Friday, October 28, 2011

Inspire Me Series: Alida/Blackpurl's Knitpickings!

To continue the birthday celebrations...i will be introducing you to a lady that definitely has become a blessing in many ways and completely inspires my soul!
I came across Alida's blog, Blackpurl Knitpickings, while i was planning our wedding almost a year ago.  As i learned more about her, i was inspired by her role as a woman, wife and as her husband's help-meet.  She inspires me on a daily basis with the work her and husband are doing in Belize.  They minister to families and children in Belize and teach and preach on issues that can plague all of us, including: poverty, addictions, sexual/child abuse and many others.

I love how Alida weaves her roles as woman/wife/helpmeet to her husband to reach out to others in need.  She inspires me to be a better woman, wife and help-meet.  Additionally, she encourages me, through her inspiratiopnal blog and this interview to find out what moves my heart and find my purpose.  We never know what God has in store for us however we can always be ready to be inspired by something and someone.  I hope Alida inspires you as she continues to inspire me.

________________________________________________

Whats your name?
Alida

What's your husband's name?
Tom

Where can we read about your ministry?
I write about our life and our work on my blog
 http://blackpurlsknitpickings.blogspot.com/

What does your blog name: Blackpurl Knitpickings mean?
I started the blog just before our move to Russia as a way to journal what we were experiencing and keep our family, friends and supporters up to date with our lives and work. My husband had given me a black pearl ring for our 20th anniversary and I am a knitter. So I changed black pearl to black purl, (a purl is a stitch in knitting) and a nitpicker is someone who looks at the minute details of everything. I just changed nit to knit. It's stupid and our sons who were teenagers at the time thought is was worthy of an eye roll or two but I thought it was clever.

You and your husband have been married for almost 30years...
how do you maintain your marriage daily?
We share a common belief spiritually which we see as the glue in our bond with one another.  We have been a  couple for 32 years and we will celebrate our 30th anniversary on December 13th of this year.  There isn't really a specific formula that we follow for our relationship.  It was founded on friendship.  Then we became high school sweethearts.  We met when we were 15 and started dating at 16 and got married at 18. We work together, we talk and laugh a lot together, we encourage one another...we are still best friends. We don't have a specific formula for our relationship.  We just kind of stumbled on a rhythm that works for us. One day at a time is how we live and love. We don't have a lot of stress at this point in our lives and that helps!

You and your husband are missionaries...what does that mean exactly?
This is a tough question because we are not traditional missionaries. We felt called to take the work we were doing in the area of working with people in recovery from drugs and alcohol (Tom) and their families (Alida) from California to Russia. Basically, we had people who shared that vision with us to the extent that the work we do is funded by a variety of individuals and a few churches.

How did you become involved in ministry?
Tom was on staff at our church in California as the Pastor of Recovery. He was asked by another pastor to go with him to Russia to speak on the topic of Christianity and the Twelve Steps. As they were on this speaking tour in churches and at support groups Tom felt he was being called to Russia to do recovery work and teach pastors and churches how to effectively work with people in recovery through counseling and the12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.


How was it like residing in Russia?
It was an adventure. Think of all the things that you do in a day. Things you explain to people, places that you shop, simple errands that you run. Now imagine doing all of those things when you cannot speak the language or read the packaging on items in the store! I had to carry a dictionary with me to the market when we first arrived. I spent two and half years in language school and two and half years working with a private tutor. Life was exciting, hard, stressful and joyful. We either used public transportation or walked everywhere we went. So we had to interact with people and function in society as best we could. Most people were very friendly and glad that we were making the effort to speak their language. So we got help everywhere we went and met some fascinating people along the way. As far as relationships with people it can take years for someone to call you friend. And everything there done is based on relationships. We were there for five years and we were blessed to be called friends by some truly incredible people.


What brought you to Belize?
When we found out that the Russian government was not going to renew Tom's work visa we sent out a letter to our supporters asking for prayer about our situation. We were stuck in Istanbul, Turkey at the time waiting to hear the news. One of our supporters had just returned from a trip to Belize and he believed that we could be useful there. We didn't even know where this country was...we had to Google it! We talked about it and prayed about with some friends of ours and felt that Belize was where we were being led to go.

Did you and your husband always know you would be doing this line of work?
No. I thought Tom was going to be a Marriage and Family therapist and we would live happily ever after in our house in California. After five years of working in a psychiatric hospital Tom felt led to leave there and go to work on staff at a church. He was there for 10 years. And then we went to Russia. I never imagined being a pastor's wife or a missionary.

