Spring Is Here!
              March 21, 2016            
Dear Forever Family,      
     To be honest with y ou, I am finding this letter very difficult to write. The past few months have been extremely hard, some of the most challenging I have experienced since beginning this ministry o ver 10 years ago. Because of the nature of this kind of work and confidentiality issues, there is very little I can share with you, but know that I am extremely grateful for your prayers and other forms  of support! They have kept me going during these dark and difficult days. 
meleah 2013
     Having said that, I am more committed than ever to this calling, and it is indeed a calling. No one (in their right mind) voluntarily signs up for this kind of thing. Sometimes though it takes going through a serious storm to realize that you are still supposed to be in the boat. As the song lyric goes, "Jesus does not always calm the storm but will always calm his child...if they will allow Him." Sometimes that is the hardest part--surrendering to His care, however as I have, He has revealed His love in fresh ways, calmed this child's heart and reiterated that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. 

Even so, it is pretty confusing when circumstances do not support this knowledge. Everything around me says that it is crazy to pursue this kind of ministry work. More and more laws are passed that make this work harder. More and more law suits are filed against similar kinds of ministries, making the work harder still. Fewer churches and individuals are willing to support this kind of ministry, which can be quite disheartening. We are down in financial support by over 1/3 from the past several years. All these circumstances are no doubt...DISCOURAGING! 

I realize though that I and others like me, face similar circumstances to those of Jesus's first disciples. I in no way, consider myself in their league but still feel a kinship with them nonetheless. They too faced public scrutiny, rejection and scorn from both those in the outside world as well as from fellow Jews. They too had to make do with few resources. The difference is that they experienced true persecution and even death for their cause. I wonder sometimes if I could be that brave if our climate becomes that extreme. This question keeps me humble. 

But just as the disciples were able to have a front row seat to the salvation of God's people, the spiritual growth and development of those same converts, and the eventual replicative service of these new believers, we too are blessed to sit at center court as we witness many who have struggled (sometimes for decades) with same-sex attraction and/or gender identity disorder come to surrender their sexuality to Jesus. Rick and I are working with about 30 folks a month and calls come in weekly. We have taken 2 new clients just in the past couple of weeks and will walk hand in hand with these strugglers as they move from struggling to overcoming. And we are blessed to watch many of them grow to the point of becoming valuable contributors to God's Kingdom. I also have the honor of walking, the sometimes long and arduous journey, with parents and family members as they themselves grow in faith as they wait for God's deliverance for their gay, lesbian or transgender family members. 

So while this work can be daunting and discouraging at times from a worldly perspective, from an eternal one, it is worth every minute of sacrifice and pain.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet,  so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire." Hebrews 12: 1-2; 12-13; 28-29

Won't you partner with us in this work, making level paths for the lame and broken? 

Living Loved,
Hope Rising Report
In February, I traveled with McKrae Game, President of the Hope for Wholeness Network to Fort Myers, Fl to speak, teach and lead at the Hope Rising conference. This is a new one-day conference being offered across the country by the Hope for Wholeness Network, much like the Love Won Out conferences that Focus on the Family and Exodus Int'l offered for several years. 

This first offering, hosted by Revelation Ministry 12:11 at McGregor Baptist Church was more than we could have hoped. Turnout was great! About half of the attendees had never attended a conference like this before. We find that is pretty usual at all of our conferences. The testimonies were inspiring, teaching right on point and the fellowship healing. I was honored to speak on How the Church Can Respond To the Issue of Homosexuality and also taught a workshop called Hope for People Who Struggle. What a blessing to lead a women's small group as well, where I had the opportunity to get to know some of the attendees on a more personal level. 

We will continue to offer these one-day events and are looking specifically at Nashville, TN and Mississippi later this year. Keep updated on these events by visiting our website.
Hope for Wholeness Network Summer Conference
"Jesus Above All" 
I am excited to announce that the Hope for Wholeness annual conference will be held this summer, once again at Ridgecrest Conference Center. As I reported last year in the Fall Update, the 2015 conference was one of the most wonderful in which I have ever had the privilege to be a part. This year's event is looking to be even better. I hope you can join us for this life changing event! 

We need volunteers to help at the conference too. If you are willing to help please contact me at (828)551-1068.

Registration is open at hopeforwholeness.org

Exciting Announcement
We are very pleased to announce that my daughter, Tiffany Blackwell is the new Conference Coordinator for Hope for Wholeness! She will be assisting McKrae and his office manager, Nylene with conference planning and implementation (both for the annual summer and one-day Hope Rising conferences). It will be a real blessing to have my girl there with me this year. Please pray for her and the whole team as we prepare.

Welcome Tiffany to the team! 
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PO Box 12 Hendersonville, NC 28793 
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