Welcome 2012!

Reflecting back on the year, 2011, I feel, in some ways, as though I’m peeking in on someone else’s world. So much has happened in one short year—so much that I was not even capable of dreaming one year ago tonight. And that has opened up a whole new world, allowing me to dream bigger dreams for 2012, and the years to come.

What thrills me most is that my dreams are bigger than me. I suppose one could say that’s criteria for a ‘dream’, however, some dreams can be achieved single-handedly. But the thing that meaningful dreams are made of is partnership, team and the effort of many people. And that is the dream that I embrace for 2012!

I have been blessed in the past year and six months to do ministry with Faith Girls Unleashed, and God-willing it will continue, however, when we started this ministry we discovered quickly that we had dreamed too small. As people—men in particular—approached us sharing suggestions and ideas for a bigger vision, we knew we needed to make some changes.

I’ll be honest, when I first heard things like, “maybe you’re not supposed to just do conferences” and “maybe God has a bigger plan” and other such comments, I resisted. Almost rebelliously. For fifteen years I had dreamed of these conferences and they were coming to life just as i dreamed them, except better, more fulfilling. How could God ask me to change direction or add a ‘twist’ to this ministry?

But then something happened and in a moment when I felt as though the dream required more than I had to give, God showed me a need, and in that need He birthed in me a new passion and the will to fight for something greater. This led to redefining the next level of the former dream, and making some adjustments. The result is that, early 2012 we will officially establish a charitable organization that offers conferences and training specifically to address the epidemic of abuse and violence. Where Faith Girls Unleashed specifically targeted women, the charity will address the needs of men, women and families in general. Faith Girls will function as a program within the new charity, rather than as a separate entity.

Within the new charity we have designed programs targeting various oppressed and vulnerable people groups. We will partner with individuals within these cultures to work together for maximum impact and to best meet their needs. One of the programs, for example, will translate books into Low German, using High German phonetics, to develop material for an oppressed Low German culture where abuse is prevalent but the women and children have nowhere to go for help, due to the fact that many know only their mother tongue–which was, until recently, an unwritten language–and are otherwise illiterate. These doors have begun to open in the last few months, as God miraculously connected us to some key contacts there.

With other programs we will target both the Christian culture and secular culture, including colleges and universities, where doors are already starting to open. One of our goals is to do presentations in churches to share the vision and work together to offer hope both internally and in the community, by setting up support systems, such as weekly group teaching sessions, as well as offering subsidized counselling for those needing assistance.

The initial response of business men we contacted for sponsorship, has been supportive and encouraging—for this we thank God and thank them.

We believe that 2012 will be a year of dynamic impact, both on a personal level and on a ministry level. We embrace this challenge with wonder, humility, passion and as a gift from God. We look forward to experiencing the dreams He brings to life throughout this year.

Thank you for your prayers, your support, and ongoing encouragement. May your year be filled with God-sized dreams, that only He can help you fulfill! God bless you all in the New Year!

Welcome Clarity! Good-bye Fog!

It wasn’t until I stumbled out of the fog that I realized how tired I was of squinting to find my way. It had been too long, far too long, since I had seen clearly.

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There is something about a lack of direction–a lack of clarity and truth– that drains the life and passion right out of the soul, suffocating the spirit. In so many ways life has the ability to slowly lead us into a fog–whether it’s unhealthy manipulative relationships, too many commitments or just the mundane reality of day-to-day living.

It’s as though we wander in and out of the fog as we journey and each time we emerge we are shocked that we didn’t see it develop.  If we stop and evaluate life experience, we realize that even ‘fog’ serves a purpose: It is a reminder to stay focused, be alert and keep a firm grasp on truth–much the way a rope is used in a snow storm–so that nothing and no one can lead us away from our destiny.

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As the sunshine of truth casts her rays on the fog, something beautiful happens. The refreshing wonder of light shining over the lifting fog inspires new courage, new hope and a new day!