Monday, September 27, 2010
Rick Slager is a business man from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. He grew up on a dairy farm until his early teens and has lived in Wisconsin all his life. He and his wife, Dawn, have been married for 20 years (they actually share the same anniversary as Bob and I - October 20, 1990:-). Dawn is a teacher. They have two beautiful daughters, Sadie and Ella.
When I met Rick, about a year ago, he owned three businesses, with sales of over $500,000 annually. He describes himself as an entrepreneur at heart. In 2001 Rick had the opportunity to travel on a short-term mission trip to Senegal with a group of strangers from North Carolina. He has since been to Senegal ten times, to the DR Congo once, and has decided to sell all of his businesses and go into ministry full time. That's right - you read it correctly - sell all his businesses and go into ministry full-time. And yes, he and Dawn are still happily married. I'm excited to announce that he had decided to work with Partners Worldwide, specifically in West Africa, to do agriculture development, specifically as it relates to appropriate affordable technology for small scale farmers. His program is called the Rural Empowerment Initiative and he will be first working with Liberia and Cote d'Ivoire, and then hopes to add Ghana and Senegal. You can read about Rick's work and story at www.ruralempowermentinitiative.org.
What makes people like Rick do radical things like this? I think the only answer can be God. But it also takes a courageous person to follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 2: 9 says that we are a "peculiar people" (Ok, I know, some versions say "chosen people" but I kind of like "peculiar". Pastor Dave often reminded us of how peculiar we are!) Rick gave his life to Christ only fourteen years ago - his time before that was not easy but I'll let him tell that story. Since he gave himself to Christ, it seems to me that his life has been an exciting roller coaster ride leading him places that he probably never imagined he would go.
Here are two cartoons that Rick had up on his blog that seem to represent some of the call on his life. I thought I'd share them with you:
www.partnersworldwide.org) in Grand Rapids. He hopes that his story will encourage other people to "get out of the boat." I encourage you to get in touch with him if you are trying to figure out what the water is like.