The Talking Story Podcast absolutely knows that there is a reason for YOU being here on this planet. We all have purpose and a reason to be! Join father and daughter, Bob and Kelsey Waliszewski, as they travel the world talking with ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things. We hope these conversations will give you tools to live into your purpose, because we KNOW you are extraordinary and can make this world a better place. 2021 we begin a series called "Picking up the Pieces", where we bring to the table practical tools to help rebuild a life of purpose after significant set backs.
This episode aired on the Business with Purpose podcast, to learn more, click here Have you ever wished it could be easier to find and purchase products of purpose? Have you ever wanted to really know how your dollar is helping to bring hope and healing to an individual or community’s life? My guest today is on a mission to do just that. Kelsey Waliszewski is the founder of Moi Moi Market , an online marketplace that makes it easy for people to find and buy products that help women out of sexual exploitation, provide clean water, build schools, and clean up our oceans. She is also the host of the Talking Story Podcast , a podcast that shares stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, hoping to give the listener tools to positively impact their community and use their life for purpose. Her cohost is her dad, Bob Waliszewski, who is also the retired Focus on the Family Plugged In movie director. Kelsey is an avid kiteboarder, triathlete, and boat captain for a whale watch operation on the Big Island in Hawaii. Kelsey’s love for challenge and adventure is a huge part of who she is. Kelsey is so much fun and I learned so much I didn’t know before this chat! Join me to learn from Kelsey Waliszewski! Read more here
Donna and Dawn Glass, a mother/daughter team, has devoted their lives in helping others share their stories. Their ministry, Life Unwrapped-
Empowers believers to be courageous, confident, and committed as active witnesses in their journey... for God's glory.
We are the only credible witness to share our life-altering moment with Jesus, that took our story and became our life-changing testimony.
They share with us the difference between a testimony vs. a story. We love the acronym they use. A.T.V (Authenticity, Transparency, and Vulnerability)
"You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone." 2 Corinthians 3:2 NIV
These gals are passionate about what they do and more information about Life Unwrapped can be found here:
Workshops and Get-A-Ways - Empowering believers with "The Change Project" The hope that brings change starts withIN each of us. Two approaches: "Plan, Act, Change" (PAC Your Life), and "I'm All IN"
Donna's dad lived by this truth: If I CAN and I DON'T, What will I use for an Excuse?
So join us today on The Talking Story Podcast to learn more about how you can use YOUR story to impact the lives of others. They say an average person can influence 10,000 people in a lifetime...that's a huge and exciting responsibility. Let's begin together, today!
“About Dawn and Donna Glass and Life Unwrapped: These two amazing women are cut from the same cloth. They are kind and compassionate, great listeners, discerning in the Spirit, gifted in exhortation and encouragement, and devoted to prayer. To spend time with them is to see their passionate desire to help women to know their identity in Christ and to give them a voice to share their unique stories, and in the telling to allow the Lord to heal and breathe courage into them. Dawn and Donna facilitate God’s healing touch in the lives of women; they are a like a fresh breeze in the Spring–exquisitely refreshing and life giving.”
– Susan Evans
This week we are so excited to talk to Ryan and Dani McAfee on The Talking Story Podcast. Dani and Kelsey were inseparable when interns on the Big Island of Hawaii in 2007 as juniors in college. Despite being in very different seasons of life, Dani and Kelsey have continued to cultivate a beautiful friendship over the last decade.
After spending almost 10 days on Ryan and Dani's farm in 2020, Kelsey walked away very inspired. The McAfee's have used their farm to grow their family (physically, spiritually and emotionally) and help others. Listen in as Ryan and Dani share their joys and struggles of sustaining a marriage and growing a family of 4 in a way that they believe God has called them to.
And as someone who has always had a black thumb, both Bob and Kelsey, are inspired to re-try gardening using some of Dani and Ryan's practical "how tos".
-Grow what you eat (no duh, right) but how many times have a tried to grow pumpkins when really, I don't eat pumpkin that often. Now what I do eat often is ceviche...so let's grow some cilantro, tomato, and onion?
-Start with what you have. Don't feel like you need to own a giant farm to begin...use what you have
-Be Faithful. Wherever you start, be faithful. Tend to the soil. Water it. Don't forget about it. Food, real food, needs our help and faithfulness to grow.
-Learn the spiritual lessons. Watch nature and figure out how it relates to your spiritual journey.
Hey TTSP tribe,
Happy February 1. I felt this week that I should get on and share with you in real time, some things I'm learning in my life as I'm in the process of "Picking up the Pieces" after a very difficult 2020. If I'm being open, which I try to be on this platform, 2020 was a year of loss. I lost a dear family member, I lost my job, I lost an opportunity to travel to Uganda, I lost a relationship, and I truly lost life as I had known it.
This isn't a pitty party, in fact, looking back I can see a lot of silver linings in a very dark season, and I will be the first to confirm that God is faithful. But that doesn't mean I don't feel all the feelings, and even in 2021 I'm still feeling all the feelings. I have good days, and I have bad.
Some days I want to crawl into a hole and never come out, can anyone relate?
But here's the deal. It is human to feel the feelings: hopelessness, sadness, pain, anger, depression, hurt, betrayal. So yes, I give you permission to feel. We must, we have to.
However, we can't stay there.
Once we start to feel these feelings, we are at such a vulnerable state to allow fear and doubt to creep in. And when that happens, and isn't dealt with, our lives look pretty grim.
Let's take a look at Joseph in the Bible. Put yourself in his shoes (that's empathy by the way, a gift/tool essential to have in this life). Yes, he was a bit cawky. And yes it was probably his arrogance and pride that started off the chain of events: oh you know being sold into slavery to a foreign country, being accused of rape when you actually ran away, being thrown in prison for the rape that you didn't do, and then forgotten by the guy who promised to help get you out.
Yea, I could imagine that Joseph felt all the feelings.
I could imagine Joseph's struggle. I could imagine the hopelessness Joseph must have felt.
But what I love about this story, is we know that God used EVERY season of Joseph's life to help cultivate him into the man God had intended him to be. God doesn't waste a season. God doesn't waste pain.
How do I know this?
Well Joseph's story starts off at "Look at me brothers" as he showed off his beautiful coat to a jealous group of brothers, who yes, then took their jealousy to the extreme. Pretending your brother was murdered by a wild animal when you actually sold him instead is never a good idea.
But when Joseph, after years in prison falsely accused (remember?), was called into Pharaoh's court to interpret Pharaoh's dream, Joseph had grown, he matured. Old Joseph would have responded..."Pharaoh, my man, it is I, Joseph son of Jacob, that interprets dreams and they come to pass, pretty cool right?". Or he could have been bitter Joseph, "Pharaoh, it's about time. Before we get to your dream, let's talk about all the ways I've been wronged..."
But instead we see the "new" Joseph. "Pharaoh, it is not I that interprets dreams but God".
Read more here
At the age of 31, I moved in with my parents. I had a successful career, I had been on my own for 16 years, I was an adult living my best life...yet here I was, moving in with the parentals.
It was very humbling, very humbling.
Why would I do such a thing... one may ask in this western- individualistic- society we live in? Well the simple answer, I felt God was telling me to and I have wonderful, giving, generous parents who are also open and led by Jesus.
It was suppose to be for just 6 months, helping them adjust since they just moved to Hawaii and allowing me to save a little. The house that was "mine" became "theirs" overnight. It was tough.
My stuff went into boxes, theirs came out. Now mind you, they were anxious to nest because they had just lived with my dad's mom for 7 months and they are in their mid-sixties.
A year and half later, I finally moved out...right in the middle of COVID. I just lost my job, and now was the time to move out? Doesn't make sense right? Don't ask me to explain, it still doesn't make sense, I just feel what I believe is the Holy Spirit telling me what to do, and I often go by the peace I feel in my heart.
But I tell you, if I didn't take that 18 month season and humble myself to live in their basement, 2020 would have looked extremely different for me. But because I had the opportunity to save, I entered a scary season of unknown a bit more confident and peaceful.
The Clapback Couch Podcast ladies join us on today's podcast to talk about family economics. How does God's design of the family look in seasons of struggle, uncertainty, and pain. How can family help each other within, and how can a family be a source of help to those outside the familial circle.
We loved our conversation with these New York gals, and would encourage you to check out their podcast and website here
Guarantee all of us have experienced a crisis in our lives. In fact, maybe some of us are currently in a crisis. In our conversation today, we talk to Brandy from Helping Hands who shares her beginnings on starting a crisis pregnancy center. It doesn't matter what your crisis is, the application from this interview applies to anyone at anytime no matter the situation.
We discuss so many topics:
What to do when God takes your dream and gives it to someone else?
Men in Crisis
Where to Go in Crisis
What to do if you are contemplating abortion
What if you already have had an abortion
What to do if a friend has had an abortion
Pro Life vs Pro Choice
Living in Community
Coming Alongside someone in Crisis
Starting a Crisis Pregnancy Center
I promise you, there is something in the conversation for EVERYONE!
And if you want to participate with the amazing things at Helping Hands, then we encourage you to use your time, resources, and/or money to help continue on the great things taking place through this organization in Blufton, IN.
Sex Trafficking Awareness DAY...January 11, 2021
Easy things you can do to combat the issues of Sex Trafficking
1) Educate yourself
Listen to a The Talking Story Podcast episode each day this week that talks about sex trafficking (or re-listen if you are a TTSP avid listener).
Season 1 Episode 3- Hoolanapua
Season 1 Episode 9-Thistle Farms
Season 1 Episode 20- Becca Stevens
Season 1 Episode 25- Fair Trade/Exploitation in Kenya
Season 1 Episode 33- Fashion combating Sex Trafficking in South Africa
Season 1 Episode 13- Starfish Project, Sex Trafficking in Southeast Asia
Season 1 Episode 37- How to Generate Hope
Season 2 Episode 6- Victor and Eileen Marx, Sex Trafficking in Syria and Domestic Trafficking
Season 2 Episode 9- Women's Shelter in Israel
Season 2 Episode 12- Covered Colorado
Season 2 Episode 14- A Coffeehouse that combats Sexual Exploitation
2) Help Educate a Friend
-Screenshot and post on your social media
-Send a link via text or email to a friend
-Go out to coffee and bring it up in conversation, point them to TTSP and/or the brands and businesses that are doing amazing things!
