A few months ago, I got into a heated discussion with a friend over the best way to follow God’s direction. Personally, I like the idea of waiting and praying until God speaks, and then obeying His words. My friend, on the other hand, prefers action and moving forward, all the time adjusting course as God speaks during the journey.

As I thought more about the subject, I was reminded of a story from the book of Acts:

“Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, ‘Go south to the road — the desert road — that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.’ So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch…” (Acts 8:26-27 NIV).

We don’t know what Philip was doing at the moment he received this instruction from the Lord. Was he in prayer? Working? Ministering? Just living his normal life? All we know is what Philip did in response to God’s voice. He obeyed and went. He didn’t complain about the vagueness of the command. He didn’t demand to know the outcome of his obedience. He simply went. And what he found was an Ethiopian official riding home with his entourage from Jerusalem. Little did Philip know that this official in his chariot was actually reading a portion of the Scriptures at that very moment. (8:27-28 NIV).

But the Holy Spirit knew. 🙂

“The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to the chariot and stay near it'” (Acts 8:29 NIV).

Philip’s obedience led to a discussion with the Ethiopian official about Jesus that ultimately resulted in the man’s salvation and baptism.

So let’s apply this to today. A few weeks ago I went for a walk on a gorgeous fall day that felt more like summer than autumn. At the end of my walk, as I turned back into my driveway, I noticed my neighbor heading out to her car with an armload of clothes.

Now, this neighbor had been a former coworker of mine when I was a teenager. She’d moved into my neighborhood a few houses down from me, but what with work and travel we hardly ever saw each other. Recently, I’d noticed a “For Sale” sign in her front yard. It had quickly turned into a “Sold” sign, and then had disappeared altogether. As I saw her coming out to her car, I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me, “Go talk to her.”

My response? “No, Lord. I have other things to do right now.”

I climbed the front steps and opened the door. Again I felt His nudge, “Go talk to her.”

“Lord, she’s busy. I feel awkward. I don’t want to do it.”

I stepped inside and closed the door behind me.

And there’s just something about shutting a door in God’s face that makes you stop and realize the gravity of your situation.

I immediately reopened the door and hurried outside, crossing the lawn and street and arriving at her house at a jogging pace.

When she saw me standing outside her door, my neighbor’s face broke into a wide grin. She came outside and we sat in two chairs on her front walk and we talked and talked and talked. She told me all about selling her house, how the house she’d been going to buy had fallen through, and how the Lord had very quickly provided another place for her to live. I told her about my mission work, how I needed to find a place to live in the Czech Republic, how the housing economy in ValMez is so bad, and how I was praying for God to provide a home for me. Her story of God’s housing provision encouraged me, and she offered to pray that the Lord would lead me to the right place as well. I went home as the sun began to set, so grateful to have spent time with a friend.

In Galatians, Paul writes, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit” (5:25 NIV).

It’s easy to ignore the Holy Spirit. It’s easy to pretend like we didn’t hear Him, to refuse Him, to go our own way. I know. I do it often enough. But the Lord wants to walk with us. He wants to be in a relationship with us that is so close that we can hear His voice and obey. There are times when we need to sit and wait and pray, and there are times we need to change course along the journey. But when He does speak, whether in the stillness or on the journey, whether through the Bible, a trusted friend, or the quiet nudging of our hearts, we need to be able to listen — and obey. It feels awkward at first, and it totally messes with the confines of my comfort zone. But I find that, the more I persevere, the more I grow. And the more I grow, the more receptive I become to His promptings.

From Classes to Cancer to Coffee – A Life Update

Hey everyone! 🙂 It’s been more than a month since I returned home from my three-week scouting trip to the Czech Republic, and I’ve been just as busy here as I was there. If you read the report about my scouting trip (you can find it HERE), you’ll know that God was working in my life while I was away. But one new lesson I’m learning is that mission life doesn’t end as soon as I step off the mission field. This time of preparation and training in the States is also part of my mission calling, a chance for me to grow. And God is just as involved in my life here as He was in the Czech Republic. These are just some of the ways He’s been at work.


I spent three consecutive Saturdays in October attending a “People Skills 101” class at Grace Covenant International’s headquarters in Platte City, MO. I’d leave home at 5:00am and wouldn’t return home until 5:00pm. Which is quite a bit of travel. But it was worth it.

Sunrise and Sunset while Traveling

Sunrise and Sunset while Traveling

My friend Dallas Elder, the director of Grace Covenant International, taught the class, and it was a real privilege to sit under his teaching. Dallas always seems to get right to the heart of the subject matter, and he has a real talent for getting his students to discuss what they’re learning. I made several new friends there, and reunited with a few that I’d made at the Ignite Conference in September. Together we studied the Scriptures and learned how real people skills flow out of Christ’s command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). It’s in loving God first and also loving ourselves that we can truly begin to love other people. The class brought to light a lot of needs in my own life. I have many insecurities that I need to face in order to be able to minister to people in the way that they need. I’m beginning to seek the Lord’s healing in this area, and am exciting about finishing the class homework and finding new opportunities to practice what I’m learning.



