Meet Carli and Her Mission
In November of 2016, my dear friend Carli decided she wanted to start something that had the mission of equipping the church to converse with their neighbor. After traveling to other cultures she realized that she not only had a desire for the world around her but rather for the culture that surrounds her as well. She didn’t shy away from diversity, but rather dove in head first to learn why people do believe what they do. Her mission, Love Among Us, is one that is unique in many ways and extremely eye opening amidst a broken world. Carli’s way of sharing thoughts is done through an interfaith storytelling Instagram account. Learning Carli’s reasoning behind creating the page is something that inspires me and I am willing to bet it will do the same for you.
Something that Carli explained through an interview was that her word for 2017 is “passion”, her interfaith storytelling Instagram is a way for her to share her passion about other cultures. She is passionate about people, so sitting down and listening and conversing with other people brings her J O Y. After returning home from two years in India to Southern California, she realized that the desire to know about different cultures did not stay in India, but came right back with her to the US. Questions begin to enter her mind such as “Why do we save ALL of our money to travel outside of the U.S. when the extraordinary gift of travel is just outside our door?”
Realizations set in and Carli expressed, “My community is diverse and full and flavored. I can travel the world by starting with my Muslim, Mormon, or Agnostic neighbor… exploring their cultures & religions. And then when I do leave the country I can go with context. It has totally transformed my travel experiences & made them richer.”
What is her reasoning behind knowing her neighbors and encouraging others to do the same in a time where this is such a rarity? She dreams of a world where peacemaking is the new normal. Carli has found that people actually love to share what is important to them if you ask.
So ask why rather than just assuming their beliefs are “weird”. Live a life that welcomes people in, empathize with those around you and take the step, though small, out of that comfort zone you have been living in.
Something I personally have taken away from even a small glimpse of Carli’s story behind her mission is that it doesn’t take as much as we think it does to love our neighbors. We don’t need to hide out or wait to board the next plane, we need to step out of our comfort zones, and when we do so, we will most likely find that it was worth it.
“My desire for 2017 is to inspire more people to encounter the beautiful discomfort that comes from stepping out of our "normal" life & engaging with those (NOT so) different than us. I plan to do this through more interfaith storytelling.”—Carli Hill
To explore Love Among Us, click HERE.