5,000

April 2015

Six years ago, Cornel, Duncan, Nick, and I gathered late one evening in the first CARE for AIDS office. The tiny room couldn’t accommodate more than 4 desks. I knew it was important that as the four key leaders that we were all in alignment on where we were heading. So, I asked each person to take a piece of paper and write a number on it. I wanted them to answer the following question, “In terms of centers, what does success look like in the next five years?” Nobody put more than 10 centers. You can imagine how ashamed we felt when we had 23 centers at the five-year mark. We limited God in light of our own limitations. Our lack of resources and experience caused us to forget that God can use ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

Just one week ago, I stood in AIC Jerusalem church in the Sinai slum in Nairobi when the name of the 5,000th graduate of CARE for AIDS was called… “Ana.” You would have thought she won the lottery. She threw her hands up in the air and proceeded to dance across the entire stage. The moment was priceless.

 

In anticipation of this event, I prepared a few words to share with the clients. I kept being drawn to the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand, but not just for the 5,000 parallel, but because I resonated with the young boy in the story.I was just another face in the crowd with meager resources and no status. At 19 years old, I was a follower of Jesus but merely a spectator. Then, He invited me to surrender what little I had because, in His hands, my loaves and fish could feed a multitude.

We reached this milestone, not by human effort or expertise, but because God favored this work, and He multiplied the gifts of everyone who was willing to surrender their time, talents, money, and influence to Him. This includes every donor, volunteer, staff member, and board member. Your investments have allowed us to care for 5,000 families and prevent over 15,000 children from becoming orphans.

Christ has called us to surrender our lives to him and not to withhold anything. When we do that, He can do more in and through us than we could ever ask or imagine. It may not be what we planned, but it will be so much better.