I am a firm believer in the fact that our lives are a journey and that path is unique to us alone. We may join people as they come into our lives and join us on our journey for a time but there is only one, “friend that sticks closer than a brother” (Prov. 18:24). This is the tale of my journey…
My first foray over seas was in 1990 with Teen Missions Int. to Zimbabwe. This trip was a significant leg of my journey as it was my first time off the continent that I call home. It altered my view of the world and caused a paradigm shift in my life. I realized that there were others out there that had to live with none of the conveniences that my seemingly my “lower to middle class” family struggled to attain. The memories of this trip will stay in my heart and mind for the duration of my days.
God’s call on my life then lead me down the path to Bible College. I choose Canadian Bible College in Regina, Saskatchewan. As I followed God’s leading in this step He taught me more than I could have imagined and often through the most unlikely ways and venues.
After my graduation from CBC God eventually opened doors for me to go to Cambodia with Samaritan’s Purse and CIDA with their water filter internship program. I worked and lived in Cambodia for six months. This was by far the most life changing experience I could have imagined. Living in another culture and working alongside the people I was trying to help impacted me in a deep and profound way. They changed my heart and my life forever as God showed me glimpses of the beauty that lay within the hearts of a broken and tortured people.
It was while I was in Cambodia that I felt God calling me back to school. I knew I wanted to help people in this situation but felt helpless as to where to start. I figured a counseling degree would give me a better idea of how to help people cope with the trauma they have encountered in their lives. God lead me to Providence Theological Seminary, just outside of Winnipeg, to get a Master’s degree in Educational Studies with a major in counseling.
When I returned from Cambodia just before I went to school I sat down and had coffee with my old friend Dave from CBC. He spoke of his vision to start his own organization that would help the church of Christ connect across seas, cultures, races and other boundaries and in so doing be that which Christ intended the church to be, a community. As I listened I was captivated by his heart and passion and soon caught the vision myself. I told him that when he got things started I would be happy to come and be a part of it. Dave occasionally kept in contact and would give me updates on how the plans were coming and I was again amazed to see the hand of God working so precisely and quickly to bring this vision into a reality and soon we saw Hungry For Life International birthed. Dave continued to keep in contact and remind me of the words that I had spoken to assure him that I would like to be a part of this and so upon graduating from Providence I decided to go back to Edmonton to begin the process of raising support for the position of International Project Manager.
I spent the year in Edmonton working in retail and trying to raise support for my upcoming position in HFL. As is my way, I got caught up in all that was going on around me at the time and did not focus enough on the future. The end of the year loomed closer and I realized that I did not have nearly enough support to be able to work at HFL full time and I would have to get a second job to be able to survive. With the conviction that this was what God wanted me to do I moved out to Chilliwack at the end of January and began work here in February. After a few rocky weeks God lead me to a phenomenal job that would fit well with my schedule at HFL and even compliment my work here to a certain extent and utilized my gifts of compassion much better than retail did.
So here I sit looking back on my life and recognizing all the twists and turns that God has guided me on through this journey and I am excited to see what He has for me here and where this leg of the journey will lead me. Of this one thing I am convinced… no mater where this journey may take me I know that I walk it with my Savior by my side guiding me all the way.