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At Christian Veterinary Mission, we love to connect with students in school and then walk with them through their veterinary careers. Drs. Elizabeth Boyd and Hannah Larson share how Real Life Real Impact has truly had a lasting impact on their relationship for almost a decade.

"As vet students, Real Life Real Impact provided a weekend of refreshment, a chance to be encouraged by other students and by veterinarians who were “living the dream.” Setting the goal to attend every year, we traveled to several different states (New York, Kansas, Arizona) as well as helped host at Colorado State University. The trips to and from RLRI were almost as memorable as the events themselves, driving through the night, learning about rush hour traffic in NYC, and visiting the Russell Stover factory, to name just a few of the adventures. But while we laughed and talked through airports and across hundreds of miles of highway, memories were made, and our friendship strengthened. Sharing what we had learned during the weekend, after each RLRI there was a new understanding of each other and a stronger faith even amid the challenging years of veterinary school.

While RLRI used to be primarily aimed at students, it is now just as much for vet professionals. So, after graduation we decided to continue our annual tradition of RLRI, but now we would be the “adults” we had looked up to all these years. We found ourselves our first year out, on the way to Oklahoma for another RLRI. The weekend served as a fantastic excuse to get together, do a bit of traveling, share the myriad of stories that we had already accumulated in the few months of practice, and once again, share in the community found when believers gather. It soon became obvious that RLRI had another purpose to serve. Coming from working full time, it was a weekend that gave us a reason to hit pause on the busyness of life. For those few precious hours on a weekend, there are no ringing phones, owners asking questions, technicians clarifying directions, or endless records to complete. The invitation is clear: to stop, to look, and to listen. Stop to take a break from worrying and working. Look at the people located around the country (and the world) who are using veterinary medicine as a platform for glorifying God in their everyday lives. Listen to God’s calling on your heart as He pulls you into a deeper relationship with Him.

Real Life Real Impact offers a unique opportunity for members of the veterinary community to come together and share honestly and courageously about the challenges we are facing and offer support to each other as we continue to glorify the One who created the creatures we deal with every day. 2022 found us heading to a totally different direction of the country as the RLRI session in Baton Rouge checked all the boxes we were looking for – mostly warm sunshine (for the always-frozen Alaskan vet)! Like the preceding years, the weekend held the opportunity to be encouraged, challenged, and taught, while connecting with people desiring to serve God more than anything else. This was the first time we had seen each other in two years and while sleep is important, there was far more talking that needed to be done in the short 38 hours we had together! Who knows where 2023 will find us, but one thing is for sure, Real Life Real Impact is in the plan."

Dr. Elizabeth Boyd is a 2018 Colorado State University graduate who is based in Anchorage, AK working at a small animal practice.

Dr. Hannah Larson is a 2018 Colorado State University graduate who currently is working at a mixed animal practice in rural SE Colorado.

Christian Veterinary Mission continues its ministry and mission because of faithful supporters like you! Your partnership allows CVM to continue to work with veterinary students and veterinary professionals both at home and around the globe. Your financial support allows us to host events like Real Life Real Impact where lifelong relationships are built with others and with CVM. We sincerely thank you for being a part of the CVM Family!