Friday, June 22, 2012

Tent Maker

It's Finance Friday on my blog. The day I dedicate to oversharing discussing some of the financial challenges my family has faced in the last year. Because I live in a town where everyone thinks they know your business that's small in nature, I've been seen working a second job at our local retailer. Often (and especially by former parishioners) I've been given a silent stink eye as they wonder what I'm doing working at the store. Well, I've got a story about that....

I have found a cause I believe in.
I found a place where I can make a difference.
I found work that invigorates my soul.

It's incredibly refreshing to find such a thing.
I know how special this is.
And that's why I treasure it.

It is also why I am TENTMAKING.

Not literally.

According to Wikipedia:       Tentmaking, in general, refers to the activities of any Christian who, while functioning as a minister, receives little or no pay for her church work, and supports herself by additional, unrelated work.

Annually, for the last five years, I have traveled to various parts of Central Europe to be a part of EMERGE, an international team of women who are raising up & equipping a generation of church & marketplace leaders. We do:
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching
  • Leadership Training
  • Online Community Creating
  • Conference Hostessing

It's been an amazing journey!

My next assignment? To go into the heart of Roma Gypsy ghetto in Cachtice, Slovakia and train parents with young children the importance of:
  • play & interaction
  • bonding
  • child development
  • homemade toys & game

while leaving them with an interactive "parenting tool box kit" full of supplies for giving their children the best possible start in life. I will be working with Next Level International, a child development professor from the University of Notre Dame & using Parents As Teacher curriculum to design a workshop that will not only provide families with information and resources but will make a marked difference for these children who are currently entering school at a staggeringly inappropriate developmental state.

How can I get there? How can I do this? I'm a mother of five children with only a part time job! My American life is so busy! Well for years I've asked for donations and support from friends and family. Many of them have so faithfully and generously given to me. I, and the people of Czech & Slovakia, are eternally thankful for these gifts.

This year, rather than tackle the very difficult and taxing quest of always asking for money (I mean at some point I expect people might start running the other way when they see me coming) I decided to MAKE TENTS.

I work 5-15 hours a week at my local retail store as a Customer Service Manager. My entire paycheck is then set aside and dedicated to purchasing Parenting Tool Box Kits & my travel expenses.

This supports my cause.
This gives my work great meaning.

Am I still looking for support? Of course I am. It is good work that needs lots of support to make it successful. And perhaps you've been looking for a place to make a difference as well!
You can!
You can give a Slovakian family a Parent Tool Box (approx $25 USD)
You can sponsor a day of my trip ($100 USD/day)
see the donate button in the right hand margin

So that's why I've been at the store. That's why I take time away from writing, being with my family and all the other gazillion things that pull at me.
It is a glamours job? Hardly!
Truth be told I don't even really like it.
But I like going to Europe more.
I like helping people more.
I like making a difference more.

Partner with me! or pray for me! or support me! or .... if you see me at the store give me a wink or a thumbs up. No more stink eyes, ok?


No comments:

Post a Comment

AddThis Smart Layers