For as long as I can remember, I have always loved helping and serving those younger than me. After all, they’re our future. I grew up without much guidance and assistance in how to face the world. I was told I could do anything I set my mind to, and was then left to figure out what that meant on my own. I went through rough patches and learned some hard lessons. There was no one consistently pouring love and wisdom into me or showing me the ropes. I wanted to be that for someone else. I aspired to be the person someone could call when life got hard, when it was easy and they wanted to celebrate, or even if to ask which brand of toilet paper is better. I also wanted to be there for more serious questions, like how do I set up a bank account, find what my purpose is, and figure out where I belong. I wanted them to know they weren’t alone.
In February of 2022, a passion ignited in me for college students and I knew it was all God. College was a huge step for me, and with no clear vision or purpose for my life, I unfortunately never completed it. It was through that experience that I understood why God was calling me to them. He was calling me to bring His light into the darkness. It was His sweet reminder of “I chose you” that opened the door for me to begin healing and learning who I was in Him instead of who I was to the world. He switched my perspective. I could finally stop striving and live in the freedom that was already paid for me.
At the beginning of 2023, a friend told me about a job opportunity she wanted me to read about because I fit the description perfectly. I definitely hadn’t seen a job description like that before in my life; not one that had my name all over it. Once I read it however, I understood. It was the opportunity to join IFI Tempe as the Ministry Coordinator. During my first service trip to Brazil, the love and hospitality I received transformed my life. I didn’t want to come back home. I wasn’t stuck in my comfort zone. I was forced to change and adapt…and man was it worth it! My job is to show that same level of love and hospitality to every international student at ASU. If I can make a difference in one student’s life, it’s worth it, and how much more if we join together to make the difference…one friend at a time. One host family. One community. One state. You get the idea. I want every international student to know they have a home here.