Join us today for the Interview with DeAnna Sanders, author of Unseen People: Sharing Light and Life with Your Neighbors and the Nations...
This is the interview I had with author DeAnna Sanders.
In today’s podcast episode I interview DeAnna Sanders. I ask DeAnna about her book Unseen People, who they are and why we should care. I also talk with her about how we can begin to see the unseen people around us. I also ask DeAnna to share with you how her faith intersected with her life journey.
Join in on the Chat below.
Episode 1362 Interview with DeAnna Sanders author of Unseen People Sharing Light and Life with Your Neighbors and the Nations
[00:00:00] Scott Maderer: Thanks for joining us on episode 1362 of the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:00:09] DeAnna Sanders: Hi, I'm DeAnna Sanders and I challenge you to invest in yourself, invest in others, develop your influence and impact the world by using your time, your talent, and your treasures to live out your calling. You know, having the ability to meet people where they are and give them hope is key and one way to be inspired to do that is to listen to this.
[00:00:33] The Inspired Stewardship Podcast with my friend, Scott Maderer.
[00:00:46] Scott Maderer: As
[00:00:47] DeAnna Sanders: my life has evolved, my calling has stayed the same. The calling to be God's person on mission, wherever He puts me. And like I said, I wanted to be that person. I wanted to be [00:01:00] around the world. And I let everybody else stay home if they wanted to. But I wanted to go.
[00:01:06] Scott Maderer: Welcome and thank you for joining us on the Inspired Stewardship Podcast.
[00:01:11] If you truly desire to become the person who God wants you to be, then you must learn to use your time, your talent, and your treasures for your true calling. In the Inspired Stewardship Podcast, you will learn to invest in yourself, invest in others, and develop your influence so that you can impact the world.
[00:01:40] In today's podcast episode, I interview Deanne Sanders. I asked Deanne about her book, Unseen People, who they are and why we should care. I also talked with her about how we can begin to see the unseen people around us. And I also asked Deanne to share with you how her faith intersected with her life journey.
[00:01:59] I've got a new [00:02:00] book coming out. called Inspired Living. Assembling the puzzle of your call by mastering your time, your talent, and your treasures. You can find out more about it and sign up for getting more information over at InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living. That's InspiredStewardship. com Inspired Living.
[00:02:23] Deanne is the author of the soon to be published book, Unseen People, Sharing Light and Life with Your Neighbors and the Nations. Deanne crafts communication pieces for non profits through her business, DLS Communication for Global Good. She fills her weekly sub stack newsletter, A Good Word Wednesday, with bite sized slices of life
[00:02:42] Scott Maderer: her own experiences and from those she has met around the world.
[00:02:46] Deanna has served as a church missions minister and works in a global nonprofit. She is SAFE, as Indonesian Country Director, and as Director of Communications. Deanna inspires mission driven Christ followers to sharpen their focus [00:03:00] on undervalued, unseen people, locally and globally, lead them to meet those people at the point of their pain, and offer them a hope filled future.
[00:03:09] Welcome to the show, Deanna!
[00:03:10] Good morning. How are you doing? We talked a little bit about in the intro about some of your journey and the book that you're working on around unseen people. But what kind of brought you to the point of that being the idea that you wanted to talk about and put out into the world?
[00:03:32] DeAnna Sanders: That's a good question because it has a rich background. Way back when I was a preacher's kid growing up in South Arkansas I got embedded in my heart that God loves all people all over the world. And I started discovering that I had some artistic talent, not just in drawing that sort of thing, but I started writing and [00:04:00] I've done.
[00:04:01] writing since the very beginning and it helped me to pour out my thoughts onto paper. So just from that beginning onward to being a freelance writer and I started traveling with my church and the admissions ministry with my church. So I was able to see the broad perspective of the world and how God loves all these people everywhere.
[00:04:26] And I wanted to be a part of that. And so I was willing to go into all the world and in the, As I was doing all that, I always would journal and always write my stories. And it was just at that point I started to see how God loves all these people. And I was honored to get to, to work with them.
[00:04:45] People that normally you wouldn't see you have to go out of your way to see those people. So that's that little tidbit about my journey started.
