Tell a little bit about yourself, your family, and where you’re from.
I am originally from Evansville, Indiana. My dad and two older brothers all live in Indiana, which make it convenient to see them all when I visit home. I started attending college in Evansville, but I moved to Colorado when I was 20 and finished up my degree there. I got my degree in Nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University of Denver. Upon graduation, I got a job at a nonprofit organization that serves the homeless in downtown Denver. Living in Colorado was awesome and very substantially grew my love for the outdoors!
What made you choose to serve at Casas por Cristo?
I was able to be a part of four Casas builds with my home church from Indiana back when I was in high school. I always felt God moving in my heart on these trips and those experiences helped shape my walk with the Lord. As far as coming on staff, I honestly feel like it was more God who chose me to serve here at Casas. Before this all came about, I was working for a non-profit in Denver as a Grant Writer and Volunteer Coordinator and loved my job and the people I worked for. When I was in school, that was the exact job I saw myself doing post-graduation, and God blessed me with the opportunity to get my “dream job” even before I graduated. I had been working there for almost two years when I started to feel God stirring in my heart that something new was on the horizon. I wasn’t quite sure what that was, but prayed for a few months on what the next step He had for me was. I was actually at a training for my current job at the time when He made it evident of what that next step would be. For some unknown reason at that time, He had very specifically laid Casas on my heart. This seemed odd to me since I hadn’t been on a trip in so long and really didn’t have much of a connection there anymore. There have been very few times in my life that I have had such a strong gut feeling towards something so specific, but I knew from previous experience that it wasn’t going to go away on its own. Still not sure of what this strong pull meant, I prayed and talked to a few close friends on what to do with it all. I was on the Casas website one day and saw they had a few open staff positions, including the Creative Writer position. So, I decided to put my application in and for some crazy reason they decided to hire me for it! Even though this all came about so unexpectedly, I am so glad it did.
What is your favorite thing about the ministry of Casas por Cristo? Or how have you seen God at work through your ministry with Casas?
How do you even answer this question? I mean, there are so many things I love about this ministry. It’s honestly been such an honor and privilege to serve God in this way. I think my favorite moment so far was the feeling I had after completing my first solo build as a staff member. I was pretty nervous going into this week with my lack of construction knowledge and experience, but I had an awesome team to work with that week which made a lot of my stress and worries seem much smaller. Although not everything went perfectly, it was truly one of the most humbling experiences of my life. Humbling because God’s plans will always be better than mine; humbling because no matter how hard I try to do things on my own, I will always need Him to carry me through; and finally, humbling because in the midst of all my worries and doubts, God was providing a home for a family who kept the faith in His promise to provide for them. In that moment, I realized God had me exactly where I needed to be and that He was going to continue to humbling me in this new direction He has me going.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Moving somewhere new definitely has its challenges. It typically involves leaving familiarity and comfort for lots of unknowns and trying to establish yourself in a new community, new workplace, new grocery store (I know you think I’m joking, but I’m terrible at finding things at the grocery store so finding a new one presents its own challenges). Basically, moving means a new everything. I moved to Colorado when I was 20, which was my first experience with this, and honestly had a hard transition for the first couple of years. Fortunately, the transition to El Paso has been overall pretty seamless.
I think one of my biggest challenges was learning the building process. It was all pretty overwhelming at first since I was coming in with no prior knowledge in this field, but I was really surprised at how much I learned in such a short amount of time. It’s also a huge help to work with a lot of people who do know the answers and are so willing to help whenever someone (me) is in need of a little assistance.
-That God would continue to provide. We all raise our own support in order to serve full-time with this incredible ministry and this can’t be done with the support of people like you! I’m almost halfway to my fundraising goal and fully believe that as long as I’m following His plan for me, He will continue to provide just what I need.
-For continued community here in El Paso. I have made some pretty great friends here so far and look forward to deepening those relationships in the years to come!