Friday, February 3, 2012


 Many people have been asking me about my story and what has lead me to the decision to pursue going to Uganda, so here is a little of my journey...

About 8 years ago I began thinking about working with children 'when I grew up'  - I was fifteen and had no plans to 'grow up' anytime but my dreams of astronaut and circus performer weren't quite panning out so I thought I should put some thought into it.. When this whole process started I had a no idea what this would look like and in His faithfulness, unending patience and overwhelming grace (praise Jesus!) He's revealed more and more about my personality, gifts and passions. Through opportunities and incredible adventures in the last several years, I've discovered more deeply about what makes my heart come alive and have been walking towards where He wants me.  

I went to Northern Arizona University (NAU - go Lumberjacks!) and double majored in Women and Gender Studies as well as International Relations. As a disclaimer, I've not graduated due to a few reasons but have about a year left to finish! I focused my attention on issues of women and children in poverty and the relationship of empowerment as well as human rights in the Third World - basically what is causing poverty and how we can eradicate it! One issue that resonated with me personally and that I spent most of my time academically on is the reality of millions of vulnerable children and orphans due to poverty as well broken social and political systems - specifically due to HIV/AIDS. 

As many of you know, Young Life seeps into the blood and so for about 12 years now it has played a very significant role in my life. This ministry is all about loving on students and has changed how I see Jesus, shown me time and time again how He redeems, how He gives adventures and life to the full in ways more then I could ever dream up by myself, and has cemented a commitment in my heart to live a life that reflects the deep intentionality as 
well as the relational aspects that Young Life is built on. 

In my sophomore and junior years of high school, I began taking a more active role in leadership and responsibilities, learning more of the background and theology Young Life and of how Jesus lived and loved. Over the years, more and more has been given and asked of me! My senior year a group of us started Wyldlife in my hometown - it was hugely challenging but also incredibly beautiful! If any of you have ever ever interacted with middle school-er's : #1. praise Jesus for you, #2. its exhausting and completely ridiculous! I was challenged hugely through this experience and began to realize more about the Father's extravagant love and grace and my desperate need for both.


My sophomore year in college at NAU I was asked to be apart of starting Young Life College Life for our campus - I had no idea what I was doing or what needed to be done BUT the Lord's grace covered my inefficiencies and through a lot, a lot of tears and laughter, people's deep passion and commitment to our students, and their faithfulness to seek out and love on our friends - we now have a full blown ministry that is active and currently exploding!  I have learned so much more about God's heart, about my personality and quirks as well as how my mind and heart work through the experience of being apart of starting a ministry from scratch. 

Amor ( is an organization that we here in Williams and Flagstaff have been working with for the last  decade or so.The first trip I took with them, I was a silly sophomore in high school and was utterly speechless at the poverty and hopelessness of the community we worked with in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. But more than anything, I saw the glimmer of joy and desire for redemption in the kids eyes as we worked to build a home for them in a weekend. What has captivated me each time I'm in this place of such desperation and loss is watching the kids come alive; the joy that is evident in the eyes of the boys and girls as they are overwhelmed with love and attention. These moments have played a very significant role in my desire to work with kids that are alone and desperately need not just food or basic necessities but most of all, need love.

I've learned many real life qualities - aspects of business, organization and management as well as organizing events and coordinating details through being involved with Young Life, Amor and other experiences. But more then anything, I've been learning how to love when it gets hard, to be consistent and faithful, to chose joy even when I don't understand - how to live and love along side people as we are called to do.

In the last year and a half I've been researching a lot of non-profits that work with children in Africa - looking at how they operate and sustain themselves; trying to find ones that I fully believe in, ones that I love how they serve and demonstrate the Lord's heart for kids that desperately need it. My desire has been for the Lord to lead me to ones that He wanted me to 
support and work with.

I came across a friend's blog ( several months ago and the Lord has used her words and courage several times since then to speak truth to my heart. I got an email that she had a new post and innocently clicked on it to go and read it, sitting in a coffee shop - soul shaking, heart throbbing and tears falling - I watched the video she made of the kids dancing over and over (about 9 times in a row!). I sat there and Jesus spoke several words and there was a deep peace that came over my heart; an excitement and confirmation that I am supposed to be apart of this magic, this utter joy that the Lord is calling forth. 

For about a year and a half, the word over my life has been 'wait' - and so its been a year of learning how to wait with grace, to lean deeply into trust and to listen in the silence and in the loudness. 

And now the word has become 'go', it has been confirmed only as He can - in the hilarious and intimate ways that only He knows my heart.  As my journey continues, I am realizing deeply how my heart beats more and more for living my live in a way makes people come alive; pushes them to reach for something big; to live in grace and to choose joy. I can't imagine doing anything else with my life. I have the freedom and the desire to go where He wants me - wherever that may be - and through a lot of talking with and listening to Jesus, I believe that I need to be 
faithful and pursue working with kids that desperately need love.  

There are so many more adventures and people that have played huge and important roles in me coming to this place. You know who you are, I am so thankful for the love and support, encouragement and prayers, that have blessed me from you - I wouldn't be here without you! And the excitement and confirmations that you have responded to this big adventure with - means more than you could possibly know!

And so I am going. With my camera and a desire for adventure. My heart is beating faster as I write this. Beating with excitement of the unknown, reaching for patience and sitting in utter peace that for this time, for this season, for reasons I don't fully know - I am going to be walking through the red dust that Uganda is known for. 



    It will be an awesome journey! It always is when you are being led by Jesus. God bless you and we'll be praying for you.

  2. You are beautiful. You are important. I love you so so much!