I work for Mission to the World, specifically in the ministry of anti-human trafficking in Rome, Italy.
I grew up in Woodstock and went to Kennesaw State. At 26, I moved to Italy to be a nanny and was there for a year and a half. When I came back to Atlanta, I applied to work for Mission to the World. God opened the door to become a missionary in Bulgaria in 2015 where I served for 10 months working with Daughters of Bulgaria doing street outreach. From Bulgaria I came back to the states, working in Miami, Houston, and Atlanta before completing an exploratory internship in Italy. Now I’m stateside, building a support team of prayer and financial partners. And I also nanny part-time for a family in our church.
I’m passionate about dance. I danced from the time I was 3 years old through college. And so it was a consistent place of community for me growing up. It’s the way I love to express myself and relax. And it’s not just dancing by myself, it’s relationship with people. I love that it brings people together. It crosses languages and cultures. It connects you to others.
I’m passionate about people. And I’m passionate about the unseen. The forgotten in society. It’s the homeless, it’s orphans, it’s women in prostitution, it’s the drug addicts. They’re the ones who society is either too busy to see or we see as a problem instead of as people. When I get the chance to meet them, I see that light go off in their eyes that ‘someone wants to know me.’ ‘Someone has recognized me and knows my name.’
And it translates over, not just the forgotten, but the one who feels unseen in our world, in community, in life. As a single person you often don’t feel that you have a place to belong. While we’ve each been called to different roles and different seasons of life, whether that’s married or single, old or young, we’re called to be a family of believers. That’s God’s heart. For people to have a place where they are known.
If you’ve moved around a lot, you meet many people who won’t actually ever get deep with you because they know you’re going to cut ties. But that hasn’t changed my depth with people, that is part of me that won’t change. I love going deep with people. Even if I know it’ll hurt and something will have to shift later. I’ve had to learn and adapt some in recent stages of life, to let go of seasons and friends.
Community has looked different in every single place that I’ve lived and in each season. God always provides it and it always surprises me because it’s not what it just was. Because living in the mission field, you have community that’s right in front of you and you have community that is far from you. And I have to maintain both. And to maintain relationships takes a lot more effort and pursuit of people in unique ways.
My vision in a year is that I will be settled in Italy, studying language and maintaining relationship well. My main ministry is the women who work in prostitution. Most of them are from Romania and Nigeria. And then also there’s a transgendered community from Brazil and Argentina. So, ministry is building relationships with them on the street. Prayerfully, there will be some relationships that continue off of the streets in one-on-one Bible studies or coffee.
I want to tell these women the truth about their worth and identity, that it’s in Christ. And that they have a purpose that’s so much greater than what they’ve been taught and shown. And that they’re loved. They think that they are a piece of trash to be used and thrown aside. And that’s all that the world, their family, their life, society, the way someone passing by looks at them, that’s all they’re reminded of every day. And that’s all they see when they look at themselves. But that’s the greatest message. There is Someone who longs to redeem all of this brokenness and turn ashes to beauty.
We all have trauma and we all have brokenness. And the Lord uses that brokenness to bring healing to not just us, but other people. What I’ve learned is that my story is not just for me. Our stories are for each other.
I don’t feel like I’m super smart or have some great talent, I just want to love people. I’m passionate about people. For their rights. On my knees in prayer for people. Fighting with them. Fighting for them. For them to know their worth. To hear and know truth.