Sometimes the most significant moments are the ones we overlook.

It all boils down to this very moment. The sweat. The grind. They end here. For this purpose we carry out our daily marching orders. Like the fine mechanisms of a clock our gears shift and turn in perfect harmony…

The shadows seem to dance around the fire. Perfect little faces stare in my direction, barely outlined by the orange glow emanating from the small fire. My son Caleb pours river sand on my lap, seeking my attention but his attempt is feeble. My heart is preoccupied capturing this moment to create a perfect memory; a memory I hope to retain for all eternity.

Caleb gives in and makes his home for the night nestled into my lap. My chair sinks into the river sand, gripping its restless feet into its coarse granules. I hear the echoes of my teammates voice as he shares this Gospel in Portuguese. The Portuguese is then graciously translated into Mucubal by a Mucabai gentlemen named Isaac. Mucubal… an unwritten language seeking to know this Gospel of Jesus. A language that longs to have Love interwoven in its messages and words.

The moon plays hide and seek with us, bouncing between the clouds. The riverbed has made the perfect meeting spot for our Mucubal audience. Their hearts hunger and their ears draw them nigh. We speak of the voice of God and the ultimate peace He brings with His words. We speak of Jesus, the Father God revealed, and the finished work of the cross that makes us sons and daughters and perfectly righteous.

My hope is that this meeting will continue for far longer than expected as seeds of revival are planted… this is that. This small, seemingly overlooked meeting in the middle of a dried riverbed, somewhere in Angola is why Overland Missions and its headquarters, bases, departments, and daily operations exist.

The Stateside office. The Rapid 14 base. The trucks. The machinery. The finances. Our Advanced Missions Training department. Our hospitality department. Revival week. Chief ceremony attendance. Worship services every morning. Community. Community breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The kitchen and the thousands of meals multiple hands produce. The endless paperwork. The importation of vehicles. The shipment of containers and barrels. Expeditions. Reconnaissance missions. The building of staff homes. Staff meetings. Cappuccino and tea time. Logistics. The support raising. The traveling. Newsletters. Facebook posts. Timbuctu posts. Our annual conference and staff retreat. Our tribal chaplaincy program. Our sustainability department. Our sector managers. Our sector missionaries. Drilling wells. Sourcing water. Mozambique base. Zanzibar base. Angola base. Cambodia base. Brazil base. Congo base. Oman base. The Netherlands office. Immigration visits. Work permits… they exist because of this very moment I find myself in. And if this moment should cease to exist, all of the things I just mentioned would cease to exist.

I pause and ponder this. Chills travel up my spine and goosebumps appear on my flesh. Words seem too trivial to accurately convey this thought and I wish that somehow, dear reader, someway, I could pluck you out from behind your screen so I could physically show you that which I speak of; the dramatic movie that plays in my mind beckons you. I picture the vast day-to-day operations that take place in Overland Missions, both big and small, completed by every personality under the sun. I envision the true grit on the faces of our missionaries as they cook meals, hold staff meetings, file paperwork, communicate with partners, strategize, build teams, hop on crazy buses and fly in a dozen airplanes, learn new languages, tend their children, solve logistical problems, volunteer to clean toilets and turn on generators, and more. And I pause and think how all of these things boil down to this very moment… the seemingly insignificant that holds more significance than you or I will ever know.

So, I let my kids sleep amid the riverbed tonight, cuddled together on top of a chitenge to witness the glorious faces before me receive the Word of God. The seeds making home in their hearts are so real they’re almost tangible to my very hands. My husband’s voice lulls me into a sense of comfort and peace as he expresses the heart of God through relatable stories to the ones in front of me. To a people so isolated they’ve probably never seen a carrot and don’t even know other countries exist outside of Angola. I am here because they are here. We are here because they are here.


The sights. The sounds. The smells. They are all different.

Today is a day that my heart is heavy with missing Africa. If any of you have ever walked even just a small piece of its land you can empathize with me because you know that it ever so cunningly steals a piece of your heart… or maybe you just give it away so easily because… well because, it’s so easy to give your heart to such a beautifully burdened place. Full of life. Full of death. Full of joy. Full of sorrow. Full of hunger. Full of richness. Full of precious people. Full of pain. Full of revival. Full of miracles.

The red sand sticks to your feet. The black sand sticks to your feet. Your heals crack, allowing the dust to infiltrate your layer of protection. It infiltrates and makes its home in your veins, telling your body that you can never get rid of it. It will always be there to remind you of your destiny and calling. Your call to the nations. Your call to rise up and face challenges unworthy of such faith.

My kids miss Africa. They miss running around like wild banshees ready to take on the day in all of it’s fullness and glory. Ready to hunt for lizards, friendship bugs, tortoises, chameleons and more. They miss being barefoot 24/7 and always, always, always being bathed in the dust of the motherland. Never dirty, just covered in the DNA of a nation that needs you and needs me because we are His hands and His feet and His mouth piece.

