The Low Down . . . Down Low

Alright folks, it’s time for an update; the scoop, this dish, the latest happenings. A little FYI, if you will. Forgive me; my coffee is stronger than normal this morning. 

Since we met last, progression on the program has been both productive and sluggish.

Productive in that meetings are set, conversations have been had, and a “plan of action” has been made so that strategic and tactical steps can be taken. 

In the same way, it seems as though little has been accomplished because those all important meetings are not scheduled until later this month to the availability of personnel who have extensive traveling schedules. Unfortunately, patience is not a virtue I possess. 

The conversations, though, have provided the encouragement and affirmation I have needed. Let’s start with the most exciting one.

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Scheduling Schisms

Another week, another update, another way that God is taking things into His hands.

After a number of revisions, I presented the business case to Rick Davis, the head of the marketing department. Remember him? His approval and support is crucial . . . and we have it.

The meeting went well; questions had answers, investment costs were justified, and the next steps head forward. Forward to another conference room in front of the child sponsorship program cabinet.

This process may seem as though it’s being drawn out, but in fact, I’m encouraged. I’m at the final step — a presentation to the decision makers from throughout the company who determine how resources are allocated in regards to our country staff and the child sponsorship program.

There’s a glitch though.

The presentation is October 10 at noon. And on October 10 at noon I will be back in Texas helping my friend stay calm and sane before she walks the aisle of matrimony the next morning.

Ironic? Possibly. But probably not. The Lord apparently has something else in mind.

Believe it or not, I’m not upset that I can’t present — I don’t have the right to be that selfish. The creation of the campaign and the progress I have made thus far have all been outside of my own ability or direction anyway. No reason to claim it now. If anything, getting to see it unfold, to witness God move how He wants, when He wants, is more fun.

Knowing that its success is wholly dependent on the Lord’s will and allowance assures me that I can rest confidently in the project’s achievement. No matter when that may be.

In other news, I heard back from HR about the position that I applied for. They gave it to another girl they felt was better qualified. It is an awesome answer to prayers. Let me tell you why.

Thursday, the day before, I was talking with Curtis Fletcher, and I told him that I had applied for the job. He looked at me and asked, “Do you really want that job?”

“Yes.” I replied. “I think I could do it, and I think it would be a good learning experience.”

Apparently I am not very convincing because he looked at me and repeated his question and sure enough I had a different answer. “Sure . . . maybe. I don’t know.”

Friday morning, as I sat in my car in the parking lot, I prayed that the Lord would make it apparent what He would have me to do. I asked Him to speak loud and clear, and to tell me in some form or fashion if I were to accept the position if it was offered.

I know myself pretty well, and I knew that if I were offered the position, even if it wasn’t what I wanted, I would accept out of fear of security and longevity here at Compassion.

I got out of my car, made my way to my office, and answered a phone call about an hour later. “We have given the position to someone else.”

Pretty clear, wouldn’t you say? I’m grateful I didn’t have to come to that conclusion on my own, either. I’m terribly indecisive.

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Gratitude

Remember the Tanzanian children’s choir I wrote about in my last post? Well, it turns out that their matinee performance that day was only a taste of what was to come — an actual full-fledged concert at Friday’s chapel.

And what I thought was powerful and moving at lunch barely compared to what I experienced on Friday. In fact, it didn’t compare at all.

gratitude-tanzania-childrens-choir

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Why Am I Here?

As you may have read recently, the Global Leadership Forum has been in progress all week and all the “big-wigs” are in town talking about . . . stuff. I don’t actually know what they are talking about because I wasn’t invited. But I’m pretty sure that my lunch on Tuesday was better than any silly forum 🙂

When I walked into the New Delhi Café (get it?), I was startled to see most of our tables occupied by little boys and girls . . . FROM AFRICA! A group of about ten kids, roughly eight to twelve years old, from Tanzania were all sitting down having lunch and drinking Cokes. They were bright-eyed, big smiled, beautiful kids.

As I filed in with many others for what we thought would be a normal lunch, I overheard someone say that they were all Compassion sponsored children.

“What an awesome reminder,” I thought to myself. “I’m working for them, their friends, and families.” Despite the fact that they were all well and healthy, I still found myself pitying them because they had to be “sponsored.”

But then, all of the sudden, they stood up, gathered together, started swaying in unison . . . and started singing.

I have never heard anything like it. Besides being on perfect key, they sang in harmony with one another. I can’t begin to tell you just how moving it was to listen to them to sing praises to the Lord. More powerful than their voices, though, were their hearts behind it.

As they sang and swayed, they all either had their eyes closed or their eyes wide open and hands raised to heaven. I never knew the power of a child’s faith until that moment.

And yet these are not just any children.

