What has happened?

It has been an incredible journey!

The past 11 months have been some of the most difficult, challenging, powerful, and life-changing months of my life. I have experienced the most real, Jesus-filled, practical-gospel fueled ministry I have ever been privileged to be a part of.

I have been on rescues that have saved lives. 

I have seen God use the talents he’s given me to challenge hearts.

I have seen new life, the sadness of death, and I’ve had to bury a child.

Experiences never to be forgotten.

With these months of growth behind me, there are now new challenges as I move from full-time, support based ministry… to life back in the states.


What is next?

This next stage of life is exciting, and I have been waiting for an opportunity to share it with you all:

  • My leave date from Guatemala is approximately November 15th.
  • I will be moving to Providence, Rhode Island to take a staff position with Hope of Life International- the ministry I have volunteered for during the last year.
  • My role will include: acting as the lead writer for the ministry, helping with marketing and branding, and being support staff for other ministry related projects and needs.
  • I will be traveling back and forth to Guatemala on a regular basis to gather the stories and news I will need to do my job, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to keep my feet on the ground down here semi-regularly!


What are the needs?

As many of you know, the Lord provided in big ways as I began my journey to being in full time ministry this year. Within the first month of arriving in Guatemala, my year was fully funded and I was able to put aside the monetary concern and pursue my responsibilities with a full focus.

However, as I head towards this transition, there are a few costs that I am asking for help with as I come out of full time ministry. 

  • I had to undergo multiple dental procedures over the last 3 months. While the cost is minimal compared to what it would be in the states- it was nearly $2,000 of dental work that was necessary. This was emergency cost not originally factored into my budget for the year.
  • Travel expenses home: It will take about $1,000 to get me and my belongings home. I am hoping to purchase a ticket as soon as possible to avoid that being a higher cost.
  • Anything additional would be an enormous help, as I will be looking for a place to live, changing my state of residency, and re-establishing myself in the states!


Thank you!

I cannot explain the blessing, support, and guidance that has been provided this year through my incredible community. You have sent notes, and care packages, and prayed daily, weekly, and monthly- and you have stuck with me each day as I did my best here.

Thank you for being a part of this journey. 

Thank you for supporting me in prayer and financially. 

Thank you for rescuing lives, for saving babies, for providing food, and for helping in ways you will never ever know. 

You have changed the world this year.

If you are interested in supporting my move home, visit:


Or if you’d like more information on needs, prayers requests, or questions email:



It’s October 5th

It is October 5th, 10:34am

I know where I was on October 5th of last year.

Probably about this time, I was sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee that my Mother so lovingly made me. Maybe even complete with my favorite creamer she had so thoughtfully purchased knowing I was coming home. Accompanied by the cat and bedhead, I was no doubt still swirling every thought and emotion of the previous month.


“A craft room is going to make for a very inconvenient living space.”

“Drawing unemployment really feels like a defeat.”

“I have to babysit tonight. I’m 27. I just moved home after losing my job. And I have to babysit. This is not ideal.”

(I almost cancelled on the babysitting. This falls as #421 on the list of “Things I’m Thankful I Didn’t Talk Myself Into.”)

Babysitting was not such a bad task after all. I found a kindred spirit that day.

Is it not astounding, the change occurring in our lives each day? These days which add up to months, and the months which add up to a year…. a year responsible for developing some of the most acute heartaches and victories I have ever experienced.

Things I have learned:

  1. Don’t ever use the word “that” in writing. This is challenging, and the best thing I’ve learned about my craft this year. I know- so simple.
  2. A writer has to re-locate their voice about once a month. Especially when there is little to no time to write for oneself. Some days it is easier for me to write as a 60+ year old Guatemalan man than it is for me to write as myself.
  3. It is ok not answer a question simply because it is asked. Revelation.
  4. Friendships span oceans. I have been gifted with incredible kindred spirits in my life, which have encouraged, guided, and validated my humanity with no reservations.
  5. Speaking of humanity. It is ok to be human, and it’s ok to remember that you are. Just don’t stay there. Learn and grow.
  6. At 28 you start seeing wrinkles around your eyes.
  7. Introversion is not a handicap.
  8. Not everyone needs to approve of your life or the decisions you make, or the things that you struggle with.
  9. Everything will be ok.
  10. Pursuing a dream is the hardest work you can do in your lifetime.


