What am I doing here?
I really never imagined living in a country about the size of Maryland and trying each day to discern how God wants me to "put His love in action," which is the motto of the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission program. It's a grassroots program started by church members who wanted to lend a helping hand to people in need by doing more than just sending money. They wanted a personal connection to people and places. It's the program through which I am serving here in Armenia.
I'm not here to proselytize -- convert people to Christianity -- though I am free to practice my Christian faith openly and freely. In fact, it would be difficult not to do so in Armenia, the first nation to declare Christianity as its official religion in 301 AD. I am here to use the communications, business, organizational and caring gifts and experiences God gave me thus far in my life.
I do that at the United Methodist Committee on Relief non-governmental organization. I help staff by editing their English-version proposals, writing stories about our successes, searching for potential donors to our humanitarian and developmental programs, helping with public relations and coordinating UMVIM teams who want to serve here.
My other volunteer activity is teaching. I guess it runs in my blood since teaching runs in my family, though I was never formally trained as a teacher. Yet, I've had great teachers, great trainers and great friends who are now teachers.
These experiences help me in the classroom at the Agribusiness Teaching Center, a department of the State Agrarian University of Armenia funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through Texas A&M University. I teach public speaking and business management ethics. In addition, I assist the ATC Business Club which is actually the everything club -- holiday parties, community events such as trips to orphanages, changing the bulletin boards in the hallway.
©2008 Pamela J. Karg, Karg Communications