[00:04:55] Scott Maderer: And when you were, you mentioned you were traveling and [00:05:00] talking to people around the world how did that come about?
[00:05:03] DeAnna Sanders: the world. It, part of it was, most
[00:05:07] Scott Maderer: of us barely talk to our people that are like living right next door to us.
[00:05:12] DeAnna Sanders: Although that's part of the picture too. Yeah, there's an exercise that I've done with people where I ask them to put their name and then write down their, the eight neighbors that are parallel to them.
[00:05:23] Scott Maderer: That's great. And most people can't. Can't do it right now. I will tell you, I only have two boxes of those eight because I live out in the country, so I've only got two neighbors, so it's a little easier for
[00:05:34] DeAnna Sanders: me. It's easier for you. That is part of the picture that I'll talk a little bit more fully here in a minute, but, my parents embedded within me this desire to go into all the world. And my dad was pastor, as I was already said, and my mom was the missions, woman's missionary leader. So I heard these stories from the very beginning in my life. And this became my calling.[00:06:00] As well. So we traveled a little bit as a family, but not a lot into all the world.
[00:06:06] I think we just barely ventured over into Canada whenever I was growing up, but I knew that was my calling. And so whenever I had the opportunity. I would, through my church or whatever, I would go on these mission trips and my first international trip wasn't until 2000 and I got my my passport then and I've used it ever since.
[00:06:31] But I think it was really when I was missions minister at a local church that I really got my feet wet in the international world. My church was gracious enough to let me go and take a lot of people with me and we saw a lot of these people starting in Bolivia, of all places, and seeing people who definitely weren't normally seen.
[00:06:55] So I would, a lot of people will say you get to go, but not a lot of [00:07:00] us don't get to go. Like you just said, Scott the being able to see people right next door or across the street. That's a different kind of vision to develop because you see them all the time and you need to be able to meet them at the point of their need as well.
[00:07:19] I learned through the years missions is just location. It's not necessarily, it's a calling wherever you are, whether it's next door or around the world. So that's the seed of this book that I started seeing people for who God made them to be and just like he did with all of us.
[00:07:41] Scott Maderer: So what do you mean when you say unseen people?
[00:07:44] Because an image comes to mind but what do you mean when you use that term?
[00:07:49] DeAnna Sanders: So I, when I started gathering stories for this book, it that thread of seeing of unseen people just popped out at me. So [00:08:00] this is what's holding this whole concept together is unseen people.
[00:08:05] And. It was a neighbor that's right next door, I have a story in the book about that, that had a little yappy dog, and he that's how we got to know each other is all on the, where our sidewalks our driveways intersected right there, and I got to know him and his situation. But I wouldn't have seen him if I hadn't taken time just to stop and listen.
[00:08:30] He would have just been the owner of a yappy dog if I hadn't taken the time. But unseen people are people who you just hurry through life and you don't see them. They could be a cashier at your grocery store. They could be the server at your restaurant. That's in a local setting, in an international setting, there are people who you would rather not go see.
[00:08:57] They are people that it takes an [00:09:00] effort to get there and to see them in the middle of their and in the middle of their lives that God, hard lives that God has put them into, and to be able to see them in their environment helps you to understand them better. They are. They are people that are like maybe in the midst of pain.
[00:09:23] They're in the midst of troubles. They're in the midst of just trying to get through life day by day. They're not people that you really want to sit down and have a cup of coffee with and get to know. There are people that may be in need of just a friend, just of somebody to be there, walk alongside with somebody that needs a voice.
[00:09:47] Your voice to bring there. pain to the world. So I, it's a multiple level answer. It's not just one type of person. [00:10:00] But a lot of times it's just seeing people wherever they are as a creation of God that he's made and blessed.
[00:10:09] Scott Maderer: So in truth then unseen people are all of us. At some level. Yes.
[00:10:15] Because I think all of us have felt some of those things at some point, where if not today, there's been a place in your life where you felt that way.
[00:10:24] DeAnna Sanders: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Growing up. I talk about this in the book as well, me being an introvert and kind of a wallflower type of person want to be, I didn't want to be seen for for part of my life.
