My husband built a large campfire tonight. The temperature is dropping toward freezing and the frost will be heavy
tonight in the Peruvian Andes. A big campfire is a fun diversion, and also a necessary heat source in our rural home.
As the evening grew later, my daughter filled the dog bowls. The sound of the dog chow hitting the metal bowls was just too much for Luna, our yellow lab. For the past hour, Luna has been cowering on the porch in fear of the campfire that we have
in the courtyard tonight. But, at the sound of food hitting her bowl, the previously fearful, trembling Luna bounded through the yard and through the fire to get to the food. If we were social or animal behavioral scientists, we could conclude one of three
things here… A) Luna is starving, or B) Purina Dog Chow is incredible, or C) Luna is crazy. Well, I can promise you that Luna is NOT starving, as is evidenced by the fact that she has quite the tubby figure and is often nicknamed “Gorda” (Fatty) by our neighbors. So that leaves us with option B or C. And the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of both. To Luna, Purina Dog Chow is absolutely fabulous. And, Luna is a little crazy. Truth be told, food is Luna’s passion, and she stops at just about
nothing (not even fire!) to get to it.
I was thinking about this as I watched the campfire tonight. What will we do for our passions? Luna was fearful of the fire. It was threatening to her. But for food? Even fire couldn’t stop her. This reminded me of our initial calling to the mission field.
There was fear… fear of the unknown, fear of possible failure, fear of giving up everything back home, fear of leaving the familiar for the unfamiliar, fear of going to a country that had only recently ended 20 years of terrorism and civil war. Our families and friends back home had fears for us and our safety. But our calling was so strong! Our passion fueled us. The
fears could not hold us back. We surged forward toward the passion that called us. Some called us crazy, too, like Luna. Many thought we were being unreasonable and irresponsible. But that passion… that was too strong. We couldn’t ignore it. Nothing could stop us from that drive to push forward.
We continue to be drawn and fueled by a passion and a calling. It is something so strong that our fears of the unknown, the “what ifs”, the possibility of failure, the perceived threats – those just aren’t strong enough to hold us back. When passion and calling take over, there is an unstoppable force that wells up inside and drives you forward. It’s an indescribable, inexplicable power and desire that comes from deep within and calls us… Through the fire, toward the prize.
In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a soccer mom, a horsewoman, and the neighborhood hospitality queen. I did "Joanna Gaines farmhouse style" before Chip and JoJo were even a thing - we restored an 1884 Victorian farmhouse in small town Texas and did shiplap walls until I thought I'd go crazy. I taught at NASA, scuba dived with astronauts in training, and studied animals at Sea World for educational purposes. I've tried just about everything, because I have an insatiable need to know if I can do it! Never underestimate a Texas girl in cowboy boots!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers via teaching and training and care, and helping displaced people to navigate their new reality in Europe.
I'm passionate about fostering personal growth, growth in community, and growth in The Kingdom. Walking alongside others and helping them to use their unique design, their gifts and strengths and maximize their abilities to fulfill their God-given purpose - that's what makes my heart sing!