What have you learned about yourself since going into ministry?
I have learned that I have so much more to learn. I don't have all the answers and never will. My being an American or a Christian is not always looked on favorably because of the stereotypes that go along with being those things. I have learned that my rights as an American only truly exist on American soil. I have learned to slow down. I have learned to be kinder to myself and those around me. I have learned that I am mentally stronger than I thought I was. I have learned that I have something to share with others in my sphere of influence. I have learned that the hardships I have gone through in life are truly universal.

How long is your missions work in Belize?
Another tough question...but this one has a simple answer. I don't know. We are here for as long as we feel God wants us to be here. We would love to be here for the rest of our lives. We try to be in tune with where we can best be of service. And right now that is Belize. Our desire is to be wherever we are supposed to be and do the next thing that we are supposed to do. In Russia our work was in alcohol and drug recovery and support groups. Here in Belize it is about counseling and mentoring.

How can we support your ministry?
You can support us through praying for us and for the counseling center we started. We need financial support as well...we don't charge the people we see for counseling. We are working with abuse victims and victims of sex trafficking. If you would like to partner with us and provide financial support for our work here in Belize please send your tax deductible donations to:
DBR Ministries
for Tom and Alida Sharp
P.O. Box 279
Sanford, NC, 27331
919-478-6237 Phone
919-718-0350 FAX
dbrministries@yahoo.com
donations of any size are greatly appreciated.
Or if you would like to give a simple gift directly to us you may do so through PayPal.
just use the email address alidasmail@juno.com


Do you like pancakes?
I love pancakes and have my recipe memorized!!!

What would you do on a longlazysunday?
Spend the day in bed reading. Or at the beach reading. Or on my front porch reading...well you get the idea. Wherever I am reading would be involved!

Is what you are doing your life's purpose?
Helping people move from being stuck to unstuck emotionally, spiritually, relationally and so on is my life's purpose.

Where's your fav. place to visit in the UsofA?
Pismo Beach, Ca. The waves, the smell of the ocean and the scenery truly take my breath away.

What's your fav. Bible verse?
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

What inspires you on a daily basis?
My faith...I read and I meditate daily on scriptures or on sayings and various words. My word for this year is joy. I am inspired by finding the joy in each life lesson that comes my way, or just by appreciating where I am right now.

What advice do you have for someone that wants to live their life's purpose?
 Like the Nike slogan...Just do it. Just get started in some way.
Find out what sets you on fire and move in that direction.
________________________________________________
Thank you Alida for these amazing words:
find out what sets you on fire and move in that direction!
 Those are such inspiring words to live by!
Now move ladies in the direction where the fire is...

129 comments:

Sinful Sundays said...

Inspiring! I love Alida's blog! :)

THE ALTERNATIVE WIFE said...

Nice to meet Alida! Have a great weekend :) xoxo

Nylse said...

I love alida's blog thanks for interviewing her.
blogging is amazing!

Mr. Taylor and his Lady said...

this is so perfect. i adore all of her answers, she's perfect!
xo TJ

Alida said...

Thank you so much for allowing me to participate in your series!

Optimistic Mom said...

Thanks for such a great interview. I can't wait to head over and check out the site. ;)

ASingleMothersJourney said...

This was a great interview! It's so great learning about other bloggers and so many are very inspirational.

Marilyn said...

This interview is amazing!! What an inspiring beautiful soul.. Thanks for sharing :))

Vanisha @ Vanisha's Life In...Australia said...

Thanks for the intro - Hi Alida!

Amanda said...

What a great post about Alida! It was so fun learning so much about her, and I love the questions you asked. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, Mrs. Pancakes!

Bravoe Runway said...

I am definitely going to check out Alida's blog. She sounds inspiring!

Prasetyo said...

Great articles. Love to stop here today. Dont miss to give us your comment into my blog. Thanks for share.

Claire said...

hey! I got my parcel today!! Yey! THANKYOU! Love the colours :) and the socks...so soft and snuggy!! hope you get yours soon! xx

Rocker Chic said...

Mrs. P


You know I love when you do these def going to check out her blog. Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

Happy belated birthday pretty girl sorry I am a little late.

Big hugs,

www.iwouldsorockthis.blogspot.com

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

Wow very cool, checking out her blog!

Oneika said...

Hi! This is a great post! Very random but I got your message the other day and started looking at your pic and your email address and I think that we may know each other from way back in day... Do St. Jude or St. FX ring a bell??? Are you the same person I'm thinking of? The world is too small!!!

Brown English Muffin said...

I love her too!

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