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.