Monthly Archives: June 2016

Do What You Love, To Undo What You Hate by Maluhia Vander Griend

Maluhia

Do what you love, to undo what you hate. One more time…slowly. Do what you love, to undo what you hate.

What would happen if we all asked ourselves this question? What do you love to do? How can I do what I love to bless and serve others?

What do you hate? Is it the refugee crisis? Perhaps homelessness, or your neighbor next door who is a single mom or dad and doesn’t have community? Maybe it’s the world water crisis, or the fact that there is so much turmoil going on in a friend’s life? Something about our culture?

In 1998 I was asked the question: Maluhia, would you be willing to design your own dance program and direct it at Hillcrest Chapel? I was 18 years old. I thought, Really, me? I am so young, I don’t know how, I am too inexperienced. Why me? As I began to pray about this opportunity, the Lord made it clear to me that this was my calling. I began to become more excited about redeeming dance! I loved to dance, but I hated some of the darker things that our broader culture had done to dance.

I saw dance as art, a wholesome and fun activity for healthy development, a discipline, and as a lifelong blessing. I wanted to instill that love and joy of dance in my students of all ages, while providing quality instruction, wholesome music, and maintaining professionalism. Modesty, creativity and mentoring became goals as well. Providing a “second home” for kids to come and just “be,” hiring staff that would go above and beyond to invest deeply into our students and families were all goals.   

I was working to redeem dance, where dance has been robbed in our culture. Doing what I love, to undo what I hate. I named my new dance program Dancing for Joy after a verse from the Psalms 149:3; “Let them praise his name with dancing!”

Here is annother verse to live by:

222 Verse – 2 Love, 2 Serve, 2 Praise

In 1 Peter 4:8-11 it says ”Above all, LOVE each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to SERVE others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.  If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be PRAISED through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

What would it mean if we combined what we were passionate about with applying the above: Loving, Serving, and Praising Jesus? This became my lifelong mission in my marriage, as a mother, friend, sister, daughter, leader, mentor, teacher, and business owner.

I have learned that when we press into Jesus and respond to the call to serve, how much more we will be blessed as we are being a blessing to others…even though at times it may be hard. It was a JOY and a blessing for Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet. He loved them, grimy, dirty, calloused feet and all. What a beautiful example He gave us to go out and LOVE & SERVE, while we give him the PRAISE from a heart bubbling over with gratitude.  

All I had to do was be willing, and ask the question: What are my gifts, and how can I use them for you, Jesus? I have also continued to ask the question about the struggles: Really Lord, why me? I didn’t ask for the deep, painful dips in the valley. But He has continued to draw me into trusting and obeying the calling in my life. I want to redeem dance! I want to be able to do what I love, to undo what I hate.

Our mission at Dancing for Joy has grown into not just redeeming dance in our culture, but redeeming things like self-worth, body image, and modesty among our individual youth. We have loved our students toward serving as well. Not only learning to serve each other by choreographing and directing each other in our annual Benefit Show, but also by using the money raised to provide the basic need of clean water in the world. As of today, our dancers have six wells possible in Ethiopian villages, as tangible results of their servant hearts.

My husband and I and our staff will continue to do what we love… to undo what we hate. We have extended our programs into an art school and a preschool to further our mission of helping families raise up our youth into loving, serving, and praising people who will become our next generation of leaders. We will continue to use our gifts to serve our community, as we attempt to “faithfully administer God’s grace in its various forms- through the strength that God provides, so that He may be praised.”  AMEN?

The end of a good Collide ministry year

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How do I begin to encapsulate this last year? It is hard to put in words. It was a fast moving train. It was good news spouting up all over the place. It was changed lives transforming before our very eyes. It was collision after collision of woman running into God. I think the thing that gets me the most is watching what God is shaping that is beyond what I could imagine and beyond what i can now see.

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Here are some recent highlights:

At the last Collide at Cornwall church, God drew nearly 450 women to redefine their idea of greatness and inspire them to ask the question “What can I do to serve?” It was a gorgeous night of God using women’s stories who have already asked that question to get the rest of us out of our seats and out on to the streets and into our homes and schools and neighborhoods to serve, so to impact this world! We had no idea how we would seat, feed or meet all these women where they were at. But guess what? God did! And it….RULED!

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We held our first fundraiser, a Changemakers Tea and luncheon and rallied women into this story God is writing! It was a lovely lunch at Lairmont Manor where women said yes to giving of their time and energy and gifts, their finances and resources and prayers so that we can keep forging on! We raised nearly $15,000 and we are grateful for every penny as we have a vision grander than what lies in front of us! We have many gatherings planned for next year, are currently hiring some staff people, are talking about what it would look like to say yes to a Collide in another city, are in talks with some churches about partnership and yet women keep coming to us with their stories, their pain, their desire for purpose signing up for mentoring, counseling, classes and team. We have a lot ahead and we need women like those who attended the tea to say yes with us!

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We just celebrated such an amazing year with the team of 20 women who gave and gave of their time and talents to pull off all of our gatherings, classes, counseling program, blog, and ministry throughout the entire year. We together gave God props and toasted each other calling out the beauty within each woman on the team. It brought so much joy to my heart to see these women who are so different from each other, with different backgrounds and faith experiences and church affiliations rally around one thing, Jesus Christ and His message for women and with honest sincerity, love each other, sharing such deep admiration for one another!

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There is so much to be thankful for and in awe of. As we close this year, we are already dreaming up a next! Please be praying as we seek God for His vision, His plans and His dreams for Collide in the year to come! We pray that you would have an amazing summer colliding with Jesus whom is known as God with us. He will be with you when you travel, when you barbecue, when you work on a sunny day and wish you were boating and when you are boating wishing you didn’t have to return to work. Jesus will collide with you when you dip your feet in the lake and when you dip yourself in to some trouble or pain you didn’t plan on getting into. Jesus will be with you when you don’t feel your prayers are being answered and when they are. This summer may you collide with the One who is always always with us. – Willow

If you want to get involved with Collide…go here….