As I write, tears keep welling up in my eyes and I keep choking them back because I can’t allow myself to look back when God tells me to be here, be right now, and to embrace whatever “this” is as He equips me and my family for a new nation. A nation that is ravaged with slavery, perversion, and unspeakable things that, if revealed in detail, could give us nightmares… because only our enemy that prowls about like a lion seeking whom he may devour could create such perverseness and pain and wickedness and give man such an idea as to force young boys and girls into prostitution and abuse and worse. You see, he can only be like a lion. He will never be The lion.

There is only one Lion and that’s the Lion of Judah. He’s the one that seeks to heal such a nation. He seeks to wrap His arms around each precious individual and hold them tenderly, sweetly, and to pour His Spirit upon them with such force that they will NEVER be the same. They will be set free. Set free from the pain that the prince of this world tried to embalm them with. They will be free to rejoice. To worship and adore the one true God. To walk in fullness of life. To walk in healing. To walk in peace. To walk in faith. To walk in their destiny and call to the nations. They will be an army that cannot be stopped and will see the kingdom of God invade this earth. They will be a violent force that cannot be reckoned with. They will be with Him and they will be like Him. They will know Him and therefore know themselves, because as He is so are we.

I’m going to close with this. When Ciaran and I graduated our last set of students in August of this year I mourned. I mourned because I realized that for a season I would not operate as the AMT momma anymore. So I read my Bible. I read and I read and I read. Then I read this…

“Lift up your eyes, look around and see; All these gather together and come to you. ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘You shall surely clothe yourselves with them all as an ornament, and bind them on you as a bride does.’

‘For your waste and desolate places, and the land of your destruction, will even now be too small for the inhabitants; and those who swallowed you up will be far away. The children you will have, after you have lost the others, will say again in your ears, the place is too small for me; give me a place where I may dwell. Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who has begotten these for me, since I have lost my children..’ ” ~Isaiah 49:18-21

Aghh! I can’t read this Scripture without crying. It is a promise that I cling to as the Lord grows the vision of Thailand in our hearts. He has promised me more children, more than I could ever imagine. I long to hold them and teach them about who their Father is. How much He loves them. How jealous He is for them.

And so… I am thankful. I am thankful for His promises. I am thankful for the nations that He has put in my hands. I am thankful that He has set me free so that I can help set others free with the Gospel. With His love. With His presence.


p1040589__mediumWhy the picture of the old car?

This car was curiously abandoned in the Simwatachella chiefdom. I really like this photo because it does and does not paint a clear picture of what Simwatachella is actually like! Externally, the chiefdom is thriving and green and richer than other chiefdoms we visit (this is why the picture does not give an accurate description of the chiefdom). It does paint a clear picture of the chiefdom internally: people are broken spiritually and in need of a mechanic. Our AMT school just did an expedition in the middle of May to the chiefdom and had an AWESOME time of ministry. Here is a testimony from one of our students, Frieda:

“There is absolutely nothing like seeing Jesus touching the lives of people. Especially if the people being touched are living in poverty, fighting for survival, and have never heard that God truly loves them, and isn’t angry at them. I will share a few highlights of our 5 day AMT expedition with you here, but honestly more happened than any one of us can even imagine!

I have heard that expeditions into the remote areas of the world are 95% discomfort and 5% glory. While this may be true on some level, that moment of raw beauty, when God’s goodness touches a person’s spirit so far outweighs the discomforts you may experience, and it really felt like 98% glory and only about 2% actual discomfort. While eating lunch on Monday a precious lady, named Susan came up asking for us to come pray for her husband. He had had been in his hut sick for 2 weeks because of chest issues, shortness of breath, and tiredness. We prayed and immediately he was able to breathe more deeply. That evening he accompanied his wife to our evening meeting.

Wednesday evening several young school children were hanging out close to our truck, and when I went to fill my water bottle they began to ask questions. One thing leads to another, and one young boy wanted prayer for healing from a headache. So I took the opportunity to share with them that because Jesus is Lord of their life and because they are believers they too can lay hands on the sick and see them recover. “I like the way you teach, I can understand what you are saying!” one boy exclaimed. Then another young boy whom I’d prayed for the day before came up and said, “You prayed for my injured arm yesterday, and today it is healed. I have no more pain!” He gave me a high 5, and I was so excited at God’s faithfulness!! They pressed me for more of the Word of God. I shared with them for about 30 minutes before I had to tear myself away for the evening meeting. These young children are very hungry for God, and wanted a Bible. The absolute highlight for me though, was on Friday, when the Lord allowed me to share the Gospel with 4 young girls who then gave their hearts to the Lord. And then just a few short hours later while sharing the gospel with a group of children aged 10 and under, a young man of about 18 to 20 was listening in, and so I asked him if he had given his life to Jesus. He said no but he wants to, so right then and there he asked Jesus to be Lord of his life! I am so blessed to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of these people. I find that I have picked up the call to pray for them, and God keeps asking me to pray that they continue to grow and mature in Christ.”


malaria__mediumPicture for a moment ladies: you’re pregnant and driving through southern-central Africa. What happens to your mind when you see a poster like this one (posted left)? … Does fear grip you? Do thoughts start racing through your mind, “What happens if I get malaria while I’m pregnant?” or “What happens if my child gets malaria after she’s born?”