A year removed from what felt like the potential for a world crushing shift in life, a new precipice is settling stoic in the distance. The invitation placed in front of my feet, and this next step simply awaiting a response- a pursuit.

The steps are stepped, decisions are decided, and minds are made.

And what remains- is thankfulness, an acknowledgment and appreciation of the struggle of the last year and an acceptance of the struggle this new year will carry in on it’s back.

Thankfulness for the Providence of it all. 


The Most Unnatural of Occurrences

Yesterday, I was the last person to cradle Cristel in my arms.

She had died only a few minutes before… and with everything in me, I will never be able to forget that moment.


I held a dead child for the first time. 

Dug her grave.

Filled a small hole on the side of a mountain

Buried her.

That is not my typical Monday at the office.

Most days, I get to write:“We saved (insert number) babies”, “She made it, we’re praising God.”, “He needs prayer, but we think he’ll make it.”, “She is only X pounds, but we reached her in time.”

Yesterday was not one of those days.

It was a day to write of loss.


It was one of those days that you remember the verses that talk of death, and life, and how everything has a season. Somehow it’s a little harder to put those verses into perspective. Like a puzzle piece that fits, but was cut slightly crooked, forcing you to push it in a little harder… the edges creasing the surrounding pieces just a bit.

“For everything there is a season…” for everything? How do you deal with the season of loss? 

And why does it feel like the most unnatural thing we have to experience in this life?

I will never believe when people state that death is just a natural part of life.


Because it is not. 

We were never created to die.

When God formed our lungs, He did not create them to stop breathing.

When He created our hearts, they were not meant to stop beating.

When He molded the corners of our minds, He intended them to always function.

Death is the most unnatural thing, and the greatest consequence of sin.


This is why the puzzle piece has to be squeezed in.

Because it was introduced after we were created. After our purpose and intention was formulated. It’s why everyone left behind feels ripped wide open… because we were created for relationships and community, and a piece of us is taken with those who leave.

I will always say it, There are no pretty words for loss.”

Yesterday as I stood over the tiniest grave I’ve ever seen… with no words, it sunk in. There are words for comfort, words for pain, and words for strength… but there are no pretty words for the most unnatural of occurrences.




The Ant

This morning I left my usual spot in the Rancho, seeking quiet. Somewhere free of conversation and activity, allowing me to do the work I had in front of me.  Ending up in a small corner behind the poolside bar area, I had the freedom to hide in plain sight, a perfect view to take in, and a breeze over the water that was slightly cooler than the rest of the heavy air that had clung to me all morning.

The story I told myself was that I just needed some space, some quiet… a little time free of any outside distractions- but in reality, I knew most of the distractions reside in my mind these days.

It took all of 2.5 minutes for me to lose focus and notice the ant.


As I sat there for the next two hours, every few minutes I would notice him trotting from one area of the counter to the other. Running a pattern that I’m fairly certain made no logical sense, carrying his load the whole time.  To be honest, he looked a bit lost and all I could think was, “Isn’t he tired of carrying that stupid leaf?”

As with any good moment of distraction, epiphanies follow.

It struck me.

The last few weeks, this was what I felt. Like I have been spinning inward circles, carrying a burden bigger than my body.

Isn’t it interesting how when we have burdens, and when we are feeling weighed down by the battle of being human, that we do not do what would make the most sense?

Stop turning in circles.

Put the leaf down.

Rest and refocus.

Find the right path.

The simplest of solutions, yet we are so attached to the weights that are dragging on our hearts we forget that we can make the decision to put them down.

They grow to be a part of us. Straining every muscle, while we wander around lost.

Its hard. To let go of the weights. We fear what will happen if we let go…

“How is this going to affect me?”

“What if I don’t like my life without this thing?”

“What if I don’t recognize myself anymore?”

“What about my heart? Will it be smashed into a million pieces?” 

So rather than live in freedom, we live in fear. We decide that the risk of pain, heartbreak, or losing our really valuable “leaf” is too much. It could cost, and that would cause irreparable damage. But what we don’t realize is that the damage is already happening to us, and around us and it is just that, irreparable and worsening by the moment.

