty for Ashes. She shares with us how a simple act of obedience transformed into a ministry bringing restoration to countless women across the nation.
As the Coronavirus pandemic was beginning to gain global attention, Betty began to feel the weight of the crisis on her shoulders. “The media was bombarding us with so many updates that I was starting to experience some anxiety. I would go to the Lord because I know fear and anxiety do not come from Him,” She said. Betty found that as she spent time in prayer, her fears would fade away and instead she would see the hope we have in Jesus
Betty knew that others must be feeling the same stress she was experiencing. She began to ask the Lord how she could share the hope she was finding from her quiet times with the Lord. “I went back to the Lord and asked ‘What part of your hope do you want me to give away?’”
She felt led to a verse in Psalm 91, along with a list of names to text. Betty began texting the verse to the people the Lord named. The response she got gave her even more reason to hope.
“People started responding and saying how they needed to hear this,” Betty explained. Text messages turned into phone calls as more and more people confirmed to Betty that her obedience to the voice of God was just what they needed in this tense time.
“I think as the church we’ve failed and made it too complicated for people to hear from God. I had to ask God to forgive me for making the Gospel so complicated when it’s really so simple.” This gave Betty an idea that would multiply into a movement.
Due to the mass quarantines, Betty had been unable to continue hosting Beauty for Ashes retreats. “My heart is to awaken women to what God really has for them,” Betty said. She had written off the idea of hosting the retreats online, feeling that would diminish the quality and require too much effort. However, now Betty felt the Lord urging her to take the same spirit and faith she had to make phone calls and apply it to an online Beauty for Ashes Retreat. She felt the Lord telling her “In your weakness, I will be made perfect.”
Betty scrambled to organize to bring together the volunteers and plan the retreat. She had never hosted a retreat online and worried about the outcome, but she felt she was acting on faith and that’s all that mattered. Today, Beauty for Ashes hosts up to five online retreats a week, bringing freedom and hope to as many as 60 families at a time. And just this week, Beauty for Ashes hosted a virtual retreat for 20 women in Mexico. Betty has seen her simple act of obedience blossom into a move of God that far surpassed her imagination.
Betty’s story shows us that we have a message that resonates with the world around us. “You and I have hope to give,” Betty says. “And I refuse to hold back the hope I have to give.”
God has placed you where you are for a reason. By listening to His voice, and sharing your hope with the others around you, you could open the doors for a move of the Holy Spirit.