Jun 14, 2024
June 14, 2024

Virtual Roles - Romania Volunteer helps Dominican Republic Ministry

Doug and Margaret Beck worked stateside. Then they ventured out on a church mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2011.

Virtual Roles - Romania Volunteer helps Dominican Republic Ministry

“We didn’t start out to be missionaries. We both loved our jobs.”

Doug and Margaret Beck worked stateside - Doug as an animator and Margaret as a licensed professional counselor. Then they ventured out on a church mission trip to the Dominican Republic in 2011. Within six years they’d hosted over 2,000 other people to serve in the DR.

“We loved it, but it was a lot of work!” Margaret says with a smile.

They also realized that no other ministries were serving the local DR area where they personally resided. “The people living around us in the DR became like family. And God gave us a heart to stay and help them right where we were,” Doug said. Both Doug and Margaret speak passionately about ending cycles of poverty through the love of Christ in action.

 Margaret also speaks of their bittersweet time with a young local girl named Silvia. “Silvia, who was ten, became like a daughter to us - we were just super close,” Margaret recalls. Sadly, Silvia passed away following a brief illness in 2018, but not before she’d made a life changing impact on their ministry.

“Silvia’s favorite bible verse was from Psalm 121, “I lift my eyes up to the mountains- Where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, Maker of heaven and earth,” explains Margaret. “Silvia was an inspiration to all of us. So in January of 2019 we began Levanta ministries.” Levanta, to lift up. Just as eyes are lifted up in Psalm 121, families from poverty and Christ himself from death.

Switchboard Connects with Levanta

Like most mission teams, the Beck’s have their hands full.  

“There was no specific blueprint to follow. We just committed our obedience to the Lord and how He was leading us.”  Collaborating with local artisans, Levanta followed God’s inspiration to begin an online store for local wares. 

Doug and Margaret readily agree that “We often go where we do not have expertise in every skill needed.” 

In 2023, that healthy sense of humility led them to the team.

“I was at the ‘I cannot do this’ point a few times,” Margaret admits. “But, God is running the show and [Switchboard] was the way God helped us to continue in His direction.”

Switchboard connects skilled volunteers to mission teams in need of specific expertise. Levanta’s first Switchboard volunteer was Tim. Tim provided consultation for a business plan and the launch of an attractive, full functioning e-commerce website, . Soon after, Switchboard announced their new Virtual Roles feature. With Virtual Roles, mission teams can create unique volunteer opportunities with recurring hours - across a longer time period.

Dan B. serves from Romania - Kingdom Consultant 

“We got to work and posted sixteen Virtual Roles to the Switchboard connection platform,” Doug said. 

Dan B., a web designer in Romania, answered their Switchboard request to update the Levanta web site. “With the Switchboard Virtual Roles framework, Dan took us from ‘clean up’ the website to ‘revamp’ the website!” Doug recalled.

“After speaking with them about Levanta's web feedback,” Dan explained, “it was better to just start from scratch. Rather than improve things 15 or 20 percent - better to give them a more robust foundation and a website rebuild.” 

Dan estimates at least 40 - 60 hours of total volunteer work still ahead. For that type of commitment, he did some due diligence of his own. “I made sure we would be a fit missionally,” Dan emphasized. “They are a good ministry, doing good work - they are there to share their faith and their heart for the Gospel.” And the match was made. Ministry needs meet skilled consultant!

“The connection to volunteers is the true strength of Switchboard,” Margaret emphasized. “Dan might not have responded to a request for  2 -3 hours per week with a rigid end date. But he very kindly agreed to an open timeframe that works with his own project schedule.” And Dan still has a web design business to run.

Doug and Margaret closed our conversation with this thought: “There is work we just can’t get to - Switchboard enables other people to use the gifts and talents that God has given them.” Connecting Mission Teams with skilled Believers across the world for the Great Commission of Jesus.