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CropTalk: A Servant’s Heart: Beck’s in the Dominican Republic

October 2019

Published on Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Limited paid time off, family commitments, and tight finances can sometimes get in the way of what God has called us to do – to serve and love others. And the Beck family understands that struggle.

In fact, Shantel Beck, who has had a deep passion for serving all her life, has had a vision for incorporating missions into Beck’s culture for quite some time. Her vision became a reality this year. Thanks to the generosity of the Beck family and Beck’s leadership team, Beck’s employees and their families were given two opportunities to serve on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic through Freedom International Ministries.

“At Beck’s, we have a strong human resources department that wants to see a positive culture and growth in people’s lives,” said Shantel, who went on the first trip and will also be going on the second. “That growth comes in a variety of ways. We focus on sending people to conferences to help them grow in their leadership skills, but leadership stems from character. To invest in them on the spiritual side of things is an important piece that may have been missing in the culture here. It all works together.”

The first group of 18 employees and family members went in July, including Eric Rife, a sales support manager in London, OH. During his first few days in the Dominican Republic, he worked on the construction team, overcoming his fear of heights by pouring concrete on the third floor of a building.

“The other few days I worked with the kids,” Eric said. “At first, I was leery. I didn’t know how to handle them and how to work with them. But within the first hour, I just fell in love with it and took to them easily. We saw the same kids for both days, and it was nice to build a bond with them and learn from them. I saw the living conditions they had and where they come from. Even though they didn’t have much, it was great to see those kids come in with big hearts and great attitudes, willing to learn from us. It was pretty special.”

Along with all the memories, Eric brought back a new perspective and attitude when it comes to contentment.

“Contentment was the biggest thing a lot of us learned down there,” he said. “The kids there don’t have the things we have in the U.S., and it doesn’t even bother them. That was one thing I brought back home – trying to be more positive and understand the things that we have is what God has given us, and we need to make the best of it.”

Andrew Cook, a testing site lead in the research department in Atlanta, IN, also learned a lot from the children at the school, especially one child in particular who was misbehaving on the first day. After missing a few days of school due to his obedience issues, he came back with a helpful attitude and was fully engaged in class.

“I learned to never count anybody out, especially youngsters,” said Andrew. “We never know what somebody is going through at home or elsewhere that may trigger bad moments in their lives. We are always to show love and grace.”

The next group of employees will depart on October 12. Jenna Noah, a graphic designer in Atlanta, will be one of those employees embarking on the journey.

“My first international mission trip was to the Dominican Republic with Freedom International in 2016, and I still remember the students I worked with and the spiritual theme and biblical lessons we discussed,” said Jenna. “The purpose, love, and devotion of the missionary families is inspiring, and the students' spirit and hunger for knowledge is contagious. What better way to teach people about Jesus than to show them Jesus by providing them an education and the opportunity of a better future?”

I will be joining Jenna and the rest of the group in October, and I am humbled to get this opportunity to serve in this way. I know I will be forever changed by this experience.

“What you experience on these trips really changes your perspective,” said Shantel. “I’m not looking at it like I’m trying to change anyone’s beliefs, but that I am simply giving them an opportunity to discover what they believe and build a relationship with God. It’s God’s job to work on their hearts. My job is to simply help provide that opportunity.”

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Ashley Heyen

Ashley Heyen

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