Main Pic.

Main Pic.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Count Down To Turkey Day!

This semester has been a whirlwind of highs and lows. But mostly it has been God taking my little plans and flipping them around in circles until I really have no idea what will come next. 

I recently realized that while I have said for over five years that I want to do missions, I never really cared about the unreached. What an oxymoron my life has been. You see, the idea of the unreached people of the world made me sad and stirred my spirit but the task seemed too large for me to even touch. So when I said I wanted to do missions what I really meant was I want to go over seas and help people. I wanted to feed hungry mothers and love on abandoned children. I wanted to somehow be a small part of fixing the injustices of this world. I was missing the other side of the equation. 

When God put Turkey on my heart this year I argued with Him. I told Him that Muslims were not my fight. I told Him that He had called me to something different. I forgot that telling Him what I am supposed to do rarely works because He is in the business of already knowing the plans He has for me. So now I find myself preparing to lead an incredible team to the LARGEST UNREACHED NATION IN THE WORLD! God so deeply loves those who have never heard His name and He is teaching me how to love them the way He does. 

As we start the count down to Turkey Day, I challenge you to spend some time in prayer for the nation of Turkey.  Turkey is facing a refugee crisis as millions have crossed the border into Turkey from Syria and Iraq. These refugees are fleeing the horrors of ISIS and have seen unimaginable trauma. These people, so desperately in need of hope, are coming into a nation that does not know the true Source of hope. 

So I’m asking you to pray for the next four days for Turkey. Pray for the millions that have never heard the truth about Jesus. Pray for those on the ground working there now to reach these people and pray for their families. Pray for my team as we prepare our hearts to go into such a dark place, literally the enemy’s territory. Pray for the lost and pray for the hurting. Pray for an end of ISIS and that those terrorists would know the love of Jesus. Pray for restoration between the people groups. Pray for God’s kingdom to come to Turkey.

I’m also asking you to pray about financially supporting the mission. My trip to spend nearly three months working with the local church in Turkey will cost me $3000. I am also raising funds for another trip to minister to unreached college students in Bolivia in March. Overall I need to raise $5000. I know that this number is not too big for my God and I know that if I am supposed to be there then He will provide every last penny. 

If you would like to help me financially, you can donate at this link: and choose my name and put Turkey or Bolivia in the country. All donations will be tax deductible and will go fully to my trips. 

Please join me over the next week as we count down to Turkey Day and lift up Turkey and God’s people in that nation.  Stan was a missionary who gave his life to witness to the Turks. In his book he said “They deserve to be reached because they are truly loved of God.” If I believe this, then I must go. If you believe this, then what must you do?

Have a happy Thanksgiving! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

This Life I Live...

I'm 20 years old. I've been in 6 nations in the last 4 years. I've worked alongside incredible men and women. I've laughed with four year olds who are fighting a deadly disease. I've prayed with the blind and seen the sick healed. I've met strangers on plane rides that became friends. I've cried because my heart aches for children not born of my own womb. I've stayed in four star hotels and on dirty floors. I've worshiped alongside thousands of thirsty college students and with hundreds of desperate mothers. I've watched as a barren woman met her new child for the first time and I've held those who will never know that moment. I've known great pain and indescribable joy. I've danced with kids whose families found themselves in a shelter in an urban American city and I've danced in front of primary schools in the middle of the bush.

I'm 20 years old and the life I live is...blessed.

It's not always glamorous though. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it stinks, sometimes it disappoints, sometimes it breaks. But mostly it's amazing.

As I look at the life I have the honor of living I don't see what this description depicts instead I see a divine plan set out but the Divine King and I see a stupid girl who somehow gets to tag along. I see this not only in my life but in the life of every believer. Whoever said that living a Christian life was boring must not have known the God I serve. Because since I said yes to Him I get to live this life that doesn't make sense and that scares me to death but I'm honored because it's a lot more fun than one without Him.

Jesus said that He came to bring Life abundantly, so what kind of disciple would I be if I didn't choose to take Him up on His offer. I want to experience that life abundantly. I want to dance and laugh and cry and scream. I want to go and see and feel and learn. I want to sit and wait and pray and dwell. I want what He offers and if that means going all around the world then let's go but if that means staying put for awhile then may my anchors drop down.

You see, it's not about seeing the world it's about love and life and it's about introducing anyone and everyone I come in contact with to that love and life.

