I just got back from Michigan where I visited family and worked to build my support team.
Trinity Lutheran Church
I got a chance to speak at the adult Sunday School at Trinity Lutheran Church in New Era, MI. (My aunt, uncle and cousins go to the church.) I had a wonderful time sharing about Zambia and everyone was very kind, welcoming, and had great questions. Afterwards people just came up to me and handed me donations (I hadn’t even appealed for money at all!) and we had to get a little basket to hold it all. The generous congregation donated over $200 to my ministry in Zambia!
I am so blessed to have been able to share with you all. Thank you for your generosity and prayers, and for giving me the chance to share with you.
After a great trip to Michigan I am back home in New Mexico, where I have been welcomed by the first big snow of the season! It’s good to be back.
Please pray with me that my fundraising will continue to move along—I want to be finished by Christmas day!
Thank you and love you all.
I’m back from 5 days in Juarez/Anapra, Mexico, where I joined a ministry new to me, Gateway Mission Training Center and a group from a church in my hometown in building a house for a young family. Dulce, Gabriel, and Allison (4 years old) are an absolutely loveable little family who are now living in their brand new home in Anapra! Together with them and the local Gateway team, we built the house in 3 days!
I just got back from an intinerating trip to Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida! I got to meet up with a lot of great people that I miss a lot, and many of them are interested in joining my support team! It was overall a great trip, although it felt pretty hectic trying to book all my appointments and get to them all without a car—I was exhausted by the end!
God definitely guided my entire trip. I hardly had to spend any money on food (I had an $11 per day budget but averaged only $5 per day!) because God provided for nearly every meal through generous friends and even random strangers. I never mentioned anything about my food budget, yet somehow I only had to pay for about 3-4 meals the entire time. Then I seemingly randomly flipped to this verse:
2 Corinthians 8:15 “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
Most of my money that I’ve made over the years has been spent on missions. So, I haven’t honestly “gathered much.” Yet I have experienced no lack—God has provided for my every need and my trip to Florida was full of overwhelming financial provision. I’m not boasting in my own faith at all. In fact, I was a whiny and worried little poop head the first day and a half of my trip after having completely blown my budget. But God is still so loving and so good and He provided for every need. I know He will continue to do so as I raise funds to go back to Zambia and work for Overland full-time.
Next up is a small 5 day trip to Juarez, Mexico, with one of the churches in my home town. We will be building a house for a needy family there. Those of you who know me well realize that this is normally not my cup of tea. I am always very wary of humanitarian “handouts” and how they may impact the local economy (sometimes negatively).
Yet when I was invited to go on this house build, I felt strongly that the Lord wanted me to participate. I can see the hearts of the sending church and ministry they are working with are sincere and in the right place, and this is a great opportunity to get in some intercultural ministry in the midst of my fundraising. I am also looking forward to making friends and working with the team from Trinity on the Hill Episcopal church, and we get to bless a family with a home. So, I ditched my strict ideals of sustainability and decided to follow the Lord’s voice on this. I know it will be a good decision!
Please pray for our team as we go serve the people of northern Mexico this weekend!
I’ve been back in New Mexico for over 2 months now (hard to believe!) and life has been so much better than I could have ever imagined. I have enjoyed spending time with my parents and what few friends I still have living here in town. Also, I’m enjoying the bliss of my first real fall season in 4 years! (Florida, where I’ve lived since 2009, only has 2 seasons: hot and hotter). So I’d say life is pretty lovely.
The most exciting bit of my life is the process of joining staff with Overland Missions. For the past 4 weeks, I have been diving into a process called Ministry Partnership Development. Essentially, I am inviting friends and family to commit to monthly donations so I can move to Zambia full-time, fully funded. This process seemed daunting (and at times still does), but God has held my hand every step of the way so far. Re-connecting with dear friends from church, family members, neighbors, and childhood role models has been incredibly rewarding. Everyone has been encouraging and supportive and eager to hear what God is doing in Africa.