Another important life update is my recent discovery that I had skin cancer. I knew there was a possibility that the abnormal mole on my neck could end up being cancerous, but I never actually dreamed there was anything wrong until the dermatologist removed it and the test came back positive for melanoma. I’ll admit I was shocked and fearful at first, but the shock soon turned into thankfulness. I’m so grateful the cancer was caught early, that I was given good care by my doctors, and that this is all happening now before I move to the Czech Republic. God is guiding my steps on this journey, even when I can’t see Him doing it.

Please be in prayer for me as I move forward. I still have two more appointments to get through. One will involve further investigation for cancer, while the other will include surgery to remove the danger area on my neck. Please pray as I head into these appointments, and as I recuperate from surgery. It’s surprising how sore your neck can get when it’s all stitched together and healing.


I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with coffee. I hate drinking it, but I love the people who do. 🙂 Working part-time at a local coffee shop gets me out among people while also providing a source of income. Some of the customers I come in contact with only want to talk about their order. Others, after noticing the huge bandage on my neck, actually cared to inquire about my health. A few are interested in my mission work, and one older gentleman — a grandfather figure in my life — actually supported me on my last two trips. From crazy stressful days to dressing up for Halloween with my awesome coworkers, I’m thankful for the people God has placed in my life.

All Dressed up for Halloween

All Dressed up for Halloween

One last prayer item! Plans are underway for me to actually move to the Czech Republic in the coming year. But before I can, I have a lot of work to do raising monthly support and juggling a lot of different details. Please pray as plans start to come together, and as I begin to move forward. I’ll keep you updated about my progress.

Until next time!

Scouting Trip – Update

As I stepped onto my flight to the Czech Republic, I realized I was simply leaving one home to visit another. God has given me a home, family, and friends in two very different countries, and my three-week scouting trip to the Czech Republic (August 31 — September 22) was an amazing chance to reconnect. I wanted to share some of my experiences with you, and also say “thank you.” This journey wouldn’t have been possible without your partnership. Your prayers, encouragement, and support made it a reality. My adventures are also your adventures. Here are just a few of the things the Lord did for me while I was there.


First Glimpse of Prague

Relationships.  An important goal on my trip was to reconnect with as many friends as possible, and it was surprising how many opportunities the Lord gave me. I loved playing with the youth at the Rock Solid Club, as well as working with the leaders. Several missionaries invited me into their homes for meals and fellowship, and I enjoyed hanging out and doing projects with my boyfriend, Keifer, and his friend Andrew. Building relationships occurs in many different settings, from constructing IKEA furniture to coloring pictures, from grocery shopping to attending football games. The friendships I’ve found in the Czech Republic are a huge blessing, and make the prospect of moving there even more exciting.


Game Time at Rock Solid Club

Prayer Ministry.  I went prayer walking several times through the city of Valasske Mezirici, my home base. I prayed over the businesses I passed, the families walking by, and the school where the Rock Solid Club holds its weekly meetings. Each time I ended my walk in the city square, sitting on a park bench while I asked the Lord to bless the town. I felt so small compared to the number of people in the city and the enormity of their need. But God also felt very present. These walks increased my confidence that He sees the need in the Czech Republic, and that He wants to work.


Valasske Mezirici – City Square


Valasske Mezirici – River

Cultural EducationI’d practiced my Czech vocabulary over the Summer, so it was awesome to get to apply it on this trip. I ordered food for myself several times at restaurants and stores. Czech road signs and building signs were no longer unintelligible, and I could even understand the announcer at the train station. Navigating streets and using the currency are easier now as well. My next task for my next trip is to learn how to hold a conversation.

Future PreparationsI stored most of the clothes and books I’d brought with me from America at Keifer’s house. They’re a little deposit toward my upcoming return. Also, one of the Czech missionaries is interested in rooming with me when I move. We don’t know what will happen, but it’s an exciting opportunity! Please pray for God’s guidance as we pursue this.

On my first trip to the Czech Republic, I felt a lot of spiritual attack and loneliness. On this trip, I hardly felt any! And I had a new sense of security. Your prayers are making a difference. Also, the week before leaving I still hadn’t raised the financial support I needed for this scouting trip. But in the weeks that followed, I received enough, and extra! Thank you! The extra will be used to further my mission training, and to help fund my eventual move to the Czech Republic.

Until next time!

Mission Update – August

As of this post, I now have sixteen more days until I’m on my flight to the Czech Republic! These next two-ish weeks are going to go by super fast. I still have so many things to do, plans to make, stuff to pack. But I wanted to take this chance to update you all on how I’ve been doing, and on how things stand financially.

