Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CCMI Day 31

Celebrating finishing CCMI in style...  NYC Style

Sunday, July 28, 2013

CCMI Day 28

Went here
with her
it was great

CCMI Day 27

The new roommate.  Gross.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

CCMI Day 20

A little change of scenery for the weekend
The Empire State Building and Chrysler Building from the balcony last night
His name is Clifford, I call him Wookie and we're roomies for the weekend

Friday, July 19, 2013

CCMI Day 19

Hot town, summer in the city

CCMI Day 18

I'm head cheerleader
Harlem at night

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

CCMI Day 17

When was the last time you saw chicken feet at your grocery store?

CCMI Day 16

What are the odds a friend from Australia would be in NY the same time as me?  Had a lovely dinner and catch up with Alicia in the East Village
Unfortunately, my phone died and I didn't get any pics

So I pinched these off the internet

If you ever find your self in NY check out S'mac!

Monday, July 15, 2013

CCMI Day 15

Then I carried a bunch of groceries.  Then I had to carry more groceries 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

CCMI Day 13

Day 13:  Saw some more old friends
Frank... Llyod Wright

William and Walter... Van Alen and Chrysler

Daniel and Fredrick... Burnham and Dinkelberg.  Naturally, we reminisced about Alfred... Stieglitz
And a bit of family, behind the main alter is where my grandparents got engaged

Friday, July 12, 2013

CCMI Day 12

Day 12:  The view from where I worked today.  Yeah, my life is really hard.

CCMI Day 11

Day 11:  The bus is my friend

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

CCMI Day 10

Day 10:  What do you do when you forget to pack all your art/listening tools?  You make do.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

CCMI Day 9

Day 9:  Pedies for Jesus!  One of the tasks I have in this month is to engage the community I've been put in and observe life here.  What better place to observe everyday life and learn about people than a nail salon?!?! 

CCMI Day 8

Day 8:  One of my favorite parts of the day

Monday, July 8, 2013

CCMI Days 1-7

Day 1:  My view
Day 2:  Determined to master this beast
Day 3:  CCMI Necessity
Day 4:  The Fourth in my new hood
Day 5:  Follow John and we'll make it
Day 6:  The Met... swoon
Day 7:  Like the locals

Thursday, June 27, 2013

When are you leaving?

As I've been talking with churches and individuals "when are you leaving?" is a question on everyone's mind.  Including mine.  It's a hard question for me to answer because the fact of the matter is my leaving is completely contingent up on the generosity of others.  Responding to the question of my leaving with "Depends on how much you give?" seems a little less than gracious.  However it is the truth. 

Support raising is not fun for me.  It's costly to me in a lot of ways.  It would never be my choice.  But there is a reason I'm doing it... Mainly, to get a team of people behind me, invested in me and my ministry. 

A wise friend of mine shared the following on her blog a while back.  It's served as a good reminder to me lately as to why I'm doing what I am right now... 

If you are a Christian then you are part of the great commission.  Matthew 28:19 says:  ”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Although going overseas may not be possible for you or what you are called to do, you can still be a part of this by reaching out in your own community and also by sending those who are called to physically go.
Matthew 6:21: ”For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  It is a  fact that people are more invested if their money is involved.  Investing financially in Kingdom work gives you more incentive to pray, keep in touch and be involved.  Supporting those going overseas gives you the opportunity to send a little bit of yourself and receive much in return!
1 Corinthians 16:1, 2: ”Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”  Paul was supported by the early church and he even set out guidelines for how this could be done.
Deuteronomy 16:17: “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.”  This is a scripture pertaining to the Feast of the Tabernacles in which the Jews were commanded to celebrate and give back because they were blessed.  Financially supporting missions is a way for us to celebrate and give according to the blessing that we have received.
In Philippians 4:10 Paul writes “I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it.”  This is the desire, not just that the church and individuals would show concern for a person or ministry but that they would have the opportunity to show that concern be it through sacrificial prayer or financial giving.

You can check out more of Joy's brilliant thoughts at her blog 

But guess what... We're at 18% of my monthly financial need being pledged!  This means that I only need 78 more partners who can give $100 a month.  Or 156 who can give $50.  Would you pray about what role you might play in meeting this need for me?  As God leads you to give you can do so by sending in a pledge card, contacting me or anyone at MTW or online here

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Leap of faith

Two weeks ago today I left Wichita for a week long training in North Carolina, followed by three weeks of support raising.  Then on July 1st on to New York City for a month long cross cultural training.  As I drove away from Wichita I felt like I was stepping off a cliff. 

I cried for most of the first three hours of my twelve hour drive.  The only thought that made me feel less like I was about to fall to my death was that I could always just do my week in NC and go home.  There was nothing that said I had to be on the road support raising.  No one was making me go to NY.  If after the week in NC I was still feeling like I was falling I decided I'd just go back to Wichita, regroup and try again later.

The conference I was attending in NC is called Living In Grace... That should have been an indicator that maybe this week was going to be encouraging.  Living In Grace is required for all MTW missionaries and employees.  In addition to myself 20 other missionaries there and we were lead by six former missionaries.  The first night we broke into small groups and were asked to share what we had hoped to gain from the week.  I said peace with the path I'm currently on.

Well, prayers answered.

Spending a week with people in the same boat as me was so encouraging.  There were many opportunities to deepen existing relationships and make new relationships with people who I know will be a part of my life forever.  Our fellowship was more than sweet.

