Our 2020 Calendar, the Cross of WaterBrooks

 

Our 2020 WaterBrooks Calendar is now available to order!

Calendar 2020This quality spiral bound calendar beautifully captures the seasons of the Cross at WaterBrooks in Vermont with coordinating scriptures on prayer to encourage you each month of the year.

Proceeds from this calendar are being used to help raise the $75,000 for the commercial septic system for the Mountaintop Retreat Center at WaterBrooks.

Please remember your family and friends as the holidays are approaching. This calendar would make a beautiful gift that will last  the entire year.

To order your 2020 WaterBrooks Calendar please send your contribution of $20 per calendar to Sue Thomas Ministries at 320 North Bayshore Drive, Columbiana Ohio, 44408 or use the Buy Now button.

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Your support is so greatly appreciated, as together we grow, and build WaterBrooks for the glory of God and the hope of His people! If you would like to simply join us in building by a one-time donation, or a recurring monthly donation, follow this link.

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The Sanctuary of WaterBrooks

God is at work on His canvas in the hills of Vermont with His glorious colors waiting for His perfect time to bring forth the mighty splendors of autumn!

As God is creating His spectacular beauty for the world to marvel, He is building WaterBrooks for His glory and the hope of His people.
WaterBrooks, nestled on 113 acres in the green mountains of Vermont is a different kind of place, a place where the silence is never broken. Where one can come and be still and know that He is God.
Most who know me know two things, I am profoundly deaf who worked for the FBI as their secret weapon with my lip reading expertise and later had the award winning TV series called Sue Thomas FBEYE inspired by my life. The second thing you might or might not know is that I carry the FBI name in a very public way.  I am Sue Thomas, (F)irm (B)eliever (I)n CHRIST.
Since surrendering at the foot of the Cross thirty five years ago I have been a witness and proclaimed my Lord in 51 states in the USA and in six nations around the world. God has so graciously opened the door of every denomination in the church today including the Roman Catholic and Jewish faith. There is only one state and one denominaton that I have not been a witness unto. Can you guess?
I have had an incredible life with an incredible story…God’s greatest sinner saved and transformed by His grace and His grace alone!
Being profoundly deaf all of my life, that was the one thing that drove me to the Lord. For 35 years in spite of being successful with the FBI using my lipreading abilities to capture the bad guys, I resented and despised my deafness and the silence. The very thing that I love, people, my deafness kept me from being with them. Helen Keller said it best, “blindness separates a person from things and objects; deafness separates a person from people.” How well do I know these words.
I tried to run from the silence in every way possible, alcohol, drugs, alternative lifestyle, you name it, I did it to try to find acceptance and live with the silence.
My parents taught me as a child that God never makes a mistake but the older and supposedly wiser I got, I believed my parents were wrong, that God did indeed, make a mistake when He allowed the silence to over take me.
I left a successful career at the FBI to find God to make Him confess He made a mistake. I found Him in seminary in what is now known as Columbia International University in Columbia South Carolina. It was there at the age of 35 that I fully surrendered to God at the foot of the Cross in all of my shame and sorrow. It was there on that day that the transformation of my life was to become complete, the very thing that I hated, despised, and rejected, the silence, would be transformed into my best friend, the thing that I loved the most, the silence.
It is only in the silence that we will truly hear the still small voice of God, the silence will teach us, if we listen.
It was with that transformation thirty five years ago that God placed in my heart to build a sanctuary in the wilderness where the silence would never be broken, “that God’s people shall return from exile far away and will rest beneath His shadow, and be as a watered garden.” Hosea 14:8
WaterBrooks is a sanctuary being built for the glory of God and the hope of His people, it is being built by God and God alone as we are to ask no man for nothing as we build this sanctuary but to ask God for everything.
We would welcome your involvement to help build WaterBrooks only by prayer or what only God would have you do.
Our needs our great as we build our first project for the lodge. We will be doing a perk test in the coming days to submit plans to the state for the commercial septic system. Pray in earnest, friends, for God’s provision as the commercial septic system could cost us as much as $70,000. Only God and God alone can bless our endeavors for His glory and the hope of His people. After all, is He not the God who created heaven and Earth and cannot He create WaterBrooks for His glory?
Our churches have became weak and diluted with the teachings of prosperity and how to feel good instead of the Cross and dying of self.
Our sanctuaries have become worldly with small chatter replacing the silence and sipping of our Starbucks obtained in our churches. Our alters have long been removed with microphones adorning the show time music leaders and the church bells silenced refraining the call to the people to worship and adore the Almighty God. Simply put, we have forgotten how to truly worship and to truly adore the King of Kings.
It is indeed time for a different kind of place, a place in the mountains where the silence is never broken, where man can find God once again and return to his first love. WaterBrooks is a wilderness sanctuary, a refuge, a strong tower, a place where the silence is never broken where man can commune with God simply by walking Him and Him alone.
WaterBrooks is not a church but a place that God’s people can be strengthened and return to their church to strength it’s body.
We ask for your prayers in the days ahead that Almighty God will provide accordingly in the richness of His Son, Christ Jesus.
The silence will teach us if we listen. Perhaps, just perhaps, the church bells will ring once again to call His people to worship.

