My Big Fat Greek Adventure

It truly was a FAT adventure! I probably gained 10lbs  while I was in Greece. The food was amazing, but the fellowship was even sweeter. The team of childcare workers were so wonderful to work with and fellowship with.

I left Kenya anticipating the ministry ahead of me. That the almost empty cup I held would be poured out even more. I left Kenya feeling tired. I looked ahead knowing that I would become even more tired. Only half of what I anticipated became a reality. I was tired. Every day I went to sleep exhausted, but my cup never became empty. The missionaries I served and my fellow teammates poured into me. They filled me with joyful fellowship, words of wisdom and encouragement and thoughtful generosity.

What filled me most though was watching this group of strangers from the U.S love my students so well. I love my students with every fiber of my being, but I know them. It filled me with joy to see others who don’t know them to love them and encourage them. Being an MK is not easy. Goodbyes come too frequently, and friendships are hard to maintain. Many MK’s often feel like they do not have a place where they fit. They don’t ever truly fit into the culture they’re living in, but they also don’t truly fit into their born culture. Many of the teens and older elementary students voiced these emotions and frustrations to those who were working with them in Greece. I see and experience these struggles just as the kids do, but this group of outsiders came and displayed love, compassion, empathy and encouragement in a way I never could.

It was this love that comes directly from the Father that myself and my students needed to experience. I needed to be reminded why I came to Kenya. God was reminding throughout my time in Greece that I am here in Kenya for these kids and their families. For security purposes I am not allowed to share pictures of the students here on my blog, but here are some pictures of my adventures while in Greece.

As you pray for families living on the mission field, please do not neglect to pray for their children. The children within a house are just as important as those outside the house.



I am so excited to announce that I will be returning to Kenya for another school year! This is a job, a life, that I feel called into. This is a teaching role that I feel designed for. Over the last 2 years, God has been slowly changing my expectations for my life. Becoming a missionary has never been on my radar. My expectations had always been to become a teacher, wife, and mother in that order. I craved the consistency that life would bring. Throughout my 4+ years of college I struggled with this deep fear of failure. I always felt inadequate when I looked around at my fellow classmates. I was a B average student in a sea of Type A perfectionist. I just did’t fit in. My deepest fear become a reality when I was hired as a long term substitute kindergarten teacher. By the end of those 2 months, I was doubting my choice to become a teacher.


I carried those doubts and fears with my when I came to Kenya, but I could not deny God’s hand in leading me here. I trusted that He knew what he was doing even if I didn’t. God has been quieting those fears and doubts over the last 6 months. I get to be the type of teacher that I want to be. The relationships I have with my students are rich and filled with a mutual love and respect. I have the opportunity to not only teach these children, but to disciple them. I have developed partnerships with the parents. They are my co-teachers. We share in the joys and struggles of teaching together as a community in rural Kenya.




My life expectations have changed. I used to crave consistency, but I’ve embraced a life that is anything but consistent. People come and go like the revolving doors in the big cities. The WiFi and electricity are as consistent as my ex-boyfriends (not at ALL) The political stability of the Kenyan government has been a constant teeter-totter. God knew what I craved, but He has called me into a life that is the opposite of what I craved. He is asking me to lean into Him and the consistency that is found in Him. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, and that is life’s one guarantee.

Please pray for myself and the moms that will be here for the upcoming school year. We have many decisions to make in regards to curriculum and class groupings. I will be returning to the U.S for the summer to attend conferences, do fundraising and spend some much needed time with family. If you would like to sponsor my second term in Kenya, you can donate at this site

Isaiah 43:2

The events of Friday will forever be in my mind. I have never felt such fear, but I have also never felt God’s peace more than I did that night. After hearing my fellow missionaries reflect on what they experienced that night, I am amazed by Gods sovereignty. Here is my personal reflections of God acting on our behalf.

It had been a normal evening. I had some friends over for pizza. We had been chatting and enjoying the beginning of the weekend. It was a little after 8:00pm when we first heard the screams. We assumed the sound was coming from the girls boarding school just down the road. I can often hear shouting and screaming from them when they have school assemblies. It was only as my friends were walking out the door and we smelled the smoke that we realized something was wrong.