The teaching was direct and hit right where I needed it.  There are many things I'm still mulling over and will probably continue to mull on for quite some time.

I didn't fall.  I was reminded of the path that was under my feet all along.  God has called me to reach artists in Fremantle.  He's not going to let me fall.

After a week literally secluded on a mountain, we're talking no cell service and little internet, with a renewed confidence in my calling I hit the support raising trail in Georgia.  I felt completely at peace.  And while I still long to see my financial support coming in, I wasn't consumed with worry over that.  Which, if you've been following my journey, you know was not the case just a few weeks ago.

Then an amazing thing happened... 5% of my monthly support was pledged.  IN TWO WEEKS!  After months of no new support.  And not because I'm a great support raiser, because God is faithful and His people generous.

Some days I still feel a little like Indy walking across that chasm.  The path isn't always easy to see.  It is almost always scarey.  But it is always there.  So I keep walking.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Foolishness, faith and fear

Two days ago I came back to Kansas after a quick 10 day trip around Texas.

This time was filled with sweet moments.  I had the opportunity to spend several days with my sister and her family being super aunt.  In my specific support raising related events I was able to reconnect with several people I hadn't seen in literally years!  I love the stories of what I've seen God do in Freo.  To get to share those with friends, old or new, is a joy for me.  I can't tell you what an encouragement it is to find new prayer partners as I journey back to Perth.

However, right now everything is tempered with concern for the financial side of the support raising process.  I've quit my job to support raise full-time, and I'm thankful for this as it makes my time available for traveling.  But It also means I have no income and have go into my saving each month and reimburse expenses to my MTW account. 

I can't help but wonder if I'm being a faithful steward of my time and resources.

It seems like I'm hearing "If this really is God's will then He'll provide" a lot lately.  So, what do I do when it seems like He isn't?  When my support level has gone up less than 1% in the past three months.  When I'm told over and over that I am being prayed for (don't get me wrong, I need the prayers... which is why I'm sharing all this) but people can't or don't contribute financially.  When it feels like I'm being told "Go in peace; keep warm and well fed."

I can't help but doubt.

The plan is for me to keep moving forward as if I'm returning to Perth later this year, as has been my goal.  This means I'll be attending a month long training in New York City this summer.  Which could completely drain my support account if I can't raise another $3,000 in the next month.  I can't really explain it but I have a strange peace that things will happen as planned.  I'm not sure if it's foolishness or faith that is giving me this peace.  I hope it's faith.  I'm afraid it's foolishness.    

Transparency and honesty are two core values in the FUZE Internship.  That is what I'm bringing to you today.  The transparency of my struggle and the honesty of my doubt.  My goal is not pity, sympathy or to manipulate pledges out of you, rather to share my heart and ask you to pray for it.

As I was driving across Texas my newly downloaded Mumford & Son's album made the sound track as God and I discussed all my doubts and struggles... Well, more like I yelled and He was quiet.  Then the chorus of this song caught my attention.  It has become the mantra of my prayers.  I would ask you to pray it for me as well.

"Keep the earth below my feet
For all my sweat, my blood runs weak
Let me learn from where I have been
Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn
Keep my eyes to serve my hands to learn"

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Ev'rythin's like a dream in Kansas City"

Redeemer PCA in Kansas City graciously hosted me this weekend.  Meeting with individuals, missions committee and presenting to the congregation culminated in a very encouraged and very tired Shannie!  I think and hope that this is just the beginning of a sweet relationship with Redeemer and myself.

Please be praying for the individuals and churches I've met with in the past five weeks.  Many of them are facing decisions on how to partner with me.  Pray for my patience and encouragement as I wait to hear back from them and for wisdom as I plan the next steps in this support raising journey. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Road trip 1, Day 30

Just under 3, 000 miles and so done being in the car for a while!

Road trip1, Day 29

Took a few days "off" at the end of my road trip to visit my bestie in far northeastern Iowa.  I spent a lovely afternoon wondering through antique shops, drinking coffee, and chatting up the locals in a town of less than 1,500 people.  Simple pleasures.

Road trip1, Day 28

Was so encouraged and blessed to be able to share my vision with the missions committee at Spring Valley today!  I pray that this will just be the beginnings of your journeying together.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Road trip1, Day 26

Drove to Madison, WI today.  This was my first time to Wisconsin and I got to wave to my godfather's hometown as a bonus. 

Road trip1, Day 27

Speaking at Presbyteries is one of my favorites of all the speaking arrangements I get to do while raising support.  I think because the terrify me and I'm secretly a bit of an adrenaline junky.  Today's meeting in Wisconsin was no exception.  Hopefully, I'll have the opportunity to stay connected with the people I met today and see them again in Wisconsin before I going back to Perth.

Road trip1, Day 25

Today's theme must have been comfort.  I woke up sad at the thought of leaving Indy and discouraged that my support raised hadn't changed (click on the "giving" tab at the top of this page if you're interested in how to help with this) and a little overwhelmed by the tasks ahead of me in the next few days.

After some sweet time sharing my vision for the arts and Perth with  possible supporting church, chocolate cake at Cracker Barrel, a fun and encouraging dinner in Champaign, IL with old friends, and lots of beautiful yarn for the Scarf I felt comforted and excited for the last few days of this trip. 

Road trip1, Day 24

Sweet fellowship with a new, dear friend over dinner before heading out of Indy tomorrow.  When the server said the seasonal beer on tap was "Foxy Jampants" I knew I had to have it!