Is Continuing Education Worth the Money?

So you have decided that it would probably be a good choice to pursue some sort of continuing education. You have not decided

if you are going to take just a few courses or pursue an all-out degree soon. The one thing you do know for sure is that it

will cost you money in your already tight budget.

Sure, you understand that continuing education is important for everyone, however, you still are not sure if it is worth the

extra money you put out to pay for it. Well, it is. No matter what, the money you put toward your continuing education will

come back to you tenfold.

How will your monetary investment come back to you? Well, it could be in a variety of ways: you could receive tuition

reimbursement from your employer, you could earn a promotion with a pay increase, you could find a higher paying job or you

could simply have the personal satisfaction that comes with pursuing education.

Check with your company’s Human Resource department to see if your company offers a tuition reimbursement program. If they

do, ask what the guidelines are to participating in this program. For instance, you may have to be pursing a degree in a

certain field or you may need to have been employed there for a certain period of time before you will qualify.

The best part? You continue to receive your paycheck and you are completely reimbursed from your company for your expenses.

Of course, there is nothing better than getting something so valuable for free.

Or, you could earn a promotion with a pay increase after you complete your continuing education program. Say you pursue a

graphic design certificate program to help you in your job. Your boss may just be so impressed with your new skills that he

will increase your salary and give you a job where you can use your newly acquired skills on a daily basis. However, make

sure the pay increase is in line with the degree you have just received.

Continuing education degrees also give you more bargaining chips when negotiating a new job offer. If you have a Master’s

degree and the rest of the applicants only have a Bachelor’s, you obviously should be making more money for the job. You

could make several thousand more for the same position than you would have without the degree. If you do the math, you will

find that your monetary investment will pay for itself in just a period of months or a year or so.

Finally, you could find the best satisfaction with your continuing degree program by realizing that you are smart and were

able to pursue your dreams. This will give you the kind of ego boost that nothing else can. You will feel smarter, more worldly

and aware than you did before. And of course, you are all of those things because you went ahead and pursing continuing

education on your own accord.

Whatever your reasons, continuing education is always worth the investment. Paying for your education will always mean

something when you are old and gray. A flat screen television won’t have the same feelings when you are ninety.

Ebay Feedback

Ebay feedback was designed to let you know a bit about who you are dealing with online. Is the seller ethical, does the buyer pay immediately or not at all?

Ebay feedback was originally put in place to view buyer and seller reputations. It is based on member to member comments to share trading experiences with others in the online community.

Ebay feedback is set up so that for each sale, the seller and buyer get to rate each other. Every ebay feedback consists of positive, negative, or neutral. Then there is a place for a short comment. Now for every positive you get one point, negative you get -1 point and neutral you get no points. For every 10 comments or ratings you receive a star.

Ebay feedback is then broken down on a member’s profile into subsections. Feedback score is how many members were satisfied with their business transaction with you. It is usually the difference between the number of buyers who left a positive score and those who left a negative score. You then have positive feedback which is the positive feedback left displayed as a percentage. If one person had multiple dealings with one person the feedback is considered as only one. Negative feedback would then be the number of negative feedback that members have left. As in the positive feedback above if there has been more than one dealing with an individual all that feedback is still considered one. All positive feedback is all the positive feedback the member received. Recent rating is a tool used to show all ratings left for this individual in a certain customizable time frame such as 30, 60 or 90 days. Ebay feedback can be left up to 90 days after a sale is complete.

Ebay feedback does have its opponents. Some point out the ratings for ebay feedback is overly positive. They view this as the fear of retaliatory negative feedback. You gave me a negative ebay feedback (even if it was deserved) and now I am going to give negative feedback. (even if not deserved) one of the proposed remedies for the ebay feedback is to not show feedback until after both the buyer and seller submitted their ratings. The other concern of some is that the only way you can submit feedback is if you purchased the item. For example, if you saw what was a fake or misleading auction you can not leave any type of feedback to alert others.

There have also been reports of Ebay doing nothing on a complaint and leaving the only option of the ebay feedback. The fear then of negative feedback in return means that nothing is done. The idea of seller being treated better than the buyer has also been explored. It seems that for a buyer to have an account canceled it takes only 4 uncompleted transactions. However, a buyer has to make a complaint to ebay and the seller’s ebay feedback is looked at to decide if something should be done. This as stated above is questioned since they feel the feedback may not be accurate.

Ebay feedback is a possible indicator of the type of buyer or seller your dealing with. You should use other avenues to protect yourself. As a buyer ask questions of the seller and note how they react. If they answer in a timely manner and offering you a straight forward answer goes a long way to helping you make a decision on if you want to do business with the individual. Ebay feedback can help but is not the only answer to the question of an individual seller or buyer’s integrity in business matters.

Samsung cellular phone, a basic phone

Cellular phones are now getting to be a necessity in this modern society. This is not how they foresee the cellular phone future some years back. Luckily, manufacturers are quick to recognize the booming cellular phone industry. Thus, they are able to answer the growing demands for this functional toy. Additionally, the introduction of various functional features for cellular phones by huge cellular phone companies makes cellular phones more a need to perform specialized tasks. Because of this, the use of a cellular phone is getting to be a requirement for business executives in going about their various tasks as they go about their business. However, not everybody needs these special functions, some only needs cellular phones for basic use like sending and receiving calls. If you do not require these high technology functions, buying a cellular phone for basic use may only be what is necessary. Some cellular phones are for basic use including Samsung cellular phones. It is more reasonable to buy basic cellular phone models if you do not need to play with your cellular phone and Samsung cellular phone may be what is the best for your.

Samsung cellular phones are generally of good design. They have wide and clear display, which is beneficial especially for sending and receiving text messages. Samsung cellular phones have good battery life compared to other cellular phone units. As already mentioned, these cellular phones are good cellular phones for basic use. Samsung cellular phones have beautiful designs; you may be pleased to choose one among the various models that will fit your need. You will not despair buying a cellular phone from Samsung if you only require the basic features; beauty of the product is thus a bonus. However, if you are looking for functional cellular phones more than the basic sending and receiving calls and text messages, Samsung cellular phone is not the one for you. People who want to play and require so many functions and features will not enjoy a the cellular phone from Samsung.