The building was already fully engulfed in flames, and we could hear people screaming from within the hospital. The screaming was from fear, and not from pain, but we didn’t know that. I’ll never forget that sound. After staring at the flames in shock for about 1 minute, I realized that this may not be known by everyone yet. My friends and I split up and began knocking on doors. The third house I went to belonged to my mentor and her family. They already knew and she told me to prepare to evacuate in the event it spread down the hill. We have been in full blown dry season for about 2 weeks, but this has been an abnormal season. Normally all of January is dry as well. This January was so wet that our rain tanks overflowed multiple times. If it had been a normal dry season this year, the likelihood of it spreading would have been significantly higher.

Once I had my go bag ready, I headed over to the Many’s house to wait for the bug out call. Angela’s husband was at the hospital helping with the fire and patients, and he would call occasionally to give us an update on the fire. There was a whole bunch of kids already at the Many’s waiting with us. The age range of kids there was 13-8 months. I quickly fell into the role of soother. At one point. I had three little girls on my lap giving snuggles and words of calm optimism. I had remained relatively calm and clearheaded throughout the entire night, but seeing the kiddos who I loved deeply so frightened almost broke me. From where we were watching, the fire looked massive. We couldn’t tell if it had spread farther into the hospital. All we could do was watch, wait and pray.

Our faithful God answered our prayers. Around 11:00pm, we received word that the fire had been contained to the one building and it was under control. No lives were lost and no one was injured. I did not go to bed till after midnight and many others never made it to bed that night.

The next morning, I helped the missionaries deliver Chai, bread and cookies to the hospital wards. As I looked at the shell of what was once the kitchen, offices and laundry building, my first thought was “I am so thankful for stone.” Most of the buildings in the Tenwek compound are made of stone, and the stone walls kept the fire from spreading to other buildings.

So much is left to do, and many decisions need to be made. Please pray for the administration of the hospital as they deal with all that must be done. I also ask that you consider giving a small donation to the fire recovery fund. The building must be rebuilt, and equipment must be purchased to replace what was lost. Also, during the chaos of the fire, many building were looted. Beds, wheelchairs and computers were stolen from the hospital. If you would like to give directly to fire relief, you can go to this site

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2


A Peek Into My World

Here is a video to give you a small glimpse into my life here in Kenya. Follow this link to see the video.

Along with this video, I want to give you a picture of some of the cool, unique and just plain strange things I encounter on a daily basis. Just this morning I found this ugly thing in my house. If you can’t tell, that is a slug. He was about 4in long! My roommate said “lets kill it with fire and salt!” It turned out salt was all that was necessary.


This was my first experience with slugs, but I deal with other critters daily. On the growing list of things I never thought I’d say to a class, number 1 is “no you can’t bring the chameleon to class.” In connection with this, I once had to say to a student “no you can not put that chameleon in my hair!”  Number 2 is “boys please chase the cow out of the P.E field.” Free range livestock has taken on a new meaning since coming to Kenya.


There were also several days in a row in which I had to chase a neighborhood puppy out of the classroom. I often leave the classroom door open to provide better light and air. This little puppy always took the open door as an invitation. As you can imagine, much giggling, screaming and shouting was the product of this little visitor.

I hope these quotes, pictures and video help you see my life a bit more clearly.



One Crazy Year

On New Years Eve of 2016, I was driving from IL to TN with all of my personal belongings packed into a moving van. I had no job and barely enough money to pay the January rent. I was following what felt like a gut instinct to make a permanent life in TN.


Within a month, I had two jobs, but both jobs were temporary and had no opportunities for career advancement. I felt stuck. I felt replaceable and temporary on all fronts. I kept praying for God to send me to a school where my teaching skills were needed. But every time I walked out of a school after subbing I felt like I was failing as a teacher. After a discouraging job fair, I remember thinking “Is there a place for me here? God why am I here?”. Two weeks later I sat down with Angela for coffee. It was during this coffee interview I felt seeds of hope being planted. God was sending me to a place where my skills were needed. God confirmed this over and over again with support from family, friends and strangers.

Seven months after moving into that little house in TN I pack up most of my things and sold/donated them. Everything else was loaded into my Chevy Malibu and driven back to IL.

