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Not a Doctor or a Lawyer: Kevin's Story
Kevin Maples never expected to help organizations rescue children from sexual abuse, provide jobs for women, or eradicate poverty when he searched www.ChristianVolunteering.org for a volunteer opportunity.
"I’m not a doctor or a lawyer," says Kevin. “But I figured I could teach English for a summer.” Kevin, a project manager from a consulting firm in Washington, DC, was pleased to discover a category on the search page that matched his true calling: “business ministry”. He volunteered as a consultant for two weeks in South Africa with Synergy Ministries, and then joined the organization permanently as their Director of Human Resources.
“I was one of the first people to discover Synergy solely through web research,” Kevin remembers. Up until his application to Synergy, opportunities had been shared through word of mouth recruiting—it was pretty home-grown. All staff work fulltime jobs in the business world and volunteer part time for Synergy. Their work involves virtual consultation and support as well as occasional trips to the neediest places on earth. “It’s a challenge,” says Kevin, “but it’s awesome working with people who are only here because they have a passion for our mission and goals.”
Q and A with Kevin Maples:
What do you think about virtual volunteering?
“Through the advent of advent and cheap long distance and international calling, volunteering can be done at home. As Synergy is a consulting organization, much of our work can be conducted remotely, and it has enabled a group of people all around the world to work on the same project. ..Conducting prayer conference calls is a great way to ensure that work being completed is God-focused and to keep up with your virtual team members.”
Anything to say to people wanting to volunteer?
“Pray about it and do it. Synergy, itself, has lots of opportunities stateside and abroad that directly support efforts to eradicate poverty, promote social justice, and a strong impact on communities around the world. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about yourself and, potentially, discover what God's plans are for you. The experience will benefit you AND the people you are ministering to.”
We met Kevin at Urbana 2009 when he came to check out the ChristianVolunteering booth. “I just wanted to see what you guys do at..oh…wait…I found my job at ChristianVolunteering! I remember you!” It was a fun way to start a new friendship, and it made our week at the conference.