1999 - Ginny Coleman
Monday, June 9, 2008
Christian University is proud to feature Ginny
Coleman in the Alumni Spotlights section of AlumNews. Ginny Coleman graduated OC in 1999 and is
currently the Marketing Manager for the Joma Bakery Café in Vientiane, Lao P.D.R..
Degree(s)? Bachelor of Fine Arts, OC; Master of Divinity, ACU
What are you most known for? I guess art, traveling, and a love for the outdoors.
Here I am in SE Asia, working as an artist, and my only means of transportation
is a bicycle! Although I'm purchasing a motorbike soon. Enough sweating in work
What is your true calling? To use the gifts God gave me to glorify Him, wherever
I am whenever I can to whomever is there. I was called overseas years ago,
specifically to places where not many people want to (or can) go, and to fight
injustice. I've always been an artist, but just in the last year did everything
come together with this job here in Laos. I tried a lot of things first,
thinking that I had to be more directly involved with people to make a
difference, but it never fit. Now I have an office job, but I've never felt
more content and fulfilled, both professionally and spiritually being where I
should be. I love being a part of a company that's doing good things for
others. The owners of Joma have a lot of purpose, and I get to be a part of
How'd you find this calling? Some of it, as implied above, had a lot to do with
finding out what was NOT my calling! Seriously, God did it all, and he did it
in His time. And I did NOT have it all figured out by the time I was 18... or
22... I was 30, and I think I'm pretty blessed to have figured it out this
early! Not that I'm finished...
What is your biggest personal or
professional achievement so far? MDiv. That
was a lot of discipline and hard work! But I learned SO much.
What is the biggest professional or
personal hurdle that you've overcome? Submission.
A hurdle I continue to encounter...
What is something people should know about
you that is not on your resumé? I recently
finished my first marathon, followed several weeks later by a 250-mile charity
bike ride in 3 days through the mountains here in Laos. It was glorious. There
are a lot of things like that around SE Asia: marathons, triathlons, adventure
challenges... I hope to keep going!
Life's motto? “Be the change you wish to see in the world” --Gandhi. I easily get caught
up in what others are doing, and lamenting either their actions or my own in
comparison. I get carried away with over-analyzing what's wrong in a
non-constructive kind of way. At the end of the day, I have to start with me.
If I want to make a difference, I have to live different.
Your inspiration? The Bible. Life. Nature—ahh, glorious nature.
Experiences. I try to see what others don't. Recently I did a mural that,
looking at the final piece, you would never know it was inspired by a busted
windshield after hitting a turkey with my car in west Texas a few years ago.
Teamwork or fly solo? Well, I came to Laos on my own, and I tend to prefer
activities like running and biking that don't require others, though they are
always welcome! The numbers just aren't always around, you know?
If you woke up tomorrow and had to start a
new career, what would it be? Man, I learn
of new, cool things everyday I'd love to “specialize” in, but off the top of my
head: travel/adventure guide, economic development, nutrition, social work, or
some kind of business—anything along any of those lines. But I really love what
I'm doing right now. It's pretty perfect.
How do you plan to self improve? Never stop exploring (thanks, NorthFace)--mentally,
physically, spiritually, professionally. I like challenges and I like to beat
the bandwagon. Once the bandwagon arrives, I'm off.
What advice do you have for future
generations? Seek wisdom. Find a mentor,
spiritually and professionally. Be willing to wait on God's timing. You don't
have to accomplish everything before you're 30!!
Causes you support? Fights against human trafficking and injustice. And
helping the poor.
How do you spend your down time? The usual: friends, movies, books...
Passions and diversions? People and travel.
Stress relievers? Biking, running, swimming... or quiet time.
What's next for you? I've been living in “next” mode for a long time. I
feel like I've finally gotten to a point where I'd like to just stay put! As for here in Laos, I am involved with a
group of women who are working to help prostitutes leave that industry by
providing homes and skills training. Our vision is big, but we're just getting
started. A LOT of hurdles and hoops there.
What are you working toward? One of my reasons for coming to SE Asia was to learn
more about how to fight human trafficking. Aside from the group mentioned
above, that's something Joma (my employer) is about, too, which is one of the
things that's so awesome about this company. We're really growing, soon to be
in Vietnam to partner with a prostitute outreach program from Cambodia to start
helping women in Vietnam. See why I love my job?
How will you make your mark? Eh, I'm just taking it one day at a time, and if somebody notices
something I'm doing or have done, that's cool. But I'm really just trying to
please One Person.