Every person has a story tell. Something inspirational about their life that could be shared to bring hope to others. I have found the encouragement that comes from sharing those stories can give us the strength to persevere through our own journey. And it has the potential to open our hearts for a moment and allow God to move and transform our lives. This is what happened to me years ago and God has been doing it ever since.
I did what most of us are expected to do in our culture. I went to college and got a job. I worked in the corporate world for about 10 years. I had lived most of my life with a fire in my heart to help others but still hung on to the comforts we have all been told we need. After a missions trip to Haiti with my Church and an inspirational story God placed in front of me at the right time, I realized I needed to let go. God needed ALL of me to fully move through me. Although that might look different for each person. For me, it meant starting over.
For a 30 year old man in American society to resign from a job, sell his house and most of his belongings to do missions work isn’t really looked at as responsible. I knew I wanted more from life and giving up everything else was the only way to let God take over. The first three months were full of adventure and uncertainty (normally those go hand in hand). As I prepared to head to The Philippines for two months, I watched a video that had a profound impact on my life. I’ve always had a passion to help those in need and to fight injustice. But after I watched this film, I realized having a passion and doing something about it were two different things. The video was 58: The Film.
What happened after that was profound. I started doing something. Maybe it wasn’t much in the grand scheme of things. But it was a first step to make a difference in this world and help spread the love of Christ to those who desperately need it.
It’s been 3 years since I watched that video. Although I had no idea where God would take me at the time I decided I didn’t need all the information, I just needed to go. I did two internships with Convoy of Hope. One in the Philippines and another in Thailand. I also got involved doing anti-human trafficking ministries in Kenya and in The States. Through these different endeavors God allowed me to meet some amazing people. Everywhere I went there were locals that were sacrificing everything to be pastors and provide outreach to their communities but they could barely put food on the table for their own families. God had to show me something before I could do what He had called me to do. He had to take me to these locations so I could see firsthand the great needs of the world. Out of these experiences, OneEarth was formed.
OneEarth is a non-profit I started to create sustainable programs to end poverty. When I started this journey I didn’t realize what God had in store. I certainly didn’t think I would be starting a non-profit to break the cycle of poverty. That’s what happens when we loosen our grip on our own life and finally let God work on us. He takes us on a journey we had only dreamed of.
God had given me a passion to get to the root of the problem instead of providing a temporary fix. I also realized this could only be accomplished by building up unity in The Church. The first Church thrived because of their selflessness and unity. I believe God is restoring that and we will see some amazing miracles because of it.
I don’t know what my life will look like in 5 years but I’m dreaming big and praying for the impossible. Many times we are told we need the right credentials or years of experience in order to be qualified. But God rocked the foundation of this world with a group of fisherman and average Joes that simply said yes to Him. In doing so they did things they never dreamed they could do. And no leaders, governments or experts could deny it because God was speaking through them. I’m just a normal person that decided to move from being sympathetic to being compassionate. There can be a struggle when dealing with uncertainty. And we may hesitate when going against the norm. But in the end I don’t think we will care about how much we sacrificed, what people thought of us or how much we don’t have. But rather we will wish we would have given more.