All Things New

shephrt

This is not a street in Wales, but it sure could be.

When God makes a promise, He never forgets.  And all those heart-longings that ebb and flow, pulse and throb through the years hanging on like battered washing on the line braving life’s gales.  No matter how wind-blown and storm-besieged, not one, not the faintest whisper goes unnoticed by Him as His heart cradles ours.

There has been so much going on this last year.  So much I could not write.  Even more I didn’t have words for.  Transition can be a foggy time when shadows seem real and the contraction of what was before overwhelming.  But nothing new ever gets born without transition and contraction. 

Now I stand on the other side of it all with fresh understanding and renewed purpose. It is hard to believe that last year at this time I was neck deep in slogging through the most painful season of my life thus far.  And if you know my life, well… that is a strong statement.

Pictured above is the street and entrance to a precious refuge for my heart, spiritual family, healthy community and leaders who are committed to look after me in the days ahead.  We all need that.  How things have come full circle!

Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship is now my sending church and they are picking up the processing of my mission support.  And they just happen to have a monastery as their residence, houses of prayer forming, a decades-old beautiful ministry to the poor, deep commitment to follow Holy Spirit, creative expression overflowing and as I sat there with my friends of now 14 years, I realized everything God has been putting in me and stirring is reflected in their hearts as well.  Right down to walking in the reality embodied by the ancient Celtic lovers of Jesus as they lived out missional monastic community on a wild journey into His heart.

I still don’t have words.  There is so much more than I can share or express.  And grateful is a cosmic understatement.  It even looks like Wales, a place that has so captured my heart.  Driving down the slopes we pass a street named “Welsh Way.” Everywhere I turned there was more confirmation.  And God sealed it with a snowfall as I was leaving to come back to Florida.  Snow always speaks to me of Him making all things new, washing even the most penetrating stains in white.

So what now?  What does this mean for me as I forge forward into a new season with Create 61 and life here in Florida? 

It means I have a spiritual home base in Pennsylvania.  It looks like family and collaboration and authentic relationship.  Very practically it also means I have a new way to process personal support for ministry. Thank you for your amazing faithful support as I served in Africa the last 7 years.  And I totally understand if you wish to keep supporting those on the front lines there.  But for any of you who want to give financially and partner with what God is doing in this new season of my life, now there is an easy {and tax-deductible} way for you to do so! You can give online via a dedicated PayPal link as well as by check.  I so appreciate your faithful love and support.  It is more needed than ever in this new season.

And what exactly am I doing in Florida?

I am focused on mentoring and raising up others to go and serve in missions, both domestically and internationally.  I’m establishing a church expression and ministry base called Create 61 with the vision for it to serve as a vehicle providing a practical missional context to explore church planting models here in the West that will train participants in skills and understanding critical to the mission field, next door and abroad. I continue to walk in relationship with Iris Global and remain open to serve them in any way God asks.

Create 61 is supporting local outreach to the homeless on the First Coast.  We have launched a monthly creative worship gathering called Mosaic. Soon our missional microcommunities will be launching as will a ministry that focuses on going into local clubs to pray, be present and simply to show His love to the women who work in them. God is moving powerfully and it is an honor to use the skills and experience I have learned from over 15 years on the front line of serving the marginalized to see another generation of missionaries launched heart-first into the dreams of God.

And it is an honor to keep learning more every step of the way.  Thank you for being such a vital part of what God is doing through your prayers, generosity and encouragement.  More on this new season coming soon…

You are Loved- Michele