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How It All Started
As we look into the future with no shortage of vision and opportunity, we want to share our journey with you. From where we started, to where we are headed and all the major steps in between. While we've seen the hand of God in remarkable ways throughout, it doesn't change the fact that this story is really hard to share, because in so many ways we feel like we have failed, not only ourselves, but you, our supporters. You know what they say about "the best laid plans". It often feels like we are failing forward and maybe that's the point. Practice makes perfect! We have learned that anything worthwhile is never easy; but God is always good, so here it goes.
TK Collective has been a long-standing dream. One born out of the belief that God has gifted people with amazing gifts, talents, and skills that when utilized not only create meaning and purpose in our own life, but they have the power to shape the world for good, and for God. This is where business comes in. When people cultivate and capitalize on their gifts for the glory of God, Kingdom businesses are established, and they are powerful vehicles for the holistic transformation of individuals, families, and communities.
This work is a dream we have had for so long that 14 years before we founded TK Collective, we started Hut2Home, a similar concept, but quickly realized that at that stage of life we just didn't have the capacity to get it off the ground, so we shelved the dream until the summer of 2018, when after months of prayer walking and seeking God, we heard him nudge our spirits saying, "Just Start".
That is what we did, we booked a vision trip to Guatemala for that fall and returned to establish TK Collective LLC. In January of 2019 with $500 of product from Guatemalan artisans, and a plan to return long term. Looking back, we were some doe-eyed beginners with enough idealism to end world hunger, or so we thought.
By August we had signed on as missionaries under Mission Quest and had a very detailed plan to move to Guatemala long term. We were going to build a gospel centered vocational training school that would run parallel to TK 's artisan boutique. The School of Marketplace Leadership would materialize into a 3-year program that would empower high-capacity young leaders from indigenous Guatemalan communities and require lots of overhead.
Although we'd like to think our plan was pretty awesome, we were quickly humbled to the fact that it was not God's, when a short 3 weeks after we signed on with Mission Quest Jose was terminated from his long-standing employment for no fault of his own. This definitely put some kinks in our plan, but despite the difficulty of living with VERY little income for several months, we saw God's hand very clearly as he sustained us through some very low, lows.
This gave us the confidence to push forward with fundraising, and we had quite a bit of early success, so we moved forward with departure preparations. Including listing our house for sale at the beginning of covid, and by late June we were under contract, with a closing date the first week of August 2020.
Heck yeah! We were doing this. The excitement was mounting-we were living this dream that we had prayed for, for so long. It was time to pack.
The four of us, each got a suitcase and one large tote to pack our whole lives up into, and whatever didn't fit was sold in an estate sale. When everything was gone, and the house was empty, we purchased our plane tickets with a departure date of August 5th, 2020 and registered our girls for the upcoming school year in Guatemala that would begin August 16th.
Packed and ready to go we planned to spend our final four weeks on a west coast fundraising/visiting family road trip, and off we went-emotions high.
It's hard to quantify what we were feeling at this point. On one hand, we were living a dream that we have carried for so long, the excitement and anticipation was intense. Yet on the other, the fear of the unknown, the sadness thinking about all that we would miss in our absence, and don't get us started on the guilt over the sacrifices we were asking of our children, and even in that, there was a competing sense of gratitude for the opportunity to experience the world with our children.
I came across this post recently, that we made on our Instagram as we were headed west and it still challenges me to this day.
"Location: Middle of nowhere Texas and our subsequent thoughts.....
"How might it feel to make decisions based on calling and purpose, rather than what's comfortable, attainable and risk free"-Jess Connolly
We read these words as we were cruising through the desolate west Texas plains, where tumbleweeds, dust devils, and long stretches of nothing make up the backdrop for this BORING landscape.
It got us thinking about a life lived within the line, and one surrendered to fear rather than passions and purpose.
There is a person for every purpose. Don't let your fears, or your desire for the safe and secure hold you back from living into your MORE".
Little did we know at the time of this writing that our "more" was about to crumble. That we would never actually get on that plane headed to Guatemala, and that by the time we reached California we would.................
to be continued next week.