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A Special Event

 

Today was a milestone for me! At the age of 69, I have lived to see the day where I can go to the theater and see a movie on the big screen, and for the first time ever, watch an animated film and understand it! Today I wept tears of joy that I  finally see the day that the sound barrier was broken in theaters and that the deaf can now go to movies!!

The ADA (The American Disability Act)  passed a law in 2016 that theaters must provide captioning for deaf to be able to engage in movies. All public theaters had to comply by June 2018. That long awaited day has come to me just in time to see my favorite of all favorites stories come to life in animation on the big screen and I, as a profoundly deaf person, can go watch it and understand what is happening!!

On April 18th in theaters around the country will be the release of the animated movie, Pilgrim’s Progress!! This is a must for everyone whether you are a Christian or not. It is a spiritualized allegory about  our journey through life and is way beyond any of Hollywood’s entertainment!  Because it is a special event, it will only be shown for 2 days of the week, the 18th and 20th of April. Be sure to get your tickets early as it’s a special viewing for only two days and it’s a certainty it will be a sell out!

I encourage you to get the word out about this movie to as many as you can. Please let your church know of it’s release. You can obtain a special group discount with a block group going together.

If you are a deaf interpreter, educator for the deaf, or work among or simply know a deaf friend, spread the word that Pilgrim’s Progress is highly recommended and can be viewed on the big screen with captioning.

Do you know the story, Pilgrim’s Progress?  First printed in 1678, it would have been a runaway best seller had it appeared in our day.  By 1692 over 100,000 copies were in print in English alone! It has been translated into 200 languages, and has NEVER been out of print! Talk about a popular book!  Many phrases that we use in our English language today such as “jumping from the frying pan into the fire” remain part of our language because of the popularity of Pilgrim’s Progress around the world.

John Bunyan wrote this book during the 12 years he spent in the Bedford prison for his faith. When local magistrates sentenced Bunyan to imprisonment unless he promised them he would not preach, he refused, declaring that he would remain in prison till the moss grew on his eyelids rather than fail to do what God had commanded him to do.

Whether you are facing road blocks or life challenges, and are tired and weary with life and all that you are faced with, this story puts everything in true perspective as an allegory of our life’s journey through this world. Do you need an uplifting moment in your day or life? I strongly suggest you view this newly released film on April 18th. pilgrimsprogressrelaunch-1000x1480-0c34ec3e2c6a2fa39dec940da097506f

Now in an animated format that the entire family can watch together!  It sure beats Disney characters any day!

Yes, I am rejoicing that in my life time I have lived to see the day that technology broke the sound barrier. It is with texting on my cell phone, closed captioning on the TV and now to be able to sit before the big screen with a tub of hot buttered popcorn to celebrate! God truly is good!!

Do yourself a favor and give a special gift to your family and friends and plan an evening to watch Pilgrim’s Progress together at a theater near you!

