Saturday, July 11, 2009

Wanted - A Few Courageous Mates

I am reminded that it took Columbus over ten years to get his wild vision birthed...can you imagine riding around Europe for over a decade trying to sell the idea that heading West (instead of East) was the way to go? I wonder how he recruited a crew when he finally got the financing from the monarch in Barcelona? Obviously he couldn't sail the ship by himself. (Cloumbus Monument - Barcelona)

How was he comfortable risking everyone's life, family relations and personal reputations with his wacky scheme? How did the crew decide to join him? I suppose those reluctant mates that cast their lot with Columbus were in it for more than just the adventure and that future rewards must have been a powerful motivator.

The good news is that Open Hand USA and Mana Deschisa Romania have been experimenting in the marketplace (like Columbus did initially in the Mediterranean Sea) for the past decade with various combinations of crews from all over the world as we applied Bowen Theory and Rabbi Friedman's focus on
strength in the rough and tumble world of home-based
counseling for the chronically disadvantated in Indianapolis and a homeless rescue ministry for the marginalized young adults of Romania.

For the most part both communities here and in Campina have been successful in building and sustaining effective interventions for hundreds of families and scores of homeless and chronically poor men, women and children.

Everyone including our mates (staff, interns and volunteers) have got what they needed to thrive - including but not limited to 12 college credit hours, a real world outreach that changed them as much as the less fortunate they worked with, paid housing when appropriate, and a good wage for staff and crew as they all became seasoned sailors, able to navigate in all kinds of challenging conditions.

We didn't lose anyone in the past decade and no one was thrown overboard (although we did have a few that mutinied as they were overcome with anxiety). So we now find our selves in a favorable position to gather the necessary resources once again to head out with confidence on new ventures into uncharted territories.

As you know, Rabbi Friedman talked a lot about our current "failure of nerve" with risk averse leadership that is more seat belt orientated than visionary and pioneering. Certainly the challenge of change and spirit of adventure is not for the faith of heart anymore today than it was for the folks that lined up with Columbus on the docks of Barcelona.

Open Hand USA and Mana Deschisa Romania need seasoned global mates that can navigate by the stars on a cloudy day, that have survived many dangerous journeys into the unknown, and have successfully charted their way through undiscovered wilds that most people only dream about visiting once they are tamed and civilized.

So Marshall and I hope you can overcome any instinctual anxiety (the thief of dreams) with a measured response to multiple challenges, and with the faith and hope of a visionary like Columbus, might find the courage to sail with us soon. We are looking for spirited and resourceful local and international mates that are hanging around the docks and seaports wanting to crew a ship heading West toward untold adventures.

On most heroic voyages in days gone by, the ship had at most two navigators (rarely more) so that if one died or was thrown overboard, the other could steer the crew successfully homeward. Thank God that today with modern GPS, each sailor can take more personal responsibility and never have to kiss the Captain's ass to get home. Amen.

Looking over the horizion,

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