Mary thought she was joining TLAfrica to serve Jesus and make disciples, but what she discovered surprised her—God used the journey to transform her own life as well.

I was twelve when she passed, and my life would never be the same. My mom was my rock. As a single parent raising my two siblings, she taught us to be confident and fearless. Without her I was lost.

Still struggling to adapt to my new reality, it was eight years later in June 2014 when I first met Dr. Faustin in Kenya. I had just graduated from Daystar University with a B.A. in Communication and felt a calling on my life towards ministry. I got the job—TLAfrica Communications Coordinator! I  didn’t know it at the time, but I wouldn’t just be ministering to others, God would be ministering to me too.

My first assignment took me to Rwanda to document the Pastoral Leadership Training. It was a summer of many firsts. First time to see and carry U.S. Dollars—a whole $30 for the week! First time to travel out of Nairobi. First time on an airplane. First time to do an interview for my job. I put God first and trusted him to work through me to tell the story.

Since then my job has taken me all over Kenya, Burundi, and Rwanda. I’ve climbed steep hills to visit with women, pastors, and families from our programs, spent countless hours on public buses and moto bikes, and at every stop been greeted with utmost hospitality and gratitude.

I get hugged so tightly I can barely breathe by women who can’t find the words to express their appreciation for TLAfrica. I meet pastors in our training program who wait patiently in long lines for an opportunity tell the world what God has done for them. All the people I meet share one thing in common, an excitement for the transformation evident in their lives, their churches, and their communities.

The testimonies are humbling: re-gained dignity, healing, and forgiveness. Women who learn  to fellowship and disciple one another. People broken before Christ offering thanks for what they learned in the Back to the Bible conferences. Children of the parents we help radiating with joy because of the rippling impact on their lives.

At TLAfrica we find people in need and transform their lives, my own story included. I have felt loved and cared for by the TLAfrica family these last four years, been given tools to grow my gifts and abilities, and from the many stories of redemption found the strength to heal from my own pain of losing my mom.

I’m thankful for everyone at TLAfrica, and for the incredible donors who give me the opportunity to spread the Kingdom of God each day.