I take a risk writing a lengthy letter and I pray that you’ll set aside time to hear my heart this Christmas on FMM’s 10 year anniversary!
Ten years ago I stood discontented, yearning to make a difference, looking toward a chasm to the unknown. A part of me was afraid another part elated. Soon I would jump. Trapezeology was the term, the third and final confirmation to “Go forward”. In this year-end letter I decided to keep my original notes below written to God.
Those words, Your words, would jump off Scripture’s pages time and time again. Ten years ago, I had not yet received my staff (my stick, my stake in the ground) which is a story in itself. My plea to “put a stake in the ground, to know that I know that I know that You love me” was uttered just a few months before. Ten years ago I wouldn’t know how many times that I’d cry “I can’t see” and fall asleep touching the staff for security and confidence that You did call me.
You punched through time to give me something significant and tangible to hold onto on this often terrifyingly exhilarating and challenging journey. That was very kind of You. You knew that I’d need it. In the beginning of ministry You were tuning my ear to follow Your voice – it was like a game. I’d refer to our routine as a scavenger hunt. Going to an appointment was like looking under a rock for clues for the next step. I’ve learned to take copious notes so not to miss a thing and to trace Your hand for assurance. You have kept me encouraged and have always been faithful even though many times You’ve had to sit me down to reorder my steps because I had gotten out of sync with You.
I realize as I read this letter that it has become a very personal note between You and me. Truly You’ve taken a mostly pseudo confident woman who had spent a lifetime internally afraid and have shown Yourself gentle and kind. Steadily showing that I was safe and that You could be trusted. You’ve not once walked away when I’ve wavered. You just wait for me to seek who You truly are and in the stillness I would find that Your solid, unchanging character and claims were right there.
Lord, I write this letter for those who’ve noticed the work that You’re doing in me and my call. Lord, would you open our eyes to see more? This work isn’t glamorous not even cute. It’s not Vacation Bible School or feeding the orphans or homeless. It’s not rescuing human trafficking victims or survivors. Some might imply this work doesn’t proclaim the gospel. Oh, but it does. Sexual addiction recovery is Isaiah 61 all over! It is bringing good news, binding the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty and freedom to prisoners – to the least of these; to the leper, to the reprobate, the immoral and whether we like it or not they are us and we don’t like to look at or talk about it much. I get the impression that we think just talking about it every now and then is plenty. Do we really want to see what You see?
Recently, again, I couldn’t see the path before me and You very quickly answered confirming my steps to “Go forward”. Papa, my desire is to bear fruit that remains; to multiply the talents that You’ve given to me. Sometimes I look in error for validation of that, please forgive me. Thank You for Your word about being faithful with little and possessing the land. Thank You for vision, passion and compassion. Thank You for Your armor. Teach me to rest behind Your shield. You are my reward. Thank You for those that You have prompted to come alongside and pray for and support this work. I pray they see You, Your hand and Your heart to save and raise up those who are lost, so very lost in the darkness.
Equip us O God, strengthen us, multiply us that we may link arms and go forward steadfast and obedient to Your call to bring freedom to captives and bind up the brokenhearted, proclaiming the favorable year of the Lord and the day of vengeance of our God.
Tuning the Ear
Is ministry a business? That’s a loaded question right? I can find reasons for yes and no. We live in a performance based culture and ministries aren’t exempt from the pressure. When I think about updates and newsletters this pressure for approval taunts me. But I put my trust in the approval of the One who guides my steps. Join me for some quick notes giving God the glory for His hand on this work since December 15, 2007:
2008 Following God’s promptings immediately started writing the Affiliate Program for ministry replication. Joined L.I.F.E. Recovery International as their L.I.F.E. Affiliate Program Director, completed Affiliate manual. Began studying under L.I.F.E. founders on Dr. Laaser’s sexual addiction trauma model recovery.
2009 Received Sexual Addiction Specialist certification; began development and instruction of Core Issue (trauma model) Addiction Recovery training (CIAR) events in Orlando.
2010 Continual education and modifying of training material conducted training events in Orlando, Maryland and Atlanta.
2011 Suggested L.I.F.E. include a general addictions workbook since the Church has difficulty receiving sexual addiction straight on and sex addicts have on average 4-5 co-occurring addictions. With Dr. Laaser’s blessing, began editing sexual addiction material for general addiction conversion. Moved from north Georgia to L.I.F.E.’s headquarters in Orlando, Florida.
