Our long-term missionary team started training, and we want to give you the opportunity to virtually meet each of the six adults moving to Nasir, South Sudan later this year. This is the fourth installment in our series intended to introduce you to new members of the Every Village family!
When did you first learn about South Sudan?
I learned about South Sudan by reading Dave Eggers' book, What is the What, a fictionalized account of the real-life Lost Boy, Valentino Achak Deng. It was a book I picked up in the bookstore because the cover looked interesting. I had no idea what had been happening in Sudan, but the book painted a vivid picture of South Sudan's culture, the brutal civil war, and life in refugee camps. That book was a gateway for me to additional reading and research on South Sudan, which turned into a burden and passion to go.
How did you know God was calling you to live in South Sudan?
The initial calling to go to South Sudan came in the midst of me reading What is the What. I felt an urgent calling to go on a short-term trip then, but it was on that first trip I really fell in love with the South Sudanese and began to seriously pursue missions. The calling to live in South Sudan long-term was something I felt on that first trip, but God revealed it to me in greater detail over time as I walked in increasing surrender to Him. It was through specific Scriptures and a lot of prayer that the calling was repeatedly affirmed and has continued to be affirmed since we first committed to go.
When was your first trip abroad? Where did you go?
My first trip abroad was to Nasir, South Sudan in July 2010 with Every Village (then called Aid Sudan).
What excites you most about being in South Sudan?
There are so many things about South Sudan that I love, but the most exciting part of being there is doing life alongside the South Sudanese. Getting to live with and love our friends there in the name of Jesus Christ is what it's all about for me. I cannot wait to see lives transformed, captives set free, and believers encouraged! The other very exciting part of living there is getting to train teachers. I am a teacher in the US, and I cannot wait to begin working with the teachers in Nasir to improve instructional strategies. I am also really excited to learn so many new things: the Nuer language, the Nuer culture, how to live simply, and even how to play soccer!
What has God been teaching you recently?
Surrender has been the biggest lesson in my life over the last several months. It's a recurring theme God continues to press upon me, and it's one with which I still struggle; however, I have really sensed His patience with me and His desire for me to live fully and live free in Him.
Biggest thing you'll miss when you're in South Sudan?
I will miss my family and friends terribly. Until I moved to Houston for training with Every Village, I had never lived more than two hours away from my family, so it will be hard not to see them for so long. Right behind family is American food. Food is so cultural, and it will be one of the most difficult pieces of my home culture to surrender when living in Nasir.
Have any special talents? What are they?
God has gifted me with an eye for photography. I absolutely LOVE using pictures to tell stories! I also really enjoy writing, and while I'm not sure if it's a special talent, it does bring me great joy. I love to use the written word to encourage others.
Favorite thing to do when you're not fundraising or training for life in South Sudan?
I absolutely LOVE to read, so whenever I have any free time I can usually be found with my nose in a book.
What's one fun thing you have to do before you move to South Sudan?
Before moving to South Sudan, I would like to celebrate every holiday and birthday that we'll miss with our families while we live there. What's more fun than Christmas in July?
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