[00:10:40] But then it gets to be to the point where you understand you are a person of value, and you want people to recognize that. And then people just pass you by. So making yourself available to see them first, and then they are able to see you and. Get to know [00:11:00] you as a person of value, a person of life experiences that you may want to share with others.
[00:11:07] Yeah, all of us at some point in our life are those people. And I think that's a good, that's a human experience that gives us a place to intersect with the lives of others because we're all God's creatures. I just did different places in the world.
[00:11:27] Scott Maderer: So you mentioned growing up a pastor's kid and ministry work and church and that how has your faith journey intersected with or changed as you've been thinking about these stories and working on this book?
[00:11:45] DeAnna Sanders: Faith. I like the word journey, by the way, because all of our life is that it is a, it's a journey that changes as you go through. different life experiences, and it does, and it changes you as, as well. [00:12:00] I think that as my life has evolved, my calling has stayed the same the calling to be God's person on mission, wherever he puts me.
[00:12:14] And like I said I wanted to be that person. They wanted to be around the world, and I let everybody else stay home if they wanted to, but I wanted to go which is. Ironic because, like I said, I was an introvert, still am, and for, to get on a crowded plane, to go to a crowded country, to be with people all the time was, that had to be a God calling because that wasn't something I necessarily wanted to do.
[00:12:37] It was a calling on my heart and I had to follow that into all the world. But, It has changed because I did all that for a lot of years in a different settings with my church and with a international nonprofit. Like I said, the calling stayed the same. The location sometimes was different. And my [00:13:00] faith has always been a part of that.
[00:13:02] I can't separate the two. Whenever I start talking about journey and about faith, to me, it has always been a faith journey. I have to be intentionally plugged in to what God is asking me to do and where he's asking me to do it on a daily basis, because sometimes that changes. It could be what I think I'm supposed to be doing and God has another plan for me.
[00:13:28] So being tuned into that whether it's, Like going across the street to check on a neighbor or if it's getting on an airplane to go to the other side of the world. I say the call is the same. It's just it's just location.
[00:13:47] Scott Maderer: What's one of your, your you shared a couple of nuggets, but what's one of your favorite stories in all of this journey that you've had or you've experienced as you've been doing all of this?
[00:13:59] DeAnna Sanders: actually have a [00:14:00] couple of them, but the one that immediately comes to mind. is when I was serving as Indonesia country director for Shia Safe non profit that is focused on anti abuse and anti trafficking in very difficult places in the world. So that's the setting. And part of my job had to do with helping our partners in those countries develop ministries.
[00:14:32] And one of those ministries was to a group of children that they would meet once a week and they would, it's an old children's club. And so I would go and then be with them and get there in the middle of all their energy and all that. And part of when I would go. is I would ask the leaders to help me find at least three children to talk with individually.
[00:14:54] And one little girl in that setting I would ask her questions, I'd always ask [00:15:00] them questions. What do you want to be when you grow up? And what, Do you like to do when you're not in school? What's your favorite school subject? Just questions that kids would answer anywhere. And this one particular little girl told me she wanted to be a teacher.
[00:15:16] She wanted she liked to go to school and she liked math. And then I'd always end with the question, how can I pray for you? And she got real quiet and she just looked at me and said, I need you to pray for me because my daddy hurts me every night. And I just stopped just a full stop because I what she was saying was is most likely was sexual abuse and this little girl who was nine years old.
[00:15:42] So it's so much unfairness in the world for that little one. And she needed somebody to be there to be her voice. Because she couldn't do anything about it on her own. So that's whenever you're in the middle of those situations where you realize. You can't do this [00:16:00] on your own, and this is something that the local people were needed to address, but it was something she told me, and I treasure that she could trust me that way.
[00:16:11] She was an unseen little girl, because nobody would see her on a normal basis. She was just a lowly little girl in a big country full of people who were, who didn't care about her. She was that one. followed up with her later and she was getting some help and she was she was okay and no longer unseen in that particular situation.
[00:16:38] That's an international story. There's one that's local. I mentioned my neighbor. But I also realized one day, it's just one particular day, I was at the grocery store and the guy who was, I actually went to a grocery store where they help you sack your groceries, that's rare anymore, but this little store did, and the guy who [00:17:00] was sacking my groceries, his name was Juan, and he was just talking, he was a talker talk, all the time, and So I got to know him on the way out.
