Thank you for taking a few minutes to read about my books, my ministry, and my life. You may wonder why I’m in Bolivia and how on earth I got here. It all began in my hometown. I grew up in a tiny town nestled in the mountains of Pennsylvania. It was a whimsical time when streets were safe, friends were many, and life was tranquil. It was a Mayberry-type childhood.
I married my high school sweetheart (read our story in Heart Bouquets), and we bought our first home in that same magical town. As a young bride, I yearned to hone my cooking skills and create a loving home. My new neighbor, Joanne, became my friend. She taught me many things about cooking and baking. She exemplified a loving, devoted wife and mother who quickly became my role model. But what she taught me through her everyday life one day changed my life. She talked about God a lot and sparked my curiosity about the God she so fervently served. I wondered what made her so passionate about the God she loved. Joanne had something I didn’t have––but wanted.
I knew all about God, and so did my husband. We went to church regularly, and my husband also had this deep devotion to God that somehow seemed to be missing in my life. What was the difference I saw in my husband and Joanne? As hard as I tried, I couldn’t put my finger on it. What was it?
One afternoon while I sat in Joanne’s kitchen, munching on her delicious cookies and sipping piping hot tea, I told her of my frustration. I didn’t understand what it was that was missing in my life. She gave me a look of compassion, squeezed my hand tenderly and then handed me a Book. It was the Bible, but only the New Testament. It was a different version than the large Bible that sat opened on the coffee table in my living room. That same afternoon, I sat down in my living room and read the Book from cover to cover in a few hours. I have never been the same since.
What changed? I met Jesus on those pages. I saw Him as the Son of God who died for me. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
I ran out my door that afternoon to tell Joanne what I had just experienced. I believed! Jesus was my Savior! I wanted Him in my life too, just as He was in her life. God gave me a desire to be a missionary from the first time I heard a missionary speak in our church, and God eventually led my husband and me to Bolivia to tell others about Jesus on the foreign field.
Now I have neighbors of a different color and different language and culture. I desire to be a neighbor like Joanne, with a passion for souls and a desire to share Christ to those who don’t know Him yet. Joanne gave me an example to follow. She’s in heaven now, but her life goes on through her family and all those she touched for God.
I have a ministry with teen girls. I teach cooking and baking, and in each class I teach the girls about God and the Bible. Joanne taught me many things about baking, cooking, and God. I like to think she is smiling down from heaven and happy to see how she influenced my life, and how I am now using those skills to reach young girls for Christ.
It’s wonderful to know we have a hope that one day we will live with Jesus in heaven forever, and we will be reunited with those loved ones who have gone on before us. Heaven is a very real place that God has created especially for those who believe His Word and trust Jesus as Savior.
I trust you have that hope too. Please contact me through my contact tab if you want to know more about the God I serve, my ministry or books, and if you’d like me to speak to your church or group while I’m in the U.S.A. this summer and fall.