A year ago if you had asked me if I would be in ministry when I graduated, I would have definitely said no. For the past 7 years I have been a volunteer Young Life leader, but never did I think I’d be working in the nonprofit world. I’ve always thought of myself as the type of person who couldn’t make a difference in the lives of adults until I was older and wiser.
Working for CARE for AIDS has completely changed how I view my ability to impact the lives of others. Running our college program, CFAU, I definitely am making a very direct impact on college students. Being a part of CARE for AIDS as a whole though, I am realizing the impact I am getting to make on those older than me as well. Our ability to impact the lives of others is not limited by age. This has been most clearly exemplified for me through watching the influence our 25-year-old CEO, Justin, has had on people of all ages, not only in Kenya, but among seasoned adults here in the U.S. as well.
Not only have I begun to realize the potential I have to impact people of all ages despite only being 23, I have also been learning that ministry is about loving all people, not just people you have the opportunity to influence face-to-face. While I have not yet visited Kenya, there is a love I have for our clients and staff I’ve never met that I cannot explain. I just get excited when I think about how the work I am doing from Atlanta, Georgia is impacting the lives of hundreds of Kenyans living with HIV/AIDS. Maybe it’s that I am fully bought into the vision of CARE for AIDS or that I know the impact HIV/AIDS can have on not only an individual, but their entire family. Whatever the reason, I now know that, through being a part of CARE for AIDS, it is possible to love and impact people whom you may never personally meet.
I have only been part of the CARE for AIDS’ family for a little over 6 months now and I am amazed at all God is teaching me about the potential I have to make a difference now, as a recently graduated 23-year-old. While ministry is not the career path I imagined, I wouldn’t trade a single moment of my time with CARE for AIDS for any other job. Knowing that I am getting to impact and love people locally and globally makes each day that much more worth it.