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Dear Friends,

One of my favorite year-end activities is to look over my previous journal entries. This tradition becomes even more important as my memory fades as quickly as my vision.

My entry on October 4, 2012 reads, “Restore opens today.” It’s followed by, “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strength you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10, NLT)

A year ago, that verse filled me with courage, but as I read it again today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude. To “uphold” means to keep elevated or to support against an opponent. I cannot think of a better word to describe what God has done for us this year. Within days of that entry, my son was diagnosed with lymphoma. I was in the middle of teaching and recording Idol Addiction. And within weeks it became clear that we needed to find another office space and move. Those were tumultuous days and, yet, I can resoundingly say that He upheld Restore in ways that can only be described as miraculous (especially since our business plan was two words: stay open).

In the past year:

Our counseling practice has almost reached maximum capacity, serving both children and adults

Our staff grew from three to six

We helped several area churches implement pastoral care programs to care for their families in crisis.

Over 1,500 people from at least 8 different denominations have completed the Idol Addiction study.

Like I said, miraculous.

Have you ever seen someone “crowd-surf” at a concert or sporting event? A person is literally carried overhead, the weight of their body supported by the masses. The sensation must be both exhilarating and terrifying. Though I’ve never done this, I imagine it’s the same feeling I have when I reflect upon the last year. This ministry has been graciously upheld, supported by the strong arms of the Father through others in prayer, talents and financial gifts. Restore has recently received our nonprofit status, we are now able to receive donations which will be tax-deductible. With this in mind, we humbly ask you to consider Restore Ministries as part of your year-end giving. These gifts allow us to offer gospel-based counseling on a sliding-scale fee schedule, making it affordable to those who need it. Your gifts also make it possible for us to continue to produce quality teaching and training materials to further the gospel both within and outside of the church. Please click here to be linked to our donation page.

On behalf of the board and staff of Restore Ministries, we pray your Christmas will be one in which you experience Immanuel, the God Who is with us always.

Gratefully,

Julie Sparkman

Executive Director, Restore Ministries

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