From music teacher to orphan advocate

I was a teacher not too long ago. I only taught for three years, but that doesn’t diminish my feeling that music teacher is atMe in Liberia the heart of my identity. I enjoyed being a teacher. I was – and still would be – good at it (depending on which former student you ask, of course).

I remember some of the relationships that I had with students, and I miss being an influence in their lives. When I left teaching to see what the rest of the world did from 7:00-4:30, I wasn’t sure I’d find a job or a career that would feel as important as teaching was to me. And I didn’t for about a year.

I went from writing freelance articles for the local newspaper to working in the customer service division of a giant computer software company run by a hermit who only showed his face on video-conferencing screens twice a year to update his minions on the health of the corporate machine. It was lovely. I was terrible at my job, and was fired before the end of my six month training program.

After this, God mercifully led me to ministry work. God’s Kids hired me as the Director of Marketing based on my experience in watching t.v. commercials and reading magazines with ads in them. It’s been the best job I could have possibly hoped for after leaving teaching. I’ve never been more excited about what I’m doing, or passionate about why I’m doing it.

Even though I don’t get to be an individual influence on the lives of the orphans that we work for around the world, I feel that I have some measure of influence as to the quality of life they live. So if anyone is reading this, you’ll have to pardon me when I start screaming about the state of the world’s most vulnerable children, especially orphaned children. I grew up with everything. They’re growing up with nothing, and I’m pretty sure that my life is no more worthy of entitlement than theirs.

Me in Burmese refugee campSo I’m determined to use whatever means God gives me to influence their lives for the good. If you’re reading this, I’m coming after you. I want your attention, I want your energy, I want your money and your influence, and I want your heart to be softened by the lives of broken kids.

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3 Responses to “From music teacher to orphan advocate”

  1. jilldekkers Says:

    Great blog, Mark! I like the look of your site. Great idea!

  2. Look great Mark! Looking forward to following this.

  3. I just found this link of yours and am enjoying your ranting!
    I’m glad to see that your wife was listed first when talking about what you are passionate about. She should be — now and always.

    Your mention of the orphans reminds me of a phrase we loved to use in my “younger” days at Bible Camp. We would say “why me? Lord, why me?” We meant why am I so blessed when others around me are not. We were sarcastically using the phrase used by some people who think they have too many burdens to bear. In fact, we may have copied it from the “Gospel According to Charlie Brown”.

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