About Mike Rusch

Based in Downtown Bentonville, Arkansas, Mike is the Chief Executive Officer at Pure Charity, a nonprofit dedicated to building world class technology solutions for Nonprofit Organizations, Individual Fundraising, and Community Advocacy.

Mike currently serves on the Board of Directors for Help One NowMercy House GlobalCanopy Northwest Arkansas99 Balloons@HopeMob, Laundry Love, and Serve Northwest Arkansas.  

Prior to Pure Charity, Mike worked for Nickelodeon, The Walt Disney Company, Hershey Foods, and served in the US Marine Corps. Mike is a husband of 22 years, father of 4, a lover of a great story, and never too far from a fly-fishing river.  

Ethiopia Day 3

…4:00 a.m. and sleep has escaped my grasp.

My mind & heart are alive because just a few feet away I hear the turning and breathing of my little girl who tonight sleeps in peace.

I want to put my arms around her right now and lift her from her bed because I have waited far too long for that privilege; however, I resist.

I am ready to be home back in the states to be united with our children, but these next few days that Corrie and I will spend with her are so necessary. 

God, I pray that I am present in every moment.

The phones and computers here connect to nothing, and while we are eager to share our joy maybe it is a blessing we have needed for far too long (at least I have).  In just the two hours I was gone last night to post pictures of our day, I felt like I had missed so much even as she slept.

But now…she sleeps and I am here. 

There is no greater joy than this…I have peace.

…10:00 p.m. and sleep is taking over my eyelids :-)

today will be the day that I felt like I was properly introduced to Africa.

After some quiet moments this morning with Corrie & Sosi, we ventured into Addis to play the role of observer as the celebration of Epiphany came back into the city.

We left the comfortable observing distance we have felt within the car as we drive through the city and walked the streets among the people as they streamed by the thousands to St. Mary’s Church.

From within the confines of the car, I had a nervous anxiety inside knowing that two white foreigners being driven around the city showed I was different; however, from the moment I stepped outside the car I was cured.

Walking the streets amongst the celebration filled my soul as the people danced and sang and moved together in one motion to celebrate the dwelling of God with mankind.

…“mankind” took on a newer and richer meaning today.

Of course we stuck out big time in the crowd (especially Corrie with her blond hair), but I was among people serving and worshipping their God…our God.  And even though on this day the streets were not made from gold, I feel like I will share this moment again with these people in a different place.

So rich are the lives of those who can sing and dance in the streets to celebrate what God has done for them…it makes me sad to think of the walls of our American churches that contain our joy so that it doesn’t spill into the streets around.

Yesterday, I was told that the faith of the people here is so strong because they are so poor. 

At first glance, that statement makes sense, but after today I will have to re-examine by first reaction.

…can I even count the times that Jesus spoke of the first becoming last and last become first?  Or, how the meek & poor shall inherit the earth?  Or, how Jesus told the rich young ruler to sell all he had and give it to the poor so that the man could then come and “follow me”?

Yes…these people are poor and the poverty is overwhelming.  However, their faith is so much greater than mine because maybe they are truly living out a call to “come and follow me”.  In this way, I envy these people…

Ethiopia Day 5

Ethiopia Day 3