We are excited to continue with our staff interview series. It has been a huge blessing so far to see the growth in every single person who works with us in For One Life. So let’s go on by presenting you Jubilee Tlangte! You can read all of his answers to the questions below;
- What is your position with For One LIfe? (name of position and brief description)
I am working at Life Cafe, which is a place where a lot of people come to eat and hangout at the same time. So what I do is that I hold the manager position at Life Café.
- What are your daily tasks?
On an average day, I take care of finance that includes paying bills, income and expenses entries. I also order stuff inside and outside town so I do inventory, make work schedule for all the staff and I make sure everything is ready from each of the staff’s station, so everyone is all set and ready to serve any customers. Finally I fulfill any other needs of the café, like taking orders from customers and many more.
- How did you start working for For One Life? (briefly describe how you came to know about the organization and how you started working)
Michael Esh (Director FOL) and Joseph Joute (Director FOL Asia) asked me and my sister to help get some stuff for the café when it was just starting. So they told me about what they were planning to do, they also told me about the vision, the aim etc. So a few weeks later Michael asked me to think about working at the cafe as the Manager. So that’s how it all started!
- From your personal perspective, what are you trying to achieve by doing the work you do?
Life cafe is one of the community development projects and it’s one of the most successful dining places we can find in town. It is an honor for me to work there and be part of the organization/ministry.
I want to create an atmosphere for the customers and give them the feeling of wanting to come back again and also to be able to make our customers who come in the cafe, satisfied and happy and exceed their expectation by giving them the feeling of home. I guess this is what I want to achieve on my everyday work-life.
- What effect has your work/ministry had on the local community?
First, it offers job opportunities to people, especially the youth, so they can earn for themselves and be somehow financially independent. Secondly, before Life Cafe was here, there were just a few restaurants we could find in town where you could eat and hang-out. Churachandpur is one of the top among other districts in Manipur where you get a lot of foreigners, tourists ,mission workers and NGO’s workers so it does not only affect the local community, but even “the outsiders” as well.
- What impact do you hope to see on the community in the future as the result of the work of For One Life?
Even today, Life Cafe has already had a great impact on the community. For example, life cafe was the first one to introduce live music, late opening and offering Wi-Fi in the cafe and also offer home delivery to customers. These facilities/activities were very new to the community but because of this we have a few places opening late, some do live music in fact some came with the Wi-Fi plan too, so I am happy to be on the side where you get to influence the community in a good way, and hopefully this will continue to be in the future as well.
- Tell a short story about an interaction that you’ve had with a specific person during your work with For One Life?
Some weeks ago, we had close to 40 young Americans. They are called the ‘world race team”. So, I sat and had a talk with one of the girls from this team. They were away from home for six months so they travel across the world visiting remote places, villages, churches, schools, hospitals and help them in their ministry in different ways. They stayed in our town for three and a half weeks. So this girl told me this;
”Jubilee, we could never ever imagine there will be a cafe as nice as this in a very remote place like Churachandpur” and then she added; “This cafe can be anywhere in the world, we somehow feel like we’re home, especially because we get to eat American food.”
This simple thing made me realize how important the cafe is not only to the people locally but the people outside and that motivates me to work harder and try to be a blessing to many more people.
- Share a struggle that you face in doing day to day NGO work/ministry.
Life Cafe is considered to be one of the finest restaurants in town now, so we have a lot of different customers coming in and out with some having really high expectations. So, as a manager, sometimes it’s hard to keep up your hospitality at the best level and keep your smile, your patience and also keep your communication skills up almost throughout the day. Sometimes there are even days when I feel like I can’t exceed or meet the customer’s expectations to the level that’s required. Once you’re sure your goal is making the customer happy, then I consider it a failure when I don’t reach that goal.
- How are some ways that other members of the For One Life team encourage and motivate you?
Other members of the FOL staff, especially the ones that I am close with, encourage me in a lot of ways soy that I can do my work better in terms of spiritual guidance, anger management, attitude development, and also on how to be a good leader. In fact, Michael Esh (Director FOL) is one of my biggest inspirations and I have learnt a lot from him on how to be a good leader and how to delegate staff and how to treat everyone equally. Often, people lead because it helps them grow and expand their lives. There is almost nothing as challenging as leading groups of people. As a leader, you may need to communicate to large numbers of people, negotiate, and handle dicey situations..
So this always motivates me in so many ways to fulfill my work. And also Rosie Esh, my supervisor, has been a huge encouragement for me. She’s more like a sister to me. When you have people you work with, who came from all the way from halfway across the world and they do good things for you and your people, then why wouldn’t I feel so honored? This is one of my biggest motivations.
- How has serving the community changed you personally?
I have improved so much in ways that I couldn’t even imagine and in so many ways that I hadn’t even thought I was capable of. My English has improved, I have improved spiritually, I have definitely improved my confidence when it comes to talking to customers and interacting with them, how to be hospitable and kind to everyone, especially your customer and others. I have also learnt integrity. I have learnt how to be a dependable and a responsible person. Well some things still need to develop but serving the community has changed me so much and I really enjoy it.
- What is the biggest joy or blessing that you personally have received because of your work with For One Life?.
By God’s grace I have a master’s degree in computer science, and by being a computer science student, working in a restaurant was never on my list honestly, but once you get to understand the purpose of your life and why God made you, then it’s only you who can make the difference. So, working for FOL is the biggest joy and blessing that I have received. It has taught me how to be self-dependent and it has also let me help my brother financially for his dormitory fees. So if it wasn’t for Life Cafe, I don’t know where I would be, because it made me who I am today.
12. In which personal areas do you feel that you need to grow in order to serve the community more effective?
I still feel I need to improve more on interacting with more customers and give them the best attitude so they can experience the best day.
Many successful leaders started without any confidence or skills. Some people that are leaders today once had a hard time saying anything in a small group. Leadership skills are built step-by-step. No matter what your skills are right now, you can become a better leader if you work at it. You may find yourself doing things you could never have imagined you would! So I’ve learnt that if you want to be a good leader ,you first need to learn how to be a good servant. So, I feel that the areas where I still need to improve, are especially on how to be a good leader so that I can inspire more young people and set a great example in our community and do my best to motivate them.
13. What is your favorite For One Life project and why ?
It has to be the children’s program (Kingdom Kids), because this gives an opportunity to a lot of villages in Churachandpur to experience what they haven’t. This program gives the children the chance to learn bible verses, dramas, skits, and new songs as well. One more of my favorite projects is also The Community Life Center. That’s because this town has nothing like it yet and it’s very exciting to know that when it’s done, the town will get to experience a lot of things connected to youth where you can actually be safe and have a fun place to hang out and meet new friends , or have a place to enjoy sports and many more. I’m sure this will bring a lot of great impact to the community as well.