Guest Blog Post: Why I Chose to Give, By Doreen Joseph

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12.

This is the scripture that comes to mind when I think about the many faithful children, students and young adults God has given to the community of Columbia.  In our culture, it is far too easy to overlook the incredible, admirable and positive contributions young people make.  Throughout the G2G2 campaign, children, students and young adults reminded us what it looks like to act in obedience as whole life disciples.  We’d like for you to meet one of these young adults, Doreen Joseph.

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My name is Doreen Joseph and I am part of the College and 20 Somethings IG. I am a sophomore at George Mason University majoring in Cyber Security Engineering with a minor in Math. I’ve been at Columbia since 2006 when my family and I started attending Columbia @ Crossroads, but when I was in middle school we switched to Columbia @ Falls Church. I soon became involved with the Student Ministry and Student Choir, enabling me to find my place at Columbia. Since then, I’ve been involved with Camp Columbia, VBS/VBX, mission trips, and much more. And I have to say, I’ve loved every second of it!

Just to give you a little bit about my background, I was born in Nairobi, Kenya and I grew up there until I was 8 years old. My parents’ names are Francis and Alice, and I’m the oldest of four children. My siblings are Franklin (most Columbians know him as Frankie), Cecilia (she usually goes by Cece), and Samuel. I think most people would agree that they each have their own personalities, especially Franklin. We moved to the United States in 2005 and Columbia was one of the churches we found during our church hunting adventures. Considering the fact that we were new residents in a foreign country, we wanted to find a church family similar to the one we had left in Kenya; one that was full of love and support. The warm welcome we received at Columbia confirmed that for us and we kept coming back. I will forever be grateful for the support we received from Columbia at a time that was full of difficult transitions.

So why did I choose to pledge to G2G2? Well one of the reasons is because I want others to experience the remarkable love my family and I have experienced at Columbia. I want them to find a place where they feel welcome and valued. As someone who doesn’t really fit in anywhere, I feel like I fit in at Columbia and I know that I’m loved. Adding on to that, I pledged to G2G2 because I also want to grow in my faith and be a whole life disciple. Throughout the ancient doors sermon series, Dr. Baucom kept emphasizing how followers of Christ are called to open doors to others, which really stuck with me. G2G2 is one way I can help open doors to others. I’ve come to really love and appreciate the community that is Columbia, so if I can help get even one person to experience this community and know that they are truly loved, then that’s a success in itself. I might be a young college student, but God has given me the power to effect change, so I just want to make a difference in whichever way I can.

I was initially unsure about participating in G2G2 because I didn’t feel like my small contribution would help at all, but Pastor Baucom mentioned the snowball effect and I felt like that message was directed to me; it really brought it home for me. I’m super excited for this whole campaign, not just because of a new front door, but I’m also excited for what God has in store for me and for Columbia! Plus, as I think about the rest of my undergraduate education and beyond, I just want to be a vessel that God can use, so this is part of that.