Wow. So much has happened in a few short weeks. I've been trying to get to know the city. It's a transition to be without a car. Taking the Metro requires extra planning and extra time. (It took me several hours to get to church today. But oh, was it worth it!)
The apprenticeship has started off well. All the apprentices from the U.S. went to New York for 5 days of training. It was wonderful. Tracee, who is in charge of the apprentices, Nicole, who's with our Philly site, and Dan, the president of CSM, both spoke on a vast array of subjects. After having spent time with them, I can honestly say that I am 100% behind this incredible organization. Their heart and mission and way are so healthy and good. I have an unbelievable sense of peace after being in a room with them hearing their heart for several days.
This next year is beginning to take shape. Jesus has begun to place the pieces of the puzzle together for me in wonderful ways. The goal for the year is to really dig in and try to get to know myself well. Learn my giftings and grow in them. I get to serve my community and be Jesus to them while learning more about being a leader. Part of what the year should hold involves community at a church and mentoring by people doing what you want to.
I attended church for the first time here today. I went to a church that I've followed and podcasted since it's birth 2 years ago. I was apprehensive about just walking in and being comfortable and connecting with anyone. It's not as if I'm used to going to new churches all the time. And walking into one where I know no one is TOTALLY abnormal:)
Fortunately, everyone was extremely friendly. Several young ladies my age introduced themselves immediately and invited me to small groups this week. And I got to speak with the pastor and wife right away-whom I know from a distance. And Miss Beth attends and it's always fun to chuckle a bit with my "Momma". They spoke about loving the orphan. About entering into the pain rather than just trying to fix it. About how Mercy enters in and heals from the inside out. It sits in the pain with someone. About being undefiled and pure and how we have to enter into a defiling situation with our purity to be HIS hands of healing. I wish all my friends who are adopting and fostering could hear today's message. Y'all should podcast it.
Anyway, I felt so at home and I'm thankful for the beginning of a new community.
The next project is a ministry partner. What I get to do is volunteer my time 20 hrs a week to a local outreach of my choice. It's looking like I found a promising one. There's a large park with a rec/community center and they have many activities from after-school programs to senior citizens card nights. I am looking at volunteering there; helping kids with homework, helping seniors out, AND......(drumroll please)......I'm hoping to start a Zumba program there!!!! Yeah! I'm very excited to be reaching out to the community and establishing relationships with everyone who comes. If there's time and interest I may even consider wanting to begin a community theatre program.
That's the nutshell for now. Things are vastly different than they were at home. But it's good here and God is up to huge things. I'm eager to live simply and more quietly and to grow in my gifts and love of Him.
If anyone reading this feels so inclined, I definitely appreciate prayer. I'm in a huge city alone. I need peace & confidence being so independent. (It can feel strange & daunting at moments). I need community to establish very quickly. I need smooth planning for my outreaches. I need more financial support. And I need Jesus. To show up. To be HUGE for me. To continue healing MY wounds and ugliness and ministering to my spirit. Because I want to do this life right. Meaning-filled, significant, powerful, and dynamic. For the Kingdom.
Thank you for being The Body. Thank you for who you are in the Kingdom. Thank you for being YOU.
I'm crazy about you!