3) Support a Brand or Organization that helps provide hope and healing for individuals who have been sexually exploited.
This month's fundraiser is below, and we are giving 25% back to Covered Colorado. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign your non-profit up for a fundraiser.
Article about Finding Purpose and your WHY
"First, define what success means to you personally.
Second, create a vivid mental image of you as a success. This image should be as vivid as you can you make it.
Third, clarify your personal values.
Getting clear about what you want is a process of trial and error! Try something. Then ask yourself: Do I like this? Yes. No. Get a journal and start putting down your feelings, thoughts, actions, and behaviors.
Use what you write as a way to pinpoint areas you are constantly exploring. Evaluate your results constantly."
Happy New Year and welcome to our series "Picking up the Pieces". Many of us probably never want to visit 2020 again. 2020 brought significant trials: job loss, broken relationships, financial crumbling, health deterioration, and/or a death of a loved one. So here we are, a new year, and where do we go from here? The Talking Story Podcast has been pointing to finding purpose in life, but so many are just trying to figure out how to get back to a "life". So what do we do when we experience significant trials? How do we find a purpose-filled life again? Is there hope from the pain? This year, we want to bring to the table conversations that help us "pick up the pieces" of a broken life. But our hope is that by having these deep, hard conversations YOU will find once again a beautiful, healthy, purposeful, and joyful life. Our first conversation is with Kent Whitaker, author of the non-fiction book called Murder by Family. Back in December 2003, Kent experienced an atrocity that not many of us could fathom. Kent walks us through his journey of getting his life back on track after losing EVERYTHING! Personally, we gleaned so much wisdom from this conversation, and ultimately it made us take a good look into our lives. Kent's key to healing is forgiveness, but not just any forgiveness... a divine forgiveness. We encourage you to listen in to learn more, and join us on this journey of "Picking up the Pieces".
Merry Christmas! This will be the last podcast of 2020. We can't wait to launch a new series called Picking up the Pieces in 2021!
Here are the links we mentioned in the podcast. As always, we would LOVE your feedback. Join us in conversation on our instagram @thetalkingstorypodcast
A stream of chattering neighbors and friends filing into the local barbershop after the big game. Families gathering at the diner to plan and discuss an upcoming event. We’ve seen them in the movies, or maybe even experienced them ourselves: community meeting places. They’ve forever been the focal point of small towns, but as populations and individualism have grown across the U.S., many of these treasured spaces are becoming a novelty of the past. But not in Eaton, Colorado, thanks to the guests of today’s podcast, Dorris and Colette.
As the town faced a time of tragedy and loss, born-and-raised resident Dorris felt her heart for global missions turning to local ones. The family-owned marketplace which had served as the communal heart of the town for years had closed down, and the town needed a new meeting space— a place to gather and grieve, find encouragement and fellowship, to strengthen and keep alive the ties of community; a space to stir up one another to love and good deeds. That’s what Coffee House Ten 24 is all about. Established in 2018, it not only sells coffee (or chai!) and provides a building for all of those things, but it also functions as a non-profit and gives back generously. Via the profits of Ten 24, help and resources are provided for the town’s single women and their children, survivors of sex trafficking, and donations are made to several wonderful causes like The Tabitha Center and Saruni International (tune in or visit their website below to learn more!).
Great steps of faith were taken by Dorris, Colette and many volunteers in the planning and building of this beautiful coffee shop, but it all began with two very simple questions: “What are we doing for the people of Eaton?” And “What do they need?” From there, everything truly fell into place. “God has intervened again,” Dorris remembers thinking. God can intervene in your town, city, neighborhood or village. What do the people around you need, and what can you do about it? We must not be afraid to ask that question, and then to act on it.
Press that play button to hear the rest of this exciting story! You can “visit” the coffee house or learn more at thecoffeehouseten24.org, and can also find them on Instagram and Facebook.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not forgetting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
It's not often that you get a group of guys around a microphone to talk about...shopping! This interview is such a treat as we listen to the raw and real of men exploring the idea of why it's important to care how you spend your dollar. Colin, from Bought Beautifully, guests hosts on TTSP, and brings 2 other guys to the table to talk about ethical and purposeful purchasing! It's so great that we can sit at the table and listen. And don't forget, you can always share your feedback on our Instagram HERE:
Colin mentions a couple things and links can be found here:
Here's a link to the laptop article...very interesting!
And here's the other clothing company I mention
For 9 years we have heard about Giving Tuesday, as it started in 2011. It is a global movement that unleashes the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world. In the midst of the pandemic, nonprofits across the country are struggling with fundraising. Even the American Cancer Society says it will have to cut its funding for cancer research by 50%, which would represent the organization's lowest investment this century.
We have interviewed over 50 non-profits and social enterprises here at The Talking Story Podcast that do what they do because they are passionate about changing the WORLD. And they do that by making a difference in the lives of others. How?
Number 1: Investing in relationship. Taking the time to get to know a person/community and their needs.
Number 2: Addressing those needs, a common factor that we have seen is thru providing employment, but there are other ways like maintaining and building water wells in central Africa, building schools, and offering horse- back riding lessons as a form of therapy and healing.
For more show notes click here
It's Kelsey here, at your service, with a blog that is quite different than the norm. But yet, it very much relates to the work we are doing thru Moi Moi Market. How so? Well bear with me and read on. I want to help with some questions that have been coming at me...and that is HOW DO I TRAVEL TO AND FROM HAWAII?
Why am I potentially the qualified individual to talk on this subject? Well in this season of pandemic uncertainty, I have traveled to and from Hawaii 3 times since March, and let me tell you the rules have changed EVERY TIME. So what I share is from my personal travel experience, but everything should be verified on the state's website.
(to see the updated rules to enter the state of Hawaii and/or inter-island travel click here)
Let me preface this blog to say I never realized how tourist dependent Hawaii really is. And for many of us to get back to work, it will require the arrival of tourists...safely. For countries, economies, and communities to thrive people need to work. For poverty to be fought, jobs need to be created. Over the last decade, as a society, we have made some ground in this area of employment worldwide. However, even with 2 steps forward, this pandemic has made us go 10 steps back.
And Hawaii has definitely felt the affects of economic shut down in ways most of the mainland has not, due to its very strict 14 day quarantine upon arrival. Who wants to spend loads of money to sit in a hotel room? I mean, an individual can't even go out and shop for food and it isn't like we have Uber Eats on the islands, well maybe in Oahu. My point is that 200,000 residents live below the poverty line, and in order for than number to NOT increase, Hawaii needs to safely resume tourism soon because the devastation will not be from the virus but the economic crumble of small businesses. We are seeing the same devastation in places like Kenya, Indonesia, and other countries who have made progress of fighting poverty through tourism, and when tourism stops people's livelihood stops; from tourist companies to small market businesses. And most of these countries don't have "stimulus programs" to keep families fed. Starvation is more of a fear, than the virus itself.
Hawaii needs you. Other countries and communities need you! People, worldwide, need to get back to work.
Let me share some of my travel experiences with you in hopes you can make the best decision for you and your family of when and how to travel.
As of October 15, 2020 Hawaii has "opened" but with requirements if you want to avoid the 14 day house arrest...I mean quarantine. (It's all about changing the narrative, right?)
Hey Ya'll! Gosh am I learning a lot this week about 1) being the hands and feet of Jesus and 2) trusting in Him for my daily bread. This week I received correspondence from a Kenyan friend. His trials are "immense" but he is trying to understand the lessons to glean from the current hardships and see opportunities to help people even though he is in need himself. He described a situation, where he had just enough money for some food for lunch. However, instead of buying food for himself to relieve his hunger pains, he felt prompted by God to use what little he had and buy a beggar some cakes and a soda. Did that mean no lunch for him that day? Yep! But he wouldn't have it any other way. What he did gave him an indescribable joy, a joy that no one, no circumstance, can take away. Well, that has got me thinking and I think I'm on my way to an emergency spiritual surgery. This man's text, which can be found on my Instagram (here) has started me down this thought journey. I truly believe that my friend John was the hands and feet of Jesus that day. In fact, if Jesus was physically present walking the same streets and encountering the same beggar, I believe not only would Jesus have given him food to meet his physical needs, but I believe that Jesus would have healed the man from his physical ailments as well. Did you know that the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, is the same spirit that lives inside of us today (those that confess with their mouth and believe in their heart that Jesus is Lord). That power comes from the Holy Spirit. The spirit of the LIVING GOD lives in US!! (How cool would it be to see the western church to begin to walk in faith and power of the Holy Spirit? I sure hope that's in my lifetime, and I want to be a part of that!) So no wonder we have opportunities to be the proof that God exists! I think of sunsets. It is one of my favorite times of day. I believe a sunset makes me realize how little I am and how little control I have. I believe a sunset points to a Creator, something greater than ourselves. The Bible says that creation testifies that there is a God. However, watching a sunset does not show us that same Creator actually cares about us. He gives us, human beings, that opportunity. We get to reflect the characteristic of God. We are proof of God's love. When we have an encounter with the Living God, how can we not go public and display the transformation that has happened in our lives. Isn't it only natural to love others, to sacrifice our lives for the sake of others? Isn't that what Jesus did on the cross for us? John's text inspired me to trust in God's provision. Although what may be considered as little, John gave EVERYTHING! It was all that he had. Imagine giving all that you had? Right? Not an easy thing. What if you lived day to day not knowing where your "bread" would come from? That is a faith I have not experienced, but I want to. John gave when it hurt. Not sure I can say that I've done that. But that, that is true altruism. That shows that He trusts in Jesus to not let him down, and provide for his daily needs. Luke 21:1-4 shows a woman, a widow, who gave 2 small coins to the temple. That was everything she had. And Jesus said that those 2 coins meant more than the 100 coins given by others, because she gave everything and others gave only a dent of their wealth. Where do you fall on the spectrum? Where is your heart today? These are the very questions I'm asking myself. "There is no other work in life that will fill you with more joy and purpose than seeing God's promises fulfilled. " " ;
Aloha TTSP Listeners!
