Thursday, August 27, 2009

After hours of packing, teaching my last classes, and visiting coffee shops and sushi restaurants with my closest friends, I said "Goodbye for now" to La Mirada and "Hello again" to Grass Valley. It was so hard to leave my La Mirada community behind, but it is also so good to be back at my GV home. I am really looking forward to spending the next couple weeks with my Nor Cal friends and family.

This weekend I get to lounge on the deck drinking iced tea and playing card games with my parents, aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandpa. We'll probably also visit my favorite used bookstore, where I'll let the smell and atmosphere of Ames' Bookstore roll over my senses, logging them away in my memory to keep safe until I'm in Africa, searching for a familiar memory of home. My friend Isaac asked me a few weeks ago what I will miss the most when I'm in Africa, and I have decided that after missing my friends and family the most, I think I will next miss the availability and variety of books I have here. I might need to sacrifice some clothes or other "necessities" in order to fit my favorite books into my luggage. Who needs toothpaste when you have G.K. Chesterton?

Regarding financial preparation, I have seen God abundantly provide in only a few weeks! My tiny home church in Grass Valley, the one I went to since I was five, took an offering for me, and raised enough to cover all of my up-front expenses! Also, right now the monthly pledges add up to about $200/month, which was the minimum we were hoping for. I am so grateful for the Lord's provisions as well as my church family's generosity. It gives me affirmation that living in Africa for a year is the right thing to do. Thank you so much to everyone reading this right now, because this is made possible because of your prayers and your gifts. I am overwhelmed by the encouragement and support you have given me, and can't wait to tell you how God's kingdom will be furthered because of your partnership with me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I wish I was more blogger-savy, but I can't figure out how to attach a word file. So here's my support letter, cut-and-pasted (minus the cool Africa picture, since I couldn't figure that one out, either):

Dearest Friends and Family,

I am so excited to tell you about my upcoming year in Africa and how you can partner with me in this adventure! On September 14th, I will be flying to Cameroon, Africa, where I have the privilege of homeschooling Chris and Karen Jackson’s two seventh grade daughters. The Jacksons are dear friends of mine, and they have been missionaries in Cameroon through Wycliffe Bible Translators for the last fifteen years. I will be living with the Jacksons in Bamenda, a small city that’s a six-hour drive northwest from the capital city of Yaounde.

There are many reasons I am looking forward to going, and they all come back to God’s amazing work in my life and my heart. My passions have been focused on the needs of the inner city for the last several years, so I hadn’t seriously considered overseas missions until I heard from the Jacksons. Though I pursued and received my teaching credential so I could teach in a low-income school in California, God had other plans in mind.

After praying about the Jacksons’ invitation to partner with them in Africa, God brought me to a place where I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my year! I am thrilled to live with the Jacksons and teach their girls, and based on my recent experience teaching reading development in Los Angeles, that excitement is now joined with a strong desire to support what the Jacksons are currently doing in Bamenda. This includes a literacy program for the African children and a children’s ministry training program for the church in Cameroon.

I am also exited to partner with you in this ministry. The most important way you can support me is in prayer. Specific prayer requests are listed on my prayer bookmark. I’ll also be posting updates on my blog,, about my time in Africa and how you can pray for me. Another important way you can support me is to contribute financially. I need $3000 for my plane tickets and other up-front expenses, and I need approximately $500 a month for 10 months for living expenses. I can only raise this money by the grace of God and your generous contributions. Even if you can only give $10 a month, or give a one-time gift, it will help. I encourage you to pray about how God is leading you to support me, and fill out the commitment card enclosed. All your gifts are tax-deductible.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn more about this next journey of faith in my life and for considering how you can support me.

With love and gratitude,