The job fair had ended. Employers had all but packed up and filed out. One, in particular, lingered for a bit. I figured they were likely just wrapping up after interacting with over two hundred hopeful job seekers.
An older woman sat near the church sound booth, quietly humming to the worship music being broadcast over the sound system as the volunteers were in full clean-up mode. I noticed her quiet smile as she sat there. I didn’t know if she was waiting for a ride, as many of the attendees do, or simply enjoying a respite from the intense July, Arizona heat. And that’s when it happened.
And that’s when it happened.
Bursting into the main room where we held our event was a young man whose face beamed. He approached the woman and in a moment, one of those moments you desire to freeze in time, said, “Mom, mom! I got it. I got the job!”
Yes, we served a lot of people in Phoenix last week; over 235 job seekers, and 20 employers, and yes, numbers are an important metric to gauge our impact, but in reality, it’s really about the one. The one person whose future got a little brighter because one of our business partners gave him a chance.
Yes, that is what this job fair and all of our job fairs are about; meeting the needs of those in our community through meaningful work and life-changing opportunities.
All of the preparation, the marketing, the recruitment of the businesses, the ordering of food, the canvassing of the neighborhood, the conversations with local churches and partners, the prayers, the volunteers… culminate each time in hundreds of hopeful moments – and in one beautiful moment.
St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us”, in Zephaniah 3:17 I read, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.” I believe this and it is evident in the hope this young man found in finding a job and that his unique story matters to God.
I believe this, and it is evident in the hope this young man found in finding a job and I know that his unique story matters to God.