As I sat looking over Mtendere Village the morning before I came home, I prayed for this place I love and I wrote these words...

"At this village I found myself four years ago.
At this village I birthed a vision that I believe You are breathing.
At this village I have made the closest of relationships and found the deepest of loves.
This village turned a "do good" mission trip into a journey to meet family. 
This village took a girl who wanted to see the world and made her a girl who wanted to love the world for all it has to offer.
This village has stretched me and challenged me. 
This village has become part of me.
This place is the earthly home my heart was made for. 
Thank you Abba for this place."

So I wrote these words and I truly mean them. But the thing wasn't that place. It wasn't Malawi that changed me. It wasn't my family at Mtendere. It was my Abba Daddy. It was Him who changed everything in me. It was Him who invited me while I sat on that hill overlooking Mtendere and said "come let me show you a new life".

Where I used to see Malawi as turning point now I see Him. God, Himself took me half way around the world to change my world. So now the life I live is not something that I created, it is not something I chose, it's the result of an encounter with my adventurous, Lover of the lost, Seeker of the broken, Creator of the universe, Daddy. 

This life I live...It's an honor but it's nothing compared to the joy I find in the fact that He allows me to live it. He allows me to be His daughter and to join in His work. He orchestrates the days of life so that at the end of them all I will be able to say "It was all worth it and I wouldn't change a thing because I know that You were there, every moment." 

It's not about the extravagant moments or the crazy stories, it's about the God who says daily "come and experience life with Me". 

So go. 


Go anywhere and everywhere. Experience life abundantly. Spend yourself on the things this world deems meaningless to gain all that has true meaning. Sit in the dirt with a fatherless kid and stand in the gap with a desperate mother. Chase after the impossibilities. See the movement of Heaven and don't stop until you are a part of it. Don't worry about being rational or practical because this life you live is the only one you got and the One who gave it to you is waiting for you to take Him up on His offer and live. But live spending your life on others because living out of selfish ambition is not really living, it's hoarding.  Talk to the Creator of Life and ask Him what it is He desires your life abundantly to look like. Who knows you might end up on the other side of the world sitting in a dark room of people you love and realize that this is life abundantly and you are living it! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Afraid of the Dark?

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it” John 1:4-5

This summer we were working through the first ten chapters of John with our high school students. It seems that light is a reoccurring theme at Mtendere Village. We ‘walk in the light of God’ during devotions then sleep in the light at night. Ever since the village got electricity nearly every room keeps the lights on 24/7. The more I know of the nature of darkness the more I don’t blame them for wanting to sleep in the light.

My last morning in Malawi, I was reminded of the power of His light yet again. We are teaching team building and chose to do a blindfolded obstacle course where the partner has to instruct the blindfolded member where to go, jump, turn, go under, or go around the obstacles. I watched as one of our oldest boys struggled across the course. Two minutes didn’t pass before it was too much to handle and he ripped the scarf off his eyes and stumbles off the court.

I went to challenge him to not give up and get back on the court. He looked at me and hesitated to tell me the truth, but I quickly figured it out. The darkness was too much to handle he needed the light. The darkness was terrifying.

As I walked away I had to fight the temptation to think he was too old to be afraid of the dark because the truth is I have no idea what is in the dark. I have no idea what he saw when the light was taken away. I have no idea the horror that occurred in the darkness in his life that would leave him this afraid.

But I do know with confidence the light of men and the Light I know, shines into the darkness! After everyone else left we called him back and had him try again. This time we didn’t force him to blindfold his eyes we just asked him to trust us and close his eyes on his own. He made it through the entire course with no problems.

The enemy did not win today because even though the darkness contains all sorts of fear, the light exposes it and the darkness cannot understand this Light. I watched my sweet friend overcome his fears and I realize that this is our calling, to go where the darkness is crippling and shine the Light of men.

Darkness cannot exist in Light.  When we walk in the light of God we see darkness tremble and we watch as our Warrior of Light goes to battle against every principality of darkness. I’m not afraid of the dark, I’m afraid for the places were darkness is not being exposed. I’m afraid for the men who cower under the fear of something unseen. I’m afraid for those who I will never know that allow darkness to overtake them.

We can only accomplish the obstacle course of life when we have the Light dwelling in us.  We are able to run without fear because we know that at the end we will open our eyes and see that the things that we feared don’t stand a chance against the Light that carries us.

