March 2020 Newsletter

Isaiah 58:10 “And if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Dear Friends of Next Step Ministries,

We are living in very challenging days. My hope for you is that you and your family find yourself in a safe place and in good health. Please take care of yourselves and make sure to follow all the instructions given to help us through this crisis.

As you can imagine things have been busy and more chaotic than usual. On March 12 at 5:00 pm we were informed by the Alberta Government that gatherings of more than 250 people would no longer be able to meet. This meant we had to cancel our biggest fundraiser of the year.

Jackie and I then put together a video to try and capture what we were facing with the fundraiser being cancelled and two houses full of women that are now in fear of the COVID-19.

Sorry if we seem really tired, scared and serious but that’s how we felt.

The last two weeks have forced us to make some huge changes. As you can imagine it has been very difficult for the women in our program. All of them have suffered from extreme trauma and have suffered from mental health issues.

Yesterday, Monday, March 23 we had our first day of isolation. This means the women are now to stay in the house except to go out for a smoke, or a walk around the block, or to the grocery store and they will need to try and give the proper social distance of 2 meters. I wish I could say they were all really excited about this. But as you can imagine this has caused a lot of anxiety.

A saying that has become very close to my heart and that I say over and over again in my head is this: “God always makes away when there is no way”. This is so true in our situation. Our staff (amazing staff) came together to pray and to seek God’s plan for this time in our lives.

We were able to come with a plan for the houses to keep everyone safe and fed. Jackie and our staff also came up with a new set of rules and a plan for the women to be able to continue classes during the day. Each day the women will have assignments to do in the morning. In the afternoon (thanks to Zoom) Jackie and the other key worker will meet with the women and connect online.

Yesterday was the first day. We didn’t know how it would go. To our surprise, an organization that usually comes in on Monday to teach on domestic violence (amongst other topics) gives us a call to say they are set up to teach via Zoom. We quickly got everyone ready (we had some technical problems) and they taught from 12pm to 3pm. It was awesome!

Since I was at home, I listened to some of the conversations and I MUST say the women in our program are amazing. The topic was on values. Values as a child, teen and now. How do your values fit into your life? As I listened I couldn’t help but be blessed and encouraged as one after another gave answers that gave me hope for each of them.

Today the women will be having a good breakfast, they will spend some time in prayer (some will read their bibles), 15 min of exercise, watching a TED talk (or something inspirational), working on some questions about life and taking their next step, then meet with Jackie and the other keyworker to discuss their answers and how it pertains to their lives.

I wanted to share this with you because I feel so blessed this morning as I write this e-mail to you. I want you to know that by supporting us through prayer, volunteering, and finances you are making a difference in the lives of these brave women that have made the huge decision to exit their previous life of sexual exploitations.

I know times are tough and we are all walking in fear. But God’s got this.

I want to ask that you take some time to pray for us during this difficult time.

If you are able and feel that you want to help us out financially then please just click the donate link below.

DONATE HERE

May God Bless you and your family,

Phil Reimer

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#200 301-37 Ave, NE | (403) 520-8080
info@nextstepministries.ca | www.nextstepministries.ca