I feel incredibly privileged to be with IDEAS! My husband and I joined IDEAS in 1999, specifically because we embraced its vision to see transformed lives in communities of contagious hope.
We shared IDEAS values of working transparently to meet felt needs in the communities we serve as professionals, while including authentically our identity as followers of Jesus into every aspect of our daily lives and into each relationship, committed to creating and reproducing communities of hope.
Over the years, as we served with IDEAS in North Africa, we developed close relationships with many other workers with a wide variety of organizations. Throughout the years, in many conversations with these dear co-workers, we saw marked contrasts between IDEAS and other organizations. Invariably we came away from these conversations feeling a deep gratitude for IDEAS.
Three reasons why I’m grateful to be with IDEAS are: (1) accountability, (2) support, and (3) community.
- Accountability: I love the way IDEAS provides quality accountability. Regular personal visits from regional directors who live nearby are priceless! Having leadership who know what it’s like to live and work cross-culturally is a huge asset. Also, we are required to set goals not only for project outcomes but also for every area of our lives. The holistic model that is foundational to IDEAS means not only that our projects are involved in bringing healing to people holistically, but also that IDEAS Associates are served holistically by the organization’s leadership. Love and attention are given to us in every area, helping us thrive holistically: in our work, our homes, our relationships, our teams, our inner lives, our mental health, and our walk with the Lord. We are held accountable for our professional development, our testimony in the communities where we serve, our marriages, our parenting, and our meaningful partnerships with financial donors and prayer supporters.
- Support: IDEAS supports us as Associates in ways that other workers are often not supported. The policies in place to prepare, equip, and provide continuing education to Associates include social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual support. The financial policies and practices are sound and professional. Support is given to us to develop healthy team relationships and structures. Exceptional attention is given to equip us to be prepared for emergencies and crisis management. Sector leaders offer us invaluable, personalized support in professional excellence. The office staff in Colorado visit us and understand our needs. They patiently and effectively help us with our communication, our relationships with donors and potential donors, and our finance questions. They pray for us! The leadership and board members are involved with following our projects, celebrating with us, grieving with us, and encouraging us.
- Community: Being part of IDEAS means being part of a wonderful community. Associates develop friendships with one another across geographic areas and project sectors. We are united in our love for the Lord and our vision of bringing hope in His name to the marginalized and vulnerable in this world. We are a community of compassionate professionals, dedicated to loving and bringing hope to those others have forgotten.
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About the Author: Michelle is an IDEAS Associate and educator who has worked with IDEAS since 1999. Along with her husband, Michelle has developed and launched training programs to support North African parents of autistic children.