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Summer SHINE 2012 Blog

This is a personal blog written by Susannah Francis to capture the lessons, revelations, special memories and Kodak moments of our journey to Summer SHINE this July. We are going in support of our ministry friend Wynter Zabrina Veal-Drummond and past Christmas production cast member Madeline Morton, both participating in SHINE.  

Additionally, 1heart Arts has been blessed to be a Bronze Sponsor of the Summer SHINE '12 event.  There will be a 1heart Arts booth, ad in the event program and we are praying for opportunities to pray with other attendees of the event.  

God is certainly preparing us for something through all of this. To see what it is, you will just have to take the journey with us!

Traveling to Orlando

posted Jul 3, 2012, 9:31 PM by Susannah Francis

Our travel was good and now we are finally settling down in Orlando.  Enjoy a video blog of a day of travel to Florida. We are very tired, but having a great time being blessed by God.
 

This Is the Day!

posted Jul 1, 2012, 10:45 AM by Susannah Francis

The Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The Lord has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad. 
 Lord, save us!
Lord, grant us success!
~ Psalm 118:23-25
Well, we are about to leave out of town and wow....what a week it has been. Last night, Zach and I were joking about what a crazy couple of weeks it has been for us.  We concluded that the enemy was most definitely trying to keep us from going down to SHINE.  So, that just made our resolve that much stronger that we are supposed to be there!  I wish I could say that we were as confident and jovial the entire time, but that just isn't true. We've each had our days of "how much more of this can we take?!" and "maybe we should reconsider this.".  However, God is victorious and brings healing in the midst of our storms.  I am so thankful that He loves through the doubt and frustrations that we bring to Him. I am so very grateful that He uses these times to make us stronger and to draw us closer to His side.
 
So, what have been these frustrations? Well, let us tell you just a handful.
  1. Zach's stepdad's surgery didn't take, so had to do another surgery just this last Friday, Zach's last day off before we leave.
  2. Our school loan paperwork just happened to get all messed up and we had to deal with filing new paperwork this past week.
  3. Our home had back property taxes that we thought had been paid (according to the person we talked to in Decemeber). We found out about a week ago that our house was due to go up for sale by the  city.
  4. My (Susannah's) medication was discontinued from the manufacture and is not available for purchase anywhere. This is what allowed me to work, drive and function once again after 4 years of not being able.
  5. Zach was stuck at work 4 hours overtime (only has happened one other time since he started in January 2010) last night when we were supposed to be at our friend's wedding reception and then pack for the trip.
But guess what...God is bigger than anything that the world can throw at us. The surgery went really well and, though Zach's stepdad is in pain, the problem is resolved.  Our final call to the school loan people was met with a REALLY helpful gal that told us the correct paperwork that needed to be filed and Zach's mom faxed it for us. God provided the funds to pay off those back taxes in person one day before they were due.  I still haven't found my meds, but I'm feeling quite good. I am a little dizzy and tired, but it seems that this new diet I've been doing is allowing me to feel SO much better than I normally would.  Zach was very tired after working over last night, but we were able to pack everything today and Zach's mom offered to drive me out to meet him, so I could finalize things at the house today.
 
God is good! The days He makes are good too! Let us rejoice in them!
 
 

Video Shoot at the Studio

posted Jun 20, 2012, 2:42 PM by Susannah Francis   [ updated Jun 20, 2012, 3:02 PM ]

God is just so good to us...do you know that?  We went this past Thursday to meet Wynter at the dance studio where she teaches, planning to just get a few shots of her dancing and an interview with her about going to SHINE on camera. Our hearts were that people could see her how we see her...how we believe God sees her...and we know her momma sees her.

However, when we got to the studio, we didn't only see Wynter, but her very close dance friend AND the owner of the studio.  Both of them agreed to share their experiences with Wynter on camera. BUT...the best part of the whole interview was not that amazing God-cident that we could talk to them, rather Who showed up while we were recording.  As Zach moved around the floor with the camera in hand, attempting to capture the true essence of Wynter's dancing, I look over and Wynter's friend Abigail (who has seen her dance since the age of 13) is completely mesmerized and starting to get very emotional.  I've seen that look too many times to not recognize it...the Holy Spirit is speaking to her.  As I talk to Abigail she starts to share her feelings, that God is in this place. I can't agree more and joy starts overflowing...a fruit of the Holy Spirit and It's presence.  

We look on from the sidelines, trying to stay out of Zach's way and shots, but we are both caught up in our own experiences that God is giving us.  Abigail shares with me that she is going to school for dance in north New York state not too far from NYC.  She too has the dream like Wynter of being part of a ballet company and begins asking questions about AMTC. I gladly answer and share the journey that Zach and I have had in getting to know the organization.  You can see it all here.  She shares her deep desire to reflect Christ in her dance...and then I get to see her dance....and oh yes, she does.  A beautiful ballerina herself, I am thoroughly captured in watching her and Wynter dance together.  

Our day of shooting ended in prayer for Abigail, that God would make His plans for her known and that she would have the strength to follow His path. God is just so good to us. He loves us so much that He uses us to accomplish His will on a daily basis and I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of Wynter's journey to His call on her life...as well as maybe a moment in time that God can use in Abigail's path as well.

And now....the video.... 

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6/7/12 - Preparing a Star

posted Jun 7, 2012, 1:57 PM by Susannah Francis   [ updated Jun 7, 2012, 2:19 PM ]


God has put it so very heavy on my heart that I am to be encouraging Wynter along the way.  He is using this very journey of hers to heal my own wounds. Does that sound like our God or what?!  I just finished an article for the 1heart Arts ministry newsletter that focuses on WHY we are going to SHINE this July.  The easiest answer is "God told us to", but of course I elaborated on that a bit so people could understand the whole story.  

The other day we met with both Wynter and her mom Janet to put together her website and get her promo items ordered. Wow...did God come through BIG time. Vistaprint had an amazing deal with free uploads AND free shipping. I think we ended up getting about $170 in items for only $30 some dollars! The best part of it is that Janet, Wynter's mom got a really neat tote that she can use at SHINE to market her daughter while carrying around her stuff! It all matches her website too - her business cards, thank you cards, pen, hat, signs, tote bag and more. I love that God prepared me so well to do this ministry! Who knew that all that I learned in the workplace would help me so much in marketing our artists!  I have to say that the workshop that went to at Winter SHINE this past January was super helpful too - The Three E's – Education, Execution & Excellence.  

We also got a Facebook page up for Wynter. Now, we are working on how to get a short video together of her dancing and finalizing a simple website.  This gal is so very talented, but more than that, she communicates God's love to people...through her dance, talk, her smile...it's just who she is. That is how she got over 100 people to "like" her FB site in under 24 hours. It's now up to 143 and it only went live about 32 hours ago.  God's got a special gift through this girl and we are so honored that He is letting us be a part of the journey.

If that wasn't enough of a joy, He is using this entire process to heal me.  You see, I used to dance. No, never like Wynter, but I always loved dance; took lessons in ballet, swing, tap, modern...even clogging.  I was a part of swing choir & color guard/dance team in high school and even took a modern dance class in college where I choreographed a full dance to my friend playing Yanni's "The Rain Must Fall".  
Through all these memories and getting closer and closer to who God has made me to be, He has been slowly reawakening this deep desire to not only dance, but choreograph....flags, dance, mime. I've been seeing it all in my head...I can't listen to a Christian song and NOT see it.  Where this road will lead us, I haven't a clue...not a clear vision at least. However, I do know there is healing for everyone involved. I also know that Wynter is just at the very beginning of what He about to take her to become. 

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