Some basic complaints encountered with Samsung cellular phone, which happens only to very few users, are choppy calls and scratchy and distorted volume generation. This only happens to very few users, and to ensure you will not experience this in a Samsung cellular phone, you may ask the recommendation of the friendly Samsung staff.

Some who endeavor to find functionality in a Samsung cellular phone give it a nickname “very good yet slightly bad phone. It is very good because the designs are superb and the battery life is good. Slightly bad because some high-tech features fail in Samsung cellular phone, precisely it is a cellular phone for basic use.

Do not expect Samsung cellular phone for other features rather than the basic ones, no picture transfer, no internet communication and some phone do not support blue tooth usage. Not a techy’s choice indeed. Some people who buy this phone feel that with the superb design, it should include additional feature and functionalities. The company is on its way to developing the phone you require, researches and product development are now on the drawing board.

For some who could not wait, buying Samsung cellular phone is still a neat choice because the designs are upbeat and beautiful. The added bonus is that the battery life is longer than other cellular phones. Enjoy the basic functions and beautiful designs with Samsung cellular phones.

A Guide to Online Casino Gambling

The hassles of going to Casinos can be enough reason not to go there at all. The traffic, hassles, and things to do seem not worth the trouble for a chance to play at a casino but if you’re the type who lives and breathes casinos then online casino gambling would be the solution for you.

You do not need to go out of the house just for online casino gambling because it could be easily access in your own homes (provided that you have a computer and internet access). Once that is done, you are on your way to online casino gambling! But before indulging yourself, there are several guidelines and things that you must first know about online casino gambling especially if you are just a beginner. So slow down those hormones and let your minds read and absorb the following information.

The online casino gambling industry is very complex and varied with some bad elements meaning that there are many dishonest and problematic sites. This brief guide would be able to guide you in choosing an honest and trust-worthy online casino gambling site. The first thing that a smart online gambler would look for in an online casino gambling host is the type which has high winnings odds. Be sure that the online casino gambling host has a tie-up with a reputable accounting firm in order to audit their casino games payout percentage on a monthly basis. This is helpful in your part in order to be sure that the money that you would be spending in your future online casino gambling spree would be worth it. Here are some other tips in choosing an online casino gambling site.

Always make sure that the online casino gambling site is legal. How would you do that? You do not need to go to a government office to check that out. What you could do is search the licensing information on the casino state. If ever that you cannot find any licensing information on that online casino gambling site, do not even attempt to gamble there. The second tip would be to check if the online casino gambling host has 24/7 customer-service that would help you whenever you encounter a difficulty or a problem. If the online casino gambling host does not have a 24/7 customer service, chances are it is a hoax site. Next one would be reading carefully the different bonuses and promos that the online casino gambling site offers because if you do not read it carefully and you agreed, in the future you do not have any evidence against it. Remember that it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Another advice would be to gamble first in small amounts rather than spend big amounts of money right away. Check first the integrity and status of the online casino gambling before taking any major risk-especially financial ones. The last and most important tip in online casino gambling is to never forget that gambling is all about fun and pleasure rather than making money. Gambling is not a job rather a hobby that would make you happy and your life pleasurable.

After you have observed these advice and tips then go and give in to the lure of online casino gambling.

Building Business Credit, How Credit Cards Play The Key Role

Over 90% of business owners have never taking the time to build business credit. The reason why I have chosen to open this article with this statement is for two reasons. #1 to give comfort to those who have not taken the time to establish business. From this statement you can see that you are not alone. #2 To help ones understand that if they take this seriously, and take the time and energy to establish business credit, any one can, then they will enter the elite small group of business owners who have a tremendous edge on their competition because they can leverage themselves financially in a way that their competitors cannot.

A road map outlined by experts.

You must separate your business credit from your personal credit. In order to do this you must set up either a corporation or an LLC. If you are a sole proprietorship or a partnership you are 100% responsible for any money that you borrow perhaps you have herd of personal guarantor.Your business must have an EIN #, and in no way should your business be connected to your social security #. Your business should open a banking account that is not linked to your personal account in any way. Be sure that the account has the correct business name. Your business should also have a business phone # that is separate from your personal Phone #, and it should be listed with your local phone company as a business, and be in a 411 directory.Once you have set up this foundation the next step is to make sure your business is registered with the following credit bureau’s and have an open file with all three of them. Eqiifax, Experian, and Dun & Bradstreet.

Your business must establish one bank loan, 3 business credit cards and 5 vender trade lines of credit that all report to these three credit bureau’s. A few things I thought it might be appropriate to point out at this time is. #1 Business credit is not a substitute for personal credit. Both should be worked on and maintained and will have a bearing on haw much you will be able to receive from lending institutions,often lending institutions will in addition to looking at the business credit, look at the personal credit worthiness of the corporate officers or principles of a corporation or LLC. If you have bad personal credit work on it at the same time you are building business credit. #2 I have personally seen companies extended large sums of money who had a good credit score and report with Dun & Bradstreet without giving much bearing to other sources, the point I’ am trying to make here is, make sure that whoever’s reporting on your behalf reports to all three, and specifically these three.# 3 Business cre

Why credit cards are the key.

In essence your business has to establish a credit history. Again reflecting on our road map of 3 credit cards 1 bank loan and 5 vender trade lines, each time we attain one of these elements it will be easier to attain the next.

