Of Bucket Lists, Prayer Needs & Being Blessed

Rural Zimbabwe in Mutare

As the sun shone through the frosted windows this morning, I delighted in hearing the laughter and interactions of my kids. Several sat at computers, completing their lessons, some donned winter gear to play in the fresh snow despite single-digit temperatures, and others searched for cities around the world using latitude and longitude coordinates.


“Mom, is this where you’re going in March?” I looked up briefly from my own Hebrew homework and glanced at the map of Africa my daughter held in her hands. As I pointed out the countries of Zimbabwe and South Africa in the atlas, the other kids quickly gathered around. “I’m so excited for you Mom. You’re going to have an amazing time!”


I nodded and smiled, the words of Psalm 37 coming to mind, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.”


Long have I dreamed about going to Africa; long has that dream seemed far off. As a homeschooling mom of many, balanced against ministry as a commissioned Pastor and Master of Divinity seminary student, the desires of my heart are abundantly given and joyfully received. I am regularly amazed at and thankful for the journey on which God has guided me.


You might imagine then, and you’d be right, when an old high school friend invited me to participate in a mission trip to Africa in March 2013 that I initially responded with great excitement. However, that initial excitement was soon tempered by the realization that the trip was a choir tour, and clearly my skills and abilities had no connection whatsoever to singing! But, my friend encouraged, what if you went as the spokesperson and blogger for the group – sharing the stories of lives transformed, hope built and love shared?


Africa – speaking – writing – cross-denominational group – God. The opportunity was something only God could orchestrate because never would I have dreamt so grandly. As I learned more about the trip – including opportunities to serve at Old Mutare Mission in Zimbabwe, work with AIDS-infected children at orphanages, and tour Soweto where school children changed forever the face of apartheid – I knew this was the trip to which God was calling me. After praying about the trip for many weeks, John and I felt confident in saying “Yes!” and responding to God’s call for me to go.


It’s truly difficult to tell who is more excited about my participation in this mission trip – myself or our children. In fact, Saturday morning with 6” of fresh snow covering the ground, the kids paired up and canvassed the neighborhood, snow shovels in hand. Their (secret) mission? Shovel sidewalks and earn money – not for themselves, but to support me in raising funds for this trip.


Over the past several years as I have responded to God’s call on my life into ministry beyond the role of a mom, it has been such a joy to share that with the entire family. As we opened our home for worship gatherings, the kids eagerly set up chairs and helped prepare a meal. As I speak around the region, they serve as my biggest cheering section. As I learn Hebrew at seminary, the kids relentlessly beg me to teach them. As they see their mom serving God, they imagine ways they too can serve.


And so it is with their great blessing, excitement and support, that I eagerly look forward to this mission trip to Zimbabwe and South Africa from March 17-April 2. As they are included in the preparation, I want to also include you, my friends and family around the country. As Psalm 37 declares, I do commit my ways to the Lord, and trust that he will act.


Although God can act alone, without the assistance of any other, He regularly chooses to include us, his beloved, in his plan. And, it is often those individuals who make themselves available to God whom He acts through. A mission trip that impacts lives for God is greater than the small group which boards an airplane; rather, it is a team-effort of individuals around the country holding each participant, each activity, each conversation, each interaction, each God-opportunity before the Lord in prayer and thanksgiving.


I would be blessed and honored for you to be part of my at-home mission team. Won’t you please join me? Will you please commit to support me and our team in prayer in the months ahead as final preparations are made, and during the trip itself? As we read in James, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much,” and I truly covet your fervent prayers.


While your prayer support is most critical, I also would like to give you the opportunity to financially support me on this trip. One of my favorite verses over the past several years is found in Genesis 12 where God promises to bless Abram. The blessings, however, aren’t just for Abram – they are so Abram can bless others. What a beautiful picture of God’s blessings in our lives – we are blessed to be a blessing. Perhaps God has blessed you with financial resources and this letter and my mission trip is a way you can use your blessings to bless others. Perhaps God is leading you in other ways to use the blessings in your life. Regardless, may the words of Proverbs 11 be realized in your life, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.”


If you’d like to be included in the email updates I will send prior to, and during the trip, please send me your email address. May God’s grace be upon you and yours.


Contact Info:

320 E Power Street, Glendive MT 59330



Financial Details for Mission Trip:

Total Cost: $5995

Scholarship: 1000

Deposit Paid: 1000

Remaining Balance:  $3995