the return to liberia: an update

it was a mere two weeks ago that i stood in church, hands shaking in surrender as i realized the magnitude of what i was saying yes to. a return to liberia. a return to the oppressive heat and sleepless nights. to lives lost too soon, to children who nobody mourns once they leave us. to a land that assaults the senses, to the corruption, the poverty, the things i saw and heard that my … Read the rest

when i want to live a life that says “yes”

nearly seven months ago, i left Liberia. after an especially grueling season, i made the hard decision to fight for my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being and step off the mission field.

i dreamed of returning home to the States and resuming normalcy once more; i wanted to fall into a life of comfort and ease and forget all about the exhaustion of the past four years.

when i got home, i struggled a bit, … Read the rest

the power of one: stories from Liberia, West Africa

recently, i had the honor of delivering the message at my home church on Sunday morning. now, i’ve never been one to call myself a preacher, but i do know that God’s made me a storyteller.

i wish i could take all the words and the pictures and the feelings and the experiences and share them with you here, but somehow, it doesn’t do it justice.

but if you have 45 minutes or so, i’d … Read the rest

love will bring them back to life {an exciting new project}

has anyone ever given you a love letter? how did reading someone else’s feelings for you scrawled out in ink make you feel?
probably…loved. accepted. special. happy.

3002967227_aec483d6b7_zPhoto by Peter Hellberg on Flickr

now imagine yourself as an orphan in Liberia, West Africa. most of the time, people treat you like a statistic, just another face in the crowd. you’re a number, not a name. not a person who a mind + soul, with … Read the rest

[celebrate] love

in honor of valentine’s day, i wrote a special piece for So Worth Loving this week, celebrating the miracle of Love! below is an excerpt from my post, which you can read in its entirety here. much love to you guys! xo

What I’ve noticed in my work with these kids is that most of them have very little self-worth. For so long, they’ve been viewed as nothing more than a statistic, just another

Read the rest
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this is mercy, a beautiful, feisty yet kindhearted girl who stole my heart the moment i met her. she recently turned 13, so i made her a card and gave her a pair of earrings.

today, she handed me this letter that she had written: “dear auntie elena, thank you for my birthday. my reason for me writing you this letter is to tell you that i love you from my heart and i want Read the rest

love them like Jesus does

there’s this group of kids that i’ve known and loved and served for three years in Liberia. i’ve prayed with them, cried with them, laughed with them, walked through all sorts of situations and circumstances of life with them. we were family.

and then, one day, things changed. i went from seeing those kids every single week to having to walk away from them without any contact. there were valid and important reasons, to be … Read the rest

i can see widows and orphans through my tears. i know my call
despite my faults and despite my growing fears.
(mumford and sons, the cave)

five weeks until the adventure begins! please pray as i prepare to return to Liberia and share God’s love with Liberia’s orphans.

*if you want to receive monthly email updates from me while I’m in Liberia, please send me a message with your email address so i can add … Read the rest

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Today is my African three-year anniversary. On November 20th, 2008, I was on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic, headed to Africa for the very first time. My feet touched Liberian soil on November 21st, 2008, and from that moment on, my whole world was turned upside down.

Growing up, I had always dreamed of Africa. I can remember being a little girl, watching World Vision commercials at Christmas time, weeping at images of poor, … Read the rest