So, in my last entry I said that it would be my last post for 2012. Who knew it would take me so long into 2013 to write again!
Things have been moving right along here at New Beginnings. This year we have already had a few new residents come into the program as well as some families receiving housing of their own. It’s a very exciting thing to see families achieve their goals after knowing they have worked so hard to do so.
I have officially taken over the Thursday night’s Women’s group and although we are few right now, we are fierce. I have chosen to use NOOMA videos by Rob Bell. They are fabulous 10 minute videos that spark a lot of unique and, often times, much need conversation amongst the women and I. I have also connected with through email with a generous soul who teaches art journaling with her Bible studies. She has been passing on some of her curriculum and techniques that pair so well with the videos. So far our discussions have been on both, why God allows us to feel pain and what kind of romantic relationships God hopes for us to have. Both are very difficult topics to discuss within a domestic violence shelter, but during the last couple weeks it’s seemed like a weight has been lifted amongst the women’s group and everyone has been very open to sharing stories and how they feel about that weeks topic as well as discussing the information presented in the video. Everyone brings such different ideas and perspectives to the table that I think we could just talk for hours. Thursday nights are by far my favorite time of the week.
I have been assigned multiple other projects as well. I will be sending photos of the grounds and some of the women and children into the UMW’s national office, which I am excited to get back into photography again, as well as being able to get some of the families pictures of their children.
We are also starting a Greenthread tea project that will be a micro enterprise for our shelter as well as a source of job training and experience for the women of the shelter. It is also known as Navajo tea or Native tea. It’s mad using the stem, leaves, and flowers of a plant found naturally in the area. I have been asked to start designing the labels and I am very excited to show the staff my ideas and be involved in this project in multiple aspects and can’t wait to see it take off.
On Valentine’s Day we celebrated and stood up to violence against women with other organizations in our area by attending a dance event that ended with the official “V-day” dance that women all over the world were learning and participating in that day to show unity against violence against women. I have met so many women this year who have been abused and mistreated. Their stories break my heart, but seeing their continued beauty and resilience made this Valentine’s day so important and special to me to be able to attend an event where we joined our voices with others all over the world to end the violence.
Photo by Ron Lashley
Things are happening here at New Beginnings and it’s so so exciting. I feel so blessed to be involved with this ministry. While I miss home and family and friends, I have begun to build a home and a family and gain friends here. And I love it.
My newest little friend and family member is my dog, Rory. She has become a constant companion, going anywhere with me that I am able to take her. She has won the hearts of our staff and some of the residents as well. I often have requests to bring her to the office and she acts as a very vocal guard dog, although I ruin her “tough dog” image when I have to pick her up when someone comes into the office. She’s my fuzzy little shadow at home and at the office, and while she’s slightly crazy(the good kind) and loves to play, she’s quite the cuddle bug. I don’t think I have to say that we get along very well.
I think I have you all caught up on the major happenings here in New Mexico! Many blessings to you in your daily mission field! Until next time, friends. To God be the glory.