Calling all Dog Moms and Dads! Moi Moi Market is now selling artisan made dog collars from Chiapas, Mexico. I'm in LOVE! But what I love more than the product is the mission of Amor Handmade.
"Our project aims to address socioeconomic problems within artisan communities. For the majority of artisans, work is only seasonal and dependent on tourism. Due to these meager seasonal earnings, the next generation of artisans is abandoning their cultural arts for alternatives such as strenous work on farms or factories. This takes them on dangerous journeys far away from their homes for little gain. This results in the loss of culturally significant techniques, great personal risk for each artisan, and no way to improve their quality of life or economic situation.
To tackle these issues, every sale at AMOR supports artisan women with steady local employment. With AMOR, they can work from the safety of their homes and not worry about when or where they can sell their wares. We pay upfront because their financial security comes first. We hope to preserve their arts and create a brighter, safer future for their families and culture."
Bob Waliszewski, a former Focus on the Family Plugged In Movie Critic, talks with Chris about his journey of Amor Handmade and how it impacts artisans. What Bob found fascinating, was the alternative employment for these people...a modern form of slavery. So by purchasing a dog collar, dog leash, bracelet, and/or earrings you are empowering individuals to earn a fair wage while doing something they LOVE!
Chris's mission is to increase the quality of products while using the artisan's craft and skill. Amor Handmade is focused on modern and practical products which is what is needed to help a small community break into a western market.
It's exciting to pamper your pooch while using your dollar to change lives. And that's what Moi Moi Market is all about.
A decision to only buy Christmas gifts that matter sparked an idea that led one Wyoming couple on an exciting journey partnering with amazing organizations all around the globe. These are “people who love Jesus and want to use their finances to make changes in the world.” Emily and Collin met as college students studying abroad in Costa Rica, married, had 3 awesome kids, and were enjoying professional careers. Yet they felt there was “something more” that they should be pursuing together as a tea Read more here
It's easy to look back and see how God put the pieces of life together and understand why the bad things happened, why one's heart felt a certain way, and why the outcomes of situations were the outcomes. But the concept of looking forward and discerning the inner nudges of the heart, navigating the pain, and questioning the questionable outcomes, well that's just hard. Our conversation with Mama Rita, from Africa’s Heart in Israel, will inspire us that the pain, the nudging, the questions are worth it!
Rita did not have a plan to help severely traumatized women, nor did she ever think she’d be running a shelter on the top of Mt. Carmel. As a Jew who had a true encounter with the Messiah, her journey took her on a different path than she could have ever imagined. She realized that in following God, her life needed to demonstrate His love through serving others, and in seeking to do that, her own aspirations would need to aligned with a much greater plan.
The condition of the African women, smuggled across Israel’s border with the Sinai, was heart wrenching for Rita and her team. "Many of them [were] stripped of their identity and both physically and emotionally broken, [they] recognized that there was a tremendous need to build their sense of self worth and value." There was no option to turn away, pretend it wasn't happening, and go on living life. Rita, after being exposed to the need had to do something about helping these women find hope, healing, and purpose and *walah* Africa's Heart was born, well not quite…
"As a number of the women were pregnant or with newborn babies and, in most cases, unable to work outside the shelter, the project had to take place on our property and without extensive training. One of our staff asked the interested women what kind of handicraft they were already skilled in doing. She then purchased the necessary materials and began meeting with the project participants on a regular basis to oversee their work. Within weeks, the women were producing creative and unique pieces of handiwork – crocheted, embroidered, and assembled by hand." This project allowed these women to create, find purpose, and support themselves. This form of empowerment truly brings healing in a woman who has been battered and abused.
But like with any product, but especially one that comes from purpose (Starfish Project is also a great example of that), there’s a need on the other end, the buyer *cue YOU*.
North Dakotan couple Mariah and Derek were excited to begin building their dream family home, until they saw the price tag. After praying it over and wondering what direction they should take, Mariah woke up one morning with a curious thought on her mind, one that could only be from God- “build a home there.” In Ethiopia.
A call to missions had bloomed in Mariah’s heart as a teen, and some years later a simple google search had led her and her best friend on a journey to Ethiopia to work in an orphanage in the village Harbu Chulu. It was a short 9 days of an “emotional roller coaster” ride. The poverty was heart wrenching, while God’s presence and light in the orphanage joy giving. Mariah knew she wanted to continue serving these orphans even after she stepped off the plane home, and God’s word to her that one morning after a night of prayer was the answer. Well, three cheers for supportive husbands! Derek jumped on board and together they started a brand new business that pours 100% of its earnings into the orphanage Mariah visited!
Agape Co. sells a variety of quality leather bags and other accessories made in Ethiopia to help fund the expansion of HOPEthiopia. HOPEthiopia is not just an orphanage— they also work to conserve and reforest Ethiopian land, they’ve opened a trade center where they teach skills such as hand making goods, and they serve the whole community of Harbu Chulu with access to clean water at the well dug on their property.
Tune in to learn the full story of Agape Co., and to hear how love can make us capable of anything!
Visit agapeco.shop, and stay tuned for some awesome new products coming in 2021 (genuine leather Bible covers are on the list!). Your guest hosts Collin & Emily will also be stocking their marketplace Bought Beautifully with some Agape Co. products this month, so keep checking back for that as well! boughtbeautifully.org
You can get in contact with Mariah & Derek at
Social media has been a discouraging place as of late. What was a place that would connect the human race, has now become a tool to tear apart friendships and relationships. Yes, I understand that there are a lot of opinions surrounding this political election in 2020, and my goodness, how privileged we are to live in a place that we can express those opinions, kinda, although censorship is on the rise. But friends, my plea to you today, even in the heat of the political battle, is that we not lose sight of this truth: that we ALL are still human deserving of love, dignity, and respect, WHY? Because of the fundamental truth that we are created in the image of God.
And even if the current leadership does not always exemplify kindness and respect toward others (although one must always look at context, as many things now a days are taken out of context), it does not give us permission to treat others in the same manner.
It doesn't matter to me how you've participated: Victim or Instigator. My argument is what matters now is how we move forward to build into and up future relationships. How do we Hooponopono (reconcile) these relationships, because at the end of the day, we will still be neighbors and have opportunities for friendship. Is what happening now really worth breaking relationship over? What would Jesus Do? What did he call us to do? What did he show us by how he lived his life?
I've just finished reading a book by Andy Stanley called Irresistible. It's a must, especially for one struggling with their Christian faith or wrestling with the world of 2020.
I believe we need to get back to the fundamentals that Jesus preached as he walked this earth. I believe for us to have a full relationship with God, it starts by how we treat our neighbor. And who is our neighbor?
"Our neighbor is thus anyone in our proximity with whom we can share God’s love. We are called not only to love those who are similar to us or with whom we are comfortable, but all whom God places in our path. In fact, Jesus said, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:44–48)."
My heart is to have a better world. And in order to have a better world, it's not about who is in office. It's about each one of us and the condition of our heart.
Read the rest of this blog here
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Isaiah 61 speaks of one being “sent to heal the broken hearted.” This is the message Victor Marx, a man who knows the ins and outs of trauma painfully well, carries to fractured hearts and minds around the world: God made us to heal. It is a desperately needed hope as violence, abuse, and trafficking continuously shatter lives, and it is one we can put our faith in. The severe abuse Victor endured as a very young child and his journey of forgiveness and healing have culminated in a heart dedicated to rescue and equip the vulnerable. When he and his wife Eileen began working with incarcerated youth, the discovery in a girls facility that every one of them had experienced sexual abuse in their young lives lead the couple to eventually open up a self defense training facility for men, women and children of all ages and backgrounds, to combat and prevent such abuse. They have also produced two films on trauma, garnering a reputation for themselves that ultimately brought them an invite from the Kurdistan government to enter ISIS ravaged areas. What they saw there drew and expanded their ministry from domestic to international work. Victor and Eileen’s 32 years of marriage, 5 children, and far-reaching, life-saving ministry stand as evidence that you can overcome the trauma you’ve experienced and live a very fruitful life. Whatever your past, whether fresh scars or excruciating memories that you’ve tried to bury ten feet under, You. Can. Heal. Don’t wait to cry out to God until you’re better; He uses the broken in mighty ways. “What the enemy meant for evil, God has worked for good.” Tune in to hear more about All Things Possible Ministry, to gain wisdom on walking alongside someone who has experienced trauma, and to find out how you can combat sex trafficking— the best place actually being within your own home. victormarx.com Find Eileen’s new book Imperfectly One here:
The sponsor of this podcast is moimoimarket.com, your one stop shop for products of purpose.
Victor Marx movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8rPMdIiciY
A twenty minute cab ride followed by a forty five minute hike into Costa Rican wilderness finds you on the reservation of the Guaymi, an indigenous tribe who have faced great discrimination and hardship throughout history. Guaymi coffee pickers are paid half the wages of non-indigenous Costa Ricans, for example, and education opportunities for women and girls are rare.
On remote islands situated on a large Rwandan lake, meager job opportunity resulting in an 80-90% unemployment rate wreaks poverty on villagers. Families are often left with a heart-rending choice- which one of their children to enroll in the feeding program.
Stories like these leave us saddened and angry, but often unmoved to action because we just don’t know what we can do about it. The descriptions above belong to communities whom today’s guest, Rebecca Gardner, had the chance to visit (and now work with) herself. Burdened with “holy anger” by the disparities and utter poverty she witnessed, Rebecca founded a transformational program to help disadvantaged women around the world gain empowerment, employment and education.
Hands Producing Hope is igniting sustainable change in communities where women largely have no work or cannot even read or write. Artisan training, literacy programs, maternal health centers, and caring relationships are all providing skill, knowledge, camaraderie and income that will see impact on these people groups for generations.