[00:17:09] He was putting the groceries in my car and just a regular guy. He wanted the best for his children. And he was stuck in my brain as I got in my car and left and went to a place where I went to get a fountain drink at a gas station. And this guy who serves me his name was John. And we talked for just a minute at the drive thru window and I went on and then I had a lunch with some friends at a local restaurant we go to all the time and the server's name was Julie.
[00:17:39] All those names started with a J, which was helpful for me to remember. But just understanding that these are normal people. You don't normally see the person who are serving you and I wanted to make a change in my direction of my life. Talk about a faith journey. It was like right there. It's [00:18:00] like Deanna, these are people who are helping you and you need to be thankful and grateful and get to know them and write their names down and Remember them because you may most likely we'll see them again.
[00:18:12] So it's that type of moments in time that stand in my Brain and my heart that make me think stop and see the people who are right in front of you wherever that is Indonesia or at my local restaurant. It doesn't matter. There's still people who have story their own stories to tell. Just stop and listen for a few minutes.
[00:18:37] Scott Maderer: Yeah, I think sometimes I know servers react rather. Interesting, as an example, whenever you actually call them by name when they're wearing a name tag It's like you're wearing a name tag, but they don't think of it because nobody ever does it.
[00:18:55] DeAnna Sanders: I try to make a point of doing that, like if I'm going through [00:19:00] Walmart checkout or whatever store that I'm at, and they do have a name tag on, which is very helpful.
[00:19:04] I'm grateful that some of them still do that. And as soon as you're talking with them as they. bag your groceries or whatever. And when I'm leaving, I'll call them by name and thank them. And they immediately just light up. It's I have said your name, which, which we all like to hear our names said.
[00:19:26] It just it, people recognize you as a person followed by your name. So that is something I've tried really hard in my life to do is remembering that. And I'm horrible. I have a horrible memory. You can ask my husband, he would tell you, but I can't, but I've tried to write that name down. If I have my journal with me, if I have my phone, whatever, write their names down and try to use it a couple of times in the conversation.
[00:19:53] And then if you see them again, To do the same.
[00:19:56] Scott Maderer: So I remember it. Yeah. Yeah. I have to use a lot [00:20:00] of memory tricks to remember. I'm terrible with names, but I was a school teacher for 16 years. And as a school teacher one of the first things you have to do is learn every kid in the classroom.
[00:20:09] And so I learned a lot of memory tricks. So I will just say for the person that's saying, I can't remember stuff like that. There are go look it up. There are tricks you could teach yourself to to plant those things in your memory. Yes. And they work. Yeah. If I could learn 150.
[00:20:26] Kids at a in the first two days of school you can learn. Anybody can do it now. You can do it. It is possible.
[00:20:33] DeAnna Sanders: It's hard. And the older you get, the harder it is because your brain just doesn't always want to work the way you want it to, but those tricks and keeping your brain fresh is.
[00:20:44] A good idea.
[00:20:46] Scott Maderer: So for the person that's listening, that's maybe I haven't gone on a mission trip. I'm not necessarily going to go overseas anytime soon or see that kind of folks but like we mentioned at the beginning, unseen people are all [00:21:00] around us. What are some of the first things or first tips or what would we do first to begin paying attention to and engaging with in a good way, the unseen people around us?
[00:21:14] DeAnna Sanders: I do encourage people to get involved in mission in their local church first. If that's something that your church does, find out how to be involved in that. So you can be on mission wherever God calls you to be. But I do think it's just an intentionality of your life, of your day.
[00:21:37] Even if you have your passport and you're ready to go use it. You need to be on mission where you are, and you walk out your door, even in your own home sometimes. You need to be aware of people in your own home that need for you to be there for them. But going into your neighborhood with whether [00:22:00] maybe you're taking your kids to school, and you have opportunity to intersect with people other parents in your school, that, that's the mission field.
[00:22:10] That's an opportunity to be involved locally. It could be where you. Like I say, you're just meeting friends at a restaurant and you get to know people there. It's just, I think it's triggering in your brain that God has called you to be on mission wherever you are. And to make that a daily lifestyle of seeing people and meeting them at the point of their need.
