Three years ago, we never thought Henok would get a visa to the United States of America. Getting a visa to the United States is no easy task.
This week, he just completed his third Carry 117 Tour in the USA.
- 6 weeks.
- 8 states.
- 9 flights.
- 11 cities.
- 15+ presentations.
We sent that dude home exhausted! Ha.
So, what’s the point? Why do it?
1. Because we have a chance to tell our STORY.
People love a good story. A movie, a book, a blog, social media post, or a call from our best friend. Humans are drawn to stories, because stories allow people to connect.
There are countless needs in the world, and a million organizations trying to help. It’s not that we don’t hear about them here in America…because we certainly do. In fact, we hear about them so much, that it can easily become overwhelming…impossible for us to make a dent in any single issue.
Something happens when we get a chance to tell our story face to face. People listen differently…and want to stand with us, shoulder to shoulder. When we get a chance to tell our story face to face, it helps bridge the gap between a person’s heart and mind—between Ethiopia and America.
- The more we tell our story; the more people want to partner with us.
- The more people partner with us; the more women we can empower.
- The more women we empower; the more families we help to preserve.
- The more families we preserve; the more orphans we prevent.
2. Because it SHARPENS us.
Throughout the tour, we intentionally schedule opportunities to sit and learn as much as possible from individuals, ministries and businesses further down the road than us.
All of which sharpens us, and helps us dream bigger for Carry 117.
Here are some examples of Henok’s tour takeaways:
• We need to be ready at any moment to share our story in different ways to a number of different audiences.
• There are two sides to Carry 117: a business side and a ministry side. Both are important.
• We have four different markets we sell to: Ethiopia, USA, online, wholesale orders. We need to market each of those differently.
• The high expectations of organization, cleanliness, and presentation in the work place in America.
• A team meeting can be more than just the boss talking.
• Many successful companies, businesses and ministries started in someone’s kitchen, basement, or garage.
The list goes on.
38 takeaways to be exact.
We get better every time.
3. Because it CHANGES you.
A statistic is just a number—
until you have a face, a name, and a story.
Then the numbers mean something.
And you realize, you can be part of making change happen.
Suddenly, the personal relationship becomes an invitation into the mission.
“I never started Carry 117 to change people here in the USA. I never even knew that was possible. I started it for the women. And on this tour I realize that it has changed people here. That blows me away.” Henok
4. Because it’s FUN.
You know the movie Elf?
Hanging out with Henok in America is kind of like hanging with Buddy the Elf.
Everything is new, everything is funny, everything requires a detailed explanation.
The questions are similar to those of a child…however, explaining things to a child is a lot different than explaining things to an adult man who knows what you are saying is weird or doesn’t make sense.
So we laugh. And we laugh A LOT.
We laughed when trying to explain to him why it’s normal for people to dress up as an elf around the holidays.
And we laughed when I asked him how his first ever dentist visit was …. and his response was, “Oh it was such an amazing experience, I loved it so much.”
What?! Who says that?!
Or how about this: We were at a meeting…and it started with the ringing of a bell; everyone stood and started reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. I had no time to prep him for this moment. He stands up and follows suit, while glancing back at me a few times. After we finish and sit down, he looks at me and says, “Okay. that was fun. What just happened? What was that?”
All we could do was laugh.
Or try explaining the family tradition of looking for the hidden pickle in the Christmas tree…
My family had a 10-minute discussion about who found it last year and where we all thought it would be this year. We discussed the prize at stake, and how Henok needed to be aggressive when the search began. As the conversation moved on, he tapped me on the shoulder and excitedly asked: “Ash, what does a pickle look like?”
As you can only imagine…we laughed.
So there ya have it.
That’s the WHY behind the #117Tour.
Our next #117Tour is scheduled for September & October 2017.
We’d love to come share our story with your school, business, church, club, group, family, or neighborhood. If you are interested in being part of that tour, contact us.