Rebecca, interviewed in this episode by Bought Beautifully founders Colin and Emily (be sure to check out episode 51 if you haven’t yet!), is here to tell you how you can get involved in real communities and real issues like these from your own home, through your own product choices. Also tune in for some encouragement towards cultivating your own unique and potentially life-changing ideas, which too often never make it past the brain or notebook they originate in. Rebecca says to “ignore the fear and start somewhere; ask for a lot of help and guidance…don’t let the bigness or scariness of the dream hold you back from starting that dream…the most dangerous thing is to just not do anything”!
Learn more and shop with a purpose at handsproducinghope.org!
Also check out boughtbeautifully.org and moimoimarket.com (this podcast’s sponsor) for more ethical & high quality products that support a variety of amazing causes and artisans.
Subscribe on your platform of choice. Leave a feedback on our audio recorder found on www.anchor.fm/thetalkingstorypodcast
Hey guys! You don't want to miss this reflection. Bob Waliszewski shares his reflection on the 23rd Psalm. Many of us have read the psalm, some probably can recite from memory, but I bet you, like Bob, have overlooked an essential part of David's song, the part that says someone else has a stake in our lives. Read more here
“If you can swim across the creek without a life jacket, you can take the boat.” You better believe almost any boy would dive right in and swim for dear life if his parents told him that! Zach Rollins and his family always lived less than a mile from the ocean, and with boat keys in hand, Zach revved into an explorer’s dream of a childhood. Endless Rhode Island hours were spent traversing islands and studying tide pools by a boy full of questions and curiosity. Read more here
An unlikely opportunity has rolled in with 2020, one that many parents may not have otherwise considered: homeschooling. Do chills run up and down your spine at the word? Or, had you already committed to educating your kiddos at home, pre-pandemic? Either way, and even if you’re not a parent, listen on!
We welcome Leesa Waliszewski back on the podcast for this episode (go check out episode 30 to hear some of her words of wisdom on motherhood!) to discuss what being a life-long self-learner looks like, and to glean some tips for those moms, dads, grandmas and grandpas who may be forced to homeschool their children during this season. Leesa has worked in the education system for decades, implementing a philosophy that brings more life into learning (see resources). Here she sheds light and positivity in sharing how now could be the perfect time to get back in touch with your child’s education. Because ultimately, you are the one person(s) present through every new teacher and grade level change. Moms and dads, you can make a HUGE difference by taking this chance to get more involved!
Sometimes, the curiosity and passion to discover knowledge is killed in the place we’d least expect it— school. Stressing over good or bad grades, pleasing mom and dad, test-taking, and info-cramming can really take the spark out of learning. Kids (and adults!) need to be fed with ideas, not just information. Tune in to learn how to step it up a notch with something as simple as reading with your child and on your own (books can change us, big time). This is the time of “becoming more aware of what our kids’ minds are being fed on”…and stepping into the learning journey with them. You may even end up learning a few things from them!
Come follow us, share your thoughts, and start a conversation with us on Instagram!
Plugged In book reviews at Focus on the Family
Charlotte Mason, practical ideas and resources for home education
Thank you to our sponsor, Moi Moi Market, your one stop shop for incredible products of purpose. www.moimoimarket.com
As discussed on last week's episode, once a month we are going to take a break from being on air. Here's why:
1)We want to demonstrate the health and importance of taking breaks, rests and sabbaths.
2)If you are really missing our voices, then we encourage you to go back and re-listen to an episode. This week we recommend Episode 30, 27, and 26 as our favorites. There are so many wise tools of truth, that we guarantee you will glean more by listening to episodes again.
Is it just me, or does life sometimes seem on Fast Forward? Even in this season of COVID, life just seems busy. Well I'm no expert, but today's podcast I share with you what I'm learning about rest, and the importance of turning off our brain from time to time. Read more here
"There is an eagle in me that wants to soar, and there is a hippopotamus in me that wants to wallow in the mud."- Carl Sandburg. So here I am trying to find the inner eagle. However, in all honesty, I have probably been the hippo for far too long? Am I alone? Maybe. "You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone". -Roy T. Bennett. Read more here
Do you struggle making friends, keeping friends, being rejected by "friends"? I'll be the first to raise my hand and say that making and keeping friends is HARD work. I have been rejected, uninvited, shunned, cold shouldered, you name it, I've been there. And because of all the feelings, it is easy to talk yourself out of making friends because the more friends you have, the chances of hurt becomes greater, am I right? Read more here
This week I've been wrestling with the origins of BIG THINGS, BIG DREAMS, BIG GOALS! If you are like me, you can imagine a BIG FUTURE, but the process of getting there seems overwhelming. Like, so overwhelming you want to want to crawl into a small hole and never come out. Ok, maybe it's just me? Anyhoo, as you imagine YOUR BIG FUTURE, here's a little encouragement for you today. Read more here
Hello TTSP friends! A category 1 hurricane, Douglas (can we call him Dougie), is approaching the island chain quickly. As people are boarding up windows, tying down lawn chairs, and stocking up on 2 weeks worth of water and food, I decided to take a stroll along the beach with a cup of Joe in hand. Although I think preparation for a storm is essential... Read more here
Aloha TTSP Tribe,
Kelsey here, week 3 of my REFLECTIONS, where I'm sharing with you on a personal level the good, bad, and ugly.
This week, let's talk sleep and nutrition.
So it's been said that you really can't help anyone else until you help yourself. And part of "helping ourselves" is by how we take care of ourselves, am I right? Researchers have been telling us that sleep and nutrition are HUGE factors in health. So here are my tricks and tips when it comes to sleep and health.
If you are experiencing this season of COVID like I am, unemployed, then use it for your advantage. I know the anxiety is real (that's the next podcast reflection), and the future is uncertain, but when will you ever get a chance like this again? When COVID first hit, and people stopped coming to Hawaii, and our boat business shut its doors, I for the first time in my life, did not have anything pressing. I did not HAVE to be at work by 7:30am. I did not HAVE to be anywhere at any specific time. So, I stopped using an alarm clock. For the first few days, I found myself sleeping 9-11 hours. I figured my body needed it. For the last decade of my life, I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off (weird figure of speech am I right, I need to research the origin of that saying). But now, I had the opportunity to stop and actually was forced to slow down. So I did. After about 4 days, my body woke up naturally after 8 hours of sleep. I would go to bed by 10am. And without an alarm, I was waking up at 6 am.
For those who are still holding jobs (lucky! and I'm jealous), and don't have that luxury yet of turning off alarm clocks. Prioritize getting a solid 8 hours of sleep. Don't compromise. Netflix isn't worth it, I promise. Prioritize yourself, and let nothing take away those essential 8 hours and see the difference it makes in your life.
And to moms of newborns and babies. Write in your calendars to refer back to this episode in 4 years. I have the upmost respect for you! I've never been a mom, but I know the sacrifice it takes (NOTE OUR MOTHER'S DAY PODCAST, ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR EPISODES). Sleep won't be in your vocab for a while, but remember you are doing extraordinary work raising your little, and keeping he/she alive! My hats off to you!
Now for nutrition.
Two years ago, I came across the book BODY LOVE by Kelly Leveque. This book changed my life and my diet. First it is a must read as she explains the science behind the 4 foods that are essential to start your day with. So don't let this blog be the only thing you read, consider my writing as teaser.
The 4 foods that EVERYONE should start their day with *drum roll please*
4. Good Fat
To learn more listen in to this Reflection episode or just go get her book. But literally, it has changed my life. click here for more
Aloha TTSP Listeners,
Another reminder that we are in a season of sabbatical and are taking a break to refresh and refuel, and HOPEFULLY launch Season 2 this Fall. However, to do so we need YOUR help! If you want more amazing inspirational interviews with extraordinary people here's what YOU can do to help:
1) Donate to our Kickstarter campaign
2) Purchase products from Moi Moi Market
3) Review and tell people about us!
Today's reflection is not an easy one for me to share, because I'm personally struggling through it, like right now, as I type this, I'm angry. There's a righteous anger, a just anger, an anger that can spur us toward righteous action and compassion.
But there's also an anger that will lead to bitterness, division, and hatred. This anger is where bridges get burned, relationships are left in disarray, and we simply are left a mess.
I'm teetering. The struggle is real.
So I watched this movie the other night called Free Burma Rangers (mind you this was my second time watching this movie, I think this was the last movie I watched in theaters before COVID. ) FBR is an incredible documentary, a must watch for all.
In brief Dave Eubank, and his wife Karen, have dedicated their lives to help others in war-torn countries: Burma, Syria, and Iraq. They go in to help the injured AND to share the story of what is actually happening and how innocent people are dying due to horrific evil.
They know the enemy. They have seen the effects of the enemy. And at one point Dave admits wanting to kill the enemy, which I think we all would consider a justified thought.
However, Dave said that if he acted on that thought, that anger would have led him down a dark path, so instead he choose to continue to love his enemies, pray for them, and help those who encounter their path of destruction.
I tell you, I'm a fighter. When I get hurt, I can hurt back, wall up, or push away. Loving someone who has hurt me, it ain't easy. Loving someone who hurts someone else, ohh man world watch out, because that enrages me. Bitterness is an easier drug to turn to, a short term remedy. But long term? It kills. It begins to destroy a person from the inside out.
Guys, I'm on a journey. I haven't arrived. But I'm trying to choose love. I'm trying to do the right thing and love, through actions, people who have wounded me. I'm trying to turn my anger into compassion. Are boundaries necessary? Absolutely, especially if repentance hasn't taken place. Is wisdom essential? It's critical. We don't walk into a war without knowledge and a plan. We do need to do what's necessary to protect ourselves and those around us. But when faced with anger or love, may we continue to choose love, the action of love, to help our persecutor, to pray for their well being, and to help those who have been wounded in their path.
