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Speaker 1 My husband came home and told me that my son died. I remember collapsing on the ground
Speaker 1 and raising my arms and asking God, why has he forsaken me?
Speaker 2 Feelings of abandonment in the midst of tragedy. Where's God?
Speaker 3 Those words, you're worthless. Absolutely was a wall between me and accomplishing anything.
Speaker 2 Circumstances, stealing your purpose and value. Does God hear your prayers?
Speaker 4 12 years into our marriage I realized that he was not saved.
Speaker 2 Doubt and unbelief cloud your vision. Will clarity ever come? Real questions by real people and in a city dubbed by some as one of the best small towns in the nation. Many have found answers.
Speaker 5 She pretty much told me yet, you know, she was expecting me and expecting what she was wanting to see. The self centered man. She is Donna Robart, founder of the Women's Refuge of Vero Beach, Florida alongside her husband Ted
Speaker 6 I was praying one day and the Lord gave me a real vision that one day, didn't give me a time, that I would be able to open up a home for women, a refuge for women.
Speaker 2 That day would not come until 1997, a whole 25 years later, and not quite according to Donna's plans
Speaker 6 Going to Romania and I was going to open up the refuge myself
Speaker 2 There in Romania? Not in Vero Beach?
Speaker 6 No, no no
Speaker 2 That was your plan.
Speaker 6 No. Well yes. And you know, we can make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps.
Speaker 2 The assignment would launch right from Vero beach
Speaker 6 And now it's been 20 years
Speaker 2 Since it's been in full operation.
Speaker 6 That's right since 1997
Speaker 2 Years of experience as a nurse, open her spiritual eyes to a need that is clearly evident but too often ignored.
Speaker 6 I saw a lot of women in the hospitals that didn't need to be there and that were depressed, that were misplaced and that didn't know who in the world they were.
Speaker 2 Robart's personal testimony has molded her perfectly for this assignment.
Speaker 6 I was an unwanted child. My mother tried to abort me back when it was unheard of. They wanted a boy and I wasn't the boy. So I really was not loved by my mother nor my father my whole life with them. My mother divorced him when I was eight my father abandoned us and my mother got married again and quite a few times and uh, I ran away at 17. Lo and behold, I had five children quick, quickly and, but one of those children died and I had a very hard time with that. I was not a Christian and I was pretty much a adverse to Christians because I thought about, you know, Christian ideation that they were just doing it to make it up this. And I knew there had to be at God, but that was about it. Trying to find out who I was and what my identity was was pretty scary. And so he and I thought I've had getting married and having children would be it.
Speaker 2 Many women do.
Speaker 6 Yes. I thought that's where you can find your identity. You get a role. Why not? I had that empty spot inside of me that did not quite get filled. Well, I became a nurse and then a charge nurse and then a head nurse and it wasn't enough. I was saved all by myself in my kitchen, listen to Christmas carols and I kicking and screaming I went to the throne of grace.
Speaker 2 Oh praise the Lord! Is that how Jesus met you, where you were?
Speaker 6 Listening to Christmas Carols. I was just kind of walking across the room and and now what are you going to do? Is what I heard. I said, I give up, I give up. And when I did it just felt like I went around and around and came back up out of the water and they're standing right there in the kitchen
Speaker 2 Today, the powerful result of that supernatural encounter keeps an entire team focused on rescuing lives.
Speaker 7 We do our very best to restore relationships, not only family relationships but marriage relationships. So that's really our goal.
Speaker 8 When people want to invest in the future of an organization, the philosophy of the organization is very important. But I think caring for people in the context of a truly Christian based therapy is unique.
Speaker 2 What are you seeing in the eyes of women today? And, and, and what have you seen over time?
Speaker 6 More and more despair. Okay. More and more despair. More and more a misunderstanding about the role of woman. And I say that a man to the role of men and I'm not out there carrying a flag or, or a placard saying I want it my way or anything. I'm just saying that people are confused, very, very confused. There's no standard of living that they can actually stand on.
