I'm an electrician. This summer will mark ten years I've been in the trade. If you've followed my story, you know that I've spent a lot of time out of work over the years. That's really just part of being in construction. Those seasons have been challenging for the Meltons in varying degrees, but they've always given me time for introspection: Where am I going? What's God doing?
I take it as an article of faith that the path we walk always gets worked into God's greater purpose. I felt like I just stumbled into electrical work, and have often wondered how my previous experiences would weave into the bigger part of my story. There's still a lot I don't know about that, but I'm starting to see it happen.
A few years ago, during one of those long out-of-work stretches, I started realizing that my construction skills could be used in real service to folks in need. I started looking for jobs in the non-profit sector, and applied for a few. At the same time, I was talking to some people in Northwest Arkansas, asking if there was any way for contractors and tradesmen like myself to connect with people in need. Everyone I talked to thought it was a good idea, but no one knew of anything like that here.
Time went on, I went to work for a local contractor, and the seed lay on the ground.
Over the last several months, I've found myself independently employed again. [I know that sounds weird. I'm not really self-employed; I have a partner, sort of. His business is a sole proprietorship, and we're still trying to decide if a legal partnership is warranted.] Anyway, a lot of the work we've been doing has been in Joplin, MO, and most of that has been in coordination with relief organizations on the ground there.
And the seed that lay on the ground started to grow.
I started talking to some people, and we're trying to find more people to talk to, and we're all going to try to figure out together how we can involve ourselves in what God's already doing around us.
Here's a little document I put together the other day. It's just a bullet-point flyby of what the idea looks like right now:
I don't really know where this will end up. I'm just trying to roll with it, trying follow through with each step I know I must take.
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door," he used to say. "You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no telling where you might be swept off to."
I like adventures.
Update: As I edit my framework document, I'll try to keep Scribd updated as well. So, what you see should be the most current working document.