For the next 60 days we are taking a break from our "normal" schedule. Why? Well 3 reasons:
1. There's always a need for rest, prayer, growth, and reflection. We will take your feedback, the dreams in our hearts, and the uncertainty of the future and lay it down at the feet of Jesus and ask "what's next?".
2. We need to Fundraise. I, Kelsey, have been funding the podcast for the last 37 episodes and it ain't cheap. However, it has been so worth it! But if this is to continue, we will need financial help, so we are putting the power into the hands of our listeners and asking...do you want this to continue? If so, would you support us in purchasing from Moi Moi Market or giving to our Kickstarter Fundraiser? Our fundraiser will end September 1, and at that point we trust we will have an answer for the direction of the podcast.
3. I'm human and I've been going through a lot, like I am sure you have too in this "unprecedented time". So I want to take the next 8 weeks and come on air and just share the raw and the real of me. Maybe you can connect and relate, and maybe you can't. And all of that is ok! In a season of social distancing, it is hard to connect. And although this is still virtual, grab a cup of coffee, and let's talk through some things together. To continue the conversation, find me on social media at The Talking Story Podcastor Kelsey Waliszewski.
Thank you to our continued sponsor www.moimoimarket.com a One Stop Shop for Products of Purpose. We Believe YOU can Make a Difference in the World just by How YOU Shop!
Let’s talk more on another pressing global pandemic: sex trafficking. It’s happening in high schools, middle schools, malls, parks, among family and friend circles, through the internet, across boarders, within boarders, on every continent, every single day. San Diego, California alone is seeing an annual eight hundred million dollars generated by the underground sex trade. The city is considered an international gateway for sex trafficking. For show notes click here
On Mother’s Day weekend we heard from several dedicated, hard-working moms (check out episode 30); now it’s prime time to hear from some dads! So dads: what are some of the most impactful things you feel you’ve done in your kids lives? If you had the chance for a do-over, what would you go back and do differently as a parent? What advice or wisdom could you lend to younger/future dads? For more show notes, click here
“I. Can’t.” For a kid who bottomed out on his aptitude test, whose grades stunk, and who couldn’t stick with any one activity for long, these 2 debilitating words could have had the final say in his young life. And yet today, Jeremy Cowart’s portfolio is crammed full of stunning photos and countless global ideas and projects while a fear of failure is nowhere to be found. What happened? Read more here
Over 1 billion people do not have water! That's a fact we don't hear on the news, see on social media, or discuss in conversation. That means 1 in 8 people wake up every day wondering how they are going to find safe drinking water. However, Richard and Terri Greenly decided to use their business, Pumps of Oklahoma (https://www.pumpsok.com), to create wells and now businesses to meet the water crisis need. Click here for show notes
“Tricked, trapped, transported, used”— this is human trafficking. It is real, it is an overwhelmingly global atrocity; it happens every day and in every part of the world. How do we start valuing human life at every level in order to stop this? How do we encourage others to do the same? Sisters Kate and Kimberly began asking questions like these over a decade ago, and have since been waging war against human trafficking through prevention, awareness, and the unexpected field of fashion. For more show notes click here
Tara began giving glasses away to whoever she crossed paths with before starting Love Glasses Revolution, a business and social enterprise that would later be featured by USA Today. Love glasses go way beyond style. They convey the message that is close to Tara’s heart, to view everyone in love. She describes the act of choosing love as a superpower, and it’s something she wants everyone to experience. Read the show notes here
Starting today, we are going to be offering something a bit different, something super cool, something that will completely make another's day. For free! That's right, absolutely zero mulah! But first, a trip down memory lane. Join me? Does anyone remember Valentine's Day grams? Yea, that's right the fundraising effort done by the Senior class that sold flowers and Valentine's day cards and provided the delivery service to get these flowers and cards to your desired person? Learn more here
There are countless people all over the world doing incredible, life-giving, life-changing things— individuals, non-profits, and for-profits rescuing, feeding, innovating, healing, fighting for justice; the list goes on. For 30+ episodes, The Talking Story Podcast has been privileged to seek out and bring attention to those ordinary people doing extraordinary things, as you the listener well know. But none of those businesses, those amazing feats, or those people would have ever been possible without one very essential group of people: moms!
In this special Mother’s Day episode, you’ll hear from 4 women coming from all stages of motherhood as they each share what helps keep them afloat in the hectic, messy, day-to-dayness of the mom life. You could collectively call these women’s nuggets of wisdom
The 5 Musts of Motherhood, and they are:
Waking up before the kids, + "good coffee and a whole lot of Jesus”
Creating a bedtime ritual so as to end the day— even the roughest day— on a good note
Striving to enjoy every moment you have with your kids; also taking time away for yourself
Finding good friends and a strong support system
Keeping on pursuing your passions
Tune in to hear these ladies expand on these musts and also discuss favorite family activities (need some ideas?), hilarious stories (think diaper blowouts and sassy teens), and bring you some words of encouragement. If you’re not a mom, don’t tune out! There is wisdom to be found here for you as well. These ladies will also be giving input on a very relevant topic in this day and age, screen time. (Leesa Waliszewski, wife of Bob and mom of Kelsey, says it well: “We want to raise kids who know how to regulate their own emotions so they don’t have to rely on a screen to do that for them.”)
Moms, you are underrated. You may feel ordinary, you may question if the work you are doing at home with your kids is really mattering, but you truly are extraordinary, and your work is some of the most — if not the most — important work in the world. Keep it up.
We have a website! Check us out on thetalkingstorypodcast.com & have a very happy Mother’s Day!
With no TV in the house, the Kendrick brothers spent their childhood running around the neighborhood filming action and stunt-packed movies on their camcorder. Their visions took a different turn as they grew and both placed their faith and focus in God, coming away with the desire to make meaningful movies that would bring messages of purpose. That dream is being fulfilled in their growing collection of faith-based hit titles including FireProof, Facing the Giants, War Room, and Overcomer. Read more here
Today you can find former major league baseball employee Amy Peterson and her team scavenging for aged and fallen scraps of graffiti around the walls of Detroit, several times a year. What’s that? Grafitti? You heard right— Amy is “turning [graffitti and mural paint] scraps into wearable art,” each piece entirely unique, and each made by a unique woman helped out of joblessness, homelessness, the struggles of refugee life or life after incarceration. Read more show notes here
500 miles, a set of wheels, and a demanding supply of strength, determination, and vulnerability mark Patrick and Justin’s story of deep friendship, trust and faith. In this inspiring episode Bob and Kelsey interview the stars of “I’ll Push You,” a documentary tracking the 40 day journey of two dedicated friends over the Camino De Santiago.
Read more show notes here
Guys, a lot of us have been forced to stop what we are doing. We have been diverted from our "normal" lives because of COVID 19. And what we see as detrimental, discouraging, anxious, worrisome could really be our answer to prayer. I have wondered if God has given me this gift to stop doing and instead follow. To be honest, I'm not sure I would have had the guts to do it myself, even though I've had promptings in my heart for a while to change my course.
Read more on our blog
“If you wanna go to Mombasa, Kenya, call this number.” One glance at a bulletin board contain ing these words at the back of a crowded mega church was all it took for an adventure seeking 18-year-old to pack up and go. One trip led to two, two to three, until this born and raised Texan was selling her beloved truck and all she owned for a 7 month stay…and counting. That was 8 years ago. Yep, Jenny Nuccio never left.
Read more on our blog here
Jenna Wermes is living proof that happiness doesn’t always come through a promising career with a top notch company. This California girl scored her dream job working as a designer— in Hawaii! But after moving to paradise and excitedly beginning her work, something just wasn’t clicking. God had different plans for Jenna, and she knew it. Read more on our blog
How does one go from living jobless in their parents’ basement to running 7 ultramarathons on 7 continents, building up a company and brand, all while raising hundreds of thousands for charity?? Joel Runyon dives into the impossible in this episode, sharing the major mindset shift that allowed him to achieve all of these things, and detailing how we can break through the limits we subconsciously set for ourselves.
It all starts with “turning the impossible into a challenge.” One of Joel’s “impossibles” was running a triathlon, which in time led to him taking on the ultras in order to raise money for building schools worldwide. No, it was. not. easy. Joel wasn’t a runner to begin with, and there were so many times he could have quit. But, to Joel, a few hours of pain was more than doable if it meant a lifetime of possibilities for a child given the gift of education. “Impossible” in areas of poverty around the world includes obtaining clean water and building schools. Remembering this, do your “impossibles” appear a little more achievable as you re-appreciate the resources you’ve been given? Often, the obstacle surrounding the seemingly-impossible is fear.
Currently, there’s a lot of fear surrounding the global COVID-19 pandemic. Joel and hosts Bob and Kelsey point out that there is also a lot of opportunity. We can either use our free time to sit around in the basement, eating junk food and watching Netflix, or we can read more books, set more goals, workout, grow stronger; breathe. “Don’t come out of this [social isolation] weaker.” Our response to a time of crisis, where much is beyond our control, is a choice. Getting into the practice of taking available opportunities puts us in a much better place to not just grow ourselves, but also to reach out to others. What will you use your lockdown time to achieve for yourself and for those around you?
You can check out Joel’s business Impossible, its products and what it’s accomplishing worldwide at impossiblehq.com and impossible.org. You can also find impossiblehq and joelrunyon on Twitter and Instagram.
Your hosts are on the gram too, looking forward to hearing from you!
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One Big Island artist and business owner is calling on consumers to “put her out of business!” While an unusual request, it’s one that would reflect a major victory for Hawaii communities and beyond. Self proclaimed mad-scientist/artist Mattie Mae Larson hopes that one day, she will run out of the resources the products she sells are made from— rubbish.
Mattie has a passion for transforming trash into treasure, an idea that arose from a childhood spent watching her parents repurpose everything and from witnessing the phenomena of pollution firsthand. Mattie grew up playing “king of the plastic mountain” down on remote South Point beaches, not realizing its impact until a college environmental science class unearthed the facts. She was struck by how damaging those hills and expanses of trash really were, and motivated to action. Several years later, toilet paper plastic wrappings are now being turned into versatile pouches; discarded fishing ropes, nets and rubber into keychains and jewelry.
