In December of 2011 I moved to West Africa with my husband Mike and my daughter Delaney. Bringing just two suitcases a piece we left the U.S. and boarded a plane which brought us to our new home. With no agenda other than loving others and sharing the hope we had in Jesus Christ, we were excited to join the work that God was already doing with orphans and widows.
Ours is a story of obedience and the willingness to do the things Christ called us to do and not just to do good things for Christ. We wanted to move from being committed Christians to submitted Christians. Never in our wildest dreams did we think the journey God would bring us on was becoming missionaries in a foreign land with a new culture and a new language. As Mike would say, it was a mystery as to why God would bring a boat builder to the desert.
We used the two years that followed to build relationships, learn language and culture and pour love out to the children, widows and pastors we worked with. We took on responsibilities at the orphanage including the sponsorship program and learned all that we could about the medical clinic and school as we worked alongside Ruth Cox.
In 2014, Ruth passed directorship of the orphanage over to us as she followed God’s call to minister to a village in the western part of the country. Over the next two years we listened as God led us to start a Women’s Crisis Center to train and equip women is distress. These women included young widows who have been abandon or abused and handicapped women with no family support are given a safe place to live and receive love while they learn numerous skills to help them care for themselves and their children. We also started an experimental agriculture project to find solutions to extend the very short growing season with systems like aquaponics, hydroponics and aeroponics. Our goal is to develop systems by inviting University students studying agriculture and engineering to develop systems that use local, recycled materials and then train evangelism teams from the local church how to build and maintain them. In this way we can bring the Gospel into villages that would normally lock out Christians while meeting a physical need.
I cannot explain in words the amazing grace that God has bestowed on me and the tremendous joy he has placed in my heart for the ministries here. God placed the right people by my side and I am blessed to have the most loving and supportive team of both national and international workers. I am delighted to see the passion he has placed in the hearts of our team and the vision he continues to give us for future ministry.