I have not been to Rwanda. However, I have met Emmanuel Sitaki, a Rwandan Tutsi who miraculously escaped the 1994 genocide. Emmanuel now leads a ministry that is equipping the orphans who are quickly becoming young adults to support themselves and generate wealth for their communities and nation. See Emmanuel’s story and more information about his ministry at www.ermrwanda.org.
Emmanuel needs trainers. Experienced entrepreneurs, teacher trainers, English speakers, etc, are needed to prepare the orphans for success in the Rwandan marketplace. Emmanuel told me yesterday that they currently have 200 young people enrolled in their 9 month program. He is looking for help teaching the orphans and training the local trainers. The program is flexible and Emmanuel will work to accommodate your availability.
If this sounds interesting, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was in pretty good shape last October as I focused on running the Wenatchee half marathon with my second daughter, Allison. However, after traveling for almost the entire month of November and five weeks of illness that lasted into January, I had lost all the conditioning I had so diligently earned. When I started working out again a month ago, I was at a low physical point. That is when my oldest daughter, Laura, introduced me to Nike Training Club, a free workout app. I am not used to this kind of high efficiency training. In the past, I have stuck to traditional weight lifting and running. This app instructs me to move quickly through a wide range of exercises that build strength and balance while pushing up my heart rate. I started at the lowest level and have been slowing working myself into the intermediate routines. Spending thirty minutes doing these workouts combined with a daily run has enabled me to begin rebuilding muscle tone and endurance.
However, my gain has not come without costs. First, my pride is daily hammered by the fact that I am unable to perform some of the exercises. I particularly struggle with the ones that require balance. Second, this Nike Training Club is geared to women. The instructor’s voice is female and the exercise trainers on the videos are women. When I started I teasingly called the workouts, “girly exercises.” Daily I am getting beaten up by girls. So much for the physical superiority of men over women!
Seriously, I enjoy being in good physical condition. I know that at my age, I have to work harder than ever to stay in shape. Spending thirty to sixty minutes a day working out is worth it to me. The pain is short lived compared to the long-term benefits.
I need to remain just as diligent with my spiritual conditioning. Paul instructs in 1 Timothy 4:7, “… train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”
How are you doing with your physical and spiritual exercises? (A good dose of daily humbling is actually an appropriate spiritual exercise.)
As a teenager and through my 20’s I was a runner. Being a runner was not a significant accomplishment for me. I had natural ability and I loved to run. For fun, I would run through miles of rural Pennsylvania forests and back roads. I loved the feeling that I got after running a mile or so and I enjoyed that “runners’ high” for as many miles as possible. Although I did not enjoy it as much, I continued to run on the streets in Pasadena, CA while living there in the 1980’s. However, in the mid-80’s while running down the hill to the Rose Bowl, I injured my knees and quit running. I thought my running days were over. Before the injury, I regularly ran at a 6 minute/mile pace.
About two years ago I started running again with Adjua, the Whitworth University student who lives with Nancy and me. We started slowly, barely able to finish a mile. That fall with beginning of a new academic year, Adjua stopped running, but I continued. I have been slowly gaining speed and adding distance. Many weeks I improve from the previous week. This week I ran a five mile loop in under 36 minutes. I have my sights on completing that loop in 35 minutes, a 7 minute/mile pace.
As I was running this week, I experienced a small “runners’ high.” I remembered what it was like to be able to run solely for its enjoyment. That caused me to wonder if I could recover the physical ability that I had several decades ago. Then I realized, I had already come a long way. Slowly, step by step, week by week, I have rebuilt much of the conditioning that I need to again call myself a runner.
Great accomplishments are often like my return to “runner” conditioning. They aren’t completed in a short period of time. Rather, consistent effort in the same direction over a long period of time is usually required for the most significant and rewarding results.
I read a helpful book over the weekend, The COACH Model, by Keith Webb.
Christian leaders who want to help others solve problems, reach goals, and grow will find this a useful resource. The underlying assumption is that most healthy people have sufficient knowledge and experience to solve their own problems. What they need is a coach, someone who will stimulate their creativity and help them think clearly about their lives. The COACH Model is non-directive and assumes the Holy Spirit is involved in people’s circumstances, teaching and reminding them of what is true. The model relies on powerful open questions which stimulate coachees’ ability to solve their own problems. The solutions are the coachees’ ideas. Therefore, they own the solution which makes it easier for them to accept responsibility for implementation.
COACH is an acronym that stands for, Connect, Outcome, Awareness, Course, and Highlights. I expected the acronym to be forced, but after studying each of the steps in the model, I concluded these words adequately describe the five steps. I particularly appreciated the sample questions that are included in each step. It is easy to see how asking the non-directive open questions of the COACH Model with people I mentor will often help them more than me giving them my opinion.
Do you mentor others? Do you have a model that you use or a structure that you follow? I’d like to hear what other leaders are doing as they help others grow, set and reach goals, and solve problems.