Upcycle Hawaii, where gathered and donated plastic and marine debris is melted down into a variety of colorful products, began with an old-school iron and one woman’s change of mindset to look at trash and see potential beauty. Leaving a full-time job and starting a business was undoubtedly a risk for Mattie, but five years in, she has no regrets. 12,000 square feet of plastic has already been diverted from the landfill over the past two years, and Mattie’s creativity is fostering awareness and opening the door to conversations surrounding personal and community-wide change. While discarded plastics and other non-biodegradable materials won’t be in short supply anytime soon, Mattie is determined to keep on unlocking their potential and promoting conscious consumerism and lifestyle change. “We have more power as consumers than we give ourselves credit for.”
Visit www.upcyclehi.com to check out these awesome trash-to-treasure products and to learn more about Mattie and her mission. You can also donate to her cause by searching Upcycle Hawaii on gofundme.com.
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We live in a media-inundated society that is selling the message that stuff heals. We’re encouraged into an endless chase after whatever makes us feel like we’re “enough”— newest beauty products, age-erasers, clothes, gadgets, getaways…We max out credit cards to meet unachievable standards, yet so often we end up feeling plain empty. Read the blog
When you walk into Thistle Farms, you enter the lively atmosphere of a bustling cafe, where you are served by survivors of trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Thistle Farms’ 20 years have seen thousands of women’s lives transformed from ashes to beauty, as they are rescued, counseled, educated and employed. In episode 9, we heard from Dorris and Katrina, beneficiaries of Thistle Farms. For this podcast, Bob Waliszewski had the privilege of flying to Nashville to talk with this incredible organization’s founder, Becca Stevens. It all began when her young son pointed at a billboard from his carseat and asked “why is she smiling?” Turning around, Becca saw an ad featuring a minimally-clad woman seductively sprawled across the board. It struck her that “Someday that little boy is not gonna ask that question. Someday it’s going to seem normal to him…I want him to say ‘we know what it means to love and respect women and have compassion for people we see.’” Thistle Farms was started that same day. The idea behind Becca’s organization is to give someone the kind of healing opportunity that she would want for herself. She doesn’t want to be the heroin, just a host relying on her tight-knit community to help her create beautiful healing spaces, rich with resources for the women who come there, leaving their old lives behind. A common idea revolving around people on the streets, in sex trafficking, prostitution, or with addictions is that they don’t want help. Tune in as Becca addresses this question, as well as her heartbreaking yet inspirational story, and how Thistle Farms is now part of a global movement to free women. Also join Kelsey as she wraps up the episode with a discussion on sex trafficking: how do we respond to it? How can we battle this worldwide atrocity? Listen in and join the discussion. Check out thistlefarms.org to learn more, shop, or donate. We’re on Instagram, looking forward to your reviews, comments, and conversations surrounding these podcasts! www.instagram.com/thetalkingstorypodcast Bob www.instagram.com/waliszrs Kelsey www.instagram.com/captkelseyhawaii
While most newlyweds search for the perfect location to begin their lives together, Alison and Kory Lantz looked for a neighborhood with needs— one where they could make the most impact. The mission-minded Bethel College graduates had a heart for youth, hospitality, working amongst different cultures, plus a big plan to move overseas to serve. But, this desire steadily turned into the realization that the diverse mission field they were called to was located just 15 minutes away from their alma mater. Transformation Ministries began out of Kory and Ali’s inner city South Bend home, with neighbors around the dinner table as the Lantzes got a feel for the area’s needs. Starting a youth group at their church allowed them to make connections with South Bend kids, invite them into their home, and eventually begin “Iron Sharpens Iron.” ISI is a safe and loving place for youth to go to after school to get help with homework and to just process life. It started with a handful of kids, and 10 years later now acts as a full nonprofit reaching around a hundred, many coming from impoverished, single-parent homes. Transformation Ministries also provides jobs for these kids through their for-profit “Greater Impact,” which started with a single push mower, 3 kids, and 4 yards. It’s grown exponentially over the years to now include construction and creative screen-printing opportunities. Kory and Ali believe “we’ve all been created to work,” and that providing dignifying jobs, along with unconditional love and in-depth mentoring, is a sure way to give marginalized youth a leg-up in life. Some takeaways. Many of us have the mindset that we need to move on to the “bigger better thing, to what God really wants us to do.” Often, finding that something just involves taking an attentive and deep look around us to see what the needs are. Other times, it’s something we’re already doing. It may be in seed-like form.. growth takes time. Fear of failure is another big obstacle, but “If God calls you to something, he sustains you.” Listen in to hear more from Kory and Ali: how their ministry has flourished over the past decade, future goals, one boy’s awesome transformation story, and their advice on how you can kickstart a ministry in your own community. Visit www.transformation58.com or tranformation.ministries on Instagram for more. Your father/daughter hosts can be found on Instagram as well: Bob www.instagram.com/waliszrs Kelsey www.instagram.com/captkelseyhawaii You can also check out this podcast’s sponsor and the many global needs they are helping to meet at www.moimoimarket.com
What's super cool about this particular episode is that Bob opens up about his relationship with Leesa, his wife. They have been married for over 30 years, and although their marriage is far from perfect, Bob shares what he has learned about supporting Leesa in the areas of life she finds purpose and fulfillment. Bob also opens up about what is important to him, as a man, that he needs from Leesa to actively pursue purpose in his life. For more show notes go here:
Meet Megan Reynolds, a San Diego native who has turned her college jewelry business into an avenue of empowerment for refugee women. After witnessing one of the nation’s largest influxes of Syrian refugees into her hometown, Megan knew she had a calling to help. Through a nonprofit, she was able to partner with a Syrian family, welcome and befriend them, and learn about their needs.
What she has found among refugee women is a shared theme of trauma and utter culture shock. The Syrian Civil War is active and ongoing, and many refugees have family members still living through the horrors of war back home. Cultural differences (such as gender roles) make adjustment to the United States difficult, as does living in one of the most expensive cities in the US. Syrian wives are having to enter the workforce, many for the first time ever. Coming from a country where very few women are employed, this can be a struggle. “The women need something to do from home,” Megan explains. She has provided just that.
Megan began employing Syrian women to make jewelry about a year ago, transforming both their lives and her business. Jamila Collective is in its grassroots phase with the goal of spreading its beautiful products all around the country, and with them, the stories of refugee women. Empowering these women through employment is Megan’s heartbeat, and her desire is to reach a wide variety of refugees with her business. Listen in to hear more about these women’s stories as well as Megan’s business journey and the impact it’s making. Her advice to fellow entrepreneurs: “Take those baby steps. Do something…Put the idea out there and see what comes of it!”
To view Megan’s jamila (Arabic for “beautiful”) jewelry and to learn more about Syrian refugee women, visit thejamilacollective.com.
Also, check in with your hosts on Instagram, and don’t forget to leave some feedback and share your story with us!
Hey guys, There was just so much content here, we had to split it up, and offer it in 2 parts. Be sure to listen in on part 1 that aired last week, Episode 15.Also we want to connect with you. Hear your story, passions, drive, or even hang ups. Oh, and folks, please please please support this podcast by checking out our sponsor www.moimoimarket.com Love you all, Keep living into your purpose Kelsey and Bob
For more info click here
Imagine hearing these 2,000 year old words today, directed at yourself. The rich young ruler Jesus was speaking to went away sad, because he was unwilling to give up his earthly possessions. But in this episode, you’ll hear the captivating story of a man who was willing. Charles Mully worked from absolute rags to riches, only to give it all away.
Charles’ early childhood in Kenya consisted of severe abuse, utter abandonment, begging, and near suicide as a teen. All of these hardships set the stage and prepared his heart for the future work in store for him. In the meantime, Charles was living the life as he evolved into a prominent businessman and acquired much wealth. His was the epitome of a financial success story. Until God spoke, calling him away from a life of personal wealth and prosperity and towards one focused entirely on selfless, unconditional love.
Charles and his wife and children answered that call, selling everything and ceasing to work for pay in order to give themselves wholly to rescuing children off the streets. Charles had been convicted several years earlier after turning several hungry children away, feeling burdened yet empowered to help those out of the same lifestyle he had once suffered in as a child. He provided them with food and clothing, but soon realized it wasn’t enough. They needed a home. His home. The first day, the Mullys brought home 3 children— the beginning of Mully Children’s Family. Today, almost 30 years later, MCF has ministered to around 1500 children.
Through MCF kids receive education, rehabilitation, spiritual nourishment, reintegration, a family, a home, and most importantly, love that knows no boundaries. Listen in to witness the amazing journey of Charles and MCF, and also to learn how you can get involved in MCF or in taking action for kids in your own community.
Visit mullychildrensfamily.org for more information.
Connect with hosts Bob & Kelsey on Instagram:
And, check out this podcast’s sponsor, MoiMoi Market, at www.moimoimarket.com, your one stop shop for products of purpose.
Imagine for a moment that dreaming and setting a goal for your life is an imperceivable luxury. For millions around the globe who are bound by slavery and human trafficking, that’s a reality. Today you’ll meet a woman who has spent the past 17 years reaching girls and women of all ages trapped in sexual exploitation. Jenny McGee has made it her mission to walk the backstreets of East Asian countries, brothel to brothel, offering the opportunity to live and to dream again. For some of these women and girls, it’s for the first time.
There are reasons besides trickery and abduction why so many women are getting swallowed into the sex trafficking industry. Learning these reasons firsthand put a fire in Jenny to create an alternate path for them, back in the early 2000’s. Beads thrown on the table and a plea to friends to “help me design something!” launched into Starfish Project, a now very professional organization that sells jewelry made by women freed from exploitation. Starfish not only provides a variety of transferable employment, but also a safe environment for the women to create their own emotional, educational, and vocational goals, to heal and build up their lives again.
