Monday, July 25, 2011

Don't mess with the ladies of Finance!

Before I left for holidays I was trying to think of who I could leave in charge of our Wed. afternoon exercise/run and the Friday afternoon run.  I didn't have to look to far-just down the hallway to the finance office to Dorothy and Debbie! They both have a very difficult job as they help keep us on budget and keeping after us if we are late getting our receipts or reports in! These two fine ladies have been a great encouragement to me and our staff-they can often be heard singing praise and worship songs, leading songs in devotions and recently helping out in our exercise program!

Dorothy/Debbie on a Friday run

Before I left I had a chance to interview them.  Here are a few 'snip its' of what they had to say.

Bev: Dorothy, why do you like doing exercise and running?
Dorothy: I like to keep fit.  Before I would walk up the stairs and be soooo tired, now I feel fine.
Bev: Did you exercise in the past?
Dorothy: I used to exercise a lot in highschool, but haven't since then-almost 20 years!
Bev: What does it mean to you to be part of team SP and helping raise funds for projects here?
Dorothy: I want to be able to help the less fortunate in Liberia who need our help. 
Bev:  What is your favorite SP Liberia program?
Dorothy: My favorite program is the WASH program.  When I see people drinking dirty, unsafe water it's not good.  When I go to the base office in Bopolu I always drink from the water filter because I know the water is good to drink.
Dorothy having fun in the kitchen!

Debbie is also one of our leaders in the finance office-she is full of life and loves to tease us!  Here is what she had to say about exercise and running for team SP Liberia:

Bev: What is the best thing about running?
Debbie:  I love to run because it takes away the stress of the day.
Bev: Did you play a lot of sports when you were younger?
Debbie: Yes, I used to play basketball when I was in highschool
Bev: What does it mean for you to run for team SP Liberia?
Debbie: It is really important for us to generate funds for those who are in real need and to be able to share the Word of God. 
Bev: What is your favorite SP project?
Debbie: I love the animal, small ruminant, projects.  Like the goat husbandry program-I love seeing the goats jumping around they seem happy!

Debbie hard at work!

Both of these ladies work extremely hard for our office.  Without them we would be in a lot of trouble!  Not only are they hard workers and keep our finance office in tact, they are incredibly encouraging and full of joy.  We are so blessed to have them part of our team!  While I was gone, everyone has kept up with their training and they look great!  Much thanks to Debbie and Dorothy for keeping them all on track and motivated!  Now they have to get my butt back on track-as I didn't run as much as I would have liked!

I can't wait to get back to training and writing more about our wonderful staff.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Everybody needs a little holiday...

Yes, not very often that we take a holiday all the way back to B.C. Canada-but we needed it (well Kendell did for sure!) and our boys have not enjoyed a Salmon Arm summer for 7 years!  However, the cold rainy weather greeted us...ugh-but that's ok-still great to rest a little and see family.  I even took a little time to rest and not run...well, I did run after my nephews as we played football!  And today I went for a run with my sister and my nephew Coleman (a good little runner too!).  Here are some photo's of our time.
Auntie Joni joined us for s few days-racing with the boys!

Cole and I stretching...

McGuire and Hanna running under a stretching Auntie!

Cole with his running medal from a race he entered!

Ready to go!! Love running with the family!

Our family keeps very active-my brother's boys are in basketball and hockey camp this week and they also run for their school.  In the winter all of the kids (Yeiko has 4 and Daron 4!) except the youngest 2 play hockey.  I love being able to play catch, throw a ball, skate and most of all RUN with all of my nephews and nieces!

Looking forward to getting back to Liberia and get back to training and see how the SP Liberia team is doing with their training.  I left the finance ladies, Debbie and Dorothy in charge!  I will be highlighting the two of them on my next entry.  Today or this weekend if you get a chance run with a kid it's fun and freeing!!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A word from our Racers!!!

Today's blog entry we are going to hear from some of our awesome staff who are running the 10km race on Aug. 28th.  I am going to try and interview as many staff as I can-to get their perspective on why they are running, what they like about it, and what it means to them to be part of the SP team raising funds for SP Liberia projects.

Our first interviewee is Weemor Kollie-she has one of the hardest job's here at SP Liberia-she is Bossman's administrative assistant!!! Please pray for her ;)
Weemor- Has worked for SP Liberia for 2 years (photo by Isaac)

Here are some of the things Weemor told me about running. 