If we do not qualify for a unsecured credit card it is relatively easy to get a secured credit card provided we have a small sum of money that we can deposit into an account as collateral on our credit limit for the newly acquired credit card. Once we have our credit card it will be easier to get vendors to extend us a 30 or 60 or 90 day line of credit provided that we allow them to keep our credit card on file. After we have paid on our secured credit card for a little while our bank will make it an unsecured credit card. Once this happens it is often much easier to get another issuing bank to give you an unsecured credit card as they can see that your business has established a measure of credibility. At this point things can move forward in a timely fashion and before you know it you have every thing on the road map to success. Once you have reached this point a few things to remember are #1 keep your credit card balances bellow 50% of your total available credit as this will reflect well on your credit sc

How to Choose a General Contractor?

It’s already hard to choose a general contractor to work on one of your projects and what more if there are so many of them in your area. How do you choose from a large group of people providing the exact same services? Find out why by reading the article.

Referrals
The first thing you need to do before hiring a general contractor is asking some people who have actually hired one. Personal referrals are almost always reliable since you can even ask them to show you the completed work the contractor has done for them in the past. You can also ask other people any problems they have encountered on their previous contractors.

Credentials are Important
Once you are done with finding certain companies through referrals, you can now then verify if the contractor has all the necessary credentials to operate their business. You can verify their credentials by phone calls, visiting their office or even browsing their company’s website. Make sure to check thoroughly if the said contractors have all the required licenses and affiliations from certain organizations. It might be a good idea to look for a contractor that went an extra mile just to get additional certifications since this sometimes determines the rigorous training the contractor went through before starting to offer his or her service.

Interview candidates
Now you are done with the initial phase of choosing your general contractor. The next thing you need to do is choose those contractors that have good credentials and schedule an interview. You can ask questions regarding the job and see how each contractor answers the following questions. It will also show how confident they are working on the project you are offering. It must not be a one way communication where you as the client always ask questions. Reliable contractors should also ask questions in order to have a brief idea what the project is about or to build rapport between the client and the contractor themselves.

References Should Be Available
After the interview is done, it might be best if you can ask the general contractor with some references. They can either show you their portfolios of before and after work or they can refer you to some of their clients and you can call them to ask how about the performance and quality of work the contractor did for them. If you are not satisfied with just calling them, you can ask if they can visit them to see the completed project with your own eyes.

Introduction To Internet Marketing

Internet Marketing

The continuous and rapid revolution in the advancement of modern era has made every thing so comfortable for everyone and that is the reason why most of the people are fancy to use Internet because of its reliability, speed & performance. Along with message delivering through e-mail, seeking information through searching and browsing, a lot of people are using Internet for online shopping or ecommerce, which have evolved the field of Internet marketing and internet marketing exporters have found an proficient way to find their potential customers.

“The dot.com world was about coming up with an interesting idea and finding unknowledgeable investors to throw at them. But we are now back to live in the practical world, where technology can provide business with an edge over their competition” (Richard Greenwood)

Marketing is actually the craft of connecting different producers (or potential producers) of product or service with prospects, both existing and potential. Marketers basically use four variables while writing marketing plans and making market strategies. They are sometimes referred to as the four P’s (which are Project, process, people & product). The combination of these variables is referred as Marketing Mix. A marketing mix is the combination of these four variables in a way that will meet or improve organizational objectives. A separate marketing mix is usually crafted for each product offering. Whenever a strategies or plans are build it engages a blend of these four combinations. A strategy of selling expensive beneficial products in discount stores has poor coherency between distribution and product offering.

Drawbacks of Internet Marketing The actual size of the market is usually not available Difficult to get demography and penetration figures Coverage is not consistent There can be lack of authority There is no certain control, which causes lack or reliability

Benefits of Internet marketing · Easy, less expensive and comfortable access to the information · Most of the information is free · There are numerous web sites available through which the required subject can be covered efficiently. · Contains a lot of background information · Information can be found in a very short time · Has a broad geographic scope · Briskly improving and increasing · Many companies are interested to add their own web pages

Non-stopping development of business online has also augmented the field of online marketing. Before starting any business the most important element, which have the most considerable influence of the success or failure of the business is the initial business idea. For the success of any business there must be a proper business idea along with appropriate techniques to run the business accordingly.

The precise approach towards the Business The business plan for any organization consist of three main parts which are

1. Product 2. Targeted Market 3. Unique Selling proposition (USP)

Product The product is any thing for which you are going to charge your customers. These are the things which you are selling and it can be any thing like books, e-books, electronic items, software to download, it can also be a membership of any online community, a professional service, or any thing else which you are interested to sale. The ‘value’ of the product is its most valuable feature. The product you are selling should have the following characteristics · It should be beneficial for the customers · It should be good enough to solve the customer’s problems · Full fill their requirements · The product should satisfy the customers

Targeted Market The Targeted market for any business is the audience and the customers to whom the product is being sold.

Even if their analytics provider doesn’t partner with a search or e-mail provider, many marketers are now using their Web analytics package to make decisions about their overall marketing plan-and their business in general. (Karen J. Bannan)

Following are some essential points to keep in mind while selecting the targeted audience · The targeted market should have an appropriate size · It should be large enough to generate a good profit · It should be small enough to fit in the total resources of the business · If the business is small then it should avoid contending with comparatively large business · The targeted audience should be easily reachable on the internet through the particular websites.

USP (Unique Selling Proposition) The USP is basically the market strategy or the motive of the business through which the corporation is connected with the targeted market. It is the most important part of the business idea in which the corporation decides how to persuade the customers and letting them know that how our product is different from any other item on the shelf waiting to be sold. It should influence the customers and provide them with the reasons that why our product is the best solution for their requirements. When we talk about the profit margin, then it may not necessarily be the financial profit only; there can also be many side advantages, which are essential for running the business smoothly.

Establishing your business on Internet Nowadays Internet is not just a source to get information but it is also a very effective place to run you business. Many people are doing their business on internet and even more people are willing to join them. But unfortunately all of them do not get success and there are also many dot-bombs or fail e-commerce startups. This is because of the lack of awareness about the self-education before starting the business.

The best thing about establishing an internet business is that, there is no big investment required to start an e-business, so if the business is don’t in a proper way so you can get a good profit without investing too much.

