Liar, Liar: So what do you DO exactly?
Wow, what a summer it has been for us! It seems wild to think that it is now September and we are stepping quickly into Fall, our favorite time of the year! Pumpkins, bon-fires, smores, layering cozy sweaters and turning on the fireplace – such a welcome change from the swampy Arkansas summer we’ve had!
And lately, we’ve been getting this question more and more – When do you travel next?
We aren’t traveling at all right now actually, due to my pregnancy complications.
But the second question we hear is “So what are you up to?” Which roughly translates to:
Do you work from home? What exactly do you guys do when you are home? Like, what is your job exactly, day to day? Do you have an office? Is Edison in day-care? What does it even look like day-to-day?
Well, that’s a fun question to try and answer! If you get our some-what-quarterly newsletters, 😉 you have been up to date of what our job looks like. But if not, let me do my best to fill you in:
First off, yes – we work full-time…Monday-Friday, 8-5. We work from home, and sometimes you will see us around town at the coffee shop or at the park, getting out of the house to work. And yes, Edison goes to daycare with an awesome family from church.
As far as our positions at PPM, we wear a few different hats.
Eric: Web and Technology Specialist
IT, Tech, Recruiting, Consulting, Leading trips, Marketing
Eric has had a shift in his main position here at PPM since the new year, he is now focused mostly in the IT and Technology realm. This consists of a whole slew of areas that he develops, maintains and troubleshoots for the organization. And let me tell you, that work is impressive and so crucial to what we do in ministry! He, along with his supervisor Mike, are the only two employees at PPM that handle IT and Tech. This means they handle all of our device plans, technology plans, website design, internal systems for staff, Google adwords, analytics reporting, creating and maintaining new internal systems for new branches of PPM, creating organizational apps for our database, and the list goes on and on. I couldn’t possibly list everything that they do and the 100’s of projects they have waiting in the wings.
I can say on behalf of Eric, this shift in his position was an exciting one. While he loved being Haiti Operations Manager, his true passion and gifting in life (if you know him you’ll agree), is technology. I literally have to tear him away from his computer every night, because he loves what he does so much, that he is always “almost done” with his next project. The spark in his eyes when he creates a tool that our staff can use to streamline their work is similar to that of a kid in a candy shop. And more often than not, I wake up at midnight to find him secretly fixing a bug in the system or putting the finishing touches on a project. I love seeing him love his work.
Eric’s also still involved somewhat in recruiting and consulting for mission trips. While his load of trips has been drastically reduced, it is important to him to maintain touch within the mission-trip side of things. It often complicates things a little, his desire to travel and be in Haiti…but it is important to him and I’m so thankful that PPM is flexible, allowing him to serve and keep an aspect of his job that requires time and attention away from IT and Tech.
Bethany: Missions Coordinator and Fundraising Coach
Consulting, Recruiting, Leading Trips, Fundraising Coach, Marketing, Staff Care
Like Eric, I wear a few different hats as well. The majority of my job focuses on the recruitment of new mission teams and the consulting of teams who are going on trips with us! Being a mission trip consultant is kind of like being an event-planner, but on a larger scale. We help our Group Leaders walk through the many steps it takes to prepare and plan for a mission trip. Many of our teams sign up 12-6 months before their trip is scheduled, so we ensure they are booking flights, filling out forms, getting immunizations, working on passports, learning about the culture, creating an itinerary for the week and getting them prepared for arriving in country!
A piece of consulting that is most crucial is listening to our Group Leaders about the gifts and talents of their team members and then working with our Operations Leaders to ensure that they are placed with a local church that has needs that match with their gifts and strengths well. It is through a lot of communication that we ensure that the local pastor’s needs are coming first and our teams are able to activate in dynamic ways to help accomplish and meet those needs. Through this process, we create an itinerary for the week.
Another big piece of what I do is Trip Leading. Eric and I both do this, this is what we do when we travel to Haiti. This is the physical leading of the mission teams on the ground, in country. We pick them up from the airport, serve all week and drop them off 7 days later. We coordinate all transportation, lodging, food, ministries, and meetings (see, kind of like event-planning, but on a much larger scale ;)). We, along with our incredible Haitian staff members and American interns, form up our staff team for the week, and together we do our very best to serve our mission teams and our local church communities each week. We generally lead anywhere from 4-8 trips per year, a piece. (except this year, since we had complications with the baby). This has been reduced over the years, due to our shifting positions at work. You might remember when we led 8-12 trips a piece!
I am also the Fundraising Coach for PPM. I have been working for the past year or so to help provide training and resources for our 20+ staff that fundraise a portion, or all, of their salary at PPM. This includes our Full-Time in-country missionaries, our Mission Coordinators like me, our specialists or generalists like Eric and our Mission Advocates. The biggest piece of what I’ve been involved with this year is helping coordinate a fundraising bootcamp for our staff, hosted by Support Raising Solutions out of Arkansas. They flew down to Florida this April to put on the bootcamp for our staff and it was such a blessing! If you are interested in giving to a missionary who is in need of funds to continue in their service to Christ, let me know! I know 25 awesome staff members who could use you to join their team!
I also do work with the Staff Care team at PPM. This little branch of PPM is focused on reaching out to our staff with random acts of kindness and encouragement, and to ensure the families and loved ones of our staff members, who sacrifice so much behind the scenes, are aware of their value and worth. This is area is something that is always changing and moving and hopefully, improving for the future.
The last area that we both work in is Marketing. Eric does a lot of tech stuff, once again. Google Adwords and SEO rankings and a lot of website design jargon that I don’t understand. haha! And I help out with our social media platforms and content writing.
So whew, are you tired yet? I’d be surprised if you actually read all of that! haha. But that is what this Liar Liar series is all about, giving the long answer to the question instead of the short one.
So when we say we are “home for the next few months” this is what we will be doing! Still working 8-5 everyday, just from the comfort of our couch instead of in Haiti on a construction site. 🙂
I hope that clears up a little bit of what we do day to day. If ever you have further questions, we are more than happy to answer them!
We are just so thankful for what we are able to do with our lives. We know that things will change with a second baby on the way, and we have no clue what it will look like, but we are willing to find out!
So we ask for prayer for the coming season, that we can continue to invest in our local community and feel fullfilled by the season of life God is calling us to.