I somehow survived multiple hospitalizations for asthma as a child. This is a picture of me at 6 years old, getting oxygen treatment after one of my many asthma attacks. Because I survived, I gradually came to realize that God must have a special plan for my life.
I celebrated my 8th, 9th and 10th birthdays in France. However, my parents put me in the French public school, and I came to know French by force. At one point, I spoke French better than English; my mom had to teach me English at home after school.
I surrendered my life to Christ as a teenager in Kuwait, where my father was working in the late 1970s. From there I experienced the Shah’s exile from Iran, the hostage crisis and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini.
This is a picture of me in front of our home, waiting for the bus to go to the American School of Kuwait.
To say that I love travel, languages and cultures would be an understatement.
In college, I led a Pen-Pal Program to over 100 teens and young adults in the Middle East. Soon after graduating, I actually got to stay with one of those pen-pals for several days in Casablanca, Morocco.
Today, I work with a community in the Sahara Desert to create an alphabet and a body of literature for their previously unwritten language.
A century of technological advances have made life easier and left the church more dependent on all sorts of “gadgets.” Along the way, most of us have forgotten the pioneer skills which are necessary to live in the places where the Good News must be preached.
If the entire world is going to hear the Message of God’s Word which rescues us from eternal disaster, then His people must begin to turn off their smartphones and learn how to live anywhere, even sometimes without the “essentials” of modern life.
I first arrived in Africa when I was 21 years old. During my first year, I lost a lot of weight and was very sick. Thankfully, God provided many friends who taught me how to cook, how to live without electricity, and so much more. And my friends taught me the principles which allow anyone to live anywhere: common sense, resourcefulness and respect.
These are the stories of life on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.