Fear tried to consume me in my first pregnancy with Elly. Everyday I would wake up and say, “Lord I trust that I will not get malaria during this pregnancy.” I took every measure possible to protect myself. I wore long sleeve shirts and pants. I used mosquito repellent. I closed my doors and windows at night. EVERYTHING. By the time Ciaran and I arrived in Johannesburg to have Elly, my body remained malaria-free, but not because I took appropriate measures in the physical, rather because of the grace and love of God. Glory to God.

For this second pregnancy, believing God to remain malaria free seems like a piece of cake. It’s a challenge I’ve already accepted and overcome. My next challenge is believing God that I won’t go into labor early. Some of you probably think I’m crazy by now, but that’s okay. I’ve seen God heal people of HIV AIDS, paralysis, and so much more. I’ve seen witch doctors break free from the chains of the devil in pursuit of Jesus. My friends on the field with me have seen the mute speak, the deaf hear, and the blind see all because of God’s compassion and healing! So how could I not believe God in this hour?

Ciaran and I desire to stay in Zambia until I am 38 weeks pregnant and then drive down to Johannesburg, South Africa for the birth. The drive is a 16-hour drive broken into two parts going through Botswana and stopping halfway to rest. So my challenge today is to stay in faith, with no doubting, that God will bring this baby into the world at the most perfect time. We desire to have the extra bit of time in Zambia this pregnancy; last time we left at 36 weeks and I went overdue, spending nearly 2 months in South Africa away from home. This time we want our precious moments with family, but time is pressing with AMT running before and after the birth of our son and Bethel church team coming from Medford, Oregon to join us in that season too.

southernafrica10__mediumThere really is no place like home… And we are so excited to have Bethel church coming out for an expedition! For those of you that attend Bethel who are reading this, it’s going to be awesome and a real privilege to have you with us.

So, now you know what I’m going to do.

What would you do?


p1030758__mediumOverland Missions with our well rig is embarking on a new journey: providing clean water to remote villages. Jeremy Israel, an American missionary from Guatemala, is putting the well-drilling project into motion with his well drilling experience and skills. Currently he is training up two Zambian locals to operate the drill rig. Today is the day to ensure the rig is operating smoothly; Jeremy and his team are on the property running the rig and drilling a test well as I write this. Soon enough clean water will be provided for many in need. Here are some statistics provided by thewaterproject.org on the international water crisis:

“In developing countries, as much as 80% of illnesses are linked to poor water and sanitation conditions” (2011).

“1 in 8 people world wide do not have access to safe and clean drinking water” (2011).

Therefore….

“Nearly a billion, 884 million people do not have access to clean and safe water. 37% of those people live in Sub-Saharan Africa” (2011) …Zambia is Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The United Nations estimates that Sub-Saharan Africa alone loses 40 billion hours per year collecting water; that’s the same as a whole year’s worth of labor by the entire workforce in France” (2011)

My favorite… “By investing in clean water alone, young children around the world can gain more than 413 million days of health!” (2011).

We anticipate the day the first hole is successfully drilled, and that day is right around the corner. Further writings will be posted as progress is made. So stay tuned!

Love and Blessings from the team here at Overland Missions!


Growing up, one of the things I treasured most was stepping outside on a sunny, autumn day, taking a breath of the cool, fresh air. Going out to the villages is like this for me… a breath of fresh air. The personal logistics of preparing for a trip to the bush are challenging for me, especially now that I have a beautiful 9-month-old baby girl named Elly.

I become frazzled in making sure that I’ve packed enough formula, bottles, pacifiers, diapers, baby wipes, winter and summer clothes, blankets, and so much more! I literally pray for an anointing to pack exactly what I will need; nothing more, nothing less. Once this part is over I can relax. Driving for 5 hours to the Nyawa Chiefdom with the Advanced Mission Training students was exciting and scary for me.

I didn’t know how Elly would do sleeping in the freezing cold and not having as much freedom to crawl around as she does at home. Upon our arrival Elly immediately felt at home. I often forget that to her, home is with myself and Ciaran; it isn’t a place with four walls and a cozy crib. In light of this, Elly and I (mom) did so well on our six-day outreach in Nyawa with the AMT students.

All of the Zambians wanted to hold Elly, but ironically she only took to the eight to 10-year-olds who would put her on their laps and mother her. And although I didn’t get to do as much “ministry” with the Zambians as I would’ve liked to, I was very content doing what the Lord intended for me.

My job in the villages this time was to be there for my husband (who is director of African AMT), take care of Elly, and help out and get my hands dirty when Elly went to bed (at 6:30 every night, which was superb).