Understanding of Customers For the progress of any business, it is essential to have a good understanding of the customers. This issue becomes even more vital when we talk about the online business, where we mostly have no idea about the customers.

Due to this fact, large corporations are spending millions of dollars on marketing research to get as many information as possible about their customers, which allows them to improve their product and make them according to the appropriate requirement of the customers. Although this research is help full but if the business is so this expense can be avoided. “They will try to replicate the in-store experience on many levels, developing applications that enable users to see how something will look on someone. The challenge is to develop applications that simulate the in-store experience while still maintaining the speed, convenience and efficiency of the Internet” (Speicher, GCI) It is important to have a sound knowledge of different ways by which customers buy their products. Few points are important in this regard

· Vendors should design their offerings to meet the appropriate needs of their customers. · Venders can persuade buyers at decisive steps during the buying process. · Venders can provide the additional offers for further business.

Trends & Strategies to boost sale in Internet Marketing

Vivid Word Pictures When developing the advertisement of your product, web pages or other or other sales tools, some vivid word pictures should be used to give a pleasant feeling to the customers. It exaggerates their desire to have it and prompt them to buy the product.

Use of appropriate advertising and marketing methods There should be a continuous observation to the advertising and marketing method of the business which ensure the use of latest advertising methods and some old methods which have not been tried.

” eBay says it reaches 56.1 million active users. The obvious drawback: A vast majority of those users aren’t in the real estate market. But to reach those who are, eBay is a tool–like direct mail or news-paper advertising–that some practitioners are using to market listings, drive traffic to their Web sites, and attract new prospects.”

Cost of the ads If there are some ads allied with any business then it should be carefully examined that if the size of the ads is bigger then it should be reduced to run more ads for the same cost.

Some times the short ads can provide even more response then longer ads and can provide with a bigger return of the cost.

Postcards advertisements There can also be another effective way of advertising by printing a good small ad on a postcard and then send it to the targeted market. People often read postcards if the message is nice and short. This small ad on a postcard can be very effective at times and can make a very rapid change on the sale of the products.

Inspiring words & phrases Lively words and phrases in the advertisements and sales copies make people interested in the product. Try to find some dull sentences and replace them with some active and lively words to obtain the involvement of the prospects.

Eradicate the fear of lost In the manner of revealing the benefits of your product to the customers the other important aspect is to tell them what they lose if they do not buy that specific product. Consumers want any product because of the benefits it offers and on the other hand if they have been told the downside of not buying the product so it will persuade them even more for purchasing that product.

Use of surprise strategies To remove the last minute hesitation, any surprise or pleasant announcements regarding the product also helps influencing the customers to buy the product. The surprise can be any unexpected bonus or additional benefits just before the completion of concluding action of the sale.

Use of special packages For getting a boost in any business the vendors can also introduce some special packages, which combines two or more related items and set a lower prize as compare to each item. These sorts of packages leave a good impact on discount hunters and procrastinators.

Promoting the business sales to new prospects and existing customers Every business always hunts for new customers for intend of improving their sales. But the auction from the existing customers of the business should not be overlooked. It is much easier to get further business from them rather then depending on new prospects. Additional benefits, products and services should be offered to the current customers to get more sales from them.

“As a result of our exposure on eBay, we can attribute two sales, one listing, approximately three good prospects per month, and about 700 visitors per day to our Web site,” (Christopher Walker)

Receiving appreciation from the customers is always good for the motivation of any business. The same sort of respond should be provided for such customers, which induce them to do more business.

Hype the product by the help of customers Often the existing customers of your business can be an important asset for capturing a better market of your product. Incentives can be provided to the customers to let them introduce your products to their friends. Assistance from them can increase the sale of the business in a great deal with out wasting much of the money in ads.

Internet Marketing Through E-mails Email marketing is one of the most influential marketing tools accessible to businesses of all sorts and sizes. No matter how you define success, you can achieve outstanding results with Email marketing while investing only a small amount of time and an even smaller amount of money.

“54% of small businesses surveyed rated Email as the top online promotion to drive site visitors and customers to their web sites and storefronts.” (Experts of small business) Following are the key benefits of Email marketing

1. Economical Email marketing is a reasonable & affordable way to stretch a limited marketing budget. Unlike direct mail, there is virtually no production, materials or postage expense.

“This information has been only available to big businesses who had research and marketing departments, companies like American Express, Now any business can have it.” (Bill Chasse)

2. Effectiveness Email marketing allows active communication with existing customers and prospects instead of passively waiting for them to return to your web site or storefront. Emails can easily be targeted by source, interest, or list. In general, Email communications sent to the prospect and customer lists, and it improves the ROI of all lead generation and customer relation programs, single-handedly.

3. Instantaneous response Email marketing has two great advantages over other marketing vehicles. First, with the existing and easily obtainable self-service tools, anyone can generate and send compelling Email newsletters, promotions, announcements or more in hours or days. No agency or production time is necessary to create and send professional communications. Second, Email marketing generates an instantaneous response. The call to action is apparent: “Click here to take advantage of this offer”, or “to learn more about this service”, or to “attend this event”.

4. Quantifiable results Unlike other vehicles for marketing, results from Email campaigns are easily measured. Results are reported in terms of “opens”, which report the number of people saw your offer or newsletters, Click Through Rates (CTRs), which measure how many people actually clicked on the links in your Email, and in a many cases, who actually clicked on those links.

5. Uncomplicated For small and medium business there are web-based Email marketing products. Most of them include professional HTML templates, list segmentation and targeting capabilities, as well as, automatic tracking and reporting. So, you are free to concentrate on your unique message while the rest has already been done.

Conclusion and Evaluation Internet marketing is no doubt the most effective and efficient mode of communication with the customers and prospects. But unfortunately in some of the developing countries the scope of Internet marketing is not so wide because organizations still relay a lot on advertising through the other channels, as a result spending a lot on conventional marketing.

