A six-year-old girl tugged at her mom’s sleeve. “Mom!” she said. “Mommy!!!” She had a very important question. The mother gently got down on the child’s level and listened intently to her daughter. “Mommy, I want to start a Bible study for the younger girls in the neighborhood,” said the little girl. After talking for a short while, it was all set – the young girl planned, prepared, and implemented the Bible study with help from her mom. You see, a little while prior to that, this young girl had asked Jesus to come into her heart and now she wanted to share Him with her friends. That little girl was me. It is clear to me that from the beginning the Lord has had a hold on my heart, and He has given me a love for His people and sharing His gospel. Hope was beginning to spring up in me.
In middle school, I was empowered to walk door to door and share the gospel for the first time. Since then, LORD has continued to grow a love for Him and His gospel in my heart. I saw this while volunteering with children’s ministries at church, helping to tutor inner-city kids, and through various other missions opportunities the Lord brought my way. He also confirmed this calling through my study at Covenant College where I received my BA in Elementary Education and a minor in Community Development, and through my recent studies that led to my TESOL certification.
However, these times did not come without trials. From experiencing feelings of loneliness and rejection to the death of loved ones – I began to experience the brokenness of this world. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10). It was during this time that the Lord revealed to me how the meaning of my name (house of God; joy) translates into my mission: I am a house of God, full of joy, living with my hope anchored in Jesus Christ so that my life may be a testimony to the shalom that He has in store for everything, Because of this and by the grace of God, my vision is that there may be no person without hope among those who encounter Jesus through me.
God allowed me to live out this mission for two summers in a small settlers community called La Carpio in Costa Rica. It is here that He grew in me a love for the people of Central America, Spanish, and cross-cultural missions.
Praise the Lord for His faithfulness and graciousness as He continually uses my meek attempts to bring Him glory. Not only furthering His Kingdom in the lives of people around me, but also to bring my wandering heart repeatedly back to Him. Lois McKinney Douglas states, “Giving your life to fulfilling God’s will just may be more important than your attempts at discovering God’s will.” I don’t know all the places where the Lord may decide to direct the ship of my life, but as I begin to sail out, in faith, with my hope anchored in Christ alone I know I’m always safe in Him.
Since October 2016 I have served as a missionary with Mission To the World, MTW in Ticuantepe, Nicaragua. My main job has been to develop an English program here in the valley where I live. I love teaching my students English and seeing them thrive. I also enjoy building relationships with them and others in the valley outside of classes. Through life, visiting homes, and Bible study. I also help with interns, teams, and other odds and ends at the ministry center, Pineapples of Peace, where I live.
God has continued to grow me and bless me in my time here. I have seen Him change hearts, soften others, and strengthen many. What a blessing to be a part of His Kingdom being proclaimed! To God alone be the glory.