Jenny didn’t have a background in design, or even a business model to start with. All she had was faith, and the open-heartedness it takes to be a servant. In this episode (part 1 of 2), you’ll learn how Jenny has been able to enter these rough areas to reach forgotten faces, and how she and her team continue to show love to broken women— even to their bosses! It’s a story of faith in dedicated, on-the-ground action; a definite must-listen.
You can learn more and purchase beautiful jewelry made by healed and restored women at starfishproject.com and also at moimoimarket.com.
Stay updated with your hosts on Instagram:
A word of encouragement may be the final ray of light needed to burst through and stamp out an inner darkness. Someone so trapped in self-doubt, or in the shadow of poverty or turmoil may just need someone to believe in them, to spur them on to make a difference. This week you’ll meet two men, a doctor and a teacher, who’ve captured this idea and who are combining their separate giftings to aid a country that’s been described as a dark and isolated place.
Join Bob Waliszewski in Colorado Springs as he talks story with Dr. Bentley Tate and Matt Perkins, founders of Asia Heartbeat. Both felt burdened by the issues of children in Myanmar, a nation left broken by past dictatorship, civil war, and cultural conflict. Asia Heartbeat’s goal is different from that of many missional organizations who go in to solve problems in undeveloped countries directly. Instead, Bentley and Matt work to equip and encourage Burmese locals to make the needed changes in health care, education, and other systems themselves. The locals have the biggest heart for their own people, so coming alongside to strengthen and support existing efforts is the ultimate purpose of Asia Heartbeat. Tune in to hear how two very busy guys and their young families have invested their free time in “furthering the passion and drive” of others, cheering them on to do extraordinary things for their communities.
“When you come here and you tell me you believe in me…and look around and see what we’ve done…you point out good things that somehow we’ve been able to do. When you tell me what’s ahead is even better.. I can run for 4-6 months on that.” —A Burmese man who started his own music school with the help of Asia Heartbeat.
Visit asiaheartbeat.org or email Matt Perkins directly at email@example.com to learn more and find out how you can get involved with bettering lives in Myanmar.
Check in with your hosts on Instagram!
Bob www.instagram.com/waliszrs & Kelsey www.instagram.com/captkelseyhawaii
Travel to Kenya with The Talking Story Podcast this week to hear the singular story of a woman who has committed her life to fulfilling the needs of others. Paula Hammack and her husband Sterling spent decades actively searching for ways to serve people in poverty all over the world, with a focus in Sub-Saharan Africa. They were particularly drawn to the Maasai, a people greatly misrepresented by a tourism industry that tended to smooth over the reality of their hardship. Looking deeper, the couple found villages without water, money, adequate schools, or any government aid.
70 plus trips to Africa over the years and growing relationships with Maasai villages laid the bedrock for the organization Paula formed in 2010, after the death of her husband. The Sterling Hammack Foundation gives the Maasai and other impoverished people the gift of water, education for their children through individual sponsorship, construction of schools, housing, and much much more. Maybe surprisingly, giving wasn’t always easy. Between different people groups there are cultural gaps to maneuver, and in this podcast you’ll hear some of the strategies Paula used to get people the change they needed.
A significant takeaway from Paula’s story is that, though she has been able to buy homes for needy families, build schools, and travel the world, she started out with just $250 in her pocket. We may feel we have little to give, or wonder what power we have to change someone’s life. One or two dinners out, a few last minute Christmas presents added to the teetering pile…these are privileges many of us enjoy and don’t think twice about, but their prices add up quick. You’ll learn in this podcast how redirecting the cost of a few of these luxuries can completely change the course of a child’s life, or even that of a whole village. Tune in to learn what your dollar and your lifestyle can accomplish!
Visit www.hammackfoundation.org to learn more, and connect with your hosts on Instagram. We want to hear your story!
9 episodes in, and already we’ve heard from many ordinary (yet amazing!) people who are doing some pretty outstanding stuff. These are people who are starting businesses and non-profits from the ground up that benefit others, or those who have found purpose and fulfillment through an existing organization. But, how do you live a more fulfilled life? How and where do you find your purpose?
With a new year right around the corner, hosts Bob and Kelsey want to take a moment to talk about a very important person, one who should not be underestimated— you. They’ll give some helpful tools in this episode for looking inward and finding your driving force, or your call to something greater. We all have one. You’ll also get a look into Bob’s story and learn how he went from sitting bored in church to being a youth pastor, and from being a youth pastor to working in a position he hadn’t even considered before. It was in this unexpected job that he found purpose and fulfillment for 27 years!
Whether you’ve just graduated high school, college, or recently retired, there’s always that question of “what next?” Our very future-focused society can create anxiety in us to just get a move on with our lives. Combatting this, one of the steps Bob and Kelsey elaborate on involves whipping out a journal and reflecting on the past. What things have you done that you’re most proud of? These are events we often forget in pursuit of the next greatest thing, but they serve as hints to where our gifting lies. Self-care is another aspect we tend to push to the side, but something so integral to getting in tune with our passions and calling. Bob and Kelsey share their own self-care strategies with you in this podcast, and explore other tools like rediscovering your personal qualities, building up a value system, and putting yourself out there. Listen in to get started (or re-started) on your own personal journey to fulfillment and purpose!
Connect with your hosts
Share your story with us
Sponsored by Moi Moi Market www.instagram.com/moimoimarket
Cracked and worn-out feet. Exhausted. Broken.
“What happened to you?”
The question conveyed compassion; not criticism, not judgement. They handed her keys to a beautiful room. Her own. They gave her a job. No one even considered her past record.
This is the experience of thousands of women who have walked through the doors of Thistle Farms, a Nashville-based non-profit whose mission is to heal, employ, and empower women who’ve been trafficked, prostituted, abused, and addicted. Kelsey had the privilege of sitting down and talking story with two women who have been through this life-changing program, Dorris and Katrina. Both were freed from decades on the streets battling abuse and addiction, and “loved back to life” at Thistle Farms. Their heart-wrenching and inspiring stories told in this episode reflect those of the many women who have found healing through Thistle Farms. Healing, and jobs with incredible purpose.
Thistle Farms empowers through employment by giving each of its women a paid opportunity to help others out of the same tattered lifestyle they once were in themselves. Candles, lotions, lip balms, and other natural products are hand-made with love, and the profits go towards getting the next woman off the streets. Strategically placing these products in gift shops, salons, and other businesses throughout the U.S. ensures that the message of Thistle Farms spreads to areas it might not otherwise reach. The program is transforming women’s lives, not just locally, but on a global scale as well. “When you talk about healing women, you can’t just talk about women in our backyard. You’ve gotta talk about women all around the globe.” You won’t want to miss hearing the impact this amazing organization is making around the world, and the powerful stories of two women who’ve gotten their lives back because of it. Thistle Farms’ motto rings true in this podcast: Love is the most powerful force to heal.
You can learn more about Thistle Farms and purchase products that help heal and restore women at thistlefarms.org or moimoimarket.com. If you’re in the Nashville area, you can also stop in for a bite at Thistle Farms’ Cafe and gift store.
Connect with Bob www.instagram.com/waliszrs
Connect with Kelsey www.instagram.com/captkelseyhawaii
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Get ready to meet a guy who has successfully turned his side hustle into a full-time job! Way too often, our passions get pushed into the dusty corner of our busy agendas. The idea of doing what we really love on a full-time basis is dismissed as impractical and not possible. Well, The Talking Story Podcast is here with Luke from Indiana to tell you that it is possible! Luke was working in construction while doing what he loved on the side. He turned that side gig into MudLOVE, a pottery business that has completely taken off. It now gives back in a huge way with every single sale.
MudLOVE just celebrated its 10th anniversary, but it probably wouldn’t exist today if Luke hadn’t tuned into something bigger than himself. Depression, anxiety, and the emptiness of the party hardy lifestyle had brought Luke to a breaking point in college. He realized he was seriously missing his calling. He was struggling his way through pre-pharmacy, when his skills were really in a less celebrated field— ceramics. Luke faced quite a bit of failure, but it brought him to a place where he could do what he was meant to do. He found peace and fulfillment in following that still, small voice and getting his hands back in the clay.
A dusty studio, a box of clay, and grandma’s stamps set the scene for MudLOVE’s beginning. As it grew, Luke had a word from God: “deny yourself.” MudLOVE wasn’t meant to be just a money-maker. It had a greater purpose. Almost a decade later, it’s now a full-blown business mission, making inspirational bracelets and mugs all while helping provide one of the world’s direst needs, clean water. Every product sold equals one whole week of clean water! In places in Africa where life expectancy hovers around 50 years, this couldn’t be more vital. Tune in to hear more of Luke’s awesome journey and the impact being made through the organization he supports, Water For Good.
Visit www.mudlove.com and www.moimoimarket.com to check out Luke’s beautiful products and go to www.waterforgood.org to learn more about their vision for clean water.
“Deny yourself.” It’s amazing what can happen when you do.
Bob Waliszewski www.instagram.com/waliszrs
Kelsey Waliszewski www.instagramcom/captkelseyhawaii
Have you ever felt burdened by an issue in your community? Wanted to help, but didn’t know where to begin? With so much need surrounding us, getting started can be a real challenge. This week’s episode of The Talking Story Podcast takes us to Bali to meet with an incredibly driven and self-starting businesswoman, Yasmin, who faced this very dilemma. She was enjoying life and working for a successful business, until her 30th birthday rolled around and brought with it a pressing question— what now?
Yasmin had experienced poverty, inequality, and the shift from organic to inorganic products while growing up in an Indonesian village. As a teen, she was disheartened at the sight of so many hurting people while volunteering in the aftermath of a devastating tsunami. She had a passion to help, but the magnitude of the issues was beyond discouraging. Words from a friend inspired her, as well as the business model she would form over 10 years later: “You cannot save the world on your own. You need all hands to do this.”