Apart from some of the developing countries most organizations around the world have found the Internet marketing as the most easy, cost effective and efficient way of marketing.

Pioneers in Christian Counseling

Gladys K. Mwiti, M.A., a counseling psychologist, is the Founder and Execute have Director of Oasis Counseling and Training Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. In addition to her work at Oasis, Gladys is the Chairman of the Christian Counselors Association of Kenya. Her husband, Gershon, is the national team leader of African Enterprise, an indigenous African counseling ministry. Gladys and Gershon have three daughters and one son. At the 1997 AACC World Conference in November, I spent some time with Gladys, talking about her pioneer work in Kenya.

Tell me about yourself, your background, and how you encountered God.

I was born in Meru District in Kenya, which is near the snow-capped, northern slopes of Mt. Kenya. Its quite a cold area indeed. I grew up in a Christian home. My mother loves the Lord. She has always been a woman of prayer, and Id love to be like her. She used to take me to church and to huge conventions.

In Africa, we have the huge, evangelistic meetings, people sitting on the green grass under the sun. That’s the kind of setting where I receive the Lord as my Savior. We were at a 3,000-strong convention and the gospel was preached from John 3:16. I remember that the preacher said, It is not so much the sin you have committed in your life; it’s that the Lord loves you so, so much, and what he is asking you is, Could you love me a little bit in return? As a seven year old, I did not see my sin as such a bad thing. I knew I was guilty of licking the cream off the top of the milk when my mom was not looking or taking and eating bread from the cupboard. What I really saw in myself that day was a heart that was desired and longed to know the love of God.

I probably should mention that my father used to be a Christian. He brought my mother to the Lord before they got married. She had never been to church, so when they met, my father took her to church, and she accepted the Lord as her Savior in the East African Revival of the late 1940’s – 1950’s that transformed most of the church is in Kenya to evangelical church is. Mom got to know the Lord in that revival, but then Dad backslid. He left Christianity he got richer, he became a businessman, a farmer, and its as if he did not need much from the Lord. He even married a second wife, and there was a lot of tension and stress at home. Sometimes as a child I wished there was more peace in my home. Dad would drink alcohol, come home sometimes, and rough up my mother. I longed for fatherly love, a father I could trust. There was so much insecurity with my dad, that when I heard the preacher talking about a God who loved me, I longed for that security.

I knew that if this God was the God of my mother, I could rely on him as a father. When the altar call was made that day, I literally ran to the front, joining hundreds of other people. Now, it’s not unusual to dismiss or take lightly the fervent commitment of children at the revivals. Some people think that young children cannot make a decision for the Lord. But when I went to the front among the crowd of adults that day, an old man around 70 years old he was wearing a huge coat, and he had such big, soft hand same to me, bent on his knee, and just gathered me to himself, hugging me. I remember disappearing into his coat, and it was so sweet and comfortable, I did not want to leave there. I still remember the smell of his coat today. He just hugged me to himself, and that symbolized acceptance of me, a child, in the church of Christ. It also represented security and a sense of belonging. I was one of the brethren.

From then on, the church took me seriously, because the next Sunday, they put me up on a table and asked me to share my testimony of what the Lord had done! I spoke out, and I am told today that some people were challenged and they cried as a result of my testimony. From that time, I have not stopped talking about the Lord. I have talked to thousands of young people in schools, women ministries, and couples ministries. After I married my husband, Gershon, who is an evangelist, we went on preaching together. I went to college, got my education, and taught physics and chemistry in school for about 14 years before the Lord called me to the ministry of counseling. How have you seen the field of counseling center and change the part of the world where you work? Some of us are literally pioneers in the field of counseling in the countries. When I began the Oasis Counseling Center in 1990, I knew very few people who were in full-time Christian counseling in Kenya. So I have actually been a part of the ministry of premiering professional Christian counseling. There’s very little lay counseling, so most of my time is spent in equipping the church to be a counseling community, rather than waiting for people to crumble and then coming to Oasis.

The changes that I have seen are changes that have come through some of us in the field. The counseling ministry in Kenya is professional, Christian, and boldly prevent have in nature. Many people have opened the door to us since my husband and I have worked with the church for a long time. We have been able to introduce programs like couples seminars along with our preaching and evangelism.

The credibility of our lifestyle encouraged people to trust us. We found doors swinging open from bishops to lay people, and I think this is what has helped counseling to progress through Africa. Yes, it’s true. The reason I decided to change professions was because of the students who kept bringing their problems to me. I discovered that the kids had so many problems that I was not able to help them adequately. What actually drove me into counseling was the following story. I was a deputy principal in a girl’s high school. One morning I was just about to do assembly for the Morning Prayer when a girl came running into school crying. I could see she was really stressed. Mrs. Mwiti, I need to talk to you right now. Susan, I cannot talk to you now, were just about to do assembly. But I have got to talk to you! She said. OK, I said. Go to my office, and I will talk to you as soon as I am through with assembly. When I finished assembly and went into my office, she was still crying. Now this girl was about 15 years old, and I had led her to the Lord the year before, so I knew she was a Christian. I said to her, Susan, what’s up? And she began to tell me this story: Since I got saved, I have been able to handle the stress in my family.

There has been a lot of stress in my family for a long, long time. Dad drinks heavily, comes home drunk, and then starts fighting with my mother. We live in a marionette, and often, I have to climb up the stairs when Dad comes home. I have to put my ear to the keyhole, because I know anytime he will start beating Mom up and I have got to jump in to separate the two. I am the firstborn and I have got three other siblings, younger than me, and the baby is about two years old. This week, the tension has been very high at home. Last night, Dad came in again at 3:00 A.M., and I stayed up to make sure he was fast asleep before something erupted. But last night they did not fight. This morning I came downstairs, dressed for school, and my little brother who never goes anywhere this early in the morning, was also dressed up.