Speaker 2 People from all walks of life have found true shelter from their storms here.
Speaker 9 I took the sexual abuse class, shelter from the storm that blew my mind and she said, it's part of the process, Lisa, you have to be broken for him to work in you. I said, but it hurts or it's too much. And um, but she just, you know, gave me a hug. She prayed for me. She walked out and I went, okay, I have to break. I have to let them get in there.
Speaker 10 I was raped actually.
Speaker 11 I was into prostitution in the online realm.
Speaker 6 Women come here and they live a in a residential program here and they come from all over the world
Speaker 2 All over the world? Like here in Vero?
Speaker 6 Yes, like Australia and like China, like South Africa, like England, like Germany, it's just They're just from all over the world. We've had over 120 from South American countries alone, so it's, man, it's been a, it's been a ride. It's been quite a journey these 20 years
Speaker 2 And there's more to come.
Spealer 6 There's more to come.
Speaker 7 We're looking to one day soon to build a two story building that will house all of our offices together as well as a conference room and actually be a training center for leaders that could come either from our local community or even nationwide, even international to come and host leadership seminars, making disciples, expanding the vision of the refuge beyond just our physical boundaries here, but bringing it into the world and offering this same life changing healing program to people all over the world.
Speaker 2 Women's refuge of Vero proves that the Bible is the living Word of God and the only solid foundation, though strong winds blow and challenges shake them, this team shall not be moved.
Speaker 7 Jesus Christ, God's Word is our foundation. We will never compromise that. And because of that, there are a lot of grants that automatically disqualify us because we do require a woman to be in the Word part of the Bible study is part of her curriculum. And um, so we have been discriminated against if you would say, because we proclaim to be Christians. People are saying, well, you know what, if you have someone who follows Islam or Buddhists, can they be part of your program? Yes, but we will not change our curriculum. This is where we know the healing starts. The healing will continue. So as long as we're in America and we've got the freedom to proclaim his name, we will continue to do that. And you know, if one avenue is closed because we love the Lord and proclaim him as God, then we will go to another door.
Speaker 2 Statistics on anxiety, depression and suicide paint a grim future for families. Truth declares otherwise
Speaker 7 Let's stand you up. That's what does God have for you? What does God say?
Speaker 8 What happened with me here? It changed my children, my husband, my friends, my family. It's a lasting effect.
Speaker 3 Everything changed.
Speaker 2 This is a special place.
Speaker 7 We don't just put a bandaid on what's what their problems are. We really rip that bandaid off and we get rid of all that junk. Get down to the bottom of it, and then we start putting that healing balm, God's Word on that.
Speaker 2 Where students become teachers.
Speaker 7 All of that healing that I went through was very profitable for the women's refuge today because I don't, I don't consider myself an expert in anything except dying to self. I can do that receipt
Speaker 2 Receivers become givers.
Speaker 12 Many days when I thought, I don't want to live anymore. I don't want to be here anymore. What good am I anymore? I'd ask God more than one occasion to let me die. Um, you know, just like Job, what I tell myself now, it's the truth that I'm, I'm completely forgiven and fully loved by the God of the universe
Speaker 2 And the body of Christ is one.
Speaker 7 You know, and I know there are so many people that are sitting in those pews of those churches, so week after week that are hurting, that are heartbroken, that are damaged by life circumstances, as some churches really aren't capable of that ongoing weekly counseling. So what, what I'd like to tell the churches is we would like them to send us their, they're broken. They're hurting their heart. They're the ones who are suffering from being overwhelmed by life. Circumstances said they're depressed.
Speaker 1 I was introduced to this new way of living. I was given hope. There is life after death.
Speaker 12 I've seen, you know, 20 year olds come in here and I'm seeing 60 year olds come in here and their lives are turned around.
Speaker 9 This is where God would meet me. The Lord is here. The Lord is in everything that is done in this place and the name Women's Refuge of Vero beach does not signify, come to us and we will fix your life, which has come to us and we will lead you to the One True Refuge
Speaker 2 On Fior Hernandez, this is the J factor.