I never imagined I would take a break from my teaching career and move my family across the globe. But God did. I began teaching over 8 years ago, and although I have thought about pursuing other avenues, I did not think I’d ever make the leap of faith. Leaving what is comfortable takes courage. It means taking a risk and trusting the Lord. I’ve told many people, “Coming to Africa was a dream I never knew I had.” Inspired by a Simone’s Kids board member, we sought the Lord’s guidance and followed the dream.
It all began in 2012 with “A Classroom for Christmas.” My husband and I volunteered to help a friend’s sister with a fundraising event to benefit her non-profit, Simone’s Kids. Over the next two years we learned more about the organization and slowly began volunteering more and more until we were invited to join the board in January 2014.
At our first board meeting, we heard about an annual summer mission trip. For months, I had been trying to find a mission trip to join. My church at the time offered none, so I began looking for other opportunities. I finally found one at my stepfather’s church! Unfortunately, it was cancelled a few days before the board meeting. Needless to say, I was thrilled about the possibility of joining the Simone’s Kids Mission Team!
On top of wanting to go on a mission trip, we had been trying to get pregnant for eight months. A week after experiencing a second miscarriage, we were left heartbroken. Believing we would be pregnant again, we began to pray and trust the Lord’s timing. If I signed up for the trip, and we were to get pregnant, we would have to believe (and convince others) the Lord would take care of everything. Well, I got pregnant and signed up for the trip the very next month!
To describe my experiences on the team trip—while 20 weeks pregnant—is another set of blog entries. IT. WAS. AMAZING. I lavished love on the teachers and students, met the children we sponsor, took over 3,000 photos, began sweet friendships, and ministered to the community. God’s Hope Primary School left a special mark on my heart. I knew I would be back, again someday.
In the summer of 2015, my husband joined the team trip while I stayed home with our 6-month old son. It did not take him long to fall in love with the people of Nakaseke, too. He was able to encounter God’s love, joy, and peace in new ways. Right before Chris’s departure, the school director, Godfrey, teased Chris about our family moving to Uganda. We never imagined his joke would ever become a reality?!
The very next month, a board member approached Chris about leading the rebirth of the neighboring secondary school—assuming the board approved and acquired the necessary funds for its purchase. After approval and acquisition of funds were made at our August board meeting, Simone asked us, “How do you feel about moving to Africa…?”
Since Chris and I met over 13 years ago, I can see the Lord’s hand preparing us for this adventure. Our work experiences, our degrees, and our talents have been centered on guiding, serving, and teaching others through His love:
- SuperWOW counselors
- Youth Leaders
- Sports Coaches
- Academic Coach
Everything that’s happened until now is pushing us towards this part of His plan. How amazing that His plan involved serving in Africa for a season?! I believe His call has always been the same—to use our time, talents, and treasures for His kingdom. Only this time, we’ve had the opportunity to pursue His call in a different country. That is “why Africa?”