I’m sure most of you are like, uhm what, you just started a non-profit…what’s going on?
Well I promise it didn’t happen overnight but pretty much the moment I got back from Kenya this year, Shalee (co-founder/director) and I knew that this was something we wanted to do. With the rehabilitation project pretty much ready to go and a whole team of people ready to go back with us, we knew God was telling us to get this thang going.
A little backstory, in 2011, I REALLY wanted to start a nonprofit but I was like 20 years old and had to been to Kenya twice and had no idea what God was talking about so I just said…’later’. And then in 2012 after I got back from living there for two months and my Kenyan dad had brought up the idea of a rehab center, Shalee & I knew we wanted to help build this but were unsure on how to fund it. We wanted to make sure that people knew where their money was going to but we had no idea on how to start a nonprofit nor did we have the money or time. We tried going through another non-profit but they were bringing up a lot of questions (which is TOTALLY fair) and it just didn’t seem like a good fit.
And now here we are, with our own non-profit. We’ve had a couple hang ups, like our name was in conflict with someone else’s blah blah blah, we refiled paperwork and now everything is FINALLY going smoothly. But here’s our heart behind it.
One Love His Love.
When praying about this name, to be honest we (I/Crissy) just didn’t want something cheesy. Haha. I really wanted something that reflected our vision for our non-profit while also not sounding like we thought we could change the world. Heck, we cannot even change ourselves, that’s Jesus’ doing… so the world? Some sort of joke. We wanted to be clear that anything that happens as a result of this non-profit, flows out of God’s heart for His people and we are just humbled enough to be the vessels through which He works.
But let me make it clear, Jesus is doing all of this. There is One Love in which we work and it’s His Love.
Get it. Okay now we’ve all got it.
Our first project is obviously the Rehab Center and of course taking our first official team EVER to Kenya (seriously? AHHH).
It has been my dream for the past 4 years to take a good size team to Kenya and it just hasn’t happened, well now it has and it’s so freaking exciting. Everyone coming loves our vision for One Love His Love and has a heart for Africa, and after the trip they will have a specific heart for Kenya…I can just feel it ;).
The Lord has been so faithful in this journey. I never thought when I got off the plane on June 2, 2010 that I would be coming back to Kenya for the rest of my life. I never knew that THIS would be God’s plan for my life. It’s crazy, beautiful, and the most incredible thing that I’ve ever been able to do.
I think the most amazing part about all of this is that it truly has nothing to do with me. The first time I went to Kenya, one of my friends Dad’s paid for it and just invited me to go. The trips since then were organized by an incredible group of humans known as Tin Roof Society. There is NOT ONE person I know in Kenya that I didn’t meet through them or through a friend of theirs. Their work in Kenya has affected my life eternally, I need to make it clear that I would not have even heard about my Kenyan family if it weren’t for them. Whitney, Shawn, & Heather, I will never be able to repay you for the gift that you have given me. Because of your sacrifice, your love, and your encouragement, I know Jesus better and I love Him more.
Also, I wouldn’t have even thought about fundraising for the rehab center if it wasn’t for Shalee Thomas. She was the first person I told about it and she was also like “YES, LET’S DO IT” immediately after I told her. She truly has faith that moves mountains which is funny because I’m pretty sure that she weighs as much as a mustard seed. This non-profit would not exist without her either, and I’m pretty sure I would have a lot less hair if it wasn’t for her. When I get stressed and want to pull my hair out, she reminds me that Jesus is in control and I calm down.
Enter our non-profit staff – Kris Gitonga, Jordyn Downey, Garrett Menichini, and Genna Schutza – we literally asked them to do this and gave them a couple days to pray about (not even really knowing what it was) and they said yes. I’m so thankful to have people in my life that step up to the call and follow Jesus even when He leads us down crazy paths!
To the people who had given their own money and time to twenty something’s following Jesus dream for them, we are forever indebted to you. We promise you a sweet castle in Heaven. But for reals, yall rock.
To our friends & family – who have stood by us, loved us, gotten real with us, and supported our goals in this, you do not understand what you have done for us. We would not be anywhere without you guys.
To the people who have sent facebook messages, text messages, emails, comments, etc., please know that your words do not go unnoticed. The encouragement from our community has been overwhelming, to be such a baby nonprofit and to see so much love from everyone has been beautiful.
To those of you coming with us to Kenya this year – WE LOVE YOU SO GOOD. You saw what we were doing and you said yes to Jesus’ call. You guys rock. To have a dream and to trust Jesus with it is one thing, but to see other people trust it too…it just makes me bawl like a baby.
This post is entirely too long but this non-profit is at the core of who Shalee & I are. Everything we do does not always flow out of God’s love but every GOOD thing we do definitely does. He is the only good thing about us and we are so thankful for that.
Lastly I want to share our vision with you. By the title you can see that it’s about love. Specifically it’s about serving the people of this world through love, God’s love. In any form of service, in any kind of way. If that means sitting with a momma through her pregnancy or helping to heal an addict of heroine addiction or sending a kid to school, we just want to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Right now, it’s in Kenya but our dream is to have an organization where people can come and say “I have this dream of serving Thailand but I don’t have the resources to start a non-profit, can you guys helps me?”. We’re not in this for ourselves, we want Jesus to be made famous any way He can and we want to constantly be a part of that. It’s start with the building of a drug & alcohol rehabilitation center and helping a small village school but we know that it’s going to be so much bigger and we cannot wait to make Jesus famous.
I hope this gave you a better picture of our dream and just in case it didn’t, feel free to join us tomorrow night (Saturday, March 22nd) at Campus West (FBC Euless) from 7-9 PM for a benefit concert! It costs $10 to get in and we will be raising money for the rehabilitation center and for our team of missionaries to go to Kenya.
Also, feel free to check out our website: onelovehislove.com