Come celebrate with me,

Sue Thomas, A Witness

Operation Silent Night Report and Ministry Prayer Update

Praising God for such a dynamic year for Operation Silent Night! As our 14th year ended we marveled at the goodness of the Lord in His provision to His people.

The donations for Operation Silent Night continued to pour in right up to our departure. It ranged from the 54 pair of brand new leather work boots for men to the 1,000 duffle bags to brand new blankets, comforters, socks, gloves and hats. So many coats were donated surpassing all the other years along with volunteers making up personal hygiene kits and goodies bags filled with delicious snacks for the cold days in January.

 

We recognize our one on one time with our friends of the streets is the most important thing we can give.

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That time of listening, caring and praying with each that God sends our way is the pulse, life and breath of Operation Silent Night. 

Plans are already underway for our 15th year as we realize we must double our portion to meet the needs of God’s hidden lost people of the streets.

Please remember this project, Operation Silent Night, in vital prayer for these tremendous needs to be met:

1. We desperately need a warehouse! We have grown way beyond storing in various garages. Pray in earnest that God will lead us to a sizeable building/warehouse where we can be better organized and more efficient.

2. A new bus is crucial to this ministry to transport volunteers and items to the streets. on bus linePray we might find favor with the Lord in hearing our prayers for the use of a new bus and answer by sending His best for us.

3. Pray as we screen the applications of those that seek to be a part of the team. Pray that God will give us wisdom and discernment for next year’s team and how to properly develop this growing ministry.

With the ending of a dynamic year we can only look forward to the new year with anticipation and praise!

We are thrilled for the invitation to minister in Costa Rica in July. We will travel from July 16th to August 15th ministering to the children in the schools and the people in the mountains.

We will be writing more about this trip but ask for prayer for our sponsors as they work on the details of our stay. Prayers are requested as we will raise our support for travel, along with $140.00 a day to cover both our lodging and meals during our stay. As I shared, we will be writing more as the itinerary becomes solid that you might pray more specifically.

Last year was a total shock with health issues and the uncertainty of my future… It was such a good reminder that we do not know what the future holds but we know for certain He holds the future!

We look forward to seeing the fulfillment of all of His promises and to plant Him and His glory wherever He shall send us!

Hang on, friends! As I promised Deb in the very beginning of our travels together 15 years ago in February, “I can’t promise you anything except it will be an incredible journey.”… and so it has! Stay tuned and keep us in prayer as the journey continues for the glory of God and the hope of His people.

Thank you, Jesus!

We too, go up to our Jerusalem, for Him and His Unreached,

Sue and Deb
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Why the Angels sang Peace on Earth

One of the memories of my days at the FBI was leaving work on a bitter winter night and seeing bundles of rubbish piled on the street grill. I was shocked to realize there was a human being lying there trying to keep warm from the steam rising. I never forgot that sight and carried it with me for more than 30 years before I acted and returned to that scene with a resolve to feed and clothe my friends with warm coats and blankets.

This is why I make the pilgrimage to Washington DC every year to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in the dark alleys and lonely streets with the homeless. The city is emptied of its ordinary daily bustle as everyone has gone home to celebrate the joys of the season with friends and family. All but those who have no home to go to.

I do not return alone. Each year the Lord brings a team of volunteers together. Now 20 others join me who have the heart to befriend the hidden lost people of the streets. We call it Operation Silent Night.

We often begin our trek on the streets with the tradition of going to Arlington National Cemetery to pay homage at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and to remember all those that sacrificed their lives. Inscribed in the marble of the western panel overlooking the city are these words…

HERE RESTS IN
HONORED GLORY
AN AMERICAN
SOLDIER
KNOWN BUT TO GOD

It is a sobering and solemn experience which helps us to be sensitive to the displaced veterans that we see living on the streets.

One year we honored them all by laying a wreath at The Tomb that had a ribbon with Operation Silent Night. As I walked that afternoon with the escorting soldiers and three of my volunteers who had served in the military, I thought, surely this will be one experience to remember.
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But it was another year in that same location that topped it all.