Our house help, a young guy that lives with us to help with the baby, was also dressed up. I said, Mom, where is John going? and Mom said, We are leaving. Where? I asked. Who is leaving? Susan, stop asking so many questions. What I want you to do is go up to your room, get whatever stuff you think you need and come down. We are leaving in the next five minutes. Even Dad? I asked. I am not talking about your father; I said we are leaving. I knew something was horribly wrong. So finally I said, But we cannot leave Dad alone. If you think you love your father so much, then you can stay with him; if you think its me you love, you come with me.

But Mom, its not a matter of love. Who’s going to cook for him, look after him…I am confused. Someone has to stay with Dad! I finally said, I do not know what I am going to do, but I am going to stay with Dad. Then I picked up my schoolbag and I ran all the way to school. Mrs. Mwiti, I want you to tell me, did I make the right decision? Now, in teachers college they taught me how to teach physics, how to check substances in chemistry, and how to do lab projects, but they did not teach me how to minister to kids who are hurting. I examined my heart and said to myself, Gladys Mwiti, you have had enough teaching physics and teaching chemistry get out of here! For quite a while, I had been feeling this frustration of seeing hurting kids in class unfocused, hungry, in pain, emotionally frozen. I went home, and I told my husband, I am in the wrong place, and the Lord is saying get out! So by faith, I had to go back to school to study psychology. The only place I could study in Kenya was a secular university, the U.S. International University they have a campus in San Diego, California (the mother campus), and this campus in Nairobi. I studied psychology for fI have years. I kept reading and integrating the work of Larry Crabb, James Dobson, and others. Soon the Lord made it very clear that he wanted me to do a faith ministry start Oasis Counseling Center. The struggle has been mighty, I mean really big, in setting up this work in Africa, but it’s been very satisfying.

So, has your work been primarily with teenagers?

I work with everyone. When you are talking of a ministry which is out there with nothing else, you cannot say, I do families, I do youth. From the very beginning I have worked with youth, so I am very, very close to young people; I love them. We do a lot of youth counseling that automatically goes into family counseling to marriage counseling, which leads to depression, stress management, conflict resolution, leadership training, etc. We started out aiming at a small urban population in Nairobi. Nairobi is about three million today, and there’s almost nothing else around. We have people coming for counseling sessions from the rural areas, 200-300 miles away. I sat back and I said, Lord, what else can we do now? The answer was to train lay counselors at the community and church levels. Then the hurting people can find somebody who can work with them at least at the encouragement level of counseling, before they look for the professional. If we help lay counselors set up counseling departments in the church, they can train other lay counselors to help in the counseling. Then we train pastors in supervisory skills. This is how we got into the training of lay counselors to reach the rural communities and even the rest of the city that we cannot reach.

In 1990, we were focusing just on lay counseling in Kenya, but by the next year, people were coming from the rest of Africa for three-weeks of training in lay-counseling skills, and then returning to their countries to set up counseling ministries. Through that program, we have 500 people, scattered all over Africa, doing lay counseling. How did you get involved with counseling the United Nations staff when they were evacuated from Rwanda in 1994? In April 1994, the United Nations evacuated over 300 of their staff employees with their families from Kigali. All the hotels were fully booked in Nairobi. This was five days after the plane of the president of Rwanda had been destroyed and the onset of the genocide. I was just finishing devotions, and a car with a United Nations registration number drove up. The Christian dry hiver had a note on U.N. letterhead instructing me to report to one of the hotels in town. I told my secretary to cancel my appointments and I would call her from the hotel. When I entered the hotel’s lobby, there were bags and people everywhere.

A woman met me and took me to a small room: Gladys, she said, we need you to do something for us beginning now. We have a fax here from New York, from the U.N. headquarters, stating that all the people evacuated last night need to be debriefed. The instructions are that we debrief them before they are deployed anywhere or sent home because they have seen such horrific things in Rwanda. We have set up a room for you and you can begin your first group as soon as you are ready. I called my office and said, reschedule everything for the next two months! As I counseled and debriefed the U.N. staff, I was joined later by the head of a counseling unit from New York, and two professional counselors/consultants from Canada. For two months, we worked with the employees and their families, and it was such tiring stuff.

How did you care for yourself in the midst of that work?

I could not get self-care until the end of the two months; it was crazy. But my husband is a great guy; he can just sit and listen to me for hours, so he did a lot of debriefing for me. But by the end of two months, I scheduled some time with a professional counselor. I saw him for several sessions, but I was in such a state of mind that I could not go back to work for another month. What I realized about the U.N. staff is that very few of them had really experienced any trauma. Their experience of trauma was hearing gunshots and grenades go off. A few of them remembered seeing gory stuff. For example, one of them said, I remember seeing a dog chewing a human hand as we drove out of Kigali to Bujumbura in Burundi and then airlifted to Nairobi. I appreciated the fact that the U.N. wanted counseling for its staff, whether the people felt traumatized or not. And some of them did not think they had been affected until the middle of their sessions. Then they just broke down in tears. I had even more concern about the Rwandans left behind. The U.N. was so concerned about their employees, who hardly had lost a single member of their families (thought some of them had seen colleagues killed) but who was concerned about the millions of Rwandans? Men, women, and children who had seen blood, some of them lay under dead bodies for days, some of them live in holes for months who is counseling the Rwandans?

I asked the head of the counseling ministry, the offices in Nairobi, and the counseling unit in New York what they were doing to help the Rwandans. The answer came back the same: Nothing. So I went to the All Africa Council of Churches is, the overseeing body of the Protestant churches is in Africa. What are we doing about Rwanda? I asked. What can we do, Mrs. Mwiti? I went to the Association of Evangelicals of Africa, the body that looks after the evangelical churches is. Nothing! I went to people that I knew had regional offices working in Nairobi but working in Rwanda nothing! I got very frustrated, and so my husband one day looked at me and said, Gladys, you seem to be spending a lot of time asking people what they are doing about Rwanda. What are you doing about Rwanda? Me? I asked. I am too small. Too small? he replied. If the Lord wants you in Rwanda, is he not big enough to do that?

