browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.


Spreading A Message of Hope

Before returning to Botswana in October, a friend helped me put together this short video to help me promote our abstinence project to youth groups in the States. I thought it would be a good idea to offer youth in America an opportunity to partner with me in spreading this message of hope to theaaa

Categories: All Posts, Media | Leave a comment

New Missionary Card

Designed a new missionary card for myself. Special thanks to Lauren Winges Photography for the photo and Sunset Press in San Diego for doing an awesome job of printing these up for me!

Categories: All Posts, Media | Leave a comment

My First Mopani

This past Valentine’s Day, I finally got to partake in a local Southern African delicacy…mopani worms! I read all about mopani worms before I came to Botswana and I’d been waiting for an opportunity to try them out. Mopani worms are actually caterpillars that are the larvae of a rather large species of moth (the first time I saw one of these moths I thought it was a small bird!). They’re prepared by basically squeezing out their guts (someone showed me how to do this, but I haven’t tried it myself…yet) and then they’re dried and can be eaten as a snack (this is how I ate them in the video below), or they’re re-hydrated and cooked with vegetables, usually tomatoes and onions. When I tried them for the first time, I kind of felt like Simba in the Lion King when Timon and Pumba were encouraging him to try their daily diet of “grubs” – except my worm wasn’t raw and I had a glass of water on hand. They weren’t bad. I’m not sure it’s something I’ll ever crave, but I’m glad I gave them a try. Do I feel a little more African after the experience? Yes, absolutely.

Categories: All Posts, Media | Leave a comment

Youth Sunday Greeting

At our cultural-themed Youth Sunday, we greeted our church congregation in 7 different languages: English, Tagalog (Philippines), Setswana (Botswana), Bemba (Zambia), Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Kalanga (Botswana), and Korean. I love all the different cultures represented in my church!

Categories: All Posts, Media | Leave a comment

I’m Debt-Free!!!

As many of you may already know, a big obstacle I needed to overcome before I moved to Botswana was paying off a good amount of personal debt – $17,000 dollars, in fact. If you’ve been paying attention to my fundraising journey at all, you’d realize that the amount of debt I owed was actually more than (and on top of) the amount of money I needed to raise ($14,000) in order to spend a year on the mission field.

About a year ago was when I first met with my missions pastor to discuss my desire to go into the mission field. One of the very first things she asked me was, “Do you have any personal debt?” I, of course, shamefully, had to say yes. It was a big “ouchie moment” for me, and at first, it really discouraged me and began to make me reconsider going to the mission field at all. What was I thinking? I couldn’t afford to do this. This is impossible. Raising $14,000 AND paying off $17,000 of debt is impossible. I can’t do this! Or so I thought…

I began to pray, and within the course of a week, God began to change my heart and renew my mind. Romans 12:2 talks about this: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Spend enough time with God, and you’ll get on the same page with him. When you’re on the same page with Him, you’ll have the ability to filter through your thoughts, desires, and intentions – then you’ll know with full certainty what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

After a week of focused prayer, the Holy Spirit flipped this switch inside of me and I began to get really angry. It was a good kind of anger. I got angry at the fact that I was spending a good majority of life for the past several years working for the purpose of making payments to my creditors. The Bible talks about this in Proverbs 22:7: “The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.” In a very real sense, I was a slave to my debt. So many of us are. I didn’t want to be a slave anymore. I had been a slave for so many years, and now this financial bondage was keeping me from pursuing what I believed God was calling me to do – this was the realization that really ticked me off. I wasn’t going to live this way anymore. I was DONE.

I decided that I was going to do whatever I needed to do in order to pay off my debt. I would sacrifice whatever I needed to do sacrifice. I counted the cost, and I knew it was going to be a very humiliating process. For starters, I had to admit that I really had no idea how to manage money. Around this time, I had some good friends invite me to take a money management class at their church called Financial Peace University taught by a man named Dave Ramsey. Long story short, this class and Dave Ramsey became the impetus for my debt-free journey, and ultimately, my ticket to the mission field, as well as a newfound financial freedom.

For the past 10 months, I’ve worked like a crazy woman. I delivered newspapers and pizzas. I babysat, pet sat, house sat, and babysat some more. I averaged about 4 hours of sleep every night and my social life was pretty much nonexistent. It was hard work, and I uttered many a curse word when I felt like I wouldn’t make it through another day of this crazy, intense season of my life.

But I didn’t give up. Man, was it hard, but I’m so happy to tell you that I am 100% completely DEBT-FREE!!! I paid off $17,000 in 10 months! I also more than doubled my income and charitable giving from last year, and have raised over 60% of my funding to spend a year on the mission field. I’ve learned that if God can trust you with little, he will trust you with more.

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to celebrate my “debt-freeness” by doing my “debt-free scream” live on The Dave Ramsey Show. For those of you who are not familiar with Dave Ramsey or Financial Peace University, it’s a tradition for graduates of the class or followers of Dave to either call in to his radio show or visit his studio in Nashville to scream “I’m debt-free!” live on the radio. Getting to meet Dave and share my story on his show was such a rewarding experience and the perfect ending to this long, hard journey. I am a slave no more.

For those of you who missed listening to me on the radio yesterday, below is a link to an audio clip of my segment on The Dave Ramsey Show. Enjoy, and I pray my story will inspire you to pursue your own dreams.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Categories: All Posts, Media | 5 Comments