As a financial advisor, I’ve gotten pretty good at not only looking at the numbers but looking at life as a whole. And that’s not just something I do with my clients; I practice what I preach and find ways to make my own life fulfilling while providing for my family and my future.
In January 2020, I’m embarking on a new adventure with one of my favorite organizations, Under His Umbrella. This ministry works to transform the lives of impoverished children and families in Rwanda through the hope of Jesus Christ.
Now, I’m sharing this with you not to try and convert you or to beg you to join my cause. I’m writing this because I believe purpose is so important in life and makes all of our daily hard work worthwhile. It also has an impact on our financial future.
Why I’m involved.
Four years ago, I was introduced to the founder of Under His Umbrella (UHU) just as they were getting started. Right around that time, one of my closest friends traveled on a mission trip to Rwanda on behalf of the organization; her stories were fascinating, and her enthusiasm was contagious. I was immediately drawn to the purpose of educating, feeding, and enhancing the lives of this impoverished community.
Our family began our involvement with UHU by sponsoring a child at the Vineyard Christian School in Rwanda. Fabrice was 5 years old and each time he wrote us a letter we felt more and more a part of this community.
In 2017 my daughters and I set out on our first mission trip to Rwanda, a trip that completely transformed us all. We were able to meet Fabrice for the first time and see his home, a mud structure with no running water or electricity but plenty of love and joy. Even more transformative were the lessons we learned in forgiveness; despite the horror of the Rwandan genocide in 1994 that killed over 1 million Rwandans, many natives openly forgave the murderers of their own families. Our love for this community grew even more.
After we witnessed first-hand the power of providing schooling, regular meals, healthcare, and clean water to the families of the Vineyard Christian School, our passion for helping became a welcome focus for our family. One of my favorite programs is providing a sewing team on campus the resources they need to make around 550 uniforms for all of the students. The artisans associated with the school also handmake items that are sold in the U.S. through boutiques, small groups, and local fundraisers.
Why am I telling you all of this?
Again, the purpose of this story has nothing to do with religion or even this specific cause. It has to do with finding purpose and passion in unexpected places.
When I look at a client’s portfolio and assist them with their vision for the future, one of the things I want to know is, “What are you passionate about? What do you want to do when you retire?”
I know from my own experience that working with an organization like Under His Umbrella is something I want to continue long after I stop working – and that I need to plan for that. I also know that I’m fortunate that I’ve found something that speaks to me so clearly.
What are you passionate about? What do you see yourself doing when you retire? If it’s not clear, it might be worth your time to start exploring new interests so that when the time comes, your finances are ready.
Debbie Charpentier has been serving clients since 1989 by using a holistic, comprehensive approach that helps clients create the life they value and the legacy they envision. Charpentier Wealth Strategies is a Bakersfield, CA Financial Planning practice that offers fee-based financial planning services. To contact Debbie, email Debbie.Charpentier@LFG.com. http://charpentierwealth.com/ Debbie Charpentier is a registered representative offering securities and investment advisory services through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., (Member SIPC). Charpentier Wealth Strategies is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors. CRN2906677-011420