I get asked from time to time what I’m doing here (Cardiff, Wales), especially as soon as someone recognizes that I’m from America. So I thought I would take a second and tell the story. Don’t worry, it’s not a long story.
From the time I graduated from university (1997) to early 2006 I worked for a major telecommunications company in America. It was a good job, especially if you wanted to take the opportunities to climb the corporate ladder and make a name for yourself. I taught courses for our internal training department. If you were a software engineer and were looking to move jobs, or gain new skills, you came to us. I traveled a little (in the States) and taught a lot. And like I said, it was a good job.
But I wasn’t fulfilled. I had no interest in climbing the corporate ladder. I didn’t see how that would have any sort of impact on the world around me. So my wife and I started asking questions, to ourselves, to the God we follow, to friends, etc. We wanted to get to the end of our lives and not feel as though we had wasted the opportunities we had been given. And with that, we sold our home, our two cars, and some of our stuff, packed up the rest, and moved to Cardiff. I am unapologetically a follower of Jesus. My relationship with him motivates me to do the things I do and say the things I say. I’m not the guy that’s going to cram my beliefs down someone’s throat, but in order to be true to my beliefs it’s important that you know that our main motivation for coming to a place and culture not our own was that we felt like this is where God wanted us. And I’m here doing what I do because of my love for others…not to save them, not to convert them…but because I’ve been loved, I’m to love others.
Once here I established a charity (non-profit) called CommunityOne. I won’t go into all the details about CommunityOne, you can check the website for those. Essentially we offer services (teaching, business training, web/online assistance) to people that need them. No strings attached. No “you need Jesus” speech. Just assistance where we can provide it. I truly do believe that communities can be transformed through the simple act of helping others. As an initiative of CommunityOne we launched Cardiff Connect in the middle of last year. Cardiff Connect was established to promote individuals and organisations in Cardiff that are doing good for the community. We put up two organisations last year and have a couple lined up for the next couple of weeks.
CommunityOne will be getting a makeover in the coming weeks. We just got back from a six month break in the US and a new start means a new look. Here’s a teaser:
That’s me…and that’s how I got to Cardiff. If you’re curious about anything let me know.