4 Questions with Charlie James

My name is Charlie. I moved to India from Chicago, and my role is finance administrator and campus coordinator. I’ve been on staff with Back2Back for over 3 years.

1. Why did you join Back2Back?

I see how God has specifically equipped me for serving in India.  My parents were born and raised in India and moved to Chicago 35+ years ago and started our family.  Being raised by Indians in the US gave me exposure to both cultures.  I also have been working with kids at my church since I was a 13 whether it was AWANA, nursery, or youth group.  Time flies by when I’m working with kids so I think God has wired me that way.  I find myself energized when I am helping satisfy a need, and the children Back2Back serves in India have needs that I can help meet.

2. What have you learned since you joined staff with Back2Back?

I have learned that in order to serve the kids in India the way Jesus wants me to, I need to tap into my own story.  If I ever get impatient with the kids and any bad behavior of theirs, I am able to find more patience when I see how generous Jesus has been in His patience with me.  When I am looking at brokenness in a child’s life, I see how God has redeemed the brokenness in my own life and showed how cherished I am.

3. Share a funny or embarrassing moment when the culture you’re familiar with was met with new cultural traditions.

I was driving out of a parking lot after an appointment with my daughter’s pediatrician and there was some congestion getting out.  I had to go down a ramp that was maybe a foot and a half tall.  I was trying to give oncoming traffic some room and I drove my front right tire off of the ramp.  I ended up popping the tire and bottoming out the car.  In all my frustration, after maybe 2 minutes there were at least 20 random Indians surrounding my car all trying to help me out.  With their help, we figured out a way to get the car back on the ramp out of harms way and found a shop that would change my tire because my spare was also flat.  It was both humiliating and encouraging.

4. What’s something you’ve learned from a fellow staff member you work alongside?

Whenever we are having to do a particularly frustrating task or have to do something we aren’t looking forward to, as a staff, we will say to each other, “Having fun?” really sarcastically and ask for a high five in declaration.  We all do it as a joke, but I think we also do it as a reminder that we all find joy in the work we do, even if it is frustrating at times.