Today, after I left my elementary school for the day, I drove over to a little office in the “downtown” of my hometown.
I met a phenomenal women. A women I had never met before, yet she welcomed me so warmly into the home (that had been converted into an office for REACH years ago).
40 years ago, Mama Jasmine quit her job and founded REACH (Render Effective Aid to Children). This amazing organization seeks to “give a child a chance” by “helping poor children in the developing countries of the world”. They work in over 23 countries around the world, building schools, orphanages, and churches, and helping people. Children.
Ok. Enough with the “official” information. You can read about that on their website.
The conversation I had with this God-fearing women left me in awe of God’s power.
This women, a stranger to me before today, just started freely chatting with me about why she started REACH, what current projects they are working on, and the work they are doing in Zimbabwe. I went to meet with her to get inspired, to discover how she got started, and to find her magical key to success. I came with all these complicated questions, and she gave me simple answers.
Her story? She heard a sermon, quit her job, and started REACH. (This is woman with a PhD and a successful career.)
Her key to success? God is the CEO. God is always the CEO.
Her biggest piece of advice? Stop thinking about how “good this will make me look” or about myself at all. It’s all about God.
Speaking with her today, I was awestruck by story after miraculous story she told me about different times that God has provided for the organization, run almost entirely of volunteers, including herself (she volunteers…I know, amazing stuff!). When she heard me asking all these logistical questions about running a non-profit, she stopped me in my tracks and interrupted and said, “It’s all for God. God called you to it. He will provide. It’s His organization anyway!”.
Because she said yes to God’s call 40 years ago, I was able to go on a mission trip in 2007 through REACH and FLAG Camp. I didn’t know Jasmine at the time, nor was I really focused on doing any long-term mission work in my life. I was 16, what did I know? All I knew is that I got leave the cold snow to spend 10 days in Honduras, with a team of about 20 other young people, running a weeklong day-camp at the school/orphanage/church that REACH runs down there.
Now, looking back, I can clearly see how that trip was one of the catalysts for this whole dream God has given me now.
Her decision to say yes and follow God’s call in her life changed my life.
And I hadn’t even met her.