As a child, my parents fostered children. Our family saw this as the “mission field” that we were called to serve in. Fostering children was one of the greatest gifts my parents could have ever given me. From an early age I appreciated and valued my family. I understood that not all children were as blessed as I was and a deep compassion grew in me for orphaned and vulnerable children. If you are interested in learning more about foster care and or adoption, please message me.
My parents were also awesome at making sure that as a family we were involved in regular missions and service projects. We were constantly raking someone’s yard, serving at soup kitchens, helping an elderly community member, cleaning clothes closets for local charities, etc. This is something I plan on doing with my children one day as well.
One of my favorite opportunities I have had to do organized mission work is through a summer camp called World Changers. Its a camp for teens and young adults. As a student, I had the opportunity to build homes for low income people in Raleigh, North Carolina, Nakiski, Alaska and San Juan, Puerto Rico (It was actually on this trip as a 16 year old that I met my husband, cool huh?). God blessed my life in ways I could never imagine through these trips. My sweet husband is actually taking a group of 20 teens from our church to this camp this summer to work on houses and evangelize in inner city Chicago this summer. Please commit to praying for this trip.
God has given me the opportunity to serve him abroad as well. In 2005, I had the chance to serve in Ecuador. I spent a week doing VBS and loving on the beautiful people of Ecuador.
God really reminded me on this trip just how BIG he is. Sometimes we get so stuck focusing on our little lives that we forget about the people, both in our communities and all over the world, who are so hungry for him.
As a freshman in college, I really really struggled with what God would have me do with my life. I didnt feel called into missions, but I knew that God wanted to use my career to serve him in some way. I also knew God had a plan for me and I spent a lot of time praying over Jeremiah 29:11 "I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
One night during a small group bible study God showed me this verse and I have used it as my "theme song" ever since. "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." Proverbs 31:8-9
I realized that God wanted me to use my life and my voice as an advocate for those less fortunate. I have a huge heart for international children's rights issues. I have had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia, Tanzania and South Africa in pursuit of learning more about how I can use my voice in the legal and academic world to improve the conditions of orphans and vulnerable children. God also allowed me to use these trips to serve him. This is something I want to blog more about, but I think its better suited for a blog series. :)