2012 Attended Josh McDowell’s round table with Dr. Laaser. Continued development of the L.I.F.E. General Addiction Guide and made contributions to the L.I.F.E. Grieving Guide, conducted Affiliate Program training in Orlando and Ohio. Came back under FMM’s sole mission and vision remained in Florida.
2013 Began presenting and displaying for FMM CIAR trainings, was invited to join the Greater Orlando Human Trafficking Task Force (GOHTTF) as a founding member and Chair of the Demand Reduction (DR) subcommittee. Began research and development of a buyers’ reform school for purchasers of adult commercial sex.
2014 Returned to Georgia, maintained GOHTTF DR Chair position and buyer’s school research and development expanded DR to the Space Coast. Joined Georgia Human Trafficking Task Force (GHTTF) and Chattanooga Coalition Against Human Trafficking for DR work. Conducted CIAR trainings in Collegedale, Knoxville, 3x in Orlando; spoke in HT event in Tampa; began Bowen Theory Family Systems 3 year scholarship in Chattanooga.
2015 Continued with human trafficking network (CCAHT, GHTTF, GOHTTF); CIAR trainings in central Florida, Orlando and Chattanooga; new groups in TN; JuST Conference in DC; CPL speaking event to HT survivors in Orlando; Incorporated E4HI, a buyers reform school, continued E4HI curriculum development; Bowen Theory study; Bought video editing software; created Sexual Addiction Statistics, L.I.F.E. Recovery Model (LRM) and LRM Evaluation Tool Videos.
2016 Human Trafficking Awareness Day events w/CCAHT and GOHTTF; Blueprint for Men speaking engagement; Exhibitor at Set Free Summit in NC; Richmont University LunchNLearn; E4HI Logo creation; 2nd Collegedale CIAR training; Bowen Theory study; BEST Atlanta/GHTTF event; E4HI website; FMM website miracle; Chattanooga Addiction Recovery Forum; E4HI Seminole County launch approval; CIAR events in Newnan, GA; 2x New Bern, NC; Chattanooga prospecting; E4HI board mtg; Developed E4HI’s workbook; Reflective Listening Exercise Video; L.I.F.E. Recovery Grieving Guide published;
2017 FMM’s first international CIAR Training in Guatemala! Began CIAR training video project – YTD completed videos: FMM History; Tips and Certificates; Spirit, Soul and Body; Addiction Defined; Bowen, Addiction and Epigenetics; Sexual Addiction is Multi-Faceted; The Neurobiology of Sexual Addiction with nine Neurobiology sub-segments recorded, only 3 bazillion to go… lol; E4HI – 3 failed starts – no registrants; hurricane IRMA; low registrations; AACC September World Conference; AFRJ/GHTTF November event; Westside Addiction Recovery Forum; E4HI dissolution;
2017 has predominately been focused on the development of FMM’s online training videos. There are many significant and detailed phases involved and I war against the aforementioned performance pressure due to the slow pace. All glory to God for every element of progress! I pray that donors understand the long term value and maintain their interest in seeing the project through even if it goes well into 2018. Once completed and online, the CIAR training videos will allow for global availability and marketing and shorter topical speaking engagements that point to the courses online. Regarding E4HI, the buyers’ reform school curriculum, its value and disappointments, I am led to pursue avenues of most utility including online video assessments and local therapeutic groups. Whether full strategy or part, God wastes nothing. I look expectantly for His hand to guide me on what He wants to do with this effort.
FMM’s call is to speak about sexual addiction and plant safe, effective recovery groups so people can live in the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Before that can happen, most often potential facilitators and participants desire a better understanding of addiction and effective recovery, and before people can acquire that knowledge they have to know that such information is available… Thus distribution and shorter topical speaking events that point to the videos.
If you’re receiving this letter and more importantly if you’ve read it to this point, I thank you. You have invested into this work. May I appeal to you to pray for FMM regularly? Please send an email to request FMM’s prayer postcard and strategically place it somewhere that you will be reminded to pray. There are many needs but most of all is the ultimate “well done” from our Lord.
May God bless you abundantly and may He be glorified by the work of our hands!