Years at TFC
Major: Cross-Cultural Studies – Minor: Spanish
What you did following college
After graduating from TFC in May 2010, I moved to Lima, Peru. My original plan was to stay for a year and dedicate myself to mission work at a children’s home I had been involved with since high school. During that first year, I also taught English at a Language Institute and worked on improving my Spanish.
By the end of my first year in Peru, I felt like the Lord had been using many situations to lead me in a new direction. I began to pursue a small dream that God placed in my heart while in college. Throughout my time at TFC, I learned about different models of mission work around the world. Something that always grabbed my attention was the idea of community development centers that were intended to share the Gospel while developing the quality of life in the surrounding area. My desire was to be a light in this country that I had grown to love, and to offer a safe place for the group of kids that had grabbed my heart since I was just a kid myself (16).
The children’s home I was serving in underwent many struggles and closed down. Consequently, I began meeting with a few of the teenagers who had already left the children’s home. Although I had little experience and loads of life lessons ahead of me, by the grace of God, I began a ministry in Huaycan, Peru. Although Refuge of Hope Peru isn’t exactly a community development center, it is offering kids a safe place to hear the Gospel, and be developed spiritually, emotionally, and educationally. The ministry has since grown, and Refuge of Hope Peru became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in August 2014 with the help, support, and prayers of many people and, above all, the Lord’s guidance and blessing.
What you are doing now
I am the Executive Director at Refuge of Hope Peru. Refuge of Hope Peru exists to impart hope and offer refuge to children, teenagers, and families at risk in a shantytown outside of Lima, Peru. I would love for you to find out more at www.refugeofhopeperu.org!
I recently celebrated 5 years in Peru. I spend most of my days with kids I absolutely adore! I learn something new every single day through the Lord’s gentle correction and redeeming love. I couldn’t be happier or more thankful for God’s sovereign hand over my life the past few years!
Other items of interest
I am a huge Lecrae fan! I started following his music, which has motivated and inspired me, in 2005 and have met him three times since then.
Although Peruvian food is most definitely my favorite food in the world, my favorite restaurant ever is still Ruen Thai in Cornelia, GA.
On an average day, I feel like a mother, mentor, teacher, friend, counselor, and sister to 25 kids.
When I originally thought of the name Refuge of Hope for the ministry, a friend of mine, Jonathan Pound from TFC, had recently passed away from cancer. Despite his circumstances, he often talked about “hope.” He was definitely an inspiration in placing that specific word in the name.
Impact TFC had on your life
Toccoa Falls College had a tremendous impact on my life. I often reminisce on the wonderful memories, incredible life lessons, and close friendships that emerged from TFC. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today if the Lord hadn’t led me there. I think the impact TFC had on my life can be summed up in the following:
I received a firm foundation. I initially went to TFC as a Christian, but I was incredibly naïve to basic Gospel-centered doctrine and teachings. The Bible classes I took and mentorship I received played an incredible role in my spiritual development, and have definitely molded me into the person I am today.
I learned what it meant to live life with my focus on the Kingdom of God. While at TFC, I participated in student ministry all four years. I dedicated a lot of my time to the Toccoa community – mainly through a student-led ministry called LightZone where I was the Female High School Director. I gained an incredible perspective and valuable experience by leading and serving people in my own neighborhood. I also worked with at-risk and foster care children on the weekends. I’m a big believer in serving God exactly where you are. In my experience, TFC constantly provided opportunities to serve the surrounding community, which influenced my life in tremendous ways.
I experienced the importance of community. To this day, the friendships I made and relationships I built at TFC have been some of the most meaningful and best gifts the Lord has given me. To live in the same place as your best friends is a blessing I may never experience again in this life, but I will continue to hold each one in my heart and mind. I made true, genuine friends at TFC who loved me in the difficult as well as the joyful moments. And, although many things have separated us including physical distance, different life paths, and even death – I will always be thankful to God for allowing our lives to connect in this special place for those few special years.