Archive for God’s Kids

Stupid Economy Cost Me My Job!

Posted in all about me, God's Kids, Ministry, Orphan Care, Rants with tags , , on February 3, 2008 by len20

RecessionI’ve known for about a month that last Friday, Feb. 1 would be my last day at God’s Kids. Now I’m able to tell everyone publicly. To be honest, I think I was hoping that a big semi truck loaded with cash would miraculously pull up to the God’s Kids offices this month with a bewildered driver saying, “They just told me to drop it off here.”

But the truck didn’t come, and our little ministry for orphaned children is tightening it’s belt to weather this economic storm. We all knew this storm was coming. I even wrote about it in previous posts, But that doesn’t help much. I loved this job, and I’ll mourn losing it for a long time to come.

I think God’s Kids, like a lot of other ministries, is in for a rough patch, but they’ll make it through. So far, the ministry has not reduced funding for the orphanages in the field and they plan to keep it that way.

As to the future of this blog, I will probably begin writing on broader topics having to do with the health of the world’s children. As for me, if anyone needs a place to park a big semi truck loaded with cash, I know just the place.

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Butterfly Effect – part 1

Posted in Current events, God's Kids, Orphan Care, Third World with tags , , , , , on November 2, 2007 by len20

I never used to care about the economy. It was too big of a thing to affect me and my little world. Regardless of what went on in that big world, I still went to school, and I still worked at my job. I didn’t read the newspaper or get into current events. I didn’t care about proposed legislation or announcements from the Chairman of the Federal Reserve. All of that was about someone else far away. It didn’t affect my daily routine.

So now I work for God’s Kids helping orphans across the world, and I’m beginning to believe in the plausibility of the butterfly effect – that small changes in one place can cause much larger consequences somewhere else. This is not a complete definition for you physics sticklers.

Let me explain where I’m going with this. We all know that the housing market has deteriorated, and the whole sub-primeTina loan thing has hurt a lot of people in the sub-prime loan business. I fully expect a weak sub-prime loan economy to hurt sub-prime loan business people. But let me tell you how it’s affecting a little girl named Tina living in Liberia.

Sheila Reed - Director of Hebron HomeTina is about three years old and she lives at Hebron Home with about a dozen other orphaned kids. We send money every month to Hebron Home so that Sheila, the director of the home, can buy the kids food, pay her rent, and send the kids to school. I don’t think 3-year-old Tina gives a rip about the sub-prime loan business. But the ministry that pays for her food and shelter every month is corporately sponsored by a company that relies on new home construction.

So when new home construction takes a dive in Southern California, our corporate sponsor takes a hit, and when our corporate sponsors take a hit, we take a hit. And if we don’t find a way to make up what we’ve lost, well, Tina might feel the effects of a bad housing market in Southern California.

It’s a weird thing to me and maybe I’m being dramatic, but it’s all true. We were doing great when the housing market was strong and our primary corporate sponsor had a big black number at the bottom of their P&L statements. Now our primary corporate sponsor, like every other company in the housing industry, has a different shade of ink on their reports, and our orphan ministry is concentrating on getting lean until the economy picks up.

This morning I heard a news report that the analysts are forecasting a different consumer shopping pattern this year because of the economy. If consumers are shopping differently, they will very likely give donations differently. What’s that going to mean for Tina?

I’ll get into that next time.

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From music teacher to orphan advocate

Posted in all about me, education with tags , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2007 by len20

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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