Happy New Year! Here we are at the beginning of a new year, a new decade. Who doesn’t love a fresh start!? Our team starts each year holding up open hands to the Lord, asking for vision and direction as we plan for the next 12 months. And to start the planning and dreaming, I spend time praying for a theme. This year, God impressed on my heart a new theme for 2020 that I believe will be lived out in more way than one.
Hesed is a Hebrew word used throughout the Old Testament to describe many things. The term is so rich that we can’t simply translate it into one English word. In Scripture, hesed speaks of the Lord’s kindness, His favor, and His sacrificial love for His people. Carolyn Custis James, in her book The Gospel of Ruth, says this: “Hesed is an active, selfless, sacrificial caring for one another that goes against the grain of our fallen natures…Hesed is something you do more than you think or feel.” She also says that hesed is when someone cares and has freely made it their business to look out for you.
Wow. Is that not beautiful? I know we’ve experienced God’s hesed love for us since day one; now I have a word for it. My hope is that we’re now in a place where NH can begin to dispense hesed and not just receive it. So the official theme for NH this year is “Hesed: giving and receiving God’s kindness, favor, and sacrificial love.”
January has already shown that our theme is in action. First, we ended 2019 by accomplishing our financial goals. We raised the $10,000 matching gift we were praying for, and raised the $100,000 we needed in order to launch NH4. This is the community demonstrating hesed to the women at NH. When anyone gives any amount of time or money to NH, they are giving to women who are healing and starting a new life. Perfect strangers supporting perfect strangers. It’s stunning.
And with the launch of NH4, we are in a position to offer hesed to our NH graduates (and imminent graduates!) NH4 is designed to empower the women we’ve worked with to live out the foundation they have laid while in our Residential Program.
We are excited. We are believing God for big things in 2020 – for more healing, more freedom, more salvation. More hesed.
With much love,