Welcome back for a second visit to Elizabeth Ministry International’s Retreat and Resource Center in northeastern Wisconsin! Last month you may have joined us for a virtual tour of our entrance and the chapel. We learned a bit about our relationship with God and with each other. We were reminded how Adam and Eve had damaged our relationship with God and creation. Mary and Elizabeth, along with Joseph and Zachariah, and of course Jesus and John, restored the relationship of God and humanity.
There’s more to see today at our Elizabeth Ministry headquarters, and ultimately it’s the story of restoring relationships, as it were, bringing Eve back to Adam, and both back to God!
Many people come to our Elizabeth Ministry Center to purchase a gift, but often they come to seek information, support, or healing. It’s curious that the disciple John gives us Jesus’ first recorded words as “What are you looking for?” (John 1:38) Much of our seeking—when we are honest with ourselves—is ultimately seeking Jesus, and through Him, a loving Father, the most basic and life-giving of relationships!
When most people come to the Resource Center, they visit the gift shop, a long and generally sunny south-facing room across the hall from the chapel, which you saw last month. Neatly arranged around the perimeter of this room are floor-to-eye-level shelves or racks with books, pamphlets, booklets, condolence or congratulation cards, plaques and statues, jewelry, toys or other gift items, all neatly organized and displayed with labels such as Childbirth, Miscarriage, Infant Death, Sibling Death, and so on.
Farther around you’ll find Parenthood, Marriage, Natural Family Planning, Sexuality, Chastity, RECLAiM, Rosebud Program, and so on. My observation is that no one enters this room without spending at least three times as long as expected; there’s just so much to see and peruse! There’s also a long table (long enough to seat 30 people!) down the center of the room that’s used for our work projects or bulk mailings.
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PRAYER NEEDS FOR THE MONTH OF JULY
• Lord Jesus, our nation seems so confused. Our Supreme Court had told us that destroying an unborn child is the choice of the mother. Now we are told that the marriage of two males or two females is legal. We know that You, Lord and Father of creation and Author of all life, are the Supreme Judge. We present our country to you and know that you will work all things for the good of those who trust in you. Help us as your followers, Jesus, to love as you love, to forgive as you forgive, and to speak the truth whether convenient or inconvenient.
• Jesus, please guide our world and national leaders. Give aid to the poor and needy; help those who have more than we need to give to those who have less than they need. You, Lord, who fed the multitudes, help us in a world ripped apart by affluence and poverty. Help our national leaders especially as we in the United States have just celebrated Independence Day. Help us to be dependent on you, Lord Jesus. Help us truly to be a nation who lives our motto, “In God We Trust”!
• Jesus, bless and guide church leaders! We need wisdom, courage and strength to carry out your word and to do all that you are asking us to do and be in the world and culture around us. Let us be your light in darkness and wisdom in confusion!
• Lord Jesus, we ask that you continue to restore Jeannie Hannemann’s health following her stroke; restore to her perfect eyesight, and strength and sensation on her left side.
• Thank you, Lord, for healing the mother with a leak of amniotic fluid; her child remains healthy and ready to be born soon.
• Lord Jesus, there are preemie twins, Henry and John, born ten weeks early in February. Henry has needed a tracheotomy and both have breathing and eating issues. Lord, please heal these little boys, and enable them to grow strong and healthy, and bless their parents with courage and faith!
• Jesus, Pat’s grand-daughter is carrying triplets! Help them to grow healthy and strong before their birth in early August, as well as after, and give continuing wisdom and strength to those parents! Please keep the mother healthy.
• Jesus, as always, we ask your mercy and strength for those fighting their dependence on pornography. Free them, and give them healthy minds and spirits! Bless the work of RECLAiM Sexual Health and all the students, as well as those seeking information or wisdom regarding their habits and behaviors.
• Jesus, through the intercession of your mother Mary, guide the many young women who are pregnant, that their children would be born healthy and strong. Let fathers as well as mothers show the care and attention to their children that those children might grow, not only physically, but also morally and intellectually, to become strong and mature leaders in a world troubled by sin and hatred.
• Jesus, Elizabeth Ministry operates from a building that needs repair and renovation. Give us able and generous contractors who will repair our plumbing problems! Give us benefactors who will pay the bills and help us move forward with the work that you have asked of us.
• Bless as well, Lord Jesus, all those who pray and intercede with us before Your throne.
As always, Lord Jesus, we present our needs to You,
asking for Your mercy, Your grace,
and Your presence in all we say and do!