Upon completion of a degree at the University of Sioux Falls, the next steps in life usually include getting a job in the real world. However, one USF alum took a leap of faith by establishing a non-profit organization over half a world away.
Chase Ward, who graduated in 2013, credits his time spent at the University of Sioux Falls for being able to leave his lasting impact on the world through serving God.
“USF opened my mind to what it really means to have that servant heart. I always looked at the statue in the quad, of Jesus washing his disciple’s feet and that had a huge impact on me and what it looks like to carry that out in our everyday lives,” said Ward.
Ward’s first step after graduation led him to a local hospital, where he was adding experience to his resumé before med school. There, he was approached by a woman who told about a trip to Africa to help with a school.
“I had a calling to go over to Africa placed in my heart when I was a senior in high school, but I didn’t know when, or where, or how but I felt like that’s where I needed to go,” says Ward.
So it came as no surprise when Ward went on the mission trip to Kenya, but upon returning he felt like he needed to do more. Little did he know, this was just the beginning of an amazing endowment.
Ward reached out to family and friends about sponsoring youth from the school. Thus emerged the founding of Simba Educational Ministries. This nonprofit organization has a Christ-centered focus to empower Kenyan women and children.
A lot has been done in the short time that the organization has been in operation. Their hard work and endless prayers led to a library and computer lab, a teacher’s living quarters, a dining hall, an athletic track; and a well was dug for fresh drinking water.
But perhaps the truest testimony of this leap of faith, is how the foundation is now blessing 200 lives rather than the twenty women and children they started out with.
Chase encourages anyone who is interested to get involved. Students can either sponsor a child or join one of their many mission trips. For more information, please visit SimbaMinistries.com.
Story by Marissa Lute | Video edited by Jessica Perez & Shelby Kiney