About Me

I met my first VVF woman in 2007 while working with Mercy Ships in Liberia. Since then I have had a special place in my heart for this unique group of women. I say unique because when I am home and I mention VVF not many people have heard of this condition, let alone the women. I served in Liberia for six months then came home for a time to work and figure out my life. During that time I thought I would start looking for a house, clean out my storage unit and settle down. To live comfortably, work a well paying job, get married and hopefully someday to have kids. This was the easy answer to when I was asked, 'What are you doing now?'. I found a realtor, got approved for a home loan knowing I had to get it soon so I could get the tax break for new home buyers. As much as I was desiring to settle for a bit and have my own place, to decorate and to finally have all my belongings in one place, there was always a little part of me that knew I would end up somewhere back in Africa and hopefully working with the women I had come to love.
I had been praying for awhile about the possibility of serving again with Mercy Ships. January of 2010 I flew to Togo for seven months to work in the ward of the Africa Mercy. I knew the VVF women would be there for a small time even though it wouldn't be for the entire seven months. They came. I loved them. I got to know the VVF surgeon more, Dr. Steve, and through him I was invited to go to Niger for two weeks in August on my way home from Togo. I went with the Worldwide Fistula Fund for two weeks to Danja, Niger and was one of the two ward nurses for that time period. The first week was for surgeries and the second week was for recovery for the women and discharge and clean up and preparing for the next trip. The next trip was in November and I was asked to return for that trip as well. 
During my time in Niger I really fell in love with the way I was working with the VVF women there. Being on land was a different experience for me. I had only met the women on the ship. Being on solid ground was more intimate. I was able to see them in their element. They were able to move around more and serve each other to a greater degree. They interacted in a way they never could while on the ship. I loved it. I loved being a part of their lives in this way. I knew that if I was going to continue to work with them I would want to do it on dry land. I had already thought of going back to work on the ship for a longer period of time but when I heard they would not be doing surgeries for the VVF women during their next time of service in Sierra Leone, I was hesitant to return. The reason they were not doing the surgeries was because there was already a VVF clinic close to the port they would be at. I knew I could not work there because they did not hire international nurses as staff to work the ward. I understood the reasoning behind this but I was a little sad knowing my thoughts of working with the women were getting more slim. There was a position of ward supervisor open a the clinic though. I knew that was not for me. How would I be able to go and lead a team of nurses in a country I didn’t know. In a language I didn’t know. In a land where all I knew about it was the civil war it had seen not even ten years ago. All that and the thought of being a ward supervisor was too big of a challenge for me. If I went I knew I was sure to fail. God is funny though. The next thing I knew I was sitting in the ward supervisors office on the Africa Mercy discussing the possibility of taking this position and then actually accepting it. It wasn’t a decision I had taken lightly by any means. I had prayed about it and sought God’s guidance and in a way He speaks to me, He gave me a peace that I know can only come from Him. 
The ten months I spent working at the Aberdeen Women's Centre in Sierra Leone was not what I had expected. I was told I would be the VVF ward supervisor but on day one I was told I would be the VVF Program Manager and train a national nurse into the position of ward supervisor. This proved to be a major challenge as I wrote about in my blog. Although those ten months were full of challenges, there were many joys and lives changed during that time as well and I truly thank God for those challenges and for all I learned.

In January I will be heading back to Danja, Niger. I can not wait. My heart is stirring with the anticipation of what will be happening there. There is a small team of us going to open the VVF hospital I have visited twice before. The construction is finished and the container is on its way full of supplies we will need. SIM is the organization I will be going with. I covet your prayers for this time. Prayers of safety and health. Of leaning on Christ for daily guidance. I will be needing to raise my own finances for this time as well. If you would like to give, there is a link under the tab which says 'Give' on the right side of the page. Thank you for your support. I am very excited for this next chapter in my life.