“May The Road Rise Up To Meet You”

I decided to name this post after an Irish blessing solely for the fact that it’s St. Patrick’s day on Saturday, and if you know me at all, you know I am a raging Irishwoman at heart… But only, like, 6% Irish in real life. 🙁

To be more accurate, though, I recently described what is going on to a friend like I’m walking on water and the support for my feet is coming with each step. The road is rising to meet The Haven, and it’s exciting to see.

It’s especially exciting to see because I have to say, the last few months have been tough for me. I couldn’t see progress (other than home improvement). The ministry wasn’t progressing in its reach or effectiveness. I blamed myself – I have been carrying personal burdens and navigating/testing schedule organization to optimize the short hours I have in a day, and I felt I could have spent less time on that and more time pouring out.

But honestly, God doesn’t need me to do His work. He chooses to use me. Even when I’m useless.

Recently, my pastor preached on John 1, where John the Baptist is introduced as “The voice of one crying in the wilderness.” At the beginning of the chapter, Jesus is introduced as “the Word.” The parallel was interesting and incredibly inspiring to me – Jesus is the Word of God, the message, the driving force, and John made very clear that he was merely the voice. The mouth that the Word would be delivered through. And I have to remember, that’s all I am. I’m not moving mountains, God is. I might just be blessed enough to be part of it.

Updates

Currently, there are two women living with me. One is preparing for marriage, and the other is between roommates (still looking). It has a been a joy to have them both here, and as always, God uses specific people to grow us in specific ways, if we surrender our stagnancy.

I have been incredibly blessed to have had the regular company of two missionaries on furlough. They have been praying for me, encouraging me, and coaching me in my walk to full-time ministry work. God brought them home at a most opportune time, for them, this community, and me personally, and it is humbling and so uplifting.

Another blessing – it has been exactly one year this week since I moved into this home! Praise God for His sustaining providence. I can’t believe it’s been a year. I don’t say that as a cliché, I fully mean that! It’s crazy!

And a year later, I am seeing God move mountains again. The prayers of the missionaries, my confidantes, and you are being answered. I was seeking how to start connecting with churches to make them aware of The Haven and gain support. And what would support look like? I cannot ask for funding because I am not a nonprofit, nor to I intend to go that route. But I want people to know and give them the opportunity to be involved.

God answered. The season of life that I’m in, as I alluded to earlier, has carried personal burdens, one of which was uncertainty about church membership. I have been regularly attending one church and visiting others. But I have been hesitant to call one church “home” in fear that by saying yes to one church, I was saying no to the others. But I was given clarity recently that this perspective was lacking – I didn’t have to say no to my brothers and sisters; in fact, I would need to keep them close for the sake of the young women that might come to live with me in the future. I fully intend to jjoin a church, because I firmly believe in the importance of church membership and having a community to call home. But the Haven needs the body of Christ – not just one limb of it – for wisdom, prayer, and service. I can, and will need to, be loving on and investing in these other limbs, and this is such a joy to me!

God’s answer to my questions about how to move forward with ministry support was answered in the middle of this storm. (Can I emphasize how incredibly beautiful it is to walk in faith toward your Savior when the world is in turmoil and the steps you’re taking don’t seem to make sense? It is Jesus that makes us walk on water.) In all the ties that I have had the privilege of forming in this last season, I have received those three things – wisdom, prayer, service – and with the first year of The Haven concluding and the second beginning, I find myself returning to these churches to thank them for their acts of faith. I have updates to provide, and new needs to share. Ministry work within the body has begun to take shape!

The Haven’s family is growing, and it is beautiful seeing all these different members of the body coming together in hope, excitement, and love for God’s daughters. It is an immense privilege to be part of this conduit for unification of the body.

Requests

On that note, if you are in the Sheboygan area and think your church would want to be involved, please reach out to me! My email is sheboyganhaven@gmail.com, or you can shoot me a message via Facebook. The Haven does not request monetary donations. We have a list of items and services we may need at any given time, and I would love to see what your member of the body of Christ has to offer.

The beauty of The Haven, I am coming to find out, is that it offers a place for people to serve in miscellaneous ways that might not otherwise have been accessible. We have no application process, no regular meetings – it’s just walking forward as God calls and voicing needs that anyone can provide. If you have been looking for an opportunity to serve, a mission to pray for, people to love, or a place to show love to someone else, please reach out. 🙂

Other prayer requests and praises for this month:

  • Please pray as we consider welcoming in a new sister in the coming months.
  • From April 8-9, we will be hosting team members from CTI! I did a summer with them, so it is so exciting to be able to serve them in this way. Praise God for this privilege and pray for safe travels!
  • Please pray for the ministry’s growth, that I have diligence and confidence, but most of all, trust and reliance on God.
  • Pray for Sheboygan. I love this city and the people here. It is my desire that they know the surpassing greatness and love of our heavenly Father.

Thank you, as always, for your care, support, and love.

God bless,
Emily

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