Thank you to everyone who was able to join my monthly support team, and thanks also to everyone who has been willing to hear my story.
Alright, enough of the gracious and cliche updates. Let’s get to the good news:
I am RAPIDLY approaching 50%!!!!!!!!!
Now I’m not counting my chickens before they hatch, as my mom would say, but by the end of this week I estimate that I will be there! I’m just one $25/month commitment away from the big 5-0. Praise God!
More updates coming soon. I appreciate your prayers!
I’ve always told people “I’m a feminist,” and, to avoid being dismissed as a rabid man-hater, I quickly followed the statement with the disclaimer, “but not the angry kind.”
Lately, however, I wasn’t so sure.
This is the view from the spot where I spent time with God in the mornings. Zambia is my new home.
I’m going to start this off my admitting I need to find a self-help book called “How To Not Suck At Blogging.” I didn’t even realize I hadn’t updated this since mid-Zambia! Sorry!
My spider bite has healed just fine. There is a scar and it still hurts sometimes but there were no drastic side effects (besides a possibly related staph infection on my face that I just finally got rid of this past week). But my health is good and I am so appreciative of all of your prayers!
I am back home in New Mexico now and all healthy. AMT was an amazing experience and it changed my life. I feel that God has called me to work with Overland Missions full time! I will be here in NM for the rest of the year, building up my support team so I can go back to Zambia fully funded, full time!
My job will be to lead expeditions—short, 2 or 3 week ministry trips out in the bush. When I’m not leading expeditions, I’ll be working with the LIFE project doing teacher trainings and workshops, and helping in the recently opened village preschools. I also will help trail blaze for future expeditions in areas around the world where Overland is not yet working.
I am so excited to begin my journey in full-time missions! Thanks so all of you who have prayed for me and supported me financially. This is just the beginning for me and I am looking forward to see where God takes me in the months (and years) to come!
For those of you who didn’t know, last week was our Come Back Alive survival course. We slept out in the bush during the week, and last Wednesday (a week and 2 days ago), I was bitten by a spider on my neck/jaw while sleeping out there. It got worse and worse and by Sunday I was in so much pain that I couldn’t focus on anything but how much it hurt. I felt confused and forgetful and distracted and dizzy. The bite turned into a bigger and bigger swollen crater and eventually it hurt to even walk or chew because I could feel the jolt all the way in my jaw!
Phil, the bossman and founder of Overland, was a medic in the South African military, so he helped me open the bite in order to drain the poison and dead flesh out of it. It hurt really bad, but after we did that the swelling went down. The next day I went to the doctor in town and got another course of antibiotics and several other medications for it. Over the past 2 days I have seen dramatic improvement! The pain is gone and it is only tender if I touch the area. There is still quite a hole in my jaw, but God is healing me quickly! Thank you to all of you at Grace Vineyard who have been praying. SInce you started praying for me, the bite has gotten dramatically better. You all are such a blessing. A missionary couldn’t ask for a better church family :)
Tomorrow I am headed to the village with a few people to do a Sunday school teacher training. Kids in Zambia are often undervalued so this is a great opportunity to invest into children’s lives for God’s kingdom. Also, I will be praying if this branch of Overland (the Life Project) is the branch that God wants me to join when I work full-time. Then this coming week we will be completing some final research projects! Exciting stuff to come.
Thanks again for your prayers!
The village medicine class went great! We taught about soft tissue injuries like cuts and burns, as well as fractures and breaks, and how to bandage, splint, and sling. We had so much fun with the people who came. Afterwards we had a mini “graduation” ceremony with certificates, and a lot of the women would dance and cheer as they walked down the line shaking each of our hands. We learned that one of the men who took the class had taken it with Overland the previous year and it had earned him a promotion at work. So not only were we helping teach them what to do in an emergency, but we also were giving them greater work opportunities. All in all it was a great two weeks!
This coming week we are doing bush cooking, 4x4 driving, GPS, and the Come back alive wilderness survival course. I’m really excited!
Thanks for your prayers! They are much appreciated. Love you all.