Wednesday, March 31, 2010

So What Is It That You Do, Exactly?

I get this question a lot. Most people in this vast world have no idea what I do for a living.

If you are one of these people, or perhaps need a refresher, this post is for you. It is sometimes hard to explain if you don't have more than five minutes to talk to me, but I am going to do my best to sum it up for you.

Sometimes people think I am a missionary.  I am not, nor do I work for a missions agency. However, they are a pretty stellar bunch.

Sometimes people think I work for the CIA. I do not, although I do aspire to be like Jack Bauer...only with a lot less torture.

Sometimes people think that I am a used-car salesman. I am totally offended because I dress way better than they do. Have you seen these shoes?

Sometimes people think that I am a marketing director and know everything there is to know about advertising and what-not. Although I do have some marketing duties with my job, I have never been trained in it nor do I make the big bucks that most marketing directors make. I just like pretty pictures.

Remember peeps, I work for a NON-PROFIT, which translates to "I hope I have enough money to pay rent AND buy groceries this month."

Oh, I kid. It is not that bad. And most of the time, it is totally worth it.

So, to answer your question (pretend you asked me), I serve as the Director of Development and Communications for a non-profit humanitarian and development organization called IDEAS. IDEAS sends Christian professionals overseas to work in communities that need their skills and expertise. This means we send teachers, doctors, business geniuses, social workers, administrators, nurses and agriculturists to far off places to partner with the local people, helping them improve their lives and communities. We serve holistically, meaning we seek to help transform people spiritually, physically, intellectually and socially.

I raise money, raise awareness, publish newsletters, build community, oversee public relations and rally people around our cause.

It's pretty rad.  You should check out our website, and not just because I am in charge of marketing and branding.

IDEAS is totally transparent. We are not undercover. We do not perform covert operations. And we don't speak in code. We send ordinary people, who are hard-working and love Jesus, to other parts of the world to share their skills and education with others. And in the meantime, some pretty cool relationships form.

Sometimes, when I have been really good or I can squeeze into someone's luggage, I get to visit these projects. This is the best part of my job because I get to see places like this:

Ephesus, Turkey

Rabat, Morocco

Petra, Jordan

And meet people like these:

Someone once asked me if I could do anything for a living (other than be a professional salsa dancer or a chocolate taster), what would it be? I responded that I would travel the world and help people become who they were created to be through sustainable, development projects.

And by gum, sometimes I get to do just that.

Ten years ago, I was a theater major, destined to be famous...or infamous, whichever. But through divine intervention, I get to work in international development, which I enjoy more than acting...unless I were to have my own variety show, like Carol Burnett.

I seriously love Carol Burnett. And I totally dig fake eyelashes and sequins. Why can't I be her?

I digress.

So peeps, now you know! I mobilize professionals to work overseas with sustainable, life-changing projects that bring transformation to people and communities around the world.

Say that five times real fast.


  1. Love this post, Sarah!! It reminded me of an episode of Friends when everyone is trying to remember/figure out what Chandler does for a living! Transponsder! :) You have a much cooler job than that...and maybe even cooler than JB...I've never seen him eat, let alone eat chocolate...I don't think they do potlucks at CTU.

  2. I think I have probably asked you what you do every time I see you! Thanks for this summary- it should help me remember.

    And I love Carol Burnett. Love her.