I saw myself on stage, standing in front of hundreds, maybe thousands of people. I never told anyone, but I wanted to do big things for Jesus and I thought I knew what that looked like. I could see myself speaking to them, conviction written in my eyes and burning in my voice. I had a message; one day I would deliver it.

Or so I thought. Then, a few years ago, I finally verbalised this desire to do “big things for Jesus” at a dimly-lit dining hall during a school camp.

“But what if you never get to do big things?” said the junior with whom I had shared my prayer with. I looked back at her and gave a textbook answer I didn’t understand: “Anything you do for Jesus is a big thing.”

Still, the deep longing to make significant impact for God continued to ebb and flow through the seasons of my life. I produced a short video on the importance of our dreams, with the deeper message of God-given calling. People watched and shared it on social media and while it never went viral by any measure, it got me an invite to speak at TEDxYouth 2013.

Preparing for it was terrifying. After rounds of painfully reworking my script I found myself sitting on my bed with a stack of notes and thinking: There’s no way I can do this. I’m going to blank out in front of 300 people. 

But something stirred in me, asking gently but firmly: If you won’t speak to the 300, how will you speak to the 300,000?

So I got through TEDxYouth. I graduated with a major in Communications. I wrote for a living. I walked with people on lonely journeys. I spoke on stages. In classrooms. Around campfires.

But the frustration lingered. Ministry felt so slow. So small. Being able to touch only one life at a time – maybe a handful, max – and only on occasion was achingly insignificant in the light of what I wanted to do for God as His hands and feet. His mouthpiece.

Have you seen a raindrop on a window pane? It makes its way down, where it usually merges with another in its path, and then the two meet another, and another, and another.

Why didn’t my creative work go viral and get a million people seriously thinking about Who held their destiny? Was what I had to give too little? My offering too small? There were others doing so much more in their personal ministries – reaching the multitudes, feeding the thousands.

I was almost ashamed of my effectiveness as a Christian.

Almost, because as swiftly as the disparaging thoughts arose, another one, in the voice of Mother Teresa, filled my heart and stilled the anguish within. The musings of the missionary nun, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for her work serving the destitute in Calcutta, rang loud and clear: “If you can’t feed a hundred people, feed just one.”

Feed just one. As one of my favourite quotes goes, one day you look back and you’ve conquered the mountain. Five loaves, two fishes, one act of surrender to God’s Providence for His ministry through your life. Feed each hungry soul that crosses your path. One day you look back and you’ve fed the thousands.

Have you seen a raindrop on a window pane? It makes its way down, where it usually merges with another in its path, and then the two meet another, and another, and another.

Maybe my raindrop, my ministry, will grow that way over the years. I don’t know.

For now, I will feed just one person at a time.

“Don’t give in to discouragement. If you are discouraged, it is a sign of pride because it shows you trust in your own powers. Never bother about people’s opinions. Be humble and you will never be disturbed. It is very difficult in practice because we all want to see the result of our work. Leave it to Jesus.”

— Mother Teresa