I started reading, writing, and researching. By the end of 1994, I had materials for training, but I did not know what I was going to do with them. Someone heard about me and published those materials. By February 1994 we had materials published. By April 1994, they were translated into Kenya and Rwanda, and we were beginning trauma counseling in Rwanda. Since 1995, we have trained 216 counselors in Rwanda. But they, each of them has counseled or trained 60 others since then. So we have over 10,000 people today counseling in Rwanda. Counseling and small groups are mushrooming all over the place. We take them through a process of healing themselves, because you cannot bring healing to others until you are healed yourself. They go home with Bible-study materials and pastor’s notes that we have prepared. In group counseling, they support one another as they complete their healing. By the end of the 10 weeks of Bible study, they already are addressing the needs of poverty, the needs of AIDS, and they are setting themselves up in small inter development projects, such as chicken and goat keeping. The are some of the programs that we are involved in at Oasis. Our three-week lay counselor training has evolved to other programs during the year, such as training for people working with disadvantaged children, street children, orphans, and abused children.

What are some of your goals for the future?

The need in Christian counseling on the continent of Africa is not in just addressing people and problems, but to be involved in helping to shape people’s behavior. I am referring to the whole issue of values. Values that keep families from crumbling, values that keep kids from drugs. I am talking about biblically-founded beliefs that people sometimes do not want to be bold enough to teach, and I think Christian counselors have the goal of teaching. More and more Christian counselors need to be trained to boldly analyze what is happening and then help parents to teach values to their kids, help leaders understand the principles of servant leadership, help fathers to be better fathers.

My dream for Africa is for an all-African training institute of Christian counseling, where people do not just learn the skills but are able to come up with materials and strategies for reaching the masses. If we do not teach people how to live, we are leaving them in a vacuum. We’ll continue with the training of lay counselors, but we need more professional counselors who will take a place in theological colleges, training schools, and universities, and make sure that Christian counseling is part of the curriculum in those places.

That’s my dream. What would you want to say to AACC members about their contribution to counseling in Kenya and Africa? I am excited about AACC members looking beyond America. Whether I like it or not, America is our world influence today. The dollar has become an international currency. The whole world is hard on the heels of America. We are getting more from you than dollars. When a movie is released in Hollywood, it hits Nairobi in the next couple of weeks. With the Internet, communication between Los Angeles and Nairobi is instant. My prayer is that AACC members will realize that they are shaping Christian counseling around the world by the very fact that we in Africa know you love the Lord and we are following your lead. You cannot stand back and tell us, Do not follow. So we hope that God is in people’s lives not just on their currency. Wherever the dollar finds its place, Christian counseling needs to find its place.

So I would like for AACC members to remember that Africa is bigger than a country; it’s a continent with Islam, Christianity, and animistic religions. It takes me eight hours to fly from east to West Africa. The Lord may lead AACC members out there to help us in other ways and we shall appreciate it, but basically, I want to encourage all of you to keep following the Lord, because we are following you. Sounds like a challenge to a higher accountability! Let me add briefly that about fI have years ago, the Lord put on my heart the need for a Christian counselors association to be an accrediting body. Because the need is so great, anyone can set himself or herself up as a counselor. We have individuals, who go for a week’s training, and they return saying, I have been through training and now I am a professional. I have been praying and working so hard, and finally in 1996, the Christian Counselors Association of Kenya got registered. I am the current chairman, and the accreditation committee is working hard to set standards of training and accreditation. Its a dream come true. Already, many other countries in Africa are saying, come over and help us to form our own associations. Very soon we are going to start visiting various countries, bringing all of them together, and helping them to set up Christian counseling associations in their countries.

This will encourage training, it will encourage standards, and it will also be able to push for universities or theological colleges in their countries to set up Christian counseling departments. When this happens, we shall be looking for AACC to send us people from time to time to come and teach in some of the places. At Oasis, we hope to have a diploma in Christian counseling, teaching it at the Institute, and also a Masters program. We need people from the America to come and help us set it up as well as people in publishing to help us with book old_resources. How large is your staff at Oasis, and how would you characterize your approach to Christian counseling? There are six full-time staff members, including myself, and then four part-time professional counselors. We have 33 professionals on the training staff, because we have got a huge training program. The professionals include pastors, medical doctors, psychologists a few of them teach in universities psychiatrists, and university lecturers. All of them are committed Christians who love the Lord and follow our model of Christian counseling. Our approach basically assumes the fallen nature of man, the fact that God wants us to be transformed, not just to be spared but to be changed from within, and that when Christ comes in, he turns things upside down, and we need to live in obedience to him. I can actually say that around 75% of those who come to us, if they were not Christians first, they become Christians during counseling. Or if they are weak in their Christian walk, they get encouraged before they leave. Our approach is not direct have; its more of an eclectic model. But it is basically a model that helps people get to know the Lord and live in obedience to him by the end of therapy. Phone Therapy is a wonderful medium to help you.

What kind of problems do you deal with at Oasis that might be unique to Kenya?

There are not any that I need to tell you, because you see, with this global model issue, we are as sick as everyone else! High on the list are marital problems, family issues, youth rebellion, drug abuse, stress, and depression. Basically the problems are due to the changes taking place in Africa. I am told that by the year 2000, 45% of Africans will be living in the cities. Child abuse is very much on the increase, so there is not anything that is unique there. Kenya is a nation where most people go to school, so we get the same problems that any other money-centered, material-centered society experiences. Most of our tribal structures were pretty solid, but with all the mobility of people, were encountering all of the community structure crumbling, individualism coming in, and self-worship. When the problems arrive, they eat from the core. The difference is that you do not have the tools and old_resources that we have in North America. Exactly! And that’s why the disintegration will be faster, thus we need to work ever so hard. That’s why my belief is that the church presents the example. I want to work myself out of business very quickly. The more the church does what the church is supposed to be doing, the better for society. God wants each person to use his or her gifts, and the gift of encouragement can belong even to a child. So, I must multiply myself, and the sooner I do that before the year 2000, the better.