Mission Trip to The Voice of the Martyrs

As a leader in my church’s young adult discipleship group, I got the chance to spend last week with them on a mission trip volunteering at The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. VOM is a non-profit organization that supports the growing number of persecuted Christians throughout the world. Their free newsletter shares the stories of the persecuted church, raising awareness and encouraging Christians to pray. As volunteers, we worked in the Operation Center, doing projects like signing receipts, stuffing envelopes, mailing newsletters, and shrink-wrapping prayer cards. Even though we spent eight hour workdays on repetitive, sometimes physically demanding, projects, the young people never complained. Their love for each other and for their persecuted brothers and sisters never ceases to amaze me. I’m thankful to be working alongside such a wonderful group of world-changers.


The Wall of Martyrs



If you’re interested in learning more about The Voice of the Martyrs, and how you can get involved, you can follow the link to their website HERE.

CZ Mission Trip Details

Since my last blog post, I’ve mailed over 40 mission letters, and personally handed out several more. My thanks to everyone who took the time to read them, and to those who’ve asked me about my trip. The feeling of disconnect that I had from all of you at first is slowly starting to disappear thanks to your kind words and encouragement. And I’m hoping to make more connections in the next two weeks. I’ll be speaking at two churches this coming Sunday, and I’m always open to emails, messages, or personal conversations. If you have any questions at all about my trip, please feel free to ask. 

Another important update is that I only have the finishing touches to add to my “Leadership in Ministry” coursework before I can send it in for grading! I loved studying for this class, and I’m hoping to do a blog post soon on some of the things I’ve learned.

As for the trip itself, the biggest detail to come together so far has been the airplane tickets. Thanks to a few early givers, I was able to buy my international tickets quickly, and for a very good price. I’ll be flying from Chicago to Prague both directions, but with a layover in Frankfurt on the way in, and a layover in Toronto on the way back. I’ve also purchased a ticket to get me to Chicago on August 31, and one to take me back from Chicago to Kansas City on September 22. My hope right now is to attend the last half of Grace Covenant International’s “Ignite” conference before returning home on the 24th, but plans are still under discussion.


As for my financial situation… while I’ve received enough donations to pay for my plane tickets, I still have quite a ways to go. I still need money for food, lodging, in-country travel, and any additional expenses that might pop up. My goal is to raise $3,000 for this September scouting trip, but as of yesterday morning I only had $750 in my mission account, and only seventeen days left to go. I’ll admit this made me rather nervous and discouraged. I spent yesterday morning pacing up and down our backyard, asking God for provision and giving my fears to Him. No sooner had I stepped back inside when a phone call came right out of the blue. A friend not only wanted to meet and talk, she wanted to know what my financial need was, and how she could help. I returned home from our meeting, bubbling with encouragement, to find that the mail had brought a letter and check from another pair of supporters as well! I can’t begin to tell you how amazing that felt. God answers prayer, and He does it through each of us as we continue to love and support those around us. 

So as of this morning, I now have a little over 33% of my $3,000 goal. Please continue to pray for the Lord’s provision for this upcoming trip. Pray that the details will come together, and that I’ll be a blessing to others while I’m in the Czech Republic.

If you’re interested in donating to my trip and helping me reach my goal, there are two easy ways you can do it. The first is to mail a check to Grace Covenant International, PO Box 588, Platte City, MO 64079. The check should be made payable to “Grace Covenant International,” with “CZ – M” written in the memo line.

The second way is to donate online. You can do this via the PayPal link on the Grace Covenant Donation page (!donate/c1t5w). Please make sure to include “CZ – M” in the note to seller on PayPal. (A small PayPal fee will be deducted from donations.)

All contributions to Grace Covenant International will be tax-deductible.

Thanks everyone for your prayers and support! I couldn’t do this without you guys. Together we’re making a difference, and I can’t wait to see how the Lord is going to work.



Hi everyone! I mentioned in my last post that there were plans underway that would help me take a new step forward toward mission work in the Czech Republic. Well, little did I know that it would actually be two new steps. 🙂 After a lot of work, prayer, and several good conversations, it’s finally time to announce what those plans are.

First Step: I’m taking a short-term scouting trip to the Czech Republic for a few weeks at the beginning of September!

Which means my trip is coming up soon. Very very soon. On the one hand I see all the plans that still need to be made, the money I need to raise, the things I need to pack. But on the other hand… I’m going back! Back to the Czech Republic. Back to all of the friends and places that meant so much to me. Back to the life and culture I’ve missed since I’ve been home. It’s exciting. A brand new adventure.

