Back in May of this year, I was struck with the idea of conducting an interview series in which I would ask some friends of mine about how they connect their careers to their walks with Christ. I had hoped to start the series that month, but due to unforeseen hardships, my first interviewee had to drop out.
Here we are, half a year later, and I am finally able to say that On Interviewing Christian Creatives has kicked off successfully!
This series will seek to achieve two goals: 1) to share the stories and experiences of friends of mine and their walks with Christ as it connects to their careers; 2) bring public attention to some really cool Christian small businesses/ Christian artists!
Grace: Do you mind quickly introducing yourself, and sharing a little bit about yourself?
Ethaniel: Hello everyone, my name is Ethaniel Dueck. I grew up in Guinea, West Africa. I went to Dakar, Senegal for high school. Then I went to a Bible college in Pennsylvania for a year and now I’m currently working on the Nursing degree at Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach.
Grace: Now that we know a little bit about you, do you care to share your testimony/ how you came to know the Lord?
Ethaniel: I came to know the Lord at a Christian camp in Ohio called Beulah Beach. I spent a summer in the US on furlough and went to this day camp where I asked my counselor if I could accept Jesus in one of the mixes (camp talks). My parents spent the majority of their lives sharing the Gospel with the Fulani people in Guinée, West Africa. During my upbringing, I would often help my parents in their ministry.
Grace: The whole goal of this series is to shine a spotlight on local and international small businesses that somehow have a connection to the Christian faith. Now that you have shared a little bit about your relationship with Jesus, do you mind talking about how it connects to your small business/ career?
Ethaniel: Last October, I started a business of making rings out of old spoons and forks. The process was long and arduous. It took me four hours to make my first crude-looking silver ring. With much effort and lots of experimentation, I’ve quickened the process and improved the quality of the rings drastically. Last December, I had a friend reach out and offer to help me make a website for my slowly growing business. God was the only reason I was able to make this connection. I named the business West African Rings N Tings. After making the website, sales started to increase. Since the beginning, I’ve wanted to give back to the Lord for all He’s done through me. God placed on my heart to give 20% of all proceeds to building housing in the Gambia, West Africa for persecuted believers. Earlier this year, God placed on my heart to partner an additional 10% to a missionary couple in Brazil working on a houseboat. It’s amazing looking back and seeing all the places God intervened. I could not have started West African Rings N Tings without trusting the Lord to make a way.
Grace: Anything else my readers should know about your small business/ career?
Ethaniel: If you guys are interested in checking out the website or our Instagram you can go to westafricanringsntings.com or just search for edueck00 on Instagram and the link to West African Rings N Tings is in my bio.
Grace: What words of wisdom would you give to other believers who may be doubting their ability to successfully launch a small business/ career that has deep roots in their faith?
Ethaniel: Trust the Lord. He will provide for your small business. It may not be physical money but He will bring people alongside you to further His kingdom. Always ask for help and stay humble. At the end of the day, we are nothing without Jesus and He is the one who will work through us.
If you are looking for gifts for the holiday season (whether you celebrate all of them or none of them), I can't recommend West African Rings N Tings enough! The silver ring I was gifted from Ethaniel a few months after he started the business is absolutely gorgeous!