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!