What a cozy place. I felt right at home the moment I walked in for the 10 am service. Pastor Mae Boyer came right over to give me a hug. Restoration Hill is a non-denominational church in a building that has a long history dating back to the 1800’s. It was a former convent from 1959 until 1972. After that it became “The Heavenly Inn”, the first of several restaurants to occupy the space.
Mae became a pastor 10 years ago when she received a calling to bring God’s word to the broken. I have personally witnessed Pastor Mae giving selflessly to help others, including those with addictions and at-risk youth. This type of ministry brings many challenges, but the Lord has sustained her. Pastor Mae has been through the fire, but she continues to persevere. She shared how being a Pastor is a calling from God on your life… not a job or profession. It is not something you retire from. What I have come to see in my Journeying experiences is that it’s a call from God to become who you were meant to be. Your “Reason for Being”. It is the “THAT” which Paul refers to when he states in Phil. 3:12 “I may apprehend THAT for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.” It’s more than a vocation and it’s more wonderful than an avocation. It’s her life’s purpose.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom, and I loved the freedom I sensed here. She began the service with a small boy, no older than 8, singing a song. How precious to see a small child singing about God’s love. Their heartfelt worship was pure and anointed as it radiated from the platform.
Following the worship she invited me up to say a word, and I was happy to share with the congregation about my Church Journeys and the vision God has given me to encourage and “Unify” the Body of Christ. She had a couple of other guests who also shared a few words including the Lead Chaplain for ARC (Warren, Washington and Albany Counties), a nonprofit organization serving nearly 1,000 individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Pastor Mae’s message focused on 2017 being a Jubilee year… a year of restoration. How fitting for a church bearing the name “Restoration Hill”. She passed around a book bag filled with heavy rocks representing us carrying the heavy weights of sin. Jesus paid it all to carry those sins. Through His covenant of blood you are set free! We need to give those weights of sin to Jesus so He can carry them for us. We need to believe this so we can receive. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Ephesians 2:8
But are you willing to follow the Lord in 2017? You must make a choice. We need to get aligned with God. “Let us forget the former things and not dwell on the past.” Isaiah 43:18
Being completely transparent, Pastor Mae went on to share a personal testimony to encourage those who were struggling. She shared how just this past summer she was feeling tired and ready to give up the ministry. I was so touched to hear that her husband, her constant support and “quiet rock”, recognized that she could not stop doing the very thing God had called her to be.
There are many members who work alongside Pastor Mae and share her passion to help the broken. I was pleased to hear they were beginning a women’s group to counsel hurting and abused women. I love how Pastor Mae takes kids to her camp on Sacandaga Lake for retreats, “to get out of the city”. Pastor Mae has many visions for Restoration Hill including a commercial kitchen and banquet room to train at-risk youth in culinary and hospitality skills. She wants to remodel an old barn on the property into a youth center. Most of the youth come from broken lives and they need a safe and loving environment.
Restoration Hill Ministries is a viable part of the community to help people. The “UNITY” of Christ’s Church requires this special church. It has a unique purpose that is “hands on”. Come worship here and see the Love of Jesus put into action! Maybe you would be a perfect fit. Maybe in this place you will find your call…your “Reason for Being.”
Church Website – www.facebook.com/godsheartofrefuge
By Donna Hansen Munafo
(Contributing writer Michael Frati)