Meet Natalie Lester

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Why are you a RISE intern?

To put it simply I experience the greatest joy in situations where I can serve and love, and RISE provides outlets for that in many unique and beautiful ways. In fact, that seems to form the foundation for everything they do. 

What do you do as an intern?

Whatever Brittany Conley tells me I need to do. Seriously though, I do whatever is needed of me at Embark, a new faith and action community in Staunton, Virginia. Whether that be blogging, tweeting, creating, or dreaming, I try to step to the plate and put Jesus at the center.

How do you feel about raisins?

They are fantastic in certain things like zucchini bread and oatmeal cookies. Alone ... not so much.

What's your favorite song to dance to?

I don't really dance, but I can most certainly jam out to "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. That song is kind of my anthem.

If you could pick three heroes, who would they be and why?

Charles Freer Andrews- He was a christian missionary that became one of Mahatma Gandhi's closest friends and greatest advocates for reform in India. To me, he represents an awe-inspiring image of  tolerance, espousing the ideals of nonviolence and fighting for the basic human rights of others, a truly beautiful representation of radical discipleship. 

It's cliche, but oh so true, to say that my mother and father are two of my heroes. They've guided and shaped me into the person I am today and the examples they set in my life have inspired me to have such values as a good work ethic, a generous heart, and an open mind.

Finally, the friends I have in my life right now would have to be my heroes because they've shown me an absolutely incredible amount of love and understanding in recent times. This support has been invaluable and I will never be able to thank them for their relentless attempts at holding me accountable.

Do you have any secret talents?

I can out awkward just about any one. It's a skill.

I also do incredibly well at thrift stores ... hence the favorite song answer.

What are your hopes and dreams for RISE?

My hopes and dreams for RISE would just be continued, and maybe even extended, outreach and outpouring of love. RISE is fantastic in that it simply offers love and tolerance towards everyone. And everyone means everyone to RISE. I would just dream that RISE stay true to this ideal and continue exuding faith in the good of humanity, as that in and of itself serves as a beautiful model that inspires me. To continue to be so loving in the boldest of ways, without being pushy of any message other than God’s own love is really my dream for RISE.