The Lord began to stir our hearts for Africa years ago. It only grew stronger each time that Adam went. It was 2012 when Adam called from Burundi to tell me he felt like the Lord was calling him to full time ministry. This was not a surprise, but it wasn’t until my first trip to Africa in 2014 that I began to see why Adam felt so strongly for East Africa.
During my first day on mission I had to opportunity to meet a room of women in a medical clinic whose children were very sick. One 3-5 month old baby was so ill, I thought he might stop breathing. The Lord was wearing me out to share the Gospel with them. I did not feel worthy or capable, but couldn’t shake it so I spoke with our translator and he asked permission for me to share with them. They agreed and, with nerves abound, I shared the Gospel for the first time in Africa. As I talked to them, the Lord also said, "share your story." I shared that I had 3 miscarriages in between the births of our 2 beautiful daughters. The second miscarriage was particularly hard because we saw a sweet beating heart of 158 bpm and were overjoyed with happiness to have that confirmation. Weeks later it was gone. It was a long hard season but I shared that God was so faithful to continuously remind us that he had perfect plans. After 10 weeks of bedrest during our 5th pregnancy we had a healthy baby girl and named her Hannah, which means “favor,” or “grace.”
It was hard for them to understand that a healthy American woman could face such
health troubles in a place where doctors and hospitals are available everywhere. These were women who had never left their village and could never even afford the
transportation to a hospital, let alone treatment. The Lord had allowed that season in our lives for a reason, although it was possibly only a fraction of the suffering I was staring at in the room that day. What I learned in that moment, was that my loss allowed me to be relatable in the smallest way to these beautiful women. Two of them gave their lives to Christ that day. One was the mom of the small boy barely breathing. He was dehydrated from diarrhea, something we would run to Walgreens for. We asked to pray over her son and our entire team prayed again at dinner that night for complete healing. We prayed to the Lord for a miracle to show this precious obedient daughter of the King who it is she now serves.
The next day we returned for clinic and the director told us that the mother had gone
home because the baby had improved greatly. She came back that afternoon with her precious baby boy strapped to her back, no IV attached and breathing peacefully. I was able to give her a bible written in her language. She said that she could not read but her husband could and, hopefully, he would read it to her and become a believer as well. The most beautiful part of this story is that less than a mile away, New Beginnings trained a Pastor and planted a church, rooted and grounded in the love of Christ, where she could connect to a community of faith and grow as a believer.
That was 3 years ago and, little did we know, things were just getting started. Adam has now been to Africa 9 times. We have expanded into Rwanda through our New Beginnings international missions efforts, planted a number of churches, and seen thousands of people surrender to Christ. As things have progressed, God has continued to fan the flame in our hearts for Africa and, earlier this year, He confirmed in our hearts that He is calling us to relocate.
Our desire is to continue and expand the work that God has already allowed us to be a part of. We have formed a non-profit organization called The Roots Network and, through this organization, we will work to strengthen and encourage our established churches through leadership and discipleship training, plant new churches through evangelism and outreach, and meet people's physical needs by securing medical care, clean water, food, clothing, and education for those in need. Our hope is to see lives, communities, and cultures transformed by the Gospel as they become rooted in the love of Christ.