Conveyor Safety Standards – Rules Not Meant to Be Broken

During instances of learning and advice we may have heard the words “safety first” or “better safe then sorry”. Meant to keep us out of trouble and from harms way, authority figures and older generations have preached the refuge before ruin concept for as long as humans have been getting in trouble. The rights and wrongs we encounter throughout life are a common sense or lesson learned away from an appropriate decision. Guidelines, structure and rules for many things however, are not only helpful but necessary.

Conveyors and conveyor systems present just such an instance. As with many things in life, the government has taken it upon its shoulders to define what can and can not be done while handling and managing conveyors. Any project that has harnessed large amounts of time, money and thought should at the very least provide some type of insight. Reviewing and discussing the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) conveyor regulations and standards can only help provide us with a more solid conveyor foundation and might allow us to avoid regulatory and safety hazards in the future.

The OSHA governmental body has developed a certain set of guidelines specifically targeted at conveyors. When we understand what some of these conveyor requirements are it is then we may be better equipped to deal with the many questions and specifications we will face when buying, building or designing a new network.

The first piece of advice from OSHA is that all conveyors make a loud warning sound when starting and/or stopping. They also specify the conveyor machines must be stoppable from a main station or a remotely manned operator’s dock at any time.

Conveyors must have emergency locks that need to be re-activated after an unforeseen stop and consequent inspections and repairs. Proper safety rails and object distances must be kept at all times. All moving working conveyors as well as broken conveyors should be well marked and have clear and legible signs for notable hazards and concerns.

These are well thought out tips that when taken to heart and implemented can prevent major damage and heartache from occurring. Not only does the government give us some great words of wisdom through their statutes but there are other precautions we can detail in hopes of safer conveyor environments for workers and equipment alike.

Although these may seem obvious, a review and reiteration of correct conveyor procedures will never go to waste. It is important to never treat them like toys. Sometimes electronic gadgets and powerful mechanics can excite and tempt even the most gentle and responsible of humans. A key is to always respect conveyors for the dangerous and powerful machines that they are. Another solid piece of conveyor advice is to always use the tracks and conveyor arrangements for what they were designed for. There are so many conveyor experts available and companies who specialize in custom conveyor solutions that there is no need to try and use conveyor cross functional if that was not there intended design.

Trying out new things is part of human nature but when it comes to conveyor manipulation and adaptation it is best left to professionals and in tested and practiced settings. Finally with conveyor operations it is never wise to take shortcuts. Skimping on materials or lackadaisical care is nothing to partake in when managing a conveyor. They are moving machines that require extreme accountability and observation.

Until conveyors or humans are perfect it is best we take every step we can to provide safe conveyor conditions regardless of application. Accidents are an inherent part of life and the more measure we take to prevent them the better off we will all be. Conveyors are serious and dangerous pieces of equipment when not handled right. When handled with care conveyors are a blessing and an absolute necessity in the work place.

Classroom Technology For All Your Students

One of the key things that teachers in the 21st century have to do in order to give their pupils a good education that will help them in today’s world is to ensure that they have “no child left behind” when it comes to digital technology. All your students should be able to bridge the digital divide and know how to use the tools of communication, doing business and finding information of today. And the way you use your classroom technology will have a lot to do with this.

Thankfully, grants of all shapes and sizes have made sure that even schools that might seem disadvantaged do have plenty of classroom technology on tap. The schools that might seem most at-risk of being on the wrong side of the digital divide, such as poorer inner-city schools or remote rural schools, often end up with the classroom technology they need. In many cases, the school setting may be the only place that students in these areas get to use such a wide range of technological tools.

But the presence, absence or type of classroom technology you have available isn’t the only thing that determines the width of the technological divide. On the contrary – you have to use your classroom technology to bridge the digital divide that already exists.

You have to know the other factors that contribute to the digital divide in order to know how to use the tools you have and to bridge that divide:

Home access. Some of your students may have their own computer at home with wireless access, a webcam, their own website and blog, etc. etc. Others may occasionally use the family’s one and only computer. And others may not have any access to a computer at all outside the classroom setting. While it may seem like a great idea for a teacher to have YouTube posts of their key lessons, a Facebook group for their class and a teacher’s blog, all these won’t be much good if half your class doesn’t have access at home to the internet, and some of your students will be at a disadvantage.

Community acceptance of technology. Some neighborhoods and parents are very pro-technology. Sometimes, you even have parents whose businesses sponsor or donate the classroom technology and push for teaching your students the skills that are needed for the 21st century workplace. But this isn’t always the case. The parents of your students may be a bit slow and muddled about new techniques, or they may be quite suspicious and even slightly hostile towards new technology – your task in this case is not only to teach your students how to use the internet, etc. but also how to do so safely… and to reassure the parents that your pupils are not spending their time in class on X-rated sites, in chat rooms giving information to potential paedophiles… or playing mindless games.

Your school’s goals. In some schools, the most important goal may be to improve test scores and to get all the Adequate Yearly Progress boxes ticked off, which means that you may not have time to do things like, for example, setting up a class webpage, even though this is a great project. In other schools, you may have more of a free rein and be able to experiment with your class and even develop new ways of using your classroom technology.

Your fellow staff members. If you work for a school that has a high proportion of younger teachers – or older teachers who have embraced the potential of classroom technology – you will find it easier to incorporate new technologies into your lessons. If you are the “new young fellow/lady” surrounded by colleagues who come up with statements like “Back in my day, we didn’t have all this online stuff and we knew how to use the library to find what we wanted,” or “Kids these days (fill in the blank)” or “Videos and films are best kept for when you have to call in the relief teachers,” you may have more of an uphill battle on your hands.

But no matter what your individual situation is, you need to use the classroom technology you have correctly. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of the digital divide. Download these free tools for improving your classroom lessons by using videos nd other tools more-and more effectively.