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From Glory to Glory

I have been making my way through the New Testament and am currently in 2 Corinthians. I love Paul. He’s blunt without being brutal and encouraging even when he has no physical reason to be encouraged. He’s real, open, honest, and a little crazy.

I was reading through chapter three this morning and came across something that gave me a hope and excitement about the future that I have really been praying for.

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Still Here

I hardly know where to start. Perhaps I should begin with the presentation.

On August 14 I gave a presentation for “the proposal” I worked on during my internship. By the grace of God, it was received very well. Various department heads were there, including the marketing director himself, and they all liked the idea. A lot. In fact, they liked it so much, the first question was “What are our next steps?”

I was speechless.

My supervisor, Chris Giovagnoni, filled in my silence. “Uhhh …”

Good call Chris. Way to cover.

Shortly after the presentation, I debriefed with Chris. What he then told me only led to yet another level of amazement and surprise.

How would you feel about working with us for another six weeks? You’d be doing different stuff since you completed your internship project, but you’d still be involved with the ‘next step’ discussions. And we’d buy you some time, free of the ‘what do I do now’ question, as Human Resources considers all the candidates for the positions you’ve applied for.”

“Uhhh, yes.”

Let me paint a picture for you.

The night before, I was lying on my back on the floor of my room in tears as I spoke with my mom about my doubt and fears for the future.

“What if I am not supposed to be in Colorado or with Compassion at all?” I sobbed.

“What if my time here is done? Where will I go now? How am I supposed to know what to do?”

God was in control and His timing was perfect … yet again. He made it clear where He wanted me and what He wanted me to be doing the next day, the day of the internship graduation.

Would I have been better off knowing I would be staying days or even weeks before? Not necessarily.

The only thing that would have changed would have been my desperate dependence on Him. I would have begun to take over control of the next steps and, if memory serves me right, I typically screw things up.

So what seemed to be hard and uncomfortable test of faith was actually the Lord’s way of saving me from myself in the long run. It has painted for me a more real and tangible picture of His grace.

So here I sit; in my same cube at my same desk, happy as a lark.

*Furrowed brow*

What is a lark and why is it happy?

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Doing a New Thing

It is officially my last Tuesday in the office, and I am … speechless. Where did the last six weeks go?

Despite the fact that there are only three days left in this work week, it feels as though there is two weeks worth of work to be done. I will be putting the finishing touches on the proposal today and will be presenting it to the marketing “big-wigs” on Thursday.

The presentation is weighing heavily on my mind for a number of different reasons. For starters, it will be the first, and potentially only, chance that I have in front of such an influential audience here at Compassion.

Secondly, I simply want to do well. This project is close to my heart and I want to do it justice. I don’t just want to sell it. I want to inspire my audience to feel as passionately about it as I do and see the vision that I have for it. I don’t want them to merely associate this proposal with “the intern’s project,” but instead I want them to think that “this is where Compassion could go; this is what Compassion should do.”

While there are other matters that seem to float aimlessly around in my thoughts, the most important and imperative at the moment is the question of my immediate future. I have applied for several positions here at Compassion,

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Halftime Report

I’ve reached the halfway mark and it’s finally starting to get good. Why is that? Why is it that whenever I really start to fully understand and enjoy where it is that I am and what I’m doing, the end seems to be a mere few feet away?

The past three weeks here at Compassion have been some of the sweetest times in my life. As cliché as it may seem, I feel as though I have found myself. Or better yet, I found the Lord. Not to say He was hiding, but I feel as though my eyes have been unveiled and my heart has been opened to see and experience Him in a new way.

As with any halftime, the focal point has now turned from offense to defense. We have successfully created an idea that I think will be huge hit and now we need to find a way to defend it against the onslaught of logistics, financial resources and all other realistic killjoys. This is where it gets interesting.

Interesting also is the possibility of staying here at Compassion. I have recently applied for several positions which I am praying the Lord will make available.

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Creation Revelation

I went camping for the first time this weekend. Turns out … I’m not made for it. There are aspects of it that I enjoyed immensely, such as setting up the tent (which I am proud to say didn’t take us very long), making a fire and cooking dinner over it (and by dinner I mean S’mores), and, of course, hiking.

My friends and I camped at “The Crags,” which lies directly behind Pike’s Peak. Words simply don’t do justice to the splendor and majesty of God’s creation. It is breathtaking and awe-inspiring. And that’s what got me thinking. Everyone needs to feel this small so they can see just how big He is.

As you know, I’ve spent the last several weeks brainstorming about how to capture Gen Y and move them to action. They need only to be given the right opportunity to go out into the world; because once they are there they can make a difference.

And now, an idea has been born!

  • It’s about giving young adults the opportunity to completely participate in what Compassion is doing around the world.
  • It’s about getting intimate with extreme poverty.

