Something That Matters – Part One

This afternoon, my daughter takes off for Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Australia. One giant step closer to realizing her dream.

It seems like yesterday but 20 years ago, Lauren took her first dance lesson starting a lifelong love of dance and all things “arts”. Middle school spirit team introduced her to worship dance.

In high school, she started teaching others what she had learned. Mission trips expanded her understanding of the world and increased her compassion for those in need.

This month, she graduated college earning two degrees – a BFA in dance performance and a BA in dance education. And now she’s off to study Leadership in Dance Ministry at Hillsong in Sydney.

Why?
Why study more?
Why so far away?
Everyone asks these things [especially her dad wondering why she wants to go to the other side of the world for a year – and possibly meet some nice young Aussie gentleman – horrors!]

She smiles when she responds. Actually she more than smiles. She glows.

She has a dream, has had it for years. It sprung up from seeds planted and has grown and developed in unimaginable ways.

Her mission trips have taken her to remote undeveloped areas of the world. And she wondered what she can bring these people whose basic needs of water and food are barely met. Don’t you need to feed them before you can share the gospel? Yes. But she discovered something else. Through her dance and the arts, she was able to communicate love, and everyone needs love. Dance and art transcend language barriers. They connect different cultures.

Here is Lauren last year teaching preschoolers in northern Uganda, a region slowly healing after the world’s longest civil war: http://tinyurl.com/74dye2r 

Lauren’s dream, in a nutshell, is creating an Arts Center – a place for students to hang out, learn dance, art, acting, all varied ways of expression. But there’s more…

In 2006, a young man named Blake Mycoskie founded a shoe company with a new premise: “With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for one.” Blake traveled to Argentina, saw the disease and the dire need for shoes for the children there, and founded a company that would provide a quality product and also meet that need.

Lauren wants a “One for one” program for her future Arts Center with a “sister school” in Africa. Every student here will support a student in Africa. Lauren has the vision. Her studies this year will provide the leadership training she’ll need to bring it to fruition.

Our family asks for your prayers as Lauren takes this next step of her life journey. You can follow her throughout at the year at:
Blog: laurenpanzica.wordpress.com
Twitter: twitter.com/laurenpanzica
YouTube: www.youtube.com/LaurenElizabethDance

I’m traveling to Australia with Lauren, spending a few days helping her get established.

My next post is a review of Blake Mycoskie’s book Start Something That Matters. As part of the review, I will be giving away 2 copies. It tells the story of TOMS shoes and inspires us all to purse something that matters. Keep tuned!!

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Showing 8 comments
  • LittleMissScooter

    Susan,

    I followed your daughter's blog. I think I remember her performance at Project Dance.

    Thank you for posting this. I am in a season in which I need all the encouragement and inspiration I can get. So please do continue to pray for me as I strive to see my vision manifest in my life and live according to God's will more and more.

    I would LOVE a copy of that book too!

  • Donna Bolster

    I'm praying for your family right now. I have been thinking of you all night. Love you both!

  • lynnmosher

    Wow! Your buttons must be popping! Such a precious daughter. What a great job you've done bringing her up. May the Lord bless her in all she does. Praying for her safety and her journey through life. Praying for your momma heart also!

  • Terri Tiffany

    How exciting for you both that you get to go too and see her settled in!!! She sounds like an amazing girl and I know she will accomplish her goals:)

  • Susan J. Reinhardt

    Congrats to Lauren! What an awesome opportunity to study at Hillsong.

    A daughter of a friend started a dance studio. She's danced in many productions.

    Opportunities are growing – Sight and Sound, The Holyland Experience, and many churches do full-length productions.

    Blessings,
    Susan 🙂

  • Hope

    Safe travels Susan and Lauren!!!! I wish you all the best as you travel across the world to such a beautiful spot. Parker LOVED every minute of his time there and I know you will also. How neat to have mother/daughter traveling together. Enjoy this precious time and I look forward hearing about your journey and experiences. I will see you Susan when you get back.

    Hugs,

    Hope

  • Debbie

    You both are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm so excited for Lauren. Follow your dreams! May God bless you during your stay in Australia and all your future endeavors!

    Blessings,
    Debbie

  • Susan Panzica - EternityCafe

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. Yes, Lynn, this is a proud mama ;D
    I'm in Aussie now and will be home on Sunday. The world is a smaller place thanks to technology, isn't it! And I'm sure the year will fly by.
    We've been busy shopping and setting up but tomorrow (Fri) we'll do a little touring.
    Blessings to all,
    Susan