I first of all want to tell you how God brought me to this place I am now. So hopefully I won't make it too lengthy but knowing me I probably will!! :) I was raised in a godly home, by wonderful parents. My dad was a pastor and has been ministry most all my childhood. So I grew up knowing all about Jesus and all the "right answers" without really understanding what Jesus really did for me on the cross and how I am to live as a result. It really wasn't until the last few years where I have realized that I am getting ready to go out into a secular world that hates Jesus and anyone who identifies with Him. I began to evaluate why I followed Jesus and I realized that I truly hadn't surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. So it has been a gradual process to true surrender to my Savior. It hasn't been easy or comfortable but it is necessary.
I have always has a heart for the needy and orphaned but my heart to care for and help the orphaned, week, lost and hopeless didn't come until I truly surrendered my life to Christ- not just feel sorry for them. So I began to pray and ask the Lord to show when and where He wanted me to serve. During this time we started sponsoring a little boy through Compassion International who was from Uganda, Africa. Kanwagi's first letter to us wrote: "I love you so much. Thank you for sponsoring me." ever since we received that letter, that little boy has had a special place in my heart.
Well, after I surrendered my life to Christ I began to look for mission trip opportunities to serve the Lord. Some of which He open were serving at a camp in New Mexico for Native American kids for a week, volunteering in the NICU unit at a local hospital here in Little Rock for a summer and also witnessing to inmates at a detention center for teens. All of which I enjoyed but my heart really was being shaped to care for orphans. So I prayed all the more that God who show me a place where I could serve in an orphanage.
So last fall, I just felt the overwhelming passion for orphans specifically in Africa. Uganda had become quite dear to me because of Kanwagi and his letters.I remembered I had come across an orphanage in Jinja, Uganda called Amani Baby Cottage a couple years earlier. So I went to the Amani website and looked at it again. And immediately I knew that this is where God wanted me to be!
So the that was the easy part! Now I had to convince my parents to let me go to Africa!!