“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
I believe there is a deep desire within all of us to leave behind a legacy. To impact the lives of those around us. To make a difference. We have an insatiable drive to change the world, but we often don’t know how to implement our passion, or, more commonly, we convince ourselves that we’re incapable of doing so. Could our one life really make a difference? The answer, undeniably, is yes.
My name is Natalie Boger. I work as a quality engineer with a background in biomedical engineering. But to be honest, that is only my day job. Since 2011, I have had the incredible opportunity to travel the world, serving those who are less fortunate, with a non-profit called HOPE worldwide. I have been to Haiti twice, Kenya twice, South Africa, and Honduras. These trips have transformed my heart in ways I could have never predicted.
My heart was to serve, love, and encourage those I interacted with on these trips. But more often than not, I left feeling served, loved, and encouraged by the impoverished people that I met. I admired their faith that simply believed, their hope that simply trusted in better times coming, their joy that simply came from their heart and not the world around them, and their love that simply cared. While visiting homes in a Kenyan slum, I was invited to return for a meal or for tea. The families had hardly anything, and yet they so freely gave. Their generosity forced me to consider: Who was I to cling so tightly to the money I had? Who was I to so fiercely protect the time that I possessed? Who was I to hold back the love that I had stored up within? We so often choose to focus on what we don’t have, while we possess the very things that others desire and (more shockingly) need. We may think we have nothing to give, but in reality, we have so much to give to those around us.
During the summer of 2015, I was able to take my second trip to Kenya. I revisited Mukuru, one of the largest slums outside Nairobi. For the first time, I was able to meet and interact with recipients of the JamQuest program. The evidence overwhelmed me: JamQuest had made an incredible impact on their lives! I learned that one man in particular, who had received funding from JamQuest to go to school, was the son of a volunteer with whom I had closely worked during my previous visit to Kenya. His mother was a joy to be around, and in fact, she was the kind woman who had invited me to back to her home for a home-cooked meal. She had since passed away, but I instantly felt bonded to her son. JamQuest had provided him with the vital tools he needed to succeed.
JamQuest’s story inspired me when I first learned it: Humble beginnings with an 8th grade boy (founder Nick Shoff) who had a dream, who was inspired by the needs he saw, and who decided to care. I heard about how JamQuest had grown into the non-profit organization that it is today. My times in other countries, and especially in Kenya, have sparked within me a deep love and passion for helping those in greater financial and physical need. I take almost every chance I get—gladly sacrificing time, money, and love—to serve those in need. But you don’t have to travel abroad to meet needs! When I learned about JamQuest’s World Changer 365 program, I was thrilled! Here was an opportunity for me to make a difference in one future student’s life, and I didn’t have to raise $3,000 for a trip abroad. Just $365 was the goal. One dollar a day! So, I saved portions of my paycheck, and gave the resulting money to support a child to go to school, who wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance for an academic education.
Often, in the face of intense needs, it’s unimaginable that my life may be used to actually help people, but JamQuest has proven something different. My life has, to my amazement, made a difference. That incredible possibility belongs to you, as well. All it requires of you is one decision: to love. To serve. To care.
Your life, undeniably, can make a difference.
JamQuest World Changer