This is IT, this is ALL SHE WROTE.
(I mean, in this particular Cliffhanger Series. I have lots more to write. You will want to stay tuned for a fun post next week on the day before my birthday and a BIRTHDAY CONTEST on my actual birthday–October 31st).
I present to you the Starter Plan for the Freedom Community Outreach Program (actual cool name pending):
Sunday, October 30: Pastor Jan will announce to the rest of the church that we are starting this new program and that our family is taking the lead. We will play a short video (I’ll put it on Facebook after we show it.) and our family will say a few words. We will tell people to JOIN OUR TEAM because IT’S THE BEST TEAM AT FREEDOM. (Jan told us we can say this. Apologies to all the other almost-as-awesome teams.) We will announce an interest meeting on Wednesday evening.
Wednesday, November 2: Interest meeting from 5:00pm to 6:00pm. We will lay out our tentative plan and ask for volunteers to help with different parts of it.
Monday, November 7: The first Monday of every month, all the Freedom Churches around the world Fast & Pray together. We come together to pray from 6pm to 7pm. For this month, the prayer will involve dividing into groups and Prayer-Walking the neighborhood (and inviting people to our first event if the opportunity arises).
Tuesday, November 8: Vision Night at church at 6pm. At 5pm, anyone who is interested will walk around the neighborhood again with flyers inviting people to come to the center the next evening.
Wednesday, November 9: WE BEGIN THE COMMUNITY OUTREACH PROGRAM. From 4pm to 5pm, we will have fun activities & a snack outside (inside if it’s raining) for the kids. And from 6pm to 7pm, we will have an adult English class, possibly two if we have a lot of people with varied English-speaking abilities.
Every Wednesday after that: We will do the kids’ activity from 4-5pm and the adult English class(es) from 6-7pm. We will also continue to walk the neighborhood, praying, and talking to people, asking them what else they would like to see happening at the center.
Want to learn the guitar? How to use a computer? Learn to read and write? Paint or make crafts? Want to learn how to cook? Want to study the Bible? Want to make new friends? Want to learn important business principles? Dance? Photography? What are we missing? What can YOU teach US? How can we partner together and raise up this community to be all it can be?
As we learn what the community’s assets & strengths, needs & weaknesses are, we will slowly grow the program.
I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE WHAT IT WILL BECOME.
And we will be looking for partners!! People to sponsor snacks and water and books and soccer balls and activities and instruments and computers and other equipment. (I will be in touch with details on this.)
And there’s more!!
Gabe is also starting something pretty cool out of our home with 2 young men and 2 young women. He is employing them to do media work with him (logo design, print design, web design, photography & editing, video & editing, animation, social media & marketing).
They will train with him from 8am to noon Monday through Friday (starting Monday, October 24), and they will receive a livable salary even while they’re being trained (I LOVE THAT PART). After 2 months, their salary will increase. After 2 more months, it will increase again.
The hope is that after six months (and, most likely, well before), they’ll be earning money on their own from clients in both the U.S. and Cambodia.
We have some money set aside to pay them, but it won’t last long, so we’re going to be looking for people to sponsor them while they learn. There will be different sponsor levels, and they will report to their sponsors at the end of the month to let you know how they’re progressing.
We will also need to buy a couple more laptops and cameras for them to use. (We’ll be setting up a savings plan, so they can buy their own equipment as soon as they’re able. I LOVE THIS.)
If you’re looking for help with some kind of media, let me know and I’ll hook you up with Gabe.
Gabe’s dream is to provide young people with hope & a future, to make connections with people in Siem Reap who need Jesus, and to bring glory to God through his gifts and talents.
If you’ve read this ebook (or you’e been following along), you know that this is a vision God gave Gabe almost 5 years ago (January 2012). HOLY COW AWESOME.
And he’s starting it 5 years (to the week) after he almost died of a heart attack.
I’m working on a fun project as well. I’m helping our friend, Den, share his amazing story with the world. We’re working on a book and then a short film, and I know God is going to use this man and his story to reach Cambodia for Jesus.
Here’s a brief excerpt from the book:
The waves crash against the fishing boat. My stomach is in knots. I know if I don’t do it now, I may never have another chance. I know I can’t take four more years—or longer—of this. It will kill me.
I think I’d rather die trying to escape.
But I don’t want to die. I want to live.
I want to go home.
I glance around nervously. Everyone is eating and laughing. Drinking. Most of them are drunk. I know this is my chance. I walk to the other side of the boat. The night is pitch black. It’s midnight. I can barely see the lights from the island three kilometers in the distance. The lights from the boat reflect on the angry waves.
There’s no telling what huge, hungry creatures lie waiting below the surface. I’ve seen their shadows many times from the safety of the boat. I’ve felt them rock the boat when they swam underneath it. And now I’m willingly jumping in this dark, cold ocean with them? I imagine what it will feel like to have my legs and arms ripped from my body by huge jaws and hundreds of sharp teeth.
What kind of crazy is this?
I can’t think about that now. Better to die quickly down there than slowly up here.
I’m wearing only my fisherman trousers. I’ve knotted a t-shirt and pair of shorts around my waist. I tighten them.
I take a deep breath.
I try to pray.
I will let you know when it’s available to buy. BELIEVE ME, YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK.
And there you go, friends. That’s where things stand with the Taviano Fam.
Isn’t God CRAZY GOOD? I mean, SURE, I wouldn’t mind just getting from Point A to Point B without heart attacks and anxiety and losing our home and getting fired and ALL OF THAT, but looking back, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
That woman who told me one time in 2012 when I was the speaker at a woman’s retreat–“I would go through HELL for a calling like yours,” and I thought EASY FOR YOU TO SAY, CHICA?
She was so right.
Check back on the 30th and 31st for some fun posts and PRIZES!