[00:22:36] You have to listen. I think developing that ability to hear people. We're Such busy people and we can ourselves be we live in an unseen world. We can hide on our computers. We can hide on our phones. We don't have to be seen if we don't want to. But I think taking the opportunity to [00:23:00] remove those barriers and see people for who they are for real and get a relationship with them.
[00:23:10] I think building a relationship is important in all this. It's not just a hit and miss. Sometimes that's all your opportunity to have. You may not ever see somebody again, but if you have opportunities to develop relationship and get to know a person through time I. That's always important. And then you can learn, sometimes you have to build a relationship quickly, but over, it's best if you have a relationship you can build over time.
[00:23:36] So that's why I would say start with your church, start with your own daily lifestyle and ask God to give you the vision to open your eyes spiritually to people God puts in your path. And once again, that's just the daily discipline and the people are already there. It's not that God needs to put people there.
[00:23:57] It's that God needs to, you need to [00:24:00] ask him to open your vision to see the unseen because I think he has an assignment for us every day. And we get to join in that where he's working and we get to see those people but you've got to want to, you've got to develop your desire to want to see those people because it takes time and people are messy and life gets messy and so you have to.
[00:24:25] be intentional about wanting to see the people that puts in the path.
[00:24:31] Scott Maderer: So I've got a few questions that I'll ask, like to ask all of my guests. But before I ask those is there anything else about the work you're doing or the book that you're putting together that you think is really important for the listeners to hear?
[00:24:44] DeAnna Sanders: I, I think maybe just I think, I don't know where to add much. I just want to emphasize the fact that, that. We all have a a mission, all of us [00:25:00] as God's people and for some of us it is writing, for some of us it is traveling, for some of us it's being a mom, it, and maybe it's all of those things together, but I think just The key principle is just to understand that God made all creatures in his image, including us, including the people that we need to see, and we need to focus on what it is that we can do to sharpen our vision and help people understand that they are creatures that God loves.
[00:25:37] Scott Maderer: So my brand is Inspired Stewardship, and I run things through that lens of stewardship, and yet, like a lot of other words, I've learned over the years that stewardship is one of those words that different people hear and think different things when they hear the word. So for you, what does the word stewardship mean to you, and how has it had an impact on your life?
[00:25:59] DeAnna Sanders: [00:26:00] I love the word stewardship. When I was growing up in church, the stewardship always seemed to be tied to the word money. It always seemed to be tied to... The listeners
[00:26:13] Scott Maderer: will have heard I say all the time, stewardship in church usually means we're starting a building campaign. Exactly that.
[00:26:19] We're trying to build a building and we need your money. We need your money. Unfortunately, that's not what the word means.
[00:26:24] DeAnna Sanders: It's not because God has gifted you with time. he has gifted you with with talents with ability to do things in a special way that not everybody can do. He's given you those talents, and he does give the income and the resources, and a lot of us have more than of that than we think we have but it's committing all of that to what God would have [00:27:00] you do with it.
[00:27:01] It's really not necessarily. yours to hoard all the time, your talents and your treasures. It's yours to ask God to show you how to use it in a world that desperately needs it. And that is something you can, it's not just a one time thing. It's it's daily asking God, how can, what do you want me to do with my day?
[00:27:26] And it's not say, here God, here's my plans. It's what are my plans today, God? And it's reversing that. So it's committing all of that. all that God has given you back to him and to give you the vision to see how to use it.
[00:27:44] Scott Maderer: So this is my favorite question. I love to ask all of my guests that.
[00:27:49] Imagine for a minute that I invented this magic machine and I could pluck you from where you are today and transport you into the future, maybe 150, maybe 250 years. And [00:28:00] through the power of this machine, you were able to look back and see your entire life and see all of the connections. all of the ripples, everything that you've left behind in the world.
[00:28:09] What impact do you hope you've left behind in the world?
[00:28:13] DeAnna Sanders: That's such a good question. It made me, has, makes me have to stop and think a little bit because it you do want to be able to be known as a person. Who has invested in others? I think when I look back and sometimes that question is phrased, what do you see?
