2012 is drawing its’ last breaths, and I’ve decided to write a series of posts to share what this incredible year has brought to the Manley family.
We started New Year’s day driving home to California from our trip to visit family in Washington. To back up, our drive up was a through-the-night-Christmas-Eve-pedal-to-the-metal dash. I found out that a Prius can get below 30 mpg if you drive fast enough. It was worth the look of absolute shock on my in-laws faces when we pulled in to their driveway at 1 p.m., right as they were getting ready for Christmas lunch together.
Back to Jan 1 – we decided to stop by and see my sister and her family at their new home in Vallejo, near San Francisco. I am very grateful for my sister, Shelly. She is a constant encouragement to our service to God. My nieces and nephews are incredible people, thanks in large part to the effort she makes to be a mom.
My sister Shelly (Rochelle), her dog & about 3/4 of my brother-in-law.
Just two weeks after our trip, I was on a plane right back to the Emerald City. We had a board retreat for Rooftop 519, and we had a lot of work to do. Our fledgling organization was really struggling. The board had just removed our board chairman, and there were many questions they had about my ability to lead this organization. I sometimes shared their doubt.
I read a book around that time whose author explored a thesis about a leader’s ascension being directly related to his father-wound. My father passed in early 2011, a good man who never struck blows on me, either physically or emotionally. I really wrestled with whether or not I could be a good leader without a deep need for affirmation and approval from people (yes, I like to be liked & I love to be loved, but many leaders highlighted in this book became successful because of their great lack of validation from the masses).
During our retreat, the board came to a great place of healing. Locked away in a room in Gig Harbor, we spent the day figuring out how to communicate & deepen our trust. I loved serving with these men and women. I walked away only slightly more confident in my leadership drive and ability, but completely confident in my calling.
In January and February I completed my consulting with Desert Christian Academy. I really enjoyed my time, and I feel like I was able to help with some things they really needed. They’ve since announced that they are actively searching for a new head-of-school, and I am volunteering on their development committee, which is making huge steps forward.
On January 18, Hailey celebrated her 13th birthday. Two teenagers in the house… lookout world!
Hailey wore Crux Watches before they were cool.
In February, our new intern Danny Owens started working in the office. He makes us look good. I love working with Danny, and I’m really grateful for all he contributes to Rooftop 519, Desert Foursquare and just about anything else I ask him to do. He’s probably the most amazing 19 year-old I know.
The Fabulous Danny Owens and the Stupendous Ryan Frederick, chilling in the CruxEn RoofSquare office (Crux, Engage, Rooftop 519 & Desert Foursquare).
Incredible view from my office above Solano’s Restaurant in Old Town La Quinta.
On Sunday, February 18, we launched Desert Foursquare Church. I feel really blessed to have the team of leaders who have decided to be a part of our faith family.
Our staff retreat just before our launch.
I am way more excited on the inside.
Later that week, Ryan Frederick and I traveld from SoCal to join about a dozen of our volunteers to be exhibitors at the Justice Conference in Portland. The Thursday night before the two-day conference, we had a marathon five-hour board meeting for Rooftop 519. It was an incredible, spiritual turning for our organization. I now tell people that we were conceived in late 2010, but we were birthed at the Justice Conference.
Ryan Frederick, Ryan Hart and Katie Tigges “manning” the booth.
Wonderful Rooftop 519 volunteers at the Justice Conference.
Interviewing with the local news channel.
Haley and our volunteers did amazing work.
The conference itself was life-changing. I didn’t get to see or hear the speakers, but the interaction with the almost 5000 attendees was more than we could ask for. These are our people. They love Jesus, and they’re not afraid to get messy when “going through the roof”. Two days after the conference, Exodus got on a plane and headed back to Liberia. Exodus Vah was our first patient, a burn victim, who received skin grafts from the wonderful team at Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Exodus and I got to spend an hour together.
Exodus saying her final fairwells at SeaTac Airport.
Exodus with her mom and Nurse Debbie in Liberia.
In March our church hosted Paradosi Ballet. It was one of the best worship experiences many of us could remember.
Paradosi Ballet dancing at Palm Desert High School for the high school dance team.
Mid-March found me on another trip to the NW. Flying standby meant stretching a 2.5 hour flight into almost 22 hours of travel. After 6 hours of waiting in Palm Springs, I finally caught a flight to San Francisco, hoping to catch a flight from there to Seattle. 12 hours and three airports later, I caught a flight that got me to the NW just in time for a 10 a.m. meeting.
Rooftop 519, Crux Watches and Anthem Coffee teamed up to host an event with Jeff Bethke. Love these people!
Host parents Jason and Glory Cancro.
UG Band. These guys rocked.
Jeff Marsh, Ryan Frederick and Bryan Reynolds. Yes, they always look like this.
On Tuesday of this week, two more patients arrived. Jhonnatan and Astrid traveled together from Ecuador.
Dr. Power and Bonnie Clifford are two of the most incredible volunteers. Shout out to American Airlines for flying our kids!
Praying with our volunteers and host families before the kids arrive.
Our host families are meeting Jhonnatan and Astrid.
I came back just in time to see Andy for two days before he went with the 8th grade class from DCA to Washington D.C. They spent 11 days touring the East Coast, guided by one of the finest history teachers I’ve ever met. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Andy with a couple of friends on their trip to the East Coast.
During the days that followed my Seattle trip, I found out that we had a very disgruntled family in our church. Skipping all of the gory details, let’s just say that we engaged in our very first church split. It was a very difficult time for Cheryl and me, as many of the issues that precipitated the family’s departure (and several of their friends) were accusations aimed directly at me, my character and specifically my relationship with my wife. Thanks to godly counselors and the overwhelming support of our faith family, we grew stronger through the experience.
Andy continues to develop his passion for comics. I can’t even remember how many trips we’ve taken to comic conventions or signings.
Andy created art to share with all of his favorite artists at a comic convention.
If you want to see this 15 year-old smile, take him to a comicon.
He gets their drawings and their respect.
Andy and I had a huge dinner at Black Angus. We both ate too much. Andy told me later that he wanted to heave, but he, “didn’t want to throw up $27”.
Our first Easter service at Desert Foursquare was amazing. 99 people joined to hear Mauricio Rodriguez share his amazing testimony.
Mauricio brought down the house!
In April I traveled to the Christian Leadership Alliance conference in Orlando. One of the highlights was a CEO roundtable where I was able to meet and glean from a number of really incredible people. Another highlight was spending time with our board chair and her family. A third blessing was spending time with our incoming board member, Donna Mace. I have the rare privilege of working with people I really, really love.
We celebrated my 38th birthday in April. It was great, but not as exciting as my birthday in October (I’ll share more in Part 3)
My 38th birthday party. I feel loved.
Up next, Nicaragua, Colorado, and moving.