In August of 2012, we boarded a plane with an energetic two-year-old and a pregnant belly and began our journey as missionaries to the Amazon jungle in Brazil. We had sold all our things, said all our goodbyes, and planned out the scope of our life at the ripe young age of 25. We were going to work among the indigenous peoples, flying into remote areas and sharing the Gospel for the rest of our lives.
The journey led us on a wild ride, pouring ourselves out, leaning into the challenges of a new language and culture, and rethinking all we had ever been taught about what it means to live and work among the various cultures that God created. It wasn’t long before our home was filled with the sick and lonely, dying and hungry. Our own hearts burdened by the needs, we found ourselves overwhelmed and underprepared, leading us to fall hard at the feet of Jesus.
In our first half-decade as missionaries, God led us to adopt a child, open a children’s home, launch an indigenous project, open a Gospel-based business initiative called The Donut Company, facilitate a soccer ministry, treat countless illnesses and injuries, and become the hub to dozens of people who found a place of rest and peace in our home.
When we were at what we would’ve considered the height of our ministry thus far, God unexpectedly led us back to the US, rerouting our lifelong dreams and aspirations, reassigning our role within the Amazon Network, and leading us on a journey to rediscover what it means to “obey the call”.
Our next phase of life led us to the desert of South Texas, where our journey was one of loneliness, physical ailments, and rethinking all we knew about community, life, and healing. Our time there included unintentionally buying a “money pit” of a house, unexpected open heart surgery (and simultaneous appendectomy), loss of dreams, and an emptying of ourselves like we never knew before.
During that time, we discovered that God is in the silence and the broken dreams. He’s in the business of healing and healing can only come when we come face to face with the idols and and longings of our own hearts. God knit our family closer together as a result of the loneliness and the loss, building a foundation for the next phase of our journey.
Now, we live in Birmingham, AL where we are in a season of restoration and renewal. After a long season of leading, striving, and doing, we are heeding the whisper to “be still and know”. I write in this space about the lost and broken dreams, the hope and restoration after faith has been shattered, the joy in the loneliness, and all the ways we can look back and remember the “pillars” God has erected in our lives to remind us of
His goodness in the land of the living.