On my website you may have seen little hints of animal print and this cute little elephant. You may have thought “What on earth does that have to do with anything?” It has to do with everything to me.
If you know me for more than 5 minutes you will understand my love and passion for Africa. Kenya specifically, but I will take anything Africa!
It all started in 7th grade. Well it may have started a bit before that. When I was three years old my pediatrician Dr. Polumbo asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” without hesitation I answered, “I want to be a missionary!” I still remember that too. I just never knew where I wanted to go to the mission field.
In 7th grade, I was in geography class coloring a map of Africa. I got to the country of Kenya and decided I wanted to know more about this country, although I still cannot say why. I started researching Kenya and then became absolutely obsessed with this beautiful country and its’ people. That is where I wanted to go, Kenya. I thought about it all day, everyday, it consumed me. I wanted nothing more than to live there. As time went on I thought I would need a ‘back up plan’ incase this Africa thing didn’t work. Naturally having a family in politics and law was the way to go, plus I enjoyed it. So that was the plan, if Africa didn’t work I was to be President of the United States…well I would settle for State Senate ;)
I was constantly reminded of Kenya in creepy ways. This is where it gets crazy y’all! I would go through the check out line and the cashier was from Kenya. I would turn on the radio at the exact moment that stated “We need help for our ministry in Kenya!” Every time I would try to suppress my heart for Africa these ‘creepy’ things would happen and sometimes two-three times a day! I can totally understand how crazy I must sound right now, believe me! My parents thought so too. Eventually this happened so much they even thought it was out of the norm.
I had been out of the country for mission’s trips to Costa Rica and Panama. I LOVED it. Every minute. Even though South America captivated me, this place I had never been, Africa…well it had my heart.
Let’s fast forward to 2006 when I started college. I majored in Political Science with a minor in Missions. The college I attended had such an emphasis on missions I couldn’t help but feel compelled inside my heart to change my major to Missions. I attended this college in FL for two years until realizing that the program did not have as many counseling classes as I desired. I later transferred to a college in WI where I graduate in 2012 with a degree in Biblical Counseling. Theology and Counseling, a good mix I think ☺!
Andrew and I met our first semester at the college in FL. I was intent on not dating a guy unless he wanted to go to Africa. The other stipulation was that I would not tell a guy that I wanted to go to Africa unless he said it first. If a guy was totally opposed to going to the mission field it was see ya later. Easier said than done when your heart is involved ;)
Andrew, he was different. The first time we hung out together he said, “I think I want to work with orphans and I think I want to go to Africa.” The most beautiful sentence, this guy I was crushing on wanted to go to Africa!?!? From that moment I knew he was ‘the one.’
Wedding images by Samantha E Photography
Stay tuned for Part Two of this post ☺!