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The Miracles This Christmas

Merry Christmas! I hope this letter finds our prayer warriors, sponsors, and Love Remained Ministries community in anticipation of the celebration of a Savior this Christmas. I am in denial that December is here, and the 2023 year is wrapping up. I sit here at my table in my kitchen in disbelief that this chapter is closing. However, I am excited to share the story of 2023 as a ministry. If this is your first newsletter, let me pause and welcome you to this dynamic community with a special place in my heart. You have just become a part of a community that believes in restoration, second chances, and God's transforming power in the lives of the broken. Welcome, and we hope you will stay and get connected.

2023 was the year my team and I experienced Holy Spirit power to a degree that left me challenged and stretched. This year has increased my faith and kept me dependent on the Lord at every turn. If you had asked me 15 months ago if I thought this vision would unfold this quickly, I would have answered from my humanness. Honestly, my humanness was meek to say the Lord is moving and has asked that I become obedient to His calling. However, my "yes" lacked the faith the Lord would call me to have over this year. Never underestimate what the Lord can do with your "Yes." My pastor friend told me, "God does not desire our ability as much as He wants our availability. Our availability in His hands is far greater than our ability because it becomes His limitless ability through us. Praise God for His faithfulness and goodness. So, please join me as I share some God-moving moments in the life of this ministry so far. I get a front-row seat every day to His transformational power, and what a privilege it is to share with you.


January 2023, I opened up my planner and started to jot down some ministry goals. I jotted down the completion of Phase 1 of the Hope Project. As I wrote it down, my heart started racing, and my stomach turned. I wanted to retract my pen from the paper, but it was already out; it had already come from my heart to the paper. Many don't know that this was about the same time the Lord was closing a door we thought we were supposed to walk through, yet the Lord made it clear that we were to sit and wait. I felt conflicted about writing such an ambiguous goal at a time when the Lord said wait. We had just said no to signing a lease to a brick-and-mortar coffee shop that would be the funding entity for Love Remained Ministries, because God was clear that it was not His plan. The wisdom given to us sounded like this: the Lord is not going to call you to something He is not going to provide fully for you. So, if you have to push forward your means to make this vision move, it's not the Lord's timing; it's your own. We are thankful for friends who are not scared to challenge and stretch us in our dependence on God. How easy it can be to take the Lord's work out of His hand when he invites us to partner with Him and think we are helping Him by doing it our way.


From January to March, we waited, still mentoring and discipling the hearts of those that came our way. It was March when I was lying in bed searching marketplace and came across a truck that a local small business coffee shop currently owned. My interest was piqued; maybe this could be something we use when the time comes to open our coffee shop. In the season of waiting, I kept my eyes and heart open to however the Lord would move. What if the Lord was asking us to start small? I reached out to see if we could see the truck; I was completely open and honest with the original owners that this was only something we were looking into. We needed to see if this truck style would work for a coffee truck. My husband and one of our board members went to see the truck, and while there, they got to share the mission of Love Remained Ministries and the purpose for which we wanted to use the truck. They looked around and believed this could work but left as we needed the means to begin a conversation, and we did not have it. However, God started detouring us from what we thought it looked like to new possibilities of what it might be looking like. We at least had a new way to pray and ask God if this was where he was leading.


Two days later, we received a call from the truck owners. They asked if we would entertain a conversation with them. They stated that they loved our mission for which the truck would be used. So they extended an offer and wanted to know if we would be interested in this truck if they cut the price in half. They also wanted to gift us the generator that went with it. I was speechless; what was happening right now? However, the man on the other end of the phone kept talking. He began to ask us if we had anyone helping us with this endeavor of coffee. I mean, we had a business plan, but when I looked into consulting to help make our business plan a reality, it was going to cost thousands, yet on the other end of this line was a man who said they wanted to walk this out with us and would help us every step of the way. He asked if we had a roaster. I remember thinking, sir, I was looking at a truck for possibility. A roaster was only a thought amid a business plan. Yet this same man said we would love also to be your roaster. We can supply you with the coffee and other items needed to get started. You guys, God is faithful with our yes, even when we do not know what He will do with it. God moved mountains on this day. On this day, He invited me to the front row to partner in his work. Hope House Coffee (Mobile Cafe) in 2023 started construction.


