My connection to twentyTHREE61, Inc. began around my kitchen table in 2014, where a handful of my great friends in ministry talked and prayed about our next steps.
Our ministry had just been discontinued from our previous home base, and we were at a cross-roads. Do we let our journey end completely? Do we wait and see if we can return to our previous home base? Or do we launch a new ministry and keep our momentum of helping other women and men find healing moving forward?
Well, we do live in Wisconsin, and our state motto is, of course, "Forward."
More important than that, we are all Jesus followers, who have decided to follow Him wherever He leads us. Our unanimous decision that day, and my decision along with the amazing support of my husband, was to press forward, create a new non-profit organization, and dive deep into the unknown world of starting an organization from scratch. With the compassion and grace we've received from Jesus, we couldn't help but do all we could to pass on our knowledge of forgiveness and the compassion we've received to other people who are isolated in hurt and sorrow from their abortions, sexual traumas and pornography addictions. You just can't heal from these things alone.
Six years have gone by now. We've served almost 500 women and men! We've brought in world-renowned speakers and advocates in the pro-life and abortion-healing movements. We've added two counties and multiple churches and other organizations to our community of support. We've brought our retreat to Guatemala! We've launched our website, social media, and now podcast called, "It's Complicated."
I've gone from a non-paid volunteer President of twentyTHREE61, to a paid 20-hour a week Executive Director, to a paid 8-hour a week ED in order to take on a full-time job and also add additional part-time staff and directors to our team, to now seeking to add even more staff. My hours and pay are important but inconsequential to me, as this ministry is my heart and soul passion, and I give my all to it, even as I work multiple other jobs to pay our family's bills.
I love pouring into our volunteers and new staff in order to try and teach them how to carry the torch and carry this ministry on into the future. With our times and our platforms turning ever more into the online technical side of things, I'm forever learning new things as well. Change will forever be something I and we as an organization need to contend with. And I appreciate your support all these years as we've changed and grown!
My healing journey is of course ever on-going as well. And thanks to God, my family, our ministry team, my mentors and church family, I've launched my own personal brand in order to shout out to the world that God is good, healing from abortion is possible, raising our children to seek God and live a life of purity not hypocritical, but is the better answer to prevent all these hurts that we deal with, and that through my healing journey I've discovered so many missing pieces of my puzzle of this life. My hope is that as my brand grows, the story of twentyTHREE61 will become known to more and more people, and that these people will find healing, and that the ripple effect of healing from each individual will cascade out to their family and friends, and ultimately will lead to transformation of entire communities.
It's a complicated dream of mine, but it won't come true unless I give a try and keep pressing forward. That's my passion, and that's the fuel that drives me. Would you like to join us in this journey? There's plenty of room for you!!
I've chosen the personal goal of $6,000 because we've been incorporated and serving women and men now for 6 years! And I'd like to raise $1,000 for each year. While we've done some great work in these 6 years, we have a lot more work to do, as we've only seen the tip of the iceberg so far. Help us reach all those who are still hurting beneath the surface!