Looking back on all of the ways God acted on my behave in 2017, I can confidently walk into 2018 with an open mind and an open heart. God has been working this year to restore my confidence in who I am as a child of the King. I no longer make definitive plans for the future, because God always seems to have something better in mind.


If you are feeling like I was just one year ago, please do not become discouraged. Place your burdens in the hands of the King, and watch Him take those burdens and turn them into wings.



A Kenyan Christmas

Merry Christmas!! This first Christmas in Kenya has been filled with joy, laughter and love. The missionaries here at Tenwek have established Christmas traditions that both serve the Kenyan community and the missionary community.

The Christmas festivities began with the MK gingerbread house decorating competition on Wednesday. The students begin preparing the night before by baking the gingerbread.  The creativity of these kids shined during this time. One family made Hogwarts! I did not participate in the house making, but instead I went to each station to take pictures and give high fives.


Thursday began a series of Orphanage Christmas parties put on by the missionaries. There are five orphanages in our area that the missionaries support. At these parties each student is given a new pair of shoes, a new school uniform and school supplies for the next school year. We also play games with them sing songs and share the Christmas story. I was given the task of teaching the Christmas story at the orphanage my group went to. I honestly felt intimidated with the idea of teaching to a group of 60 children. When I stood up to begin the story I felt uncertain of how to begin. The uncertainty and the nervousness melted away as the word tumbled from my mouth. I never looked at my outline and notes. I simply told the story. In that moment, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to do.

On Saturday, the missionaries went caroling through the hospital. This was a joy to be a part of. I can honestly say this experience opened my eyes and heart to a new perspective. Because my job is to minister to the missionaries and their families, I have not spent much time at the hospital. Each room I walked into was crowded. There are no private rooms for each patient to have. Much of the time there are not enough beds for everyone. However, the patients smiled as we sang. In many eyes, I saw joy that can not be taken away. I remember thinking “This is why Jesus came.” He came to bring joy, hope and love.

This Christmas I have experienced so much love. For those who are worried about me, know I have been well loved this Christmas by the missionaries here. I have received gifts  and cards from far and near. I have shared meals and laughter with those I now consider family. But nothing compares to all of the ways God has revealed his character to me through those I have been given the opportunity to serve. I pray I have used these opportunities well.



I now ask you to pray and consider your own opportunities. The orphan and hospital ministries depend on something we are all familiar with, money. There are needs here that impose heavy financial burdens. The hospital would be able to save more lives if they had IV pumps. The orphan ministries are always in need of more funds due to the fact that there will always be children who are left without parents to raise them.

To learn more about why IV pumps are desperately needed visit this blog

If you desire to learn more about the orphan ministry see this link or contact me directly

Merry Christmas!


At 9:30pm last night, I made the difficult decision to take a sick day today. As I sent the email to the parents of my students, I felt a great deal of disappointment in myself. Throughout my short career in teaching I’ve managed to tough through some nasty bugs. I hate the feeling of not being able to do my job. However, I knew after vomiting due to sinus drainage, that I needed to take a day off. With a sore throat, a sinus headache, and an upset stomach, I began to feel the first twinges of homesickness. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I couldn’t get comfortable enough. I kept thinking “all I want is NyQuil!” With no Walmart or pharmacy even remotely close, my wish would not be granted.

This morning when I woke up I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. My first thought was “I wish my mom were here.” At home, when I’m sick Mom makes sure I’m comfy on the couch and then she makes me scrambled eggs with toast. Sometimes she’ll snuggle on the couch with me and we’ll watch movies. The truth is when I’m sick I go from being a strong independent woman to being a mommies girl real quick! While I was in this weird dynamic of trying to be strong and trying not to give into the emotions of homesickness, God gaves me exactly what I needed. He brought me moms. The moms of my students stopped by periodically to make sure I was alive and doing ok. They brought me medicine, Gatorade, food and handmade get-well cards from their kids. This is community. This is family. It is difficult to say I am weak and can’t do what I’m supposed to do. It is beautiful when the community comes around you and says we will be strong when you can’t be.

Sickness in multiple forms has been going around Tenwek.  Please pray that health will be restored throughout Tenwek.