Friday, 31 December 2010


Christmas was lovely.
Which is saying a lot because I like traditions.
I'm been trying to think of one tradition that stayed the same ... nope. All different, adjusted or new.
We've been focusing on forming new traditions with the new generation. And really, I just feel blessed to share Christmas moments and family love with my nephew.
Our lovely little Love!
It's been a time of change and searching for balance in the family. Rest and unrest. Endings and beginnings.
At work I've been starting to say goodbye to clients, doing endings or transfers.
At home we seem to be aware, whether it's spoken or not, of the fewer and fewer days I have to spend with my family.
I've been making plans with friends for January, trying to fit in as many as possible, knowing that those visits will include a goodbye hug or kiss that will need to last a while.
Internally, I'm oscillating between staying focused on my goals and 'to-do' lists and trying to soak in every moment. Which, and you may know this already, is actually how I regularly live - it's just amped up right now. My boss says "we're scattered" and if you aren't a scattered person - or if you are but haven't come to terms with it - then it might not sound like the compliment it is. She said to me the other day that that was one of the things that make us "great counsellors". I've been thinking about her words this week. Looking at it all while looking at all the bits, distracted by it all while focused on it all. It makes total sense to me. Plus it's a huge compliment to me to be lumped in any category with a woman that inspires, encourages and loves me like my boss.

Tonight is New Year's Eve. Goodbye Old Year! Hello New!
I remember watching cartoons of Baby New Year booting the wrinkled and withered Old Year out of the way so that he could march in and take over. It was always such a strangely aggressive thing for a baby to do. I knew it was coming each time the cartoon would run on TV, but it just seemed so mean to the old man. Like we're supposed to sing Auld Lang Syne, count backwards from 10, magically forget about him and be so excited about this new baby of a year. Spoiled brat. No respect.
But really, time and change don't show a lot of mercy. And they don't have to because they don't care about us. These thoughts, while sounding a bit like a rain cloud, are actually very hopeful to me. These thoughts bring my mind back to the One who cares the most. The One who has The Plan.The Plan for everything AND The Plan for little ol' me.
What comfort, what care and consideration, what Love that dreamed it all up and then made it so!

So, my prayer for you (and me) is that this night and the days and nights to follow will be a time to celebrate the changes that have come as well as the ones ahead - known or unknown. By us. Because the path is well known by Him. I pray that we would seek with every bit of ourselves the path and then work to embrace whatever is there, knowing that we are not alone; we are, in fact, being embraced, held, led and kept by our Maker. I pray that we are filled with the Holy Spirit and that, as we are, we will understand more the hugeness of Christ's love for us. And that with that understanding, that filling up (and tapping down and filling up), we will overflow - flow over - onto others. A big mess. Messy, messy, messy. Go make a mess. Many, many messes (as my nephew would say).
Merry Christmas and Metamorphosis New Year!

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Favourite Things

I've been doing some baking for friends to help raise some $ for Haiti. It's fun and I love being in the kitchen.
The measuring (sort of), the mixing and rolling and cutting out, the sugar and butter... So many wonderful parts of the process.
The practice of being attentive and putting yourself into making something - giving yourself to it.
Watching how things come together in your hands, invested in how they turn out, pleased when others enjoy them.
Thanks to God for the Creation of food...
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Monday, 6 December 2010

Wanna Support this Work Financially?

Use the "Donate" button in the column to the right...
it's just below my goofy grin ------------------->>>

That button will take you to a PayPal secure payment process and your donation will go through FTC Canada. The donation will be used for the Art Therapy Program at Mission of Hope. FTC will send you a charitable donation tax receipt.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Pray, and let God worry. - Martin Luther

My plans have changed - slightly. 

Previously I was slated to go to Haiti with the team of people from our denomination. We planned to spend time with our brothers and sisters in within the Haitian arm of the denomination and their nearby communities holding medical clinics and continuing our men's and women's discipling and children's programs from Jan. 28 - Feb 7/2011.

Last week our host, Pastor Richard, experienced an incident with a foreigner in his vehicle while in Cite Soleil, the large slum in Port-Au-Prince. Everyone was fine and safe in the end, but, as a result of this and the state of affairs with cholera in Haiti, the team has decided to post-pone their trip.

Sooooo I'll be going without them! I will be treated with a vaccination for cholera and I have no plans to be in Cite Soleil. If that should change I will certainly let you know and ask for extra prayer - for safety and for peace of mind for those who will be very worried at home.

I'm hoping and praying that they will come during the months that I'm at Mission of Hope so that I will be able to easily join them for the week-10 days that they'd be in Haiti. Only God knows how that will all work out. Please remember the team as they continue to wait for God's timing (remember, we were supposed to go last January).

The excitement and anticipation has been mounting in recent days. I was given an opportunity to share at our church services last Sunday and received a great welcome. 

My fundraising has begun very well, thanks to generous donors and an even more generous God, but there is a long way to go. 
I've also had a chance to meet with the wonderful folks at FTC Canada who partner with Mission of Hope to provide charitable receipts for Canadians. They are quite invested in MOH's work in Haiti and I had an lovely chat with president, Ken Dick, about his experiences there and in Haiti. Some of the other staff, Lynn Wick and John Matthews, have been very helpful and so very encouraging about the plans laid out ahead. They had me start a blog to be able to receive online donations (to donate, click on the 'button' to the left below my photo) that will go directly to the Art Therapy Program at MOH.

If you are interested in helping me financially and don't want/need a charitable gift receipt, please let me know (there are a few expenses that are just more difficult to receipt for). You are also welcome to send donations to my church, Parkwood Gardens Community Church, who have offered to do tax receipts as well. I'll stick their mailing address on the bottom.

