Things are shifting
It might seem as though things have been quiet around here lately but they have been anything but. I’ve been working ‘behind the scenes’ on a number of different things and I’m excited to share some of it with you!
On the landing page of my website there is a quote that I found a while ago by author Evan B. Howard. He says, “There is a rhythm in discernment: out to do research, in to reflect; out to explore my own agendas, in to explore God's; out to talk to others, in to talk to God... We must be courageous enough to ask for wisdom and patient enough to wait for it to be given.”
That is a great way to describe what my New Venture apprenticeship journey has been and continues to be. I’ve been very intentional over the past two years about not putting too many of my ideas about The Butterfly Project into overly concrete terms. I want this vision to take shape as God initiates and not be locked into human made expectations. It’s a discipline to ask for wisdom and then wait for it to come. I haven’t always done that well or been happy about it! But ultimately, I think the sustainability of anything new depends on the foundation that is put down and I think I’m at a point where I have a pretty good foundation to build upon.
At the heart of the vision for The Butterfly Project is the desire to offer hurting families supportive respite. From the beginning, the idea has been to have a cabin on some acreage where families could get away to, although I never imagined I’d be living in Muskoka in the middle of 11 acres of bush. I was picturing a small farm in Stayner. I even considered purchasing a Girl Guide Camp when they all went up for sale back in 2019 but God had other ideas. Waiting for wisdom has been so important.
We recently turned a corner and can see a way forward that hasn’t been clear until now. Operating a charity or not-for-profit from privately owned property that needs a bit of work and buildings built has been tricky, mostly because I don’t have any friends who happen to be tax lawyers. Tax law is complicated and isn’t something that people generally know a lot about. We’ve needed to determine the correct way to set things up so that Mike and I do not personally benefit from charitable donations and what they’re used for.
I had a conversation recently with my long time friend Tim Kent who referred me to one of the lawyers they deal with at Redwood Park Communities. My consultation with Cayley Rodd was very informative but she had to refer me to another lawyer at Charity Law Firm who I’ll be speaking to this week. I’m not going to lie, they sound very expensive, but I’m told they are the best.
We’ve also realized that we can get started with a few projects right away as we sort things out with the lawyer, and can afford to pay them :). This is awesome news!
This means I can start planning some volunteer work days for the spring and summer - that is before and after bug season! It means I can start fundraising to rent some equipment to help on these work days and here’s the big one, I can start fundraising for a bunkie! I have lots to tell you about the idea behind the bunkie but I’ll do that in another blog post. The one pictured here is one of the new models available through Bunkie Life in Erin, Ontario.
We could actually have a family on our property by August, can you believe it? Maybe that's ambitious but it seems entirely possible now!
With this shift, a new name for The Butterfly Project is emerging (because people aren’t projects!) I will be keeping all of the butterfly imagery I have already established, but it’s time to start bringing it all together which includes my art too. What I’ve nailed down so far is the tag line - “…you’re in good company.” I’m still working with the title - Butterfly Respite Muskoka, Butterfly Arts Studio and Respite Center, I’m not sure yet but I’m getting closer!
Your prayers, support and donations are making this possible. I do not have words to express my heartfelt gratitude for your engagement in this journey with myself and my family.
We currently have two significant financial needs - funds to pay the lawyer and funds to hire someone to help me fine tune my website.
I’m also looking for a surveyor to help us find or mark our property lines in the spring. If you know someone who would be willing to donate their expertise, please let me know!
If you’re able to make a donation at this time, you can do so through the the Vox website: https://www.voxalliance.ca/donation/ and select my name from the dropdown list.
Thank you once more for your prayers and support! If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org