I grew up in the small town of Albion, Michigan as the youngest of three children… however, I am now the middle child of 5! My parent’s raised us going to Sunday school and church every week and as a result, like Andy, I never had to question whether or not God was real. I decided to that I wanted to follow Jesus when I was somewhere around 8 years old. From that time on I tried to be the best Christian I could… but I often felt like I was failing. I had little understanding that my relationship with Christ had less to do with me being good and everything to do with His excellent work on the cross. I often experienced frustration with my own inconsistency.
After graduating from high school, I attended college at the University of Detroit Mercy from 1997 to 2001. While at school, I started to attend a Bible study with Cru and was introduced to the idea of “the ministry of the Holy Spirit.” I came to understand that I was empowered to live the Christian life by the Holy Spirit who lives inside of me and that I didn’t have to do it on my own. I felt incredible freedom!
Even as a child I’d always be particularly concerned with racism and social inequalities, but I became even more concerned with poverty and what the Bible has to say concerning the poor. As a student, I was able to be a part of a short-term missions trip called Summer In The City in Chicago through Here’s Life Inner City (the urban ministry of Cru). God used that summer to increase my concern for the needs of the poor and of children in the city, especially those I saw around me in Detroit. That summer in Chicago I was able to work with a number of different churches and ministries to serve them as they served people in their community. After graduating, I knew that I wanted to continue invest my life in Detroit serving churches as they ministered to the poor.
A few months after graduation in May of 2001, I joined the staff of Here’s Life Inner City in Detroit where I served for 6 years. I was the coordinator for short-term missions projects, which allowed me to meet and train college students from around the country as they served with us in Detroit. I also worked with the junior high youth group at my church.
In the spring of 2006, Andy and I started dating and it quickly became apparent that we would spend our lives together. On March 31, 2007 we were married and I moved to Chicago to join Andy in ministry here. I have loved being back in Chicago where I first fell in love with ministry. What a joy to join with the love of my life in ministering to our children and the students of Chicago! I miss my friends and family in Detroit, but I also love my team, home, family, and neighborhood here in Chicago. As our kids are starting school here we are trusting the Lord to use our family even more in our neighborhood and in their schools.