Journals
Posted on August 14, 2018 Summer Update from Mylinda Baits
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Prayer Update from Mylinda

“You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” -2 Corinthians 9:11

It has been too long since I’ve written to both let you know what I’ve been up to for the last few months as well as to say THANK YOU for your prayers and support!

Here’s the bullet point version:

*Spent all of June and the first 10 days of July in Switzerland and France.

*Started my Certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in preparation for myPhD work in Expressive Arts Therapy and Social Change at the European Graduate School in Saas Fee, Switzerland.

*Spent every day, for 24 days, exploring therapeutic poiesis (the study of making or creation) through music, movement, poetry, paint, paper, ink, clay and conversation.

* Learned from and was inspired by my Switzerland study cohort, a diverse group of 15 creative souls doing amazing work around the world.

*Created future collaboration connections with folks from or living in India, Turkey, Mexico, Columbia, Costa Rica/Nicaragua, China, Canada, Peru, France, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, and the U.S.

*Was honored to share table, create art, observe, engage with and learn from many of the pioneers and prominent leaders in the field of Expressive Arts Therapy.

*Was compelled to sing “The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Music” more than once, as I walked to class surrounded by some of the most magnificent alpine mountains and wild flowers that I’ve ever seen. I felt held in the captivating embrace of our Creator in whose art I found myself privileged to frolic.

*Walked through grief as we accompanied one of our classmates whose mother died midway through our program. She chose to finish the course and our class community

grew together through the sharing of sorrow.

*Witnessed my family be embraced by the hospitality of my classmates as they joined me during my last week of classes.

*Following my 4 intensive classes, enjoyed the week exploring the south of France with my family, hosted by Micah’s college housemate and his French family.

*Learned of another classmate’s loss of her young adult son the week after I returned home.

*Am beginning to clarify my research question based on my curiosity of how people in communities can use art and ritual to integrate and grow through loss and transition.  There is a potential project with our ministry partners in Cuba.

*Spent time in California with my sisters remembering my Mom near the third anniversary of her death

*Cleaned, painted and readied a house for IM missionary colleagues, Kyle and Katrina Williams and kids to live for their year of US assignment in our town of Olympia, WA

*Emailed, called and Skyped fellow church leaders, expressive arts practitioners and conflict transformation trainers for mutual mentoring, training consultations and relational support.

What’s coming up that you can support with prayer?

*Currently, I am preparing for a mission team of 3 women from Olympia First Baptist Church to join me on a hurricane recovery trip to Puerto Rico in September with American Baptist Home Mission Society’s Rebuilding, Restoring, Renewing Puerto Rico Project– Pray for team unity and good health, travel mercies, and mutual encouragement with our ABC Puerto Rican family.

*Costa Rican partner visit and Writing Retreat in October- Pray for focus to get writing tasks accomplished and November’s Nicaraguan training plans finished. Pray for renewal, refreshment and reconnection for and with the female pastoral colleagues joining me there.

*First Aid Art Responder and Facilitator Training and Creative Leadership Trainings at AMOS Hope and Health in Nicaragua in November/Dec.- Pray for calm and peace in the country now experiencing civil unrest and political upheaval. Pray for me as I prepare to facilitate practical and relevant trainings to support the ongoing work of healing and health to the most vulnerable communities in rural Nicaragua

It has been an amazingly enriching summer full of generosity, hospitality, learning and inspiration! With all these experiences, I know that I am called to be as generous with my time, talents and treasures as others have been with me.  I pray that through your generosity and mine, the results will be thanksgiving to God. For you, I am truly grateful!

Thanks for all your love and support,

Mylinda