So here I am…

Another trip comes to an end. The place that feels more like home to me than anywhere else in the world disappears as I soar above the thick layer of cold clouds. A million things have changed over the past four years but some things never change.  It is never easy to get on the plane and it will always be the most difficult thing I do, to say “see you soon” to family and to the best of friends.

But I’m following the Light so that makes it easier. Darkness is being defeated and Light is winning. Light is winning in Mtendere and Light is winning in Lakeland Florida. So wherever I am I will dwell in the Light.

Until next time my sweet Mtendere Village. I love you and pray for you daily. Where Light abounds, Darkness disappears. So abound in Light my family.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


My hair is blowing everywhere and my face is caked with a fresh layer of red dirt. The scene is beautiful as my mind leaves this ride and returns to one very similar nearly four years ago. The view is near the same but the one viewing it is not at all because the One who created it is creating something new in the viewer.

Although sometimes the changes that life brings scare me to death, I have full confidence in a Faithful God. You see I've been here before. I've been in mid air after jumping off an unfamiliar cliff and I've landed on my feet into one of the greatest adventures anyone has ever been on. I look around and I see the faces of a new generation of dreamers, a new generation of cliff jumpers.

The potential brewing in this place is greater than a hunch or a feeling, it's real and I believe in it so much. I believe that God is raising up leaders, mothers, fathers, pastors, doctors, businessmen, children, disciples, and visionaries from this village in the middle of nowhere Malawi Africa to shake the nations. He uses the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. That's the God I Serve!!!

Just when I start to question I'm reminded of the feeling right before the jump. The feeling of uncontrollable excitement over the unknown adventure that is about to unfold and the belief in a God that is big enough to make something incredible out of a little bit of faith that jumps.

I want to live my life jumping, taking insane risks just to watch what God will do. I never want the ordinary to be ordinary. I want extraordinary and I will not settle for less.

Abba I pray for extraordinary moments and I thank you for catching me after every jump. I thank you that I get to live a life of riding in backs of dirty trucks to unknown places, singing in dark rooms to the God of light, laughing in crowded buses with dear friends, eating on straw mats the food of sacrifice and survival, and rocking on a porch with sweet babies that are now seen.

You are a God of newness and change, a God of risks and jumps, A God that catches and sustains, and You are a God that took my ordinary and made it not. I'm Anti-Ordinary and I'll never go back.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Won't Stop

"You will show me the path of life.; In Your Presence oh God is fullness of Joy and at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." Psalms 16:11

It doesn’t matter where I am in the world there is one place that I find freedom, rest, strength, and fullness of Joy. 2000 years ago I was given full access to that place. There is nothing like Your presence oh God.

In Ethiopia I saw your presence in a giggle of a baby infected with HIV, in a thank you from a mother receiving a hot meal, in the wide eyes of a girl named Sarah, in the dirty water washed over a widow’s feet, in the modern youth room on the 8th floor of a nice office building, and in the sweet sound of hundreds inviting Jesus to be their best friend.

Your Presence is thick in this place.

I have found myself on this grand journey to see the world and carry Your Name. But as I go I’m realizing more and more that I am not taking You but I’m finding You, or rather You are finding me. It’s not about a number or a ministry or a church, It’s only about knowing you more. If I have unlimited access to You then I can go anywhere or nowhere at all and still be lost in the joy it brings. Your Presence is a place of freedom that gives me the right to be who you have called me to be.

My prayer is that as I go I will not try to introduce You to a place You already know but rather that everywhere my feet step I declare, “This is a place of freedom, this is the Lord’s dwelling place!” That is my declaration for Ethiopia and that is my declaration for Malawi. May You reign and may You bring freedom. So I will go anywhere or nowhere just to know You and to declare Your freedom. I will point to You all my days so that when others look at me they will only be directed straight to You.

“Begin to know Him---and never stop!”- Oswald Chambers

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

33 Days!!!!

I haven't been able to think of anything else. My mind has been consumed with the countdown. The countdown until I am back with those my heart loves.

As I spoke with one of my professors today he made a comment about how my face changes when I start to talk about Malawi, its the place that makes my eyes light up. I tear up during prayer and weep during alone time. It's almost time! 33 DAYS!

33 Days until I am back on African soil. The first 15 days I have the incredible opportunity to minister to those who have never heard the good news of Christ! My team and I have the privilege to go and share the love that has been so freely lavished onto us with a people that is so close to our hearts. I am beyond honored that the Lord would allow me to be even a small part of this trip. Then onto Malawi.