I can attest to the growing pains in my own soul, to see and experience God in a big yet intimate way. For whatever reason, there lies within me the idea that He is where I have yet to go: out there. Among people groups and areas of the world that our society says are off limits; dangerous.

I also know that my feelings are shared by many of my peers. There is an overarching sense of duty that we feel we must fulfill, a holy war we must wage. My generation is on the horizon, and we are ready to fight; we need only to be equipped with the proper armor and the opportune time.

There are still countless bases to be covered, details to be ironed out, and logistics to be overcome. But, driving the progression of it all is an extreme excitement about the possibility of taking my generation on a journey that will change our lives and the lives of those with whom we share the story.

I know that I am more moved and inspired by sitting down with someone over a cup of coffee and hearing about what the Lord is doing in that person’s life than watching yet another commercial that exploits pictures of children in poverty in order to tap into the pity that lies in wait within our souls. At the end of the day, pity fades. We forget about them, not because we mean to, but because we haven’t heard their story.

I think that as this idea takes shape and people who participate come back to share what they encountered, listeners would see in a new light the work that needs to be done.

The bottom line is this: God will accomplish His will in some form of fashion, using whichever generation will make itself available. My question is simply this: Why not us? Why not now?

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Two Weeks Down, Four to Go

To all of you who responded with your encouragement, comments, and ideas, thank you. I cannot begin to tell you just how much I appreciated hearing from all of you. The time and thought you took to read and respond truly blessed me.

Another week has begun and my feeling of being overwhelmed has yet to subside. The good news is this: it is something else that keeps it afloat.

In my first week, I felt that the seemingly endless amount of information and research would overcome any ability I had to unscramble and make sense of it all. But, through much prayer and divine intervention, excitement and inspirations are beginning to summit; brainwaves are coming in with tides of insight.

If you have not noticed already, our society and culture are on the brink of monumental changes as a historically influential and significant generation (the Baby Boomers) are headed towards retirement. It is also no surprise that my generation, Gen Y, having grown up in such a technologically advanced society, are much more globally minded and aware than our parents were at our age. With the help of the internet, orbiting satellites, global political unrest and other end-time achievements, we are fully conscious and concerned about the part we play.

All that to say this:

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The Intern Speaks

Hello. My name is Meredith Dunn. I’m the web team’s new intern, and I have never blogged before.

I recently graduated from Liberty University with a B.S. in Business Marketing. I can honestly say that I have a true passion for business and a genuine love for marketing. They’re challenging, they inspire, they’re innovative, and they’re excellent examples of competition in our socially saturated and economically dependent culture.

At the same time, marketing stimulates and increases jobs, technology, products and services, as well as creates economic stability for our country and the world. Ever since my first week of college, I have wanted to be a business woman, never once having changed my major or my mind.

That being said, upon graduating, I was very apprehensive about entering into the “Corporate America” setting. I despised the idea of reporting to an office, sitting in a cubical behind a computer, and being forced to substitute “number crunching” for human contact.

More than that, I have a deep, intrinsic fear that I will get lost in some cosmic void, becoming obsessed with work, money, the stock market, and most of all … myself.

I have witnessed such lifestyles. The selfish pursuit of wealth has left its captives devastated, lonely, and feeling as though their lives are without an innate meaning or profound purpose.

Scared of becoming yet another cog in this immortal and endless machine, I desperately wanted to find a place to work that would fulfill the deepest passion and longing in my soul: to make a difference.

I think that any Christ-follower, because of the change that Jesus has made in his or her heart, wants every area of life to be reflective of His image and productive for His kingdom. He has in fact called some to go to “Corporate America” to be a light. Others He has called to the medical field, mission field, or asked that they simply mow a field. Whatever the individual case may be, God has absolutely created and fashioned each of us with a specific talent, tool, or trade that we are to use for His glory.

My new journey begins here, at Compassion, where I will be interning for the next six weeks. I am working in the marketing department, and as I said earlier, I’m on the web team.

For those of you who noticed, a first-time blogger might not be the best asset to a technologically savvy web team. But God has a sense of humor, and so here I sit blogging to you, my webby friends.

As an outlet of emotions as well as an avenue of ideas, opinions and some much needed help, I will be writing to you frequently to keep you posted on the inner workings and latest happenings of Compassion.

My specific task is to create a new marketing campaign that will not only spur and maintain your dedicated interest, but hopefully spark the interest and hearts of others.

As I attempt to complete this assignment, I would truly appreciate and welcome your input, thoughts, suggestions, and constructive criticism (note: criticism is the last on the list) 🙂 It is my hope to craft a marketing campaign that will be effective and efficient in gathering sponsors for our children.

You, Mr. and Mrs. Reader, are the target market. It is your attention that we want to capture and captivate. It is you we want to engage and involve. And with that being said, please be open and honest as I come to you with questions, ideas, etc. You know we will.

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