Harder Family

Harder Family

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Tribute to Emily

Psalm 147:3 "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."

On May 29, 2018, our lives were changed when Wayne met a beautiful young girl at Midway Airport. I remember receiving a phone call from Wayne on the airplane explaining that he didn't get her contact information and really wanted to find her. He told me that all he knew was her first name and that she was from Nebraska. He asked me to go on Facebook and find her. I remember thinking, "Social media is pretty amazing, but that is like a needle in the haystack." But, I decided to give it a try and here was my post:

"I know this is a long shot, but I thought I'd ask you all to share this post and see what happens. My husband, Wayne, met a girl about our daughter's age at Midway Airport today (5/29/18) who has brain cancer. They had just started talking and sharing stories about their brain cancer, when Wayne had to board his plane. I believe they were at gate A16. He thought they were getting on the same flight, so he didn't get her name. She was from Nebraska and was flying with her mom. Wayne is hoping to somehow connect with her so that he can encourage her along her brain cancer journey. Wayne has glioblastoma brain cancer and hopes to encourage her. Can you share this so that maybe we can find her? I know it's a long shot, but you never know. I already shared it on a brain cancer Facebook page that we belong to. I included his picture for reference."

God worked all the details out and we were able to be connected through a nurse. She reached out to Emily's mom and gave her our information. Looking back, it was only something God could do. 

Picture of Emily and her mom in Chicago right before they met Wayne at the airport                                            

Over the next 2+ years, we would meet up with Emily when she came to Chicago with her mom for treatments. We absolutely fell in love with Emily. 

Back in March, right before COVID hit, we were supposed to travel to Omaha to see Emily because we heard that her cancer was back after having surgery in July 2019. Unfortunately, because of COVID and all the unknowns, we canceled out trip to see her. 

On October 23, after his MRI, Wayne drove the kids to Nebraska to see Emily. I flew to Nebraska to meet them there and visit Emily. Emily's mom had reached out to us and told us that Emily was not doing well. We wanted to make sure we got to see her at least one more time. The trip was heartbreaking! I wouldn't trade that trip for anything, but it was so hard to see the once vibrant young lady, laid up and broken by brain cancer. All cancer is terrible, but brain cancer is just vicious. It slowly steals everything about the person away from them: their ability to walk, communicate, their personality...just everything. 

Last night around 11:30pm, Emily breathed her last breath here on earth. I had received a text earlier yesterday morning letting me know that the nurse told her about 2 days. Wayne and I shed many tears after that text. Waking up to that terrible text this morning broke my heart. I'm broken for the young life lost to brain cancer and also I'm broken for her family who was robbed of years with this beautiful young girl.  

Please join us in uplifting her family in prayer. Please also pray for our children as they process through this loss. Although they didn't know her really well, we have prayed for her since we met her and it strikes too close to home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Beth Rapha Farm Fundraiser

 2 Corinthians 9:7 "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Just in time for Christmas! Help support Beth Rapha Farm and get some of your Christmas shopping done! I have been working hard to create gifts that will look good in any stocking or under the tree. Are you struggling to figure out what to buy your co-worker, child's teacher, or maybe your family member that is hard to shop for? Below are some great gift ideas that will not only complete your Christmas list, but will also help us raise some extra money to finish setting up Beth Rapha Farm. 

                                    $10 - Homemade Vanilla (clear) - 8.5 oz

$8 - Lavender Bath Salts
Ingredients: Epsom Salt, baking soda, and essential oils. 
(We can custom make a scent that you would like as well)

$8 - Large Bath Bombs (pictured left)
$6 - Medium Bath Bombs (pictured right)
Ingredients: Baking Soda, Epsom Salt, Citric Acid, Cornstarch, and Essential oils
Available Scents: Lavender, Peppermint, and Christmas Spirit

$10 - Tin full of chocolate fudge

For those who do not live nearby, I can also ship these to you! Shipping will range from $8.30-$15.50. Please contact me to find out how much shipping would be. The more you buy, the more you save! Bath Bombs and Bath Salts are buy 3 and get the 4th free. Buy 4 Bottles of vanilla and get the 5th free. 

Feel free to email any questions or your special order requests to bethraphafarm@gmail.com

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Vision in the Midst of a Pandemic

 Hebrews 10:23-25 "Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

In June, we traveled to Chicago for Wayne's MRI and a wedding. While we were in town, we stayed with our previous pastor and his family. So much had occurred in our lives between this trip and our previous trip in March, which was literally hours before the country started shutting down due to COVID. Not only had the pandemic hit, but our country was in the midst of racial turmoil. We know how much stress and anxiety all of these events created in our lives, but how much more in pastors? 

Think about all that a pastor normally has on his plate: write and deliver a sermon, serve his congregation's needs, minister to people in the community, etc. Add on the stress of deciding how to safely proceed with services and outreach in the midst of a pandemic: Should we just meet on-line, should we have small services, should we wear masks the entire time, how do we proceed with people having mixed feelings about it all, navigating how to create services that will still reach the congregation...the list goes on. I know I would not want to have been in a position where I would have to make decisions that might impact so many people's lives. COVID and racial tensions have created so much division in the church, and our pastors have had to navigate all of this while still trying to shepherd their flock. I know that there are pastors out there who are worn out and stretched thin. 

As I was sitting in church in Chicago reflecting on all of this, God laid a vision on my heart. The vision centered around a desire to see pastors have a place to refresh, renew, and revive their passion for the Lord at no cost to them. God not only put this concept on my heart, but He also gave me a vision of what the place would look like. I saw a quiet place in the country with rolling green hills, a pond, and space for a pastor and his family to just spend quality time together. This vision both excited and scared me. How would all of this work out? Did God really want us to step out of the boat again in a crazy step of faith? I presented the idea to Wayne and he wasn't so sure about it. We prayed together about this vision to see if it was really something God wanted us to do. Of course, I started looking at places that had the things that God had laid on my heart. We found one place that we thought may be the answer, but God shut that door. Later that day, I "accidentally" came across a piece of property. I quickly called Wayne over and said, "This is it! This is exactly what God had showed me." The property has a pond, a cute cottage, a barn, fruit trees, raised garden beds, and gorgeous views! With God's help and provision, we were able to move forward and buy the place.

Beautiful views from the cottage.

The name that God laid on my heart for this place is Beth Rapha Farm. I have loved studying the names of God over the years and Jehovah Rapha means the God who heals. Beth is the Hebrew word for house/home. So the full meaning of our organization will be the Home of Healing Farm. We want pastors to have a safe place to just rest and spend time alone with God and their families to find healing for their weary souls. 

So where are we at in the process? We are currently working on our website (anyone want to help? LOL), preparing the house for future guests, and trying to finish paperwork to make Beth Rapha Farm a non-profit. We are also in the last stages of kicking off a holiday fundraiser to help raise support (keep your eyes open the next week or so for fun ways you can help support us in bringing encouragement to pastors). 

We hope to have the website up and running in the next month or so. At that point, pastors can apply to come stay. Unfortunately, the cottage is only a one bedroom at this point, so we will be limited on how big of families we can house. We hope in the near future to either expand the little cottage to a two bedroom, or build an additional home that could house a larger family. Please pray for us as we embark on a new adventure. Life is never boring with God, if you are willing to step out of that boat with Him! www.bethraphafarm.org