a turn in the road

Many times I have said it.  But how deeply do I believe it?  Really believe it.

The journeys that matter most start deep within. Some of the most unpaved roads of all lie inside our own hearts.

These last 30 days have been filled with the culmination of some of the most significant life transitions I have encountered since I knew I was moving to Africa almost 7 years ago.  But these transitions held far more weight.  When I moved across the planet to a new continent it was primarily myself who was affected.  When God called me back across the same oceans in reverse order, this decision has impacted a whole family of little lives and lifelong friends.  Some yes choices cost more than others.

As this transition has unfolded in fits and spurts throughout this year, I was reminded several times of a prayer I prayed over a decade ago. It was a prayer I had forgotten praying.  But Papa remembers even the prayers we forget.  Alone in my room in a small town in Texas, tears flowed deep one night as I asked for the darkest and hardest places on earth.  But I also asked this: Papa, I know revival is coming the USA and when it is time, when it is coming to my own nation, please bring me back from wherever I am to be a part of it.

Selah.  Is this that? I don’t know.  But I want a lifestyle that IS supernatural, not based on geography but based on growing intimacy with Him.  Ok.  New geography.  Same intimacy.  What does this unpaved road look like here?  Right here with great internet and lights I can turn on and a bigillion chances to be entertained. We are going to find out, you and I.  The context for my journey has changed a bit, but the journey remains the same.  Ever deeper into God’s heart.

I look forward to this next season with great expectation… and a little trepidation.  It is simply unknown.   I know what to do in a garbage dump a world away.  Learning to step out in a shopping mall down the road is a new twist in the path.  But it really isn’t so different.  Do what He’s doing.  Just that.

For months I have been asking:   What would a creative community that walks in love intentionally and supernaturally with the poor, the marginalized and the powerless be? What if our gallery was hung in hearts and not just on walls? What then?

After chatting with my Iris Global family and hearing their affirmation of this season and all it brings, a new expression called Create 61 has been born.  I am still serving as the creative director/founder of Iris South Sudan, but on my most recent visit, I had the delight of turning the running of the bases over to the amazing base leadership teams God has raised up over the last five years.  While I will still be spending significant amounts of time on the ground in South Sudan with my family there, I am now basing out of northeast Florida for the foreseeable future.

Create 61 is a missional creative community with an Isaiah 61 mandate for His Presence and the poor. We are also part of pioneering an Iris Missions Base in the Jacksonville, FL area modeled after the heart and core values of our Iris family where all people are received to encounter God in love and power and missional lovers of Jesus are equipped and sent out to see His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

Create 61 is an organic expression of intentional, missional, creative community that embraces a supernatural lifestyle of encounter, the inside out restoration of individuals, families and regions while connecting creativity and art with walking with the poor, loving the person in front of us and living out Isaiah 61 as we stay low, go slow and keep close to His heart.

Perhaps, hop on over to our very new website and let us know there or here on our connect page if you might be interested in connecting up with us, either online or in person if you are in the NE Florida area.  Ask questions, introduce yourself, just say hi. We are not sure what it all will look like exactly but we do know it is all about being family. Everything in God’s Kingdom is built on relationship.

More about that adventure as it unfolds.  Right now I am culling through a treasure trove of stories and photos to share from my recent time with my South Sudan family.  They are a very integral part of this picture.  My role is not ending there, it has simply changed.  And now a new dimension has been added to it.

I cherish your prayers in this season.  It is an exciting time of seeing God’s multiplication in action and I have such joy watching our amazing leaders in South Sudan fly high and far in the winds of His grace.  And I look forward to a traversing a new part of this unpaved road into His heart… together.

I am so glad to have you a part of this journey-

Michele