Her heart for people, the environment, and a want to see change motivated her to leave her job and begin an ethical and sustainable business venture. “Yasminida” kickstarted with a second-hand sewing machine, some YouTube tutorials, and a desire to go big. The goal is to make beautiful and environmentally friendly products, holding fast to a zero-waste policy. Her main product, reusable utensil sets, are crafted from locally grown bamboo with the goal to cut down on plastic pollutants. Yasmin incorporates her heart for humanity and equality by giving her 35 women employees, some of whom are disabled, some pretty remarkable benefits! Give this week’s episode a listen to learn more about her kindness-based business model, and how she keeps her company entirely waste free. You’ll be inspired by her passion and future goals, and by how this “ordinary” woman is making big changes in her community and beyond.
Learn more about Yasminida and their sustainable products at www.yasminida.com. And, visit www.moimoimarket.com to purchase your reusable bamboo utensil set and help reduce plastic usage.
Join us as we head to Bali! Bali is an island in Indonesia that struggles, like all of us, with pollution, trash, and damage to their coral reefs. However, they too are also on the brink of some MAJOR sustainable and eco-friendly movements. Raising up our kiddos in the up and coming generation in sustainable practices is essential for the future of this globe. This awesome lady works a day job helping inspire our youth to make positive changes in the planet, while on the side is creating fair wage work for women in her community. In fact, Carolin shares that the women who make these Shimmy Bracelets, actually make more money than their husbands! That is not typical, especially in a patriarchal society.
We sit down with Carolin at a little cafe right on a busy street. We love her smile, and her passion to help people and the animals in Bali is inspiring. We truly understand that her joy comes from helping others, and that is what we consider extraordinary.
Want to help empower more sisters in a sustainable and fair wage? Purchase a bracelet. Want to contribute to educating the youth in planet friendly practices? Buy a bracelet. Love dogs and can relate with Carolin in helping our furry friends? Buy a bracelet. Simply put, by purchasing a water-proof, semi precious stone bracelet- you are participating in making Bali a better, sustainable, and cleaner place. We are all connected, as we are all together on this planet. And we can cast a vote on the future of our planet in just how we spend our dollar. Why not empower those who are alleviating poverty, addressing animal issues, and educating our youth? Will you join me?
I like to travel. In the past two years, I've been to China, South Korea, Thailand Indonesia and Kenya. But I'll admit, when I go to these places, I enjoy a bit of comfort. I don't have to stay in a 4 or 5-Star hotel, but I'm not chomping at the bit to stay in some flea ridden place that may (or may not) change the sheets on the bed -- if they have sheets at all.
But our guest for Podcast No.5 has a much different perspective. And that's one of many reasons I've grown to admire her. And I believe you will, too. Lenya Heitzig, in her words has pushed herself to become a "G.I. Jane" --traipsing through the jungles with machette in hand (well I'm not sure about the machette part). But all of this was for a purpose, a purpose to help people.
Pushing herself may be a bit of an understatement. Lenya calls herself a "blonde Malibu Barbie." You might be asking yourself if a Malibu Barbie can make a difference on this planet? I think you'll be saying, "Wow, yes they can!" when you finish hearing her story, a story that involves kids, terrorists, playgrounds, spent bullet cases, and an acronym she uses: C.A.N.
I know you'll be inspired by this podcast. But let me also say she's not trying to encourage you to become a G.I. Jane. She just tells her journey and I think you'll be encouraged to follow your dreams and leadings too...wherever they may lead.
Be sure to check out her bracelets that are made from recycled bullet casings and paracord found on www.moimoimarket.com/jewelry. By purchasing this product you can make a difference in these kids lives and be a participant of the good that is taking place in this world!
For more information on ReLoad Love and Lenya and her team visit www.reloadlove.com
You can find us all on Instagram
It’s Bob and Kelsey Waliszewski, the father/daughter duo, here again on The Talking Story Podcast. First off, thank you so much for subscribing, reviewing, and sharing our podcast with your friends, family, and social media following. The only way that we can help inspire more folks locally and globally via these fantastic stories that have already aired and have yet to air…is through YOU. So thank you, thank you, thank you. We truly can’t do this without you.
We are a month in to this new endeavor of podcasting, and the feedback we have received has been phenomenal. Last week, our episode with Jessica Munoz of Hoolanpua aired and the response was fabulous. One person wrote, “Love the idea of the podcast! Nice and short so I can listen while I do the dishes or drive around town. Can’t wait to hear more stories. I’m super interested to learn about what awesome thngs people are doing to better the world”. If you’re one that has left us feedback, thank you! If not, we want to hear from you. You can interact with us @thetalkingstorypodcast. Ask questions. Provide feedback. Plus, we want to hear yourstory. We all have one, and we want to continue to inspire you to keep using your story to make a difference and better this globe.
So, with this week’s podcast (No.4 if you’re counting), we have decided to go in a slightly different direction. This time around we want to give you a little insight into the father/daughter relationship of Bob and Kelsey. We wanted to make things a little bit more personal and share how familial relationships can also combat and prevent sex trafficking.
Imagine, you are a parent of a sixth-grade girl attending a private school. As adolescence hits, your familial fights seem to escalate. Your little girl is growing up way too fast, and it is hard to keep up in her world. She tends to spend more time in her room and seems to be increasing her distance from you. You see it as a phase and go with a “this too shall pass” attitude. Your last fight was about the overage in her screen time, she seems to be on her phone an awful lot. She marches to her room and slams the door; this is becoming the norm in your house. The next morning you find her room empty, window open, she’s gone. Gone. You call the police, and the search for your daughter begins.
Stats show that 1.6-2.8 million kids run-away from home each year according to National Runaway Safeline, especially during the turbulent adolescent years. These run-aways come from all racial, social, and economic backgrounds. The commonality that these runaways have is that there is tension and unhappiness in their life, and they run away, thinking that whatever is outside the home is the solution to their problems. Most kids are approached with a “solution” within 24-48 hours of running away. And that solution is the beginning to sex trafficking.
Sex trafficking is a very real deal, and is happening all over the world, and I promise you, even in your community wherever you may live. Personally, we live in what is considered paradise, the Big Island of Hawaii, yet it’s happening here every day. I (Kelsey) became aware of this horrific issue through the educational efforts of Hoolanapua. (I’m sure many of you, like me, are stuck at the pronunciation of this extremely long Hawaiian word, so here’s the breakdown *ho-oh-la-nuh-pooh-ah*). This incredible organization is leading the way in educational efforts to combat the issues of trafficking in Hawaii. They also are helping victims thru mentorships and are currently in the process of building a 30-bedroom all-inclusive therapeutic facility that will house minors who have come out of the emotionally abusive and traumatic experience of being victims of trafficking.
What does sex trafficking look like? Well it is forcing, co-ercing, and/ or frauding an individual, boy or girl under the age of 18, to perform sexual acts for money, housing, food, safety of friend and family and/or basic necessities. I (Kelsey) first heard about sex trafficking in when I was a youth pastor in Hilo. Since I was working with kids there, we were kept apprised on what was happening locally. Girls who were attending public schools were being wooed by boys their same age attending the same school, who were actually staged pimps (the person who arranges the sale and exploitation of the girl). These boys would become these girls’ boyfriends and promise them the world. After a few months, the boy would request the girl to perform a sex act for a “friend” as a “loving” and committed gesture, in which he would use the money to further “take care of her”. These “boyfriends” would also encourage the girl to use drugs, and once addicted, the girl would need to fund the now drug addiction by performing sex acts or the action of sex itself. Now, after living in Hawaii for ten years, I’ve heard of parents pimping out their kids to pay for a drug and/or alcohol addiction. One sick story really stuck with me: A man sold a two-year-old family member for an hour of abuse to help pay his bills!
Horrible, horrible atrocities are occurring all over the world and your neighborhood, and we must collectively rise up and take action to stop it.
Meet Tony and Fronda from Heart Ranch, an organization in Hilo, Hawaii dedicated to serving families on the Big Island through horse therapy.
This podcast is not just for those interested in horses, horse therapy or ranch-life. But the takeaway tools here today will help ya’ll out there who are feeling…well… stuck, that things are just moving too slow, or those trying to keep too many spinning plates, well spinning. And all the while wondering if it is even worth doing what they’re doing.
Of this podcast is for those wanting to pay it forward … more. Maybe you have some extra time and want to devote an hour or two a week and help give back to your local community. Maybe you have a business or a job, and feel as if this business or job could be a key to giving back or giving back more.n
Or maybe you’re just going through a low point in your life right now. Well foks, this podcast is for you. In the bonus section, I, Kelsey, open up about being a divorcee and how Heart Ranch played a critical role at a very dark time in my life.
Back to Tony and Fronda. This powerhouse couple talks about their journey of owning a business and running a non-profit simultaneously. Patience, perseverance, and hard work have all played a significant role at Heart Ranch, and they wouldn’t trade a single second of it. They talk about what a horse therapy ranch is and how it has incredible impact in the lives of the kids and volunteers. They also talk about the challenges of life, and how they get through the day to day. They even discuss the five-year journey it took Heart Ranch to go from dream to reality. I promise you, listening to this will help you with the tools to change your life and other’s lives around you. And be sure to check out the bonus section too.
To learn more about Heart Ranch go to www.heartranch.org. They also refer to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, their inspiration and a couple we plan to have on the podcast soon (Kim and Troy, we will be reaching out to you soon☺). But check out www.crystalpeaksyouthranch.org
Social media @heartranchhilo
Sponsor of today www.moimoimarket.com @moimoimarket
You can be a part of what is happening by purchasing one of Mercy's bracelets. Mercy, a 10 year girl who volunteers at Heart Ranch, has collaborated with Moi Moi Market to make these beautiful bracelets to raise money for the needs at Heart Ranch.
Keep in touch with us @thetalkingstorypodcast. We want to hear from you. And please share if you like what you hear. Thanks in advance!
Welcome to our first episode of the Talking Story Podcast. Meet Bob and Kelsey Waliszewski, a father and daughter team, as they share their heart behind the podcast. We are normal people with a heart and passion to use our lives to make a positive impact in this world. We are looking for folks who are using their lives, time, resources, and finances to make this planet a better place. We hope these stories will give you tools in which you can use to continue the passions and dreams stirring in your heart.