2023 was also the year that Love Remained Ministries would fill a spot serving Chesapeake jail inmates weekly. Every Monday, we were humbled to sit with God's daughters, sharing God's hope and transformative power in their lives. God allowed us again to partner with Him as He called His children to Him. Love Remained Ministries got the opportunity to participate in the moving of the Lord in these lives as two accepted Christ in their heart. We also got the chance to plant seeds among other women as we reminded them their identity is not in the words spoken over them but in the identity of Christ.

This year, we met Erin (a different name used to protect our friend). When I first met Erin, she was unsure of my intention; she met me with a bit of pushback. Erin did not sit up at the table like the other ladies; she kept her distance but listened respectfully. She did not have much to say. I prayed and asked God to open up an avenue in which I had access to meet her where she was. I remember a dream in which I had where I was playing cards with inmates. God would guide me to meet them with my brokenness; the gift of our vulnerability invites others to open up to us. Just showing up and meeting a physical need for them to have community gave me spiritual access to share Christ. Playing cards with them was just symbolism to come just as I was. Arriving in my brokenness to sit among them, love them, and share the Hope of Christ in my own life and the Hope of Christ in their life, the Holy Spirit began to break down barriers. Erin soon had a special place in my heart, as I witnessed her hunger for the Lord develop. The Lord was transforming her before my eyes. God began to break off the names so many had spoken over her. He began to release her anger, which she struggled. I watched her go from feeling unworthy to even utter the name of Christ to delivering a speech at graduation of God's redemptive power over her life. Erin became a mentor within the same unit she started in for just a short time. I came in one week to learn Erin had transferred, and I was devastated. These things happen all the time, but this time it was different. The Lord laid this young lady on my heart, and I began to pray for her. I quickly remembered there was a database I could look into that would let me know where she was transferred. She was no longer attached to the place where we serve, so as a ministry, we could reach out to her, continuing to encourage her. Within thirty seconds, I received an email back. Being transferred shocked her, as she expected a different outcome. This young woman blessed my life as I got to witness her speaking of the Lord using her in the place she was in. She knew God had her there for a reason: to share His light and love with other inmates. And again the Lord invited me to the front row as I witnessed His redemptive power transforming the life of one of His own.


These are just a few unforgettable moments we have had at Love Remained Ministries this year. The Lord has been faithful to start a work in this ministry that we know He will see through. We are thankful for the successful completion of our first big fundraiser, where we partnered with Crossfit Chesapeake in the Spooky Classic. This CrossFit competition was fun for all ages, and it helped us raise funds to contribute to our programs and the finishing of Hope House Coffee. In October, our girls cut the ribbon for the opening of our mobile cafe, Hope House Coffee. Please see and praise God because I am serious when I say I show up each day doing the one thing he has given me to complete and it's miraculous how these puzzle pieces of to-dos create a beautiful picture called ministry. God, the author of this story, writes, and I stand in awe of His work and praise Him.





On behalf of our Love Remained Ministry team and myself, we thank you for being ever part of this ministry as you pray for us, support us, and encourage us every day. We will never forget 2023. If you are reading this and want to participate in this mission, please visit our website at www.loveremained.org. There are many ways to connect with us. As 2023 wraps up, some of you may be looking for a Non-Profit to contribute in order to receive a tax break; we are grateful to be considered in your year-end giving. Please visit our website, www.loveremained.org, or email us at info@loveremained.org


Merry Christmas From Our Team (Our hearts anticipate our Savior),


Liz Andersen

Executive Director



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1 Comment


It is encouraging to read what the Lord has been doing in your lives. To see the thread He has weaved all the way through and to know He is not finished. May the Lord continue to bless you all as He changes lives through you daily, whether by coffee or in your jail ministry or HHM may His light continue to shine brightly!

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