[00:28:33] What do you see on your tombstone after you've gone, this
[00:28:36] Scott Maderer: is my nicer version of write your own obituary, . I hate to write your own obituary. It's more, it's morbid. So I try, come up with a different way of asking
[00:28:44] DeAnna Sanders: it. Yes. Thank you for that, . But I think that, what I wanna say, I would have to edit it down to get on a I'm a gravestone worker, but I want to be known as a person who values [00:29:00] others and I've said this already in our conversation, but I want to be the person who sees others as people God has made in his own image.
[00:29:13] I want to be that person who was known as shining a light in a very dark world, who desperately needs the light and the life that Jesus offers. And I don't want just to be known as that missionary lady or that writer. I want it to all be together in the fact that I'm sharing God's light in a dark world.
[00:29:39] I think that's what I want to be known as. I love it.
[00:29:44] Scott Maderer: So what's coming next on you as we finish out the end of this year and go into 2024?
[00:29:50] DeAnna Sanders: So I'm still in the waiting mode with my book. It is in an editor's hands and it is in an artist's hands as they [00:30:00] work on book cover design and finish up at the editing process.
[00:30:05] So in the waiting as I'm doing that it hopefully will all be settled by Sometime early fall. But in the meantime I'm working on getting to know more people getting to share what it is that God is doing in my life through this book and learning about marketing and things like that.
[00:30:30] And it's not necessarily something as a writer knows. Automatically, but how to share with other people the message of this book, because I do think it has a lot of impact for everybody. It's, it is my stories, but it's stories that are relatable. It's just a normal person going through normal life and how to develop vision.
[00:30:50] So I want to be able to launch it into the world. do it well, and I'm learning in the process how to do that. And in the meantime [00:31:00] I've got a few other book ideas. rolling around in my head. I'm not ready to work on those yet because I need to get this baby book launched out into the world first. But, and they all have to do with the unseen people theme, just in a different context.
[00:31:18] So working on that, all of it working together right now. See, it's keeping me busy for sure.
[00:31:26] Scott Maderer: You can find out more about Deanna Sanders over on our website. It's at DeannaLynnSanders. com. Of course, I'll have links to all of that over in the show notes as well, so you can find it there. Anything else that you'd like to share with the listener today?
[00:31:42] DeAnna Sanders: I do want you to go to that website.
[00:31:46] That's where I have a lot of my information and there's a link on there to join my weekly newsletter. It's called a Good Word Wednesday and so I send out words every Wednesday just to [00:32:00] help encourage you and to help share what God is teaching me and to connect with you that and just as a As a freebie, I want to be able to send you a a free e book and there's a little information on the website about seven simple ways to show people they are significant.
[00:32:21] So a lot of what we're talking about today shrunk down into this e book and I'd love to just to send it to people if they would agree to be a part of my Good Word Wednesday family and love to get to know everybody in that context.
[00:32:39] Scott Maderer: That's a great resource for folks that are wanting to follow up and put this into their daily life as well.
[00:32:44] And of course, once the book comes live and you've got a publication date, if you'll share that with me, I'll go back and add it to the show notes as well. So folks, depending on when you're hearing this, it may already be up there. So go check the show notes and or check the website. And [00:33:00] I'm sure the book will be up on either place.
[00:33:02] DeAnna Sanders: will. And with the newsletter I give updates. Yeah. Yeah. So there's multiple ways to keep the information flowing. Yeah.
[00:33:21] Scott Maderer: Thanks so much for listening to the Inspired Stewardship Podcast. As a subscriber and listener, we challenge you to not just sit back and passively listen, but act on what you've heard and find a way to live your calling. If you enjoyed this episode please do us a favor, go over to inspired stewardship.
[00:33:45] com slash iTunes rate, all one word, iTunes rate. It'll take you through how to leave a rating and review and how to make sure you're subscribed to the podcast so that you [00:34:00] can get every episode as it comes out in your feed. Until next time, invest your time. Your talent and your treasures develop your influence and impact the world.
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As my life has evolved my calling has stayed the same, the calling to be God’s person on mission wherever he puts me. – DeAnna Sanders
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