I dream about walking down the hill and seeing my kiddos and hugging my mommas. I can almost hear them. It's hard to focus on statistics homework when my mind is so infatuated with the excitement of the tomorrows. So what do I do when I miss them so much I wanna cry and never get out of bed? I look at pictures...Thank God for the camera!

As I was stocking everyone's Facebook who has ever been to Mtendere Village I found this picture of my handsome son.

Jaziel, or Jazzy to me, is the love of my life! My family and I have sponsored him since my first trip to Malawi in 2011. I have watched him grow from a crazy four year old, to a bold 5 year old, then he was a confident 6 year old.  He makes my heart so very happy! I can't wait to be able to be with him again. 

But the thing I really love about this picture isn't just that he is super cute and that he is my son but rather the look on his face. That is not a face of a scared vulnerable little boy. That is not a face of a kid who doesn't think he will get another meal very soon.  That is not a face of a child who is shocked when he gets a second meal of the day because he has never had more than one a day in his life, much less a third! No, that is not his face at all. But it was...

When Jazzy first came to Mtendere he was not used to having a plate full of food three times a day. In fact it was something so bizarre to him that he literally did not believe the other kids at Mtendere when they said that he was allowed to have it again. But now he knows. 

He knows what it's like to eat and be full. He knows what it's like to have new clothes to wear. He knows what it's like to be loved. 

My favorite memory of Jazzy is this past summer when I got to take him into town to get pizza. Jazzy had never been to town and never had pizza before. He loved every minute of it. But my favorite moment was when he looked me straight in the eye and stole MY pizza off my plate. He took a big ole bite and just smiled with cheese coming all out his mouth. I wasn't mad at all, because he wasn't taking it cause he didn't have his own. He wasn't taking it cause he was afraid he wouldn't have enough. He took it cause he knew that I was his family and what's mine is his. He was comfortable enough to receive my love and eat my food. 
Once Jazzy and I were walking through the village and one of the momma's asked him something in Chichewa. He paused for a second then answered. He grabbed my hand and smiled. I later asked the momma what she said. She told me that she asked him if we could understand each other since he didn't know English and I am not the greatest at Chichewa. He paused before confidently answering yes. She looked at me and said "you understand each other because of love not language." I was wrecked! 

Jazzy knows what its like to be full of love. And in just a few short weeks he is gonna get spoiled with love again. I have seen the effects that love has on a child and I will spend every day of the rest of my life to see more kids eat off my plate. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Sometimes it's hard...

There are moments where it’s easy and there are moments where it’s the hardest thing I have ever done.

Sometimes I forget. Sometimes I get so caught up in my life that I forget that they still exist when I am not there. But then it hits me like a train and I remember.

As I read the email my heart dropped. Multiple emotions flooded me as I tried to compose myself. I am reminded of the importance of the moment.

Two more of my beautiful girls are no longer at the village. I read on to find out that my dear friends have succumbed to the culture’s definition of their lives.

I remember tears rolling down my face as I laughed watching Doro try to learn cheerleading.  I remember dancing and singing so loud that the housemothers rushed out to hush us. I remember running across the basketball court as I watched our girls rise up into their incredible potential. I remember praying over them and hopelessly trying to hold back tears as we said “see you soon”.

I should have been there. I should have taken off the semester like I wanted to and I should have been there for them. I should have said more in the moments I had with them. I should have tried harder to speak true identity. I should have fought for them. Oh God protect them.

In a culture that advocates for premature marriage and motherhood, convincing a young girl that she is worth more than a preconceived negotiation is not an easy task.

But I close my eyes and I remember sitting in a room full of young women with eyes glazed over as we spoke the Father’s heart over them. And  I hope that something stuck…

Two more Lord? Two more don’t finish high school. Two more go back to a place that rejected them. Two more that I will probably never see again…

My thoughts have gone back to these two girls so many times over the past few weeks. I can’t shake it. I miss them and I want more for them. I want to see them succeed. I want to go find them and bring them home. I want to be with the other girls who just lost another person in their lives.

Then God whispers…”The story isn’t over. I’m not done yet…and neither are you!”

So I pray and I wage war for my girls. I will stand in the gap even though I am not there physically because I believe in the wonderful plans that God has for my sweet friends. The story is not over!  Join me in praying for the young ladies in Malawi. Pray that they would realize their identity as a daughter of the Most High and that they would stand confident in that even when the culture says otherwise.