Yikes! I just looked at my blog and realized it's been several months since I updated this information! Time seems to be flying by at an unprecedented rate....or maybe I'm just noticing its passage more because I feel like I still have so much to do before the end of my own journey. At any rate, it's time to update you all.
Since November, my plate has been continually full of things to do, places to be, and people to see. My kids and grandkids were here for Thanksgiving, and before leaving, they did all my Christmas decorating! I was so thankful, as that looked a little overwhelming to me. I enjoyed it for several weeks, then spent two weeks in Cedar Falls with Amy's family, doing some work for the printing company and enjoying the holidays.
In the midst of our first big snowstorm on Dec. 29th, Barbara Rowe arrived from El Salvador, and stayed with me for nearly 2 1/2 months. She is a missionary with Christ For the City, and has been serving in El Salvador for a number of years. CFCI called her back to Omaha to fill the position of Personnel Director, due to the retirement of Dick Dudney. We got along beautifully and had a great time. Louie loved her -- which was the MOST important factor! (Remember Louie? The little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?) She recently purchased a home here in Omaha, and moved into it last week. We are once again experiencing the quiet of living alone.
On the ministry front, a number of things are shaping up. First, we are in the process of reformatting and reprinting Dave's Quick Start Guide to Prayerwalking. It has been reshaped into a single fold pamphlet and is now translated into Spanish. We're waiting for final format, and will print 50,000 of them to be distributed in Mexico. The contacts for printing and distribution are all in place, and we're almost there! In the near future, I plan to create a set of basic discipleship materials that will also be done in Spanish and made available for brand new Believers in Central Mexico, as well as the Tijuana area.
I continue to take steps to develop a new ministry outreach to widows, one step at a time, as the Lord leads and opens doors. I have a private Facebook group established that is generating some good discussion among widows who have joined us. I continue to make personal contact with widows I've not met before almost daily. My schedule is beginning to fill with those times of listening to their stories, encouraging them, and pointing them to the Father. I'm calling this outreach "Refocusing Widows", and the purpose will be to help widows find clarity of mission and calling in the midst of what seems like chaos in their lives. More to come on that..... Essentially, it's a call to turn around and face forward instead of looking back! But we need to look back first, and bring good closure and healing to what was, and then we can look ahead to what can be!
I've purchased the domains for this, and will be launching a blog called Refocusing Widows as soon as I can figure out how to get that set up! I'm no technology whiz, so am looking for contacts to help with that. Hopefully, it will be coming in the next couple of months, and will feature articles of interest to widows, as well as stories by women who are on the journey.
I've recently picked up some strengths coaching. It seems to go in spurts, and I definitely haven't made any money at it yet. However, the reason I did the training in the first place was to be able to help other ministry leaders who maybe couldn't afford a more "professional" coach! It's one of the things I love to do, and am excited about finishing off several who got dropped mid-stream when I moved, as well as a couple of new clients.
Many of you will appreciate this.... CFCI notified me last week that they'd like to suspend Dave's gmail account with the organization. I was fine with that, as he's obviously not using it, and they were willing to give me some time to download everything I needed from his account. So, I opened it and found 51,000+ emails, and hundreds of documents and photos! It was a digital garage! And we all remember what THAT was like! So, as you can imagine, I spent several days going thru, downloading, and deleting emails, documents, and photos. The contacts have been exported and are waiting for me to process....all 2,950 of them!! I'm convinced there's no end to his "stuff"!
Next week, we pass the mile marker of two years since Dave went to be with the Lord. At that time, I was convinced that I couldn't make it without his partnership, but God knows what we are capable of, and He has walked so faithfully with me. There are still hard days here and there, but for the most part, I'm looking ahead and moving into a new season with as much grace as I can muster.
I've truly appreciated all of you who have stayed with me in prayer, personal, and financial support. Your involvement has made it possible for me to remain financially stable during a very difficult time in our world. I've been able to invest in other leaders, and move towards some new ministry endeavors. Thank-you for caring for me with so much love!
As you can tell, there may be some ministry expenses involved as I move ahead. If the Lord would prompt you to invest in any of these areas, you can do that through Christ For the City International. Include a note: "For Sheryl Gehrls", or donate online. Thank-you so much!