Our team had spent the morning packing food, and loading the bus with items. It was around 4 p.m. when we all piled into the little bus and headed for the annual visit to Arlington. The team quietly walk down the sidewalk, respecting the little sign that says Silence and Respect and stood with a large crowd to watch The Changing of the Guard, which occurs every hour on the hour. The weather was warm for December and there were many people gathered to watch the event.

Because of my MS, I had to use my Rollator walker to make the distance. The walker has a built-in seat so that I can sit when I become tired.

I stayed at the edge of the granite plaza as I felt I needed to make an early exit to beat the crowd as soon as things were over. I slowly ambled down the sidewalk and stop by the walkway where the soldiers marched to go back to their barracks. Sitting there on my walker alone and away from the crowd, I watched as the soldier that had just been relieved of his duty marched ever so slowly and reverently towards me with his rifle over his shoulder. I felt so overwhelmed by such gratitude for his service that I made a fist with my hand and very slowly took my fist and hit my heart three times and then pointed to him.

He never blinked but continued his rhythmic pace, turned, marched down the stone steps and disappeared into the dim recess of the barracks. I quickly glanced back at the crowd only to realize another soldier was marching towards me. He was a Sergeant of Arms and was not carrying a rifle. Once again, I acknowledged and thanked him by hitting my heart and then it happened…

He continued his slow-stepping march but then his arm began to move so slowly and precisely with each step and he gave me the same salute that he had given to the fallen Unknown Soldier. A few more marching steps and his arm slowly went back into position. While the crowds of people began to pour out of the plaza arena, I sat there in silence completely overwhelmed with tears.

I will never forget that experience and the stranger that God sent. I will be forever grateful to those that have laid down their lives for me that I can live in freedom and peace.

That memorable trip to Arlington reminds me of a prayer that I had to recite as a child back during my speech therapy days. Out of all the poems I had to learn in order to teach my voice to fluctuate, was this prayer that I never tired of reciting.

Our Father, up in heaven,
Hear this fervent prayer–
May the people of All Nations,
Be United in Thy Care,

For earth’s peace and man’s salvation
Can come only by Thy grace
And not through bombs and missiles
And our quest for outer space.

For until all men recognize
That “The Battle Is The Lord’s”
And peace on earth cannot be won
With strategy and swords,

We will go on vainly fighting,
As we have in ages past,
Finding only empty victories
And a peace that cannot last.

But we’ve grown so rich and mighty
And so arrogantly strong,
We no longer ask in humbleness –
“God, show us where we’re wrong”.

We have come to trust completely
In the power of man-made things,
Unmindful of God’s mighty power
And that He is “King Of Kings”.

We have turned our eyes away from Him
To go our selfish way,
And money, power and pleasure
Are the gods we serve today.

And the good green earth God gave us
To peacefully enjoy,
Through greed and fear and hatred
We are seeking to destroy.

Oh, Father, up in heaven,
Stir and wake our sleeping souls,
Renew our faith and lift us up
And give us higher goals,

And grant us heavenly guidance
As war threatens us again.
For, more than Guided Missiles,
All the world needs Guided Men.

–Helen Steiner Rice

 

IMGP5424What more perfect gift can be given than the giving of oneself? I am indebted to those who lie in Arlington National Cemetery for my earthly peace and freedom. I hit my heart that day to express thanks for the price paid. It was a small gesture that was rewarded by an eternal memory.

This is the time of year when carols are being sung everywhere about the sweet baby in the manger. But we must not forget the reason that Jesus came. He came as an innocent child but he grew to be a man that knows our sorrows and took our sins upon himself. He came to pay the ultimate price, to give his life and be that sacrifice, that I, and you, might know spiritual peace and freedom. He is the Prince of Peace. The Mighty Counselor. The Lamb that was slain from before the foundation of the world. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is the reason the angels sang “Peace on Earth.”

May you experience His peace in 2019,

Sue Thomas
Sue Thomas Ministries