My name is Jenna. I moved from Cincinnati to Monterrey for one year and then moved back to Cincy! I am Beth Guckenberger’s assistant and a part of the Staff Care Team. I’ve been on staff with Back2Back for 7 years.
1. Why did you join Back2Back?
In the 7th grade, I went on a mission trip with my school to Monterrey with Back2Back (Steve McCollum led it,) and my life was never the same. When I came back, I told my family about it and from that year on, we went as an entire family every year for the next ten or so years. Since I was 14 years old, I’ve had a heart for the world and what God was doing in it. This set me on a trajectory to go as many places as I could, to find out about as many cultures as possible, and to witness what God was doing around the world.
2. What have you learned since coming on staff?
Relationship always trumps task- This is hard for me as an Enneagram 1. I love to check things off my to-do list. But people are worth more than the task.
Working with people you love, and that love what they do, makes all the difference. I love coming into work and look forward to seeing the people I work with. They are definitely #morelikefamily.
Hurt people hurt people. Sometimes it’s not personal, they are just hurting. This has changed my whole perspective, and instead of getting defensive, I can ask, “How can I help your hurt?”
When Jesus wants to restore something, He will do it in ways I could have never imagined.
3. Share a funny/embarrassing moment when the culture you’re familiar with was met with new cultural traditions?
I never liked driving in Monterrey, it’s always scared me – too many cars and not enough rules. One time, I was taking a fellow staff member to the bus station and I had one of the kids from a partner children’s home in the car with us. All of a sudden, we were driving downtown and the road turned into oncoming traffic. Apparently, I was supposed to know to take a turn onto the other road on the opposite side. I didn’t know and soon there were cars coming right toward me. I had to stop the car, reverse, and jump a curb in order to avoid an accident. Needless to say, I have never driven there again, and the kiddo with us never misses a chance to remind me of my moment of panic!
4. What’s something from the culture that you’ll keep with you forever?
You can’t go wrong with sitting and listening to people. Listening brings healing to the listener and to the person being listened to. There is something very powerful in being fully present, and not rushing to the next thing. It makes people feel worth the time, truly known and loved.