Last week was our Christmas dinner with By Peaceful Waters. It was lovely as always (shout out to The New Dundee Emporium), but more emotional for me and my boss/supervisor/dear friend and mentor, as well as some of the other counsellors I've worked side by side with for the past number of years. They blessed me, prayed for me, and released me to do and go wherever God leads - they're so supportive - with an open invitation to return (I know some of you have expressed concern about that). Today at our staff meeting I received more prayer for protection, preparation, anointing in my ministry, wisdom and love... and really, what else is there?

God Provides!

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement, I can't wait to get started!

Blessings and Love,

In case you're interested in any web sites for the groups listed above: 

Parkwood Gardens Church mailing address:
501 Whitelaw Road,
Guelph, ON N1K 1E7
*Cheques payable to Parkwood Gardens Church with a note that the donation is for Kara-Lynn Ferguson, Art Therapy Program at Mission of Hope (or something to that effect).

Friday, 26 November 2010

I miss you already!

We have a beautiful bond, this nephew of mine and I.
I am holding each moment with him as so special knowing I'm going to miss out on months with him.
That is a sad thing.
On the up side, his brain doesn't hold memories for recall in the same way that it will a year from now. So it's not like he'd remember specific things that I'm missing out on.
Plus I'm pretty sure his implicit memory won't forget my constant coffee breath...
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Sunday, 21 November 2010

Oh, Technology!

It's amazing how we can coordinate all our gadgets, our gizmos, our disconnected connections to others...
While sitting alone in a room at home frowning over a pile of fancy plastic bits.
Oh, boy.
Kind of makes one feel like...
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One foot in front of the other...

(Update Letter)

My friend Richard sent me this over a year ago:

The Merton Prayer
Our Lord God, we have no idea where we are going.
We do not see the road ahead of us.
We cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do we really know ourselves, and the fact that we think we are following your will does not mean that we are actually doing so.
But we believe that our desire to please you does in fact please you.
And we hope that we have that desire in all that we are doing.
We hope that we will never do anything apart from that desire.
And we know that if we do this, you will lead us by the right road though we may know nothing about it.
Therefore we will trust in you always, though we may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
We will not fear, for you are ever with us,
and you will never leave us to face our perils alone.

At the time that I received this prayer I had been desiring to do more in Haiti but had no idea what it might look like or how I might find myself there - the path, the journey, was a mystery.

Things are a bit different now. The picture is clearer.

Loved Ones,

I'm writing to share with you that I will be heading to Haiti in January with the UB Haiti team (as I did in January of 2008 and 2009). The trip we had planned for January 22, 2010 was put on hold last year when the earthquake hit Port-Au-Prince on January 12. Our plans, our funds, our tickets - all on hold, waiting to be employed, while our hearts broke for the pain of our brothers and sisters in Haiti. Thank you for joining in those plans, though delayed, and in prayer throughout this year.

Now a new group, some from the 2010 team, some new, will be heading to Port-Au-Prince on January 28, 2011. The team's focus has shifted a bit. We plan to be doing more medical clinics as well as some specific construction on a church we've been working with for a few years in the south of Haiti as well as the children's ministry programs that we run while the clinics are happening.

We are looking forward to working with Pastor Richard again in the ministry opportunities as well as encouraging our church family in the communities we visit.

Here's the curve in the road: When the team returns to Canada after 10 days of medical clinics, construction, encouragement and bonding with our Haitian friends, I will not be going with them. I will be staying in Haiti until July 2011.

I'm very excited to be going to work with Mission of Hope (, an organization that is and has been making a real difference in the lives of Haitians for years. I will be doing an 'internship', a volunteer position that introduces me to all the aspects of Mission of Hope's ministry in Haiti. As I have specific skills to offer, the plan is that I will be spending much of my time doing work with the children who live at the orphanage using my Art Therapy and Trauma Intervention/Recovery training - this excites me to no end! This is my heart.

Mission of Hope is located outside of Port-Au-Prince and is a sort of compound with an orphanage, a school, a hospital and more. The previous UB Haiti teams have visited Mission of Hope before leaving the country to drop off unused medical supplies, so I have had brief tours of the facility and a glimpse their vision in action.

I have also had the privilege to start to get to know the director of the Mission of Hope orphanage, Rachel Montgomery, who is a dear friend of my 2008 Haiti roommate, Nicole Somers.

This opportunity is a gift to me. It is an answer to prayers, spoken and specific, but also undetermined and open-ended prayers of my heart - sometimes unidentifiable aches at best - from these past years. I believe that this vision has been growing in me since I started doing short-term mission trips over four years ago.

And so now I am preparing to go for these 6 months... I am working on learning Creole so that I will be able to meet with the children one on one... I am finishing up or transferring my clients, some of whom I've spent quite a while with and who I will greatly miss, and am so blessed by the encouragement and support of my employer in all of this... as well as prepping for the 10 days of team time at the start of the trip!

I also need to raise a total of $8000. I am relying on God to provide for me just as he's provided this ministry opportunity. Please prayerfully consider partnering with me financially and let me know if you would like to join with me in this work.

I would like to ask for prayer partners at this time and during the coming months. I will be sending out updates along the way, keeping you in the loop and connected to what God is doing in my life and at Mission of Hope. (This blog should be a good place to look for the updates.)

Please confirm that you would like to receive email updates and let me know if you would like to partner with me in prayer and/or financially.

I look forward to hearing from you and would love to hear what God is doing in your life - how he's leading you and answering your desire to please him, even if it has no face or name as of yet!

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion. ~ Philippians 1:6

Blessings and Love,