You may ask, “Caleb, why in the world are you choosing to work in Kenya with CARE for AIDS?” First, let me tell you it’s not for money, comfort or recognition. In fact, I can testify that living overseas is often draining, uncomfortable and thankless. However, I know this is exactly where I want to be. Let me tell you why!
I knew I wanted to work overseas after college, so I decided to study Global Development. While at Virginia Tech, my roommate told me about this organization called CARE for AIDS. I was intrigued, so I decided to send an email that went something like, “Hi! I am interested in what your organization does. How can I get involved?” Soon, I was leading the second CARE for AIDS textbook drive ever. After, I was given an internship where I continued to raise support and promote the vision of CFA.
When I graduated, I had the opportunity to serve in Ethiopia with another large organization. I must admit that I started very naïve. My time there was both eye opening and challenging. Despite the normal difficulties of adjusting to work overseas, after three months, the Ethiopian government made unjust accusations against the organization. The organization’s bank accounts were frozen, our communication was monitored, I was taken to court (along with other staff), we were wrongly accused and fined, our passports were taken, the organization was shut down and we were forced to leave the country. Talk about a great first time experience! When I left, I was absolutely drained emotionally. However, I was immediately sent to continue work in Haiti. For over five months, I was apart of earthquake rebuilding and rapid cholera responses. During the cholera outbreak, I worked long days and was on call at night. Sometimes, I had no days off during the weekends.
So why did I decide to continue working overseas? Well, despite the craziness and challenges, one critical idea became clear to me; the local church is the answer to the worlds need. The Lord gave me a passion and vision for this: the church is the hands and feet of Jesus and it must be the avenue used to touch the world. As I began thinking where God wanted me after Haiti, I found out about a job opening with CARE for AIDS in Kenya. It lined up with what the Lord had been teaching me about ministry, the church, and development. I decided to move out of Haiti and I began work with CARE for AIDS in June 2011.
How I got to where I am was certainly a journey, but I know God was in all of it. In future posts, I hope to expand upon the ideas I have talked about. I want to share with you about CARE for AIDS and what the Lord continues to teach me. If you want to know more about how practical faith meets ministry and development, you’ll just have to keep reading!