It's always good to revisit your values and your "why", and we did just that this week with our team and our volunteers that serve at La Mesa Turquesa. As a group, we talked through what each statement meant to us and how we see that being lived out at La Mesa. Here's a quick look at what we value (a translation of the poster):
All of the La Mesa Turquesa statements for why we run the center the way we do has it's roots in the statutes of our non-profit and in the distinctives, values, and mission of TMS Global.
I was particularly happy that one of our volunteers raised his hand after about 45 minutes of discussion and said, "I think these values are all great, but I think we need to talk about WHY we value these things. Why do we think these things are important?"
This was the perfect segue to the WHY... because all people are created in the image of God. All people are His creation and He cares about all of them. It doesn't matter what color, what race, what country or culture or religion. It doesn't matter why they fled their country of origin. It doesn't matter is they have a job or if they are living on free meals and clothing from the church clothes closet. We don't judge if they are Catholic or Muslim or Russian Orthodox or atheist. They are children of God, created in the image of the Creator. And so, they have immense value - to our God, and to us.
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!