Thursday, June 18, 2009

Interview with Mrs. Montana International, Angela Breidenbach

Captain's Log, Stardate 06.18.2009

I am so thrilled that my friend, Angie Breidenbach, is with me today for an interview! I know Angie through ACFW, and she recently won Mrs. Montana International! She will be competing for Mrs. International soon. (Isn't she just gorgeous???!)

And now, here’s me and Angie!

As Mrs. Montana International, you were able to choose an international charity to support. Yours is Hope's Promise Orphan Ministries--why?

I learned about Hope's Promise from the mission trip my son and his wife took to Kenya. They brought home stories about the children in the Mathare Slum and about the single mothers with AIDS. Little boys that played in sewage rivers and little girls never potty trained or hugged properly. My heart still hurts for them.

By working with Hope's Promise Orphan Ministries as Mrs. Montana International (and hopefully Mrs. International) I can in a small way help by drawing attention and awareness to the needs of beautiful people from places like Namibia, Kenya, and Vietnam.

I love the mission is not just international adoption, but to raise up a generation within their own country to be leaders and community builders. A generation that can pour talents and gifts back to the people rather than always taking the child away from his or her homeland.

Through Hope's Promise, we can strengthen those countries and the future of those children long term into generations to come. Hope's Promise provides humanitarian aid to needy children in many countries. While international adoption helps many children, countless children are left behind that are equally deserving of a hope filled future, and a family. I love that Hope's Promise Orphan Ministries is two-pronged in international adoption and devoted to helping those children who remain in their birth countries.

How are the Sanctuary of Hope homes different than a standard orphanage?

Our vision is family-like homes because research proves the most effective holistic development for children can only happen in the context of loving, attached families. It's tangible and emotional human connection- that is our primary goal. If we could someday empty all the institutional orphanages into families, wow! I love a quote I heard from Colleen Briggs (Hope's Promise-Director of Orphan Care.) She says, "That would be a dream worth living and dying for."

We want the Sanctuary of Hope homes close together but not right together - to avoid an orphanage atmosphere, you know, removed from the community. We want our families to be integrated into the community like normal families. Hope's Promise envisions a home with a mom and dad, not an institution with workers.

The Gems of Wisdom jewelry line you commissioned through Pamba Toto acts as memory anchors for the concepts you teach in life coaching and your writing, but there are some special things about the jewelry. Tell us about fair trade and the Taraja Project.

The Gems of Wisdom jewelry came out of the book I wrote and the life coaching I now do. In each chapter (and each coaching session) I help people battle their inner pirates, those negative beliefs and struggles that stop us from achieving our goals and dreams. By the end of the chapter or coaching session, we earn our gem of wisdom. (I'll be teaching a week long free class through ACFW this July on this topic.)

I realized that having a tangible stone would focus concentration on the new concept much like prayer beads or a rosary does during prayer. I could have commissioned any jewelry manufacturer, but I wanted one that used fair trade and touched the world. Through my son's mission trip, I found out about Pamba Toto jewelry and the connection to Hope's Promise. 50% of Pamba Toto's profit supports the Sanctuary of Hope Orphan Homes in Kenya. It was a natural and perfect fit for my business. As a result, we use Fair Trade whenever and where ever possible for silver, beads, gems etc.

Then I found out about the Taraja project. It's a ministry that teaches mommies with AIDS how to provide for their children as long as they are able. They are paid fair trade wages to make things like the jewelry pouches I send to my customers-- and coming late this summer, purses! These mommies are kept with their little ones until they are no longer able and pass away. The children, if the mommy is not in the Taraja Project, often end up orphaned and living in the streets. Hope's Promise is able to reach out to these orphans and their mothers.

I am blessed to be a part of these missions through my line of jewelry. My clients are able to touch the lives of orphans and AIDS victims at the same time as enriching their own life. It's personal growth and powerful, intentional living.

You can find Gems of Wisdom jewelry at www.MyGemofWisdom.com

As Mrs. Montana, how do you stay healthy?

I started 3 years ago, as I watched my mom painfully slip away, in the Weight Watcher program. I lost 35 pounds in 8 months. I knew I didn't want to make the same choices she did and die so young. Then I started to get really busy in my professional life. The weight loss gave me confidence to go after my dreams. I didn't want to lose that. So I began looking for ways to keep exercise in my life. I still attend and work with Weight Watchers to maintain my weight loss. But for exercise, I record Yoga on TV because I found it in 15 minute increments and I don't waste travel time to the gym. I actually do it throughout the day and not all at once. I also take part in the American Heart Association's Choose to Move program with a little widget for tips and reminders on my laptop.

I stay healthy by not trying to do it all by myself. Being healthy is one area I feel it's crucial to be a team player and teachable. I believe in using all the tools and support available. I love how much support I get from both Weight Watchers and the American Heart Association's Choose to Move programs. They are a part of my daily life.

I cannot stress enough, this is not a diet or a fad. This is my life and how I now choose to live it.

Parting remarks?

We all have difficulty in our lives. It's when we dig deep and battle those internal pirates that we gain gems of wisdom from what we've overcome. Then we're equipped to use those gems to help ourselves and others. We discover that by filling our treasure chests, our battles have become the treasure to enrich the lives of others.

Camy here: Thanks for being here with me, Angie! And good luck on Mrs. International!

1 comment :

  1. Thank you, Camy, for having me. I appreciate your graciousness in letting me talk about the kiddos that are so on my heart.

    Much appreciation!
    Angie

    ReplyDelete

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