We’re calling this short-term trip a “scouting” trip because it serves a special purpose. This isn’t just a short-term mission trip where I travel, do some good, and then come home. This scouting trip is about preparing for the future. It’s a step toward something bigger. On this scouting trip I’ll be praying and “prayer walking” in and around ValMez, seeking God’s will and blessing for the city, the ministries going on there, the believers, and for my future. I’ll also be reconnecting with friends and with Youth for Christ – Czech, and learning new lessons about the language and culture that will help me when I move back.

Yes, I said it. I’m planning on moving to ValMez. 🙂

Which brings me to the next exciting step.

Second Step: I get to start raising monthly mission support so that I can move back to the Czech Republic as a full-time missionary!!!

This is a HUGE step for me. I feel like I’m standing at the foot of a mountain, gazing up at the summit and wondering, “Will I ever get there?” There are so many hopes and dreams rolled into this, dreams of a new life, a new focus, a new ministry. And with the dreams come doubts and fears as I wonder whether I’ll ever succeed.

But that’s all part of the journey. Part of the adventure. And deep down in my heart I have faith that the God who called me to mission work will see me through to the end.

So what comes next? Well, I’ll be mailing out mission letters soon, and prayer cards. The letter will give a more detailed summary of my short-term and long-term goals, the amount of money I’m hoping to raise, and information for anyone interested in partnering with me, either monetarily or in prayer. I’ll be sending these out to family, close friends, and supporters from my previous mission trip. If you’ve been following my journey and would like to receive a letter, but aren’t sure whether you’re on my list or if I have your contact info, would you please let me know? I’d love to connect with you further.

A big THANK YOU to all of you who have joined me on this journey over the past months. Your prayers and support and encouragement have helped make these next steps a reality. Please continue to pray for me as I move forward. Everyone, it’s time for a new adventure.

Rewind <<

Most of you may already know that I got to go on one of the greatest adventures of my life this year, my very first mission trip outside the USA. I flew to the Czech Republic on January 15, and didn’t return home until March 22. I spent most of my time during those two months in the city of Valasske Mezirici, with small sojourns around the country to Hradec Kralove, Pardubice, Hlinsko, and Prague, and out of the country to Slovakia and Ireland. I met a host of new friends and missionaries, and had the opportunity to work with Youth for Christ – Czech at their weekly Rock Solid Club, as well as the special Rock Solid Club girl’s night / sleepover, and a Rock Solid Club weekend camp. I came away from the experience feeling like the Lord was calling me back to the Czech Republic in the near future, and the call has continued to grow stronger. 

Since then, I’ve been praying and working and preparing to go back. So far the external preparations have been small. I’ve been sorting through my belongings in preparation for returning, deciding what to keep and what to give away. The Lord has brought me some new friends to help me on my journey, and given me some new resources for moving forward.

The greatest preparation, so far, has been internal. The Lord has been sifting my heart, my motivations, my desires. He’s brought me to a new realization of what it means to give up everything to follow Him, and challenged me with the verse, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 ESV). I’ve spent the last few months considering how much I have to lose, and how much I have to gain if I follow God’s call. It’s been a difficult emotional time for me, but despite it all my desire is still to follow Him wherever He leads.

My busiest time back home has been these last several weeks, from mid-May to mid-June. It’s been crazy! Full of fun events and new opportunities. Here are just a few of the things I’ve gotten to do.

1. My brother’s wedding! He’s married!!! And to one of my best friends no less. Being part of their wedding at the end of May was a blast. Sure, it was crazy busy, but I’ll always treasure the memories of friends and family and all the fun that we had.

2. On the first and second weekends in June, I attended Grace Covenant International’s MSI Ministry Training Course, “Leadership in Ministry.” The class, led by my friend Dallas Elder, focused on identifying scriptural leadership principles that still hold true for our lives and ministries today. I especially enjoyed considering how these principles could change the way I do ministry, and hope to learn how to implement them in my everyday life and character. I’ll be doing homework for the class throughout the coming weeks.

3. I made my first trip to Texas with a fellow missionary, got to experience Dallas and all of its wonderful food, Denton and all of its wonderful people, and the beautiful area farther south near San Antonio (where I found even more wonderful people and food. So much hospitality). One memorable event was visiting the Commission to Every Nation headquarters in Kerrville during one of their special conferences. It was fun to catch a glimpse of how the organization is run and the people that are a vital part of it.

4. I spent the third weekend in June in Kansas City, during the time of the annual One Year Adventure Novel Summer Workshop. This has been the first year in its existence that I haven’t been a student at the workshop, and the emotions were bittersweet. But I got to see some of the friends who have always made the workshop such a special place for me, and that at least made up for some of it.

Now I’m home again, and looking forward to seeing what God will do in the weeks and months ahead. There are plans underway that will help me take a new step forward toward mission work in the Czech Republic… but I’ll wait until my next post to say what they are.