Like many other 18-year-olds in Lancaster County, Ben Foley headed off to college in the fall of 2005. It was a pivotal time in his life; he had just finished high school, realized that his dream of playing professional baseball might not come true, and most importantly, that summer, he and his best friend Dave Neff had rededicated their lives to the Lord. During his very first semester as a college freshman, he began to feel the Lord leading him in a different direction – back to Lancaster to study at LBC.
During one of his very first weeks at our Lancaster campus, Foley participated in the college’s annual Missions Conference. That year, the keynote speaker’s focus was “Eternal Perspective.” The concept resonated with him deeply, and afterwards, he often found himself wandering through the library grabbing books on the topic. “I was so enthralled with the reality of eternity,” said Foley. “It wasn’t just another topic, but a matter of how do I practically and intentionally live in light of eternity?”
Little did he know that just a few months later the concept of eternity would become a reality. At 5:29 p.m., his pastor’s wife called him in tears and told him that Neff had been killed in a motorcycle accident. And while the loss of his best friend was immense, Foley saw God working through the testimony of Neff’s life. A Bible study that the pair started together began to grow, giving Foley more opportunities to share the gospel. It was in this setting that he began to recognize his budding gifts in preaching, teaching and ministry. “People began to encourage me that there was a gift there,” explained Foley. “I was simply hungry to know God more and make him known to as many as possible.” Foley changed his major to pastoral ministry and doors began opening for him to share his story in churches and even in other countries!
Now, many years later, God is still using those gifts. Today, Foley works as the president of ServeNow. This Christian organization addresses the needs of marginalized people all around the world, but currently partners with 1,000 churches in India, Nepal, Uganda, Ukraine and Sweden, with hopes to expand into the Middle East. The organization takes a unique approach to their ministry – they ask the national leaders and pastors of each country that they partner with to tell them where their greatest needs are. Because of this, ServeNow offers many types of aid, including pastoral training programs in remote areas, Bible and Christian literature distributions, anti-trafficking skill training programs, providing winter coverings and mosquito nets, disaster relief and other forms of humanitarian aid. And as if that wasn’t enough, ServeNow also champions the welfare and education of women, children, orphans, refugees and at-risk youth worldwide.
After just four years of operation, ServeNow has helped over one million people in both spiritual and practical ways. “It’s amazing to be part of a movement where so much can be accomplished through so little,” said Foley, speaking of the organization’s important work. “The key is partnering with natives in each location who have the passion and vision to make changes, but need people to come alongside them to equip and enable them. Together, we can make a long-lasting impact in their church, communities and country.”
According to Foley, his education at LBC helped to lay the foundation for the work he does today. “I took it for granted at the time,” said Foley about his time at the college, “But looking back, LBC prepared me and laid the foundation for a life and ministry rooted and grounded in God’s eternal, unchanging, but always culturally relevant Word.”