BK- "Weemor, what do you like best about running?"
Weemor:- (sighs), Well, it has help free my muscles in my legs (her muscles feel strong) and the stomach exercise help my stomach muscles."
BK:  "Have you run before?"
Weemor: "No, in school a little."
BK: "As a team SP member what are your thoughts about running to raise money for our SP projects?"
Weemor: "It is great! At least to be part of the support to SP and our work here."
BK: "Weemor, what is your favorite SP project?"
Weemor: "The Vacation Bible School Program!"

Next I visited our great Ministry office to talk to Pastor David Owen-who has worked for us for almost 5 years! Again, photo by Isaac...

BK: "Pastor Owen what do you like best about running?"
Pastor Owen: "Well, I like the exercise and I really enjoy it-I like that it helps you stay healthy and you be discipline.
BK: "Did you run before now?" 
Pastor Owen: "Yes, I ran in Highschool"
BK: What does it mean to you to run for team SP?
Pastor Owen: "I like the teamwork that SP Liberia is coming together to run for a common goal that people can support for our projects.  It brings unity for our SP projects."
BK: "What is your favorite SP project?"
Pastor Owen: "I like the CLP project, hearing about people learning how to read and write I really want to see that program!"

These are just two members of our spectacular staff that our running on Aug. 28th.  I will be featuring two more staff members later on this week-for them to share why they enjoy running and what it means to them to be running for team SP.  One of the best things about our staff running is it has given my another reason to run-I run to be with, laugh with and encourage our staff.  They all work so hard, have been through so much-and give daily for the projects that we are doing here.  I run for them-and am super proud of every single one!

Saturday, July 2, 2011


Perspective is an interesting thing/word-we hear sayings like 'perspective is everything' and 'putting it in perspective'.  Perspective has many definitions depending on what and how you are using the word:  For example the definition of perspective pertaining to visual is "the way in which objects appear to the eye". Cognitively, it is defined as "one's 'point of view, or how people view things based on their beliefs and opinions".  Interstingly, when defined in the psychology world, perspective is "wisdom".  So why the deep thoughts on perspective today?  Well for anyone who has lived and worked in another culture you know that perspective IS everything!!!  Here is an example-my boys...from my perspective a broken lawnmower useless in my boys a go-kart, car and so much more!

For this blog entry we will be using the cognitive definition of perspective: "one's point of view, or how people view life and things based on beliefs and opinions."  For those who don't know-I have been asked to co-host a radio show on ELWA radio called "Facts you should know".  I talk about health, fitness and diet.  One of the perspectives in Liberia that some of us westerns have a hard time getting used to is-that if you are bigger or 'fat' you are rich and have status.  Many times our Liberian staff will come up to an ex-pat staff member and say "you are look fat-oh!! you have side pockets!!"  As they are saying this, they are grabbing and pinching your arm (that you thought was smaller) and they are smiling as if they are proud of you for gaining that extra 10 pounds over homeleave...

What I have been trying to explain on my radio show is, not that people are rude, but that the perspective of being bigger or eating unhealthy or too much is not a good status fact you could be damaging your body and compromising your health.  I remember when I illustrated this by showing our staff a video of how a heart attack occurs-National Geographic has a great video of a heart and the arteries slowly getting clogged and then should have heard the gasps from our staff! 

My perspective can be off at times too.  My perspective when I go to a poor village can be one of despair and no hope.  But when I meet our staff who are working so hard in tough places or the beneficiaries of our projects and hear their stories, stories of hope-my perspective changes.  I begin to see the beauty in the ashes, the hope in the eyes of people and most importantly, I see beautiful people created in the image of God.
Getting a better perspective...

Race training:  I am starting to see the perspective of our staff change as training for the Aug. 28th race gets closer.  Before, some of our staff couldn't even imagine doing just one 1.6 mile lap of they are doing 2 and some are doing even 3!! (that's 5 miles!!)  Their perspective has changed their belief that they can do 10km is strong!  One of our ex-pat staff, Jeremy Kilday-is hoping to run the marathon-his perspective on distance is changing as his training gets harder.  10 miles is not that far to run anymore-his perspective has changed since running 15 miles! More staff members are coming to our Wed./Friday training days too-here is the group who participated in our Wed. work-out and run day.
Perspective-one of the things I love is hearing people's comments as our staff run by, especially our female staff.  The perspective that maybe some of our female staff can't run never mind run 10km is shattered as the ladies run by everyone! 

Perspective is a powerful thing-it can put you in a bad mood or it can help you see the better side of life.  What is your perspective of the poor?  What is your perspective of your role in helping those in need?  It is my hope and prayer that your perspective is one of hope and like our staff, who are training so hard, that nothing is impossible no matter what situation you are or what people say about you.