Monk Development, Inc.
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Lenoir City, TN 37772
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We’re delighted to welcome Elise, MonkDev’s new Office Manager. Elise will be helping keep everything organized and in tip-top shape here at MonkDev HQ.
Before moving to San Diego, Elise gained experience in office management while working for a Christian ministry in Tijuana, Mexico. She is a graduate of Shasta Bible College and has a BA in Bible and Theology. Elise grew up in the country of Brazil, and loves anything that has to do with other cultures and languages. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with friends.
Elise brings a calm and relaxing presence to the office. Maybe it has something to do with growing up in the jungle.
In between projects I had some time to talk with Elise. I was really intrigued by her responses, I think you will be too.
You grew up in Brazil, how is that different from the US? What is one thing you miss?
I could go on and on about growing up in Brasil. It was really the best childhood I could have asked for, and I’m so thankful to the Lord for placing my family there.
I grew up in a small community in the Amazon jungle, with the Amazon River for my front yard. My siblings and I could go swimming practically whenever we wanted, and we did. The community was surrounded on three sides by the jungle so I grew up in a land of green; a tropical jungle has more shades of green than you knew existed! We had lots of bugs and snakes; I don’t mind the bugs, but never got too fond of the snakes. The Amazon Basin is really an astounding place and I don’t know the half of it, even after growing up there! I encourage everyone to go and see it. While you’re visiting, see if you can try the different 50+ types of bananas that are grown there.
The Brazilian people are some of the most hospitable people you’ll ever meet. They love games and laughing and really know how to enjoy life. I think Brazilian cuisine is one of the best in the world. The classic dish of beans and rice will always comfort me on days when I am sad. Life there was much more simple and slow than life in the U.S. It had it’s own hustle and bustle, but the culture is very centered on people and being with your family and friends versus making money and getting ahead in the world.
The one thing I miss are the people I knew there. I spent most of my childhood there so the people became my family. They are the ones who have known me through all the ups and downs of growing up, and I miss the strong community. (I’m not going to lie, I also miss fresh coconut juice).
What led you to work with a ministry in Tijuana? Do you think it’s prepared you to work with everyone at MonkDev?
After graduating from college in 2008, I went to help my parents in Brazil for a year and that’s where I met the directors of the ministry in Tijuana. Eddie and Maggi Passmore were visiting Brazil and they asked me to come and work as the office manager for Mexico Caravan Ministries. I had never been an office manager so I really had lots to learn.
The 3.5 years there definitely prepared me to work at MonkDev as the office manager. We had a lot of people come through our doors, of all ages and backgrounds. I learned a lot about people and about being flexible and patient. I hope that’s prepared me for working here at MonkDev with everyone!
You graduated from Shasta Bible College, of all your classes which one inspired you the most?
Wow- that’s a tough question to answer. Hmmm, I love school and really just love to learn about anything and everything, but I guess I’d have to pick a class called “Scripture and God.” I took this class in my first semester and I think it laid the groundwork for the rest of my college years. It was inspiring that God gave us His Word for us to know Him. I grew to love His Word through that class.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say you probably know how to speak Spanish, do you speak any other language?
I used to speak Portuguese pretty well, but I’ve forgotten a lot since I’ve been away from Brazil for a while. I can still understand most of it, but speaking it is a little more difficult for me. Knowing Portuguese helped me quite a bit when I was learning to speak Spanish. They are similar in many ways, but are also two distinct languages.
Do you have a favorite genre of books to read? What’s your all time favorite book?
I really like stories of all kinds, so give me children’s literature or a biography and I’m happy! My all time favorite book would probably be The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis.
If I were to open your refrigerator right now, what would I find?
Well, I share a fridge with 4 other girls, so in addition to my food you’d find all of theirs too. I think I’ve got some eggs, pasta, and milk in there right now. Kinda boring...I’d really like to have some peach pie.
If you had to eat just one thing for every meal of every day for the rest of your life and would receive no health ramifications, what would it be?
Well, let me see - lasagna? biscuits and gravy? soup? beans and rice? pie? cheesy bread? oooh, oooh, oooh I pick that one- CHEESY BREAD!
What’s your all-time favorite quote?
Ahhh, it’s a toss up between:
“Treat everybody like it’s their birthday!” - Kid President
“Tonight, I will fight the seven strongest men in town, maybe the world. And I will win because our heavenly father will be in the ring with me. And he and I will win 10,000 pesos.” -Nacho Libre
But I think I’d say, from C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”
It’s Saturday and you have no plans or obligations, paint me a picture of your perfect day.
Sleep in (but not too late). Yummy breakfast (pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns). Exploring (walking around and seeing places I haven’t yet). Read a book (on a beautiful grassy knoll by a tree). Climb the tree (and sing a song). Swim (and soak up the sun). Yummy “lupper” with friends (that’s “lunch and supper” together). Skype with family (because they live far away). Bedtime (early, because sleep is a very good thing).
Ok, so you've been here for almost two months now. Tell us about the atmosphere here at MonkDev HQ. Was it what you expected?
I am delighted to be working here at MonkDev. Everyone here has been very kind to me as I’ve been learning the job and getting settled in to the routine here. One thing I’ve noticed about working here is that there is a lot of laughter, which I absolutely love. Thanks for making me laugh so much, fellow Monks!
I appreciate that everyone is dedicated to the work here and to doing their best. Communication, evaluation, and creativity are a huge part of this work. Because of these I see that MonkDev is doing some amazing things for the Kingdom of God. Being here has exceeded my expectations and I’m glad to be part of this work!
What are three random Elise facts that everyone should know about you?
First off, on behalf of everyone in the office...Elise will you make us some fresh baked bread, pretty please?
We couldn’t be happier to have Elise as an addition to the MonkDev team. Please join me in giving her a warm welcome in the comments below.