Tag Archives: passion

a passion, Tamara Banks and Africa

4 Nov

a light that so shines
I crisply remember the first time I saw Tamara Banks in person. One morning, my daughter and I decided to enjoy breakfast at a local eatery, Hotcakes.  Of course I recognized Ms. Banks, she is a well-known television personality in the Denver area.  I’m certain she didn’t know who I was, but that didn’t stop her from extending a gentle smile and warm hello.

As time went on, I would see Tamara at various restaurants, the local grocery store and around and about the community we both live in. She is genuinely and consistently a warm, kind person. With each encounter, I grew to admire and respect her greatly.

it was no surprise
A couple of summers ago, I received an invitation from a mutual friend to view a documentary, which was to be presented by Tamara of her travels to Darfar in the west of Sudan in Africa. I made a point of attending for multiple reasons, but mostly I wanted to be supportive.  As I listened to Tamara speak, I understood two things at the very least. One, it was no surprise that her compassion shines through so brightly, and two; I needed to hear what she needed to share.

After viewing the documentary, and as time went on, Tamara and I continued to exchange greetings, but now, I wondered about her journey. I was curious about the work she was doing and I wanted to share her passion with others. I decided to request an interview and she graciously agreed. So we met at a local coffee shop, sipped, shared and I had an opportunity to learn a little more about this woman’s passion.

purpose and passion trumps everything
As a little girl, Africa captured Bank’s heart – no doubt, a passion planted by God deep inside of her. In 1999, Tamara made her first journey to Kenya. She said, “I felt as though I had come home.” Since then, she has visited Africa 10 times. Tamara’s love for reporting and traveling has also taken her to Peru, Panama, and she even played polo in Argentina.

Tarantulas, scorpions, and camping in unpredictable regions of the world would be enough to bring many of us home prematurely. Banks explains, “When you focus on people, you overcome your fears.” When traveling in many parts of the world, Tamara meets people who are very sick with diseases; but she doesn’t like to wear surgical gloves when greeting them. She wants to feel their hands and feel their heartbeats – she wants them to feel her heart.

When asked, “What are your hopes?” Tamara responded with clarity.  She knows who she is, and she understands her purpose.  Through her gift of journalism, she hopes to shine a bright light of truth and justice on the darkness of injustice. Banks is committed to telling the stories that no one else will tell. She lends her voice to women being raped, others being enslaved, and still another being decapitated to discourage others from running away…to name only a few. She wants us to know that the victims become the perpetrators and often times we are pitted against one another.

Ms. Banks believes that though we may not agree with each other, we should try to learn more about one another.  The more we understand, the less we’ll refer to others as “those people” or “they” or even worse, using names that dehumanize. “Everyone wants the same things – food, water, shelter …What keeps us human is knowing that we are all human.” She adds.

a pearl of wisdom – pursue your passion
Tamara has experienced many accomplishments, and guided by her passion will continue to impact the world we live in. I asked her for a single piece of advice for those who are ready to step out on faith.  She responded, “Sit down, write down your thoughts, for example, I really want to ____________. What does that look like?  Why do I want to do it?” She explained that knowing why you want to do something is very important. After writing it down and being clear about your motives, she suggests you share your thoughts with someone you trust and find a mentor in that area.

to whom much is given, much is required
There are stories that are “popular” or “politically correct” to tell. There are also stories about horrific things that are happening in this world, to people who in the most basic of ways are just like you and me. It is essential that their stories be told. It is critical that they be heard. I asked Tamara, what could we, those who read and share this story, do to support her work?  She replied without hesitation, “Pray for me, specifically for wisdom, guidance and strength.”

I am asking that in addition to your prayers you do several things. Share this article, pray for people all over the world, and ask God, is there anything I can do?  If Tamara’s purpose is to expose injustices in the world, it may be another person’s responsibility to pass the message along, and still another person’s purpose to do something tangible like fund-raising. Collectively, we can impact this world in major ways.  It only takes about $50.00 to free an enslaved person in Darfar.

Donations can be made to Colorado Public TV12


Links | Tamara Banks

peace, blessings and love…
cynthia martin


a tough place for a reason

10 Jun

I am sharing a personal testimony because I know life can get tough at times. Some of you may know, and some may not – but I design handmade greeting cards.  The cards have been a platform for many wonderful relationships and great opportunities – A man’s gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men. Proverbs 18:16 (KJV) Several of my card designs were published by African American Expressions. The thing is, the card line was born out of a very difficult period in my life.

I graduated from college at the age of 36, got married at 37 and you could have never told me that I would give birth to a second child at 38. When I found out I was pregnant, I was devastated, sick for 5 months and had to have a c-section.  It was 3 years before I could find a full-time job and needless to say, this affected our household’s financial picture.  But during the course of those 3 years, the card collection I then called Soul First (in the spirit of 3 John 1:2 –  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth) was created. With next to nothing in my pocket, I’d purchase a little paper here and a little wire there, develop card designs and write passages that I believed would encourage other women. I was driven!Cynthia Martin Designs

To keep this from becoming a book – I can’t go into all of the details, but I will say this, I thank God for this particular tough place in my life.  I know where the drive came from, as I mentioned in a previous entry, it was God’s way of distracting me from my current circumstances and moving me forward in a specific direction.  I had found a peaceful place in the middle of a storm.

Now, as I encounter difficult places along my journey, I often reflect on the outcome of this one (especially my beautiful family).  The pressure of it pressed something positive out of me and the thought of it always inspires me to never give up.

If you have an inspirational story, please share it.  We are all at different places in our journeys.  For some this may be an opportunity to receive encouragement and for others, an opportunity to encourage someone else.  All of our stories are relevant and I’d like to hear yours.

peace, love and continued blessings…

what is your passion?

20 May

What is your passion?In the heart of every woman,
there is a strategically placed passion.

The one thing she dreams about,
she envisions herself as ~ she can’t escape.

It is the place where her gifts and talents
lay restlessly waiting to take their place in the scheme of God’s will.

Well ~ the time to walk in your purpose is as near as your ability
to embrace all He has place strategically inside of you.

What is your passion?

This is a poem that God placed in my heart during a time when I was longing for purpose. I’ve come to realize that purpose filled living only need be embraced.

What is dear to your heart?  What triggers the activist in you? What makes your eyes sparkle and your spirit light up when you hear or talk about it?

As women, it is easy to loose ourselves in the demands of those who depend on us, but we must not forget the things that we are passionate about.  It’s never to late to pursue them.  I once met a successful sculptor who picked up her first piece of clay when she was in her mid-fifties.  It wasn’t long before she was being sought and commissioned to create sculptures throughout the country.

I believe that passion is a compass God places in our hearts to help guide us to our divine purpose.

I hope you will do more than read this article, but I pray you will pause, breathe, close your eyes and remember… What is your passion?