After college I began my career in the field of education, and within a year was convinced I had made a mistake. AmeriCorp was calling my name, and I relocated from Boston to Pascagoula, Mississippi to serve as a VISTA Volunteer. I served with a Civic Action Agency to provide adult education / GED resources to Head Start parents. After my VISTA stint was done I decided to hang around for a while. I had fallen in love with the South. I think everyone should live in the Deep South for a few years. It changes you as a person. I learned: worshiping God is okay, relationships can go deep and last long, it’s hot outside so slow down, I have spiritual gifts and I should use them, racism is real, poverty is real, sweet tea is really sweet, and you CAN pray in a public school.
Within 5 years God moved me to Ohio (another story for another day) where I experienced the tremendous joy of living and working in the inner-city. I spent over a decade in Cleveland—half of which was living and working in the midst of extreme poverty and urban decay. During this time I grew to understand God’s heart for the poor like never before. And, the real needs and experiences of city dwellers. I was part of a local church staff team for several years while in graduate school, and then went full-tilt into fundraising for The City Mission. Cleveland taught me: churches don’t need buildings to impact their community, millionaires can drive used Fords, racism and poverty are still real, God is able to provide for all of my needs according to His riches and glory, recovery starts with Jesus, lake effect snow is a force to be reckoned with, and there is a man on the planet crazy enough to ask me to marry him.
Marriage has brought me to Florida and I am excited to continue the journey. Work with Metropolitan Ministries continued to sharpen my passion and skill in the area of rescue ministry and resource development. And, now, Meet The Need is providing an opportunity to mobilize the local church for national impact.
I look forward to journeying together through Robert Lupton’s most recent book Toxic Charity in the coming weeks. It’s a great read—and has challenged me again to focus on true community impact which prioritizes long-term investment and relationships over quick ‘feel good’ outreach events.