Change of Plans (by Dana Dilling)

Like many college entrants, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started at Abilene Christian University. I was interested in languages and history, though not Academia, so I majored in International Studies. My parents convinced me to minor in Business Administration because “it will be useful,” no matter what field I entered. 

Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, I went through several phases of career aspirations. By the time I started my junior year, I decided that my love for travel and people would fit well in the tourism industry. With general yet growing knowledge in business and languages, I thought I had decided my future. 

But God had other plans.

In the spring of my junior year, I took a “Poverty and Development” class taught by one of the many fabulous and wise business professors. Every Monday night, I was shown pictures, videos, statistics, and breaking news about the developing world. To say I was moved would be an understatement. To complement lectures and class discussions, some guest speakers discussed the problem of poverty and how to solve it.  One of those speakers was Jarrod Brown of Mission Lazarus.

He communicated to us his vision that God-backed, Bible-inspired social entrepreneurship is the best means for alleviating poverty. 


Knowing from observation that throwing aid - monetary or otherwise - at poverty does little to solve the problem, Jarrod’s testimonials convinced me that while it may not completely eradicate poverty, social entrepreneurship rooted in the Gospel can accomplish much more than aid ever will. 

Jarrod’s passion—and the purpose of Mission Lazarus—has become my own. The more I see of the world, the more I witness first-hand the material depravity caused by spiritual lack. The “problem of poverty” is one of the reasons I’m in business school in London—to become better equipped with knowledge and experience to help others out of that vicious cycle. More than that, I pray that others who see the success of Gospel-based social enterprises will recognize that God is the only solution to all of humanity’s ills, both material and spiritual.

Dana is currently studying in London for a Master's in International Business. She feels a strong call to use her God-given knowledge and skills to help other people thrive. She plans to work in the non-profit sector for a Christ-centered social enterprise or an international organization.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published