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New Venture

Updated: Nov 21, 2020

Friends, so much has happened since my last blog post! (BTW, I promise I will be blogging more frequently... it's been a busy couple of months.... wait until you hear what we've been doing since August!)

Through a surprising set of circumstances, we found a property near Huntsville, ON, that is perfect for what we want to do with The Butterfly Project! Our house in Angus sold in just 3 days. It was a bit of a wait to actually get here (Huntsville that is), a 90 day closing feels like forever, especially when you're living in a trailer. We decided it was best for our kids to start school with everyone else at the beginning of September rather than a month into the semester; our move-in date wasn't until October 2. We were able to borrow a trailer and live in it for 26 days. I was extremely grateful but I'll admit, living in a trailer with your busy family had it's moments, both good and bad :).

In the midst of packing, and moving, living in temporary accommodations, my husband changed jobs, the kids started at a new school, I started my semester at McMaster, I also completed my Core Training through the Christian and Missionary Alliance of Canada and received my ordination! That's a lot of stuff happening in a short period of time (oh and we had to replace a portion of the roof as soon as we moved in, which Mike and I did ourselves.) We also joined a new church community, Sanctuary Church Muskoka Style. They have been a key partner in helping me to finalize my apprenticeship agreement with New Ventures Canada.

My involvement with New Ventures, my friend Regan specifically, over the past year has been a major influence on the discernment of my next steps and stepping out into unchartered territory. Since I started having regular conversations with Regan one year ago, we have gone from saying "this thing that God is calling me to" to naming the "thing" - The Butterfly Project - to actually doing it. We have gone from saying - if we're ever going to own property for this God is going to have to help us win the lottery or give us a million dollars. He didn't do either of those things haha but He did show us another way.

New Ventures has already helped to create a ton of momentum to move forward with our vision to bring hope and healing to families who have experienced trauma due to sexual abuse. A year ago living in Huntsville with 10 acres behind me wasn't at all on my radar. The reality of living on a property where we could invite hurting families to come and rest, reconnect with God through nature, art and respite, was only a dream. And now here we are. God performed a miracle and New Ventures helped me to see it and get involved with it.

And the journey continues. Stepping officially into the role of New Venture Apprentice adds strength to my unsteady steps. Their guidance and accountability keep me on track, and moving forward. Challenging me to continually think outside the box. We know how essential that has become since the onset of the global pandemic. The pandemic has had ramifications beyond the virus on families, while organizations are busy figuring out how to reach vulnerable children who are in lockdown.

That's what this next year is all about. Through this apprenticeship, my work will be to continue with the research I am doing through McMaster not only to finish my degree but to further develop The Butterfly Project. I am taking courses that are directly connected to this ministry. I'm currently researching the affects of trauma on the early development of children and how parental response influences the outcome of the traumatic event for the child in the present and future. This research is essential in forming how we respond to families in crisis. I will also be getting to know the community in Huntsville and surrounding areas, what services are currently available, counsellors in the area, mental health support and so on. I'll also be exploring my connection with art and gardening to see how God will use these elements as part of the healing journey.

If you're reading this because you're considering partnering with The Butterfly Project - thank you! I thank God for every single person who is willing to engage in the work I'm doing, from reading my blog, to increasing your knowledge about the prevention of and response to child sexual abuse, to praying for my family or making a contribution to support my apprenticeship, it all matters! If you have any specific questions about my apprenticeship or anything to do with The Butterfly Project, please connect with me! Look at what a year can do! I wonder what I'll be sharing on this day in 2021?

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