Friday, August 12, 2011

Leisha's HOPE!

It is so hard to believe that it is once again August, and even more difficult to realize that it has already been 5 years since we gathered together to celebrate the life of Leisha. Yet, here we are- nearing August 16th , recalling who she was in life and how her life and death continues to influence us daily.

The journey of letting go and moving forward is lifelong, and in many ways, lonely. Each of us has our own road to walk as we process loss. Yet, if we allow ourselves to address the depth of emotion and ache, it becomes deeply spiritual. As we look back, we realize that at those moments of greatest darkness, we see that even there we were not completely alone. Our God- holy, pure, majestic God was there with us in the muck and mire of our grief. In those moments, we see HOPE!
Life-giving Hope!

One of Leisha’s favorite words was HOPE! Her favorite color was green. One morning she came bounding into the kitchen announcing “My favorite color means my favorite word. Green means HOPE!” We have been very aware of Green HOPE moments in our journey since she ran into His arms that August day.

But noticing Green is not always easy. It takes a great deal of time and energy to see HOPE. It takes soul searching and sometimes even God yelling to come to a place of healing. We have to find a safe place before we can have those times of honesty before God.
Sometimes that place is not at home.
Sometimes that place is in the car pounding on the steering wheel.
Sometimes that place is at work, weeping against the frame of a car.
Sometimes that place is at school, with head buried in a pillow to muffle the cry, or tears staining the pages of a text book.

Sometimes it is in the woods, walking among the tall, wooded hallways of nature’s cathedral; kneeling at the fallen log in prayer; sinking into the leaf strewn path in sobs; arriving broken, angry, frightened, alone, only to rise again, restored, at peace, free, different. The circumstances have not changed- but somehow, we have.

We know of such a place. We’ve been there! Emotionally, spiritually- but also physically! There is a physical place that has been a safe place for us and for many others. A place of HOPE! That is why we are writing today.

One of our safe places is called DEEP WOODS. It is a sacred space set apart for all who are seeking time alone with God. DEEP WOODS is located in the 25 acres of woods behind Crossroads Church, where Leisha’s Celebration of Life was held. It is open to all who are looking for a place of beauty and solace.

There are foot paths and prayer stations, along with a clearing and a fire pit. There are places to sit and watch the wildlife, or kneeling stations to pray and reflect. One small cabin has already been built for individual or couple retreats. That cabin is called the JOURNEY cabin. Three more cabins (FAITH, HOPE and LOVE) and a Chapel are planned as part of the DEEP WOODS space.

Why do we tell you of this place?
Because it is our hearts desire to offer that safe place of HOPE to many others who find themselves in desperate places! You have been part of loving Leisha and loving us in our journey toward healing. We wanted to give you an opportunity to join us as we seek to provide another avenue of HOPE for others.

That is why we long to be part of funding, constructing and furnishing the HOPE Cabin in DEEP WOODS as part of Leisha’s HOPE.

The cost of constructing the HOPE Cabin, which is 12’ x 16’, will run about $8,000. Projected costs for furnishing that space with a small desk & chair, a rocker and lamp table, as well as, a small bed is $700.

As funds are available, a chapel with restroom facilities and electricity will be added to the DEEP WOODS space, but currently we use lanterns and a very well cared for outhouse when the church facilities are closed. More information of DEEP WOODS is available. Feel free to email or call if you have questions or for a brochure.

Donations can be made directly to Crossroads Church, 775 S Thayer Road, Lima, Ohio 45806 earmarked as DEEP WOODS/ Leisha’s HOPE.

We realize that, even though you love us and Leisha, this may not be the thing God asks you to be part of right now. We understand. We have to make lots of choices every day too. But we also know that you might want to be part of Leisha’s HOPE. So we make this known to you! No matter what you can give, we do covet your prayers as we see this to completion.

We have and continue to find HOPE in our own journey. We long to be part of helping you and others find HOPE in your own. Join us won’t you!

Seeing Green HOPE in a brown world!

Rennie, Kathy, Caitlin, Brielle

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