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I was saved at the age of six after hearing a Sunday school teacher present the gospel and talk about how we had to accept that gift to have salvation. As far back as I could remember I had believed in God, and that Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the price for my sins- a price I could never pay. However, until that day, I had not realized that I needed to personally ask Jesus Christ to forgive my sins. I was baptized during a youth group retreat at the age of fourteen and continued to be involved in my church and youth group.

I began corresponding with a missionary serving in South Africa who came to my church when I was in seventh grade. Through that relationship, God began to stir my heart for unreached people, including those in Africa. The following year I went on a trip to Peru. It was an incredible experience, and I got to see firsthand the joys and challenges of overseas service. We spent time in the capital city (Lima) cleaning a church and passing out tracts, in a village (Pucallpa) where we helped a church with building a fence and held special services, and a night further down the river ministering in a village where a tribal dialect was spoken.  During that trip, I got food poisoning, was asked for monetary bribes by men carrying machine guns while making our way over the Andes mountains, the motor of our boat got stuck on a sandbar in the Amazon, and we waited on another sandbar watching a caiman sunning itself while the boat was repaired, my passport was stolen, and -in the process of working with the embassies to be able to return stateside without my identification- there was an attempt to kidnap me which was intercepted by an experienced missionary. When I got off the plane, I said, “Can I go back next year?” The opportunity to serve God was well worth any challenges we faced along the way. That trip gave me a love for the Amazon region, and I began praying about whether God wanted me to go there or to the African continent. At that time, God brought up China, and I foolishly refused to consider it.   


After graduation from a Christian high school, I desired to go to Bible college in preparation for overseas service. However, I honored the direction of my parents and began attending a secular university out of state. I found a local Baptist church, joined the college and career small group, started a morning prayer group in my dorm, and got involved with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus, becoming a women’s small group leader.  At the same time, I began to compromise, staying silent when I knew God was prompting me to speak. By the end of my first year, I had started walking away from God. Over the next few years, I became unrecognizable as a Christian. While I still believed in God and prayed at times, I lived life my way and suffered the consequences of those choices. I reached a point of brokenness in April of 2009 and cried out to God. I knew my way wasn’t working, and I was finally willing to surrender to whatever He asked of me. I came back committed to serving Him however I could in whatever time I had left.

I joined Old Paths Bible Baptist Church in Holley, New York, in 2016. In 2018, God provided for me to go on a trip to Zambia, Africa. During that trip, I was praying about missions. While I had thought that door was closed, each time a missionary presented, I found that my desire to go had not changed. Through scripture, situations, and people, God confirmed that His calling on my life in seventh grade had not changed. He was still willing to use even me. I came back from that trip seeking God’s direction. I was blessed to take another trip on the Amazon the following year to Brazil and Columbia. Around that time, God began to make plain to me that I could not say I was willing to go anywhere- there was one country I would not consider. Through missionaries, preaching, and scriptures, God turned my heart. I began preparing to go help contacts ministering in China with discipling ladies. Then came Covid- borders closed, and I aged out of my planned method of entry. With that door closed, I began praying again for Him to make plain what He would have me do when it was time. He began to show me that He had closed to door to Asia after He had brought me to a place of willingness to go wherever He led me. God also showed me through scriptures that He was calling me back to Zambia long-term, partnering with Hope Zambia and serving in women’s and children’s ministries.   

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