That’s when a decision needs to be made. And often times the decision needs to be made yourself. Other people can attempt to point you in the right direction, to give you ideas on how to set the burden down, how to rest and move forward. But only you can decide for your own life, and your own spiritual and emotional health, what is best.

It brings me to my point…

After 4 incredible months in Guatemala, it’s time for a break. It’s time to set a few burdens down. It’s time to refresh and take the opportunity to sleep through the night. To walk away from certain situations that are weighing heavy on my heart.

A 10 day break at home, with my family, and my friends… it’s what I know I need to continue. To do what the Lord has called me to do well. Because at the end of it all, that is what I want- to do this life well, and to do what I’ve been called to do.

So, should you find yourself in the Upstate NY area between the 17th and 27th of May… look me up.

I’ll be the one resting, mumbling something about a leaf.


Stumbling into the door of the bathroom was not the best start to the day. But it is dark at 3:45am, and sometimes you don’t see doors you know are there.

Coffee started.

Stare in the mirror.

Brush teeth.

Drink coffee.

Stare in the mirror again.

Drink more coffee.

Think about brushing hair.

That was the morning’s routine.

I walked across campus in the dark, offering a sip of my bold coffee to the security guard at the gate who without fail greets me with a smile and calls me Princess. He’s a favorite.

No one else is around on arrival at the rancho. This is a typical consequence for my tendency of always being early.

More coffee made. Knowing I was not going to be the only one needing it at the early hours. Slowly, one at a time, everyone arrives. Fifteen of us, all men except for me, and I began to wonder what I had signed up for.

The numbers varied as we talked, “Maybe 12.” “I heard 8” “No, there are at least 9”.

Going into the day, there is little known, and expectations are nearly impossible to have or maintain.

It’s nearly a 2 hour drive before we even reach the foot of the mountain we are about to traverse. Gives a girl plenty of time to think…

When you look at the mountains driving into Chiquimula, it is hard to see the fine lines that make up the dirt paths to small villages, but they are there… just behind the curling morning fog.


Looking at the clock, it’s only 6:30.  The sun is barely up and thoughts start rushing.

“I wonder if they know.”

And I do, I really wonder about what is happening in the homes we’re speeding to at that very moment… 6:41am.

Do they know that 15 people woke up before dawn and decided to come searching for them? That these 15 people are traveling more than 4 hours to find them? That they’re important enough to eventually spend thousands on their rescues?

Do they know we’re coming for them?

The foot of the mountain looks like the entrance to a construction site, dust and dirt everywhere and no real road- just a dusty path that shoots straight up immediately. It is well past half an hour of traveling up this dusty path before we even reach the first child.


A few of us follow Carlos up a small trail that seems nearly vertical, slipping a time or two I wonder how I would actually climb this with a baby in hand and a basket of corn or other burdens, much like the woman of the house probably does numerous times each day.

There is enough smoke in the small house to choke us all and in every corner I look, there is another child. 

The next child is found in nearly the same scene.

The third one meets us on the side of the mountain, the mother hiking 2 hours already that morning to reach us.

The story goes on.

It goes on for another 8 hours this day.

And it will likely go on for weeks or months more.

Child after child was picked up, loaded into the vehicle with a mom or dad and a small plastic bag for one change of clothes. Each one, seemingly more severe than the last… two month old babies that should be twice the weight they are- at birth. They barely tip the scale at 4 pound and your really question how they have even survived for this long. Ventilators, machines, and medicines keep children in these conditions alive in the states- yet somehow, in these distant mountains, in these dusty villages and stick homes- these little ones are still fighting on their own.


It was more than 10 hours, and with little more than coffee in our stomachs, there were some very real hunger pains by the middle of the afternoon. And for me, it became a little clearer. The smells of the day, the smoke, the hunger, the ache and tiredness… I saw and felt the rescue in a deeper way yesterday, and I shared in their stories more than ever before.

Do you know what I love about sharing in their story though?

My thought at 6:42am, the minute directly after I wondered about whether they knew we were coming…

“It’s just like the Savior, in so many ways, we never see Him coming for us in the midst of our suffering.”


New life.

It is a clear picture of salvation.

It makes God look glorious.