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Ok, so the fascination has worn off a little bit since we got approved a month and a half ago, but let me tell you, I cried when we were finally approved. After all, this has been a long time in the making – 5 and a half years to be precise.

Let me start at the beginning.

first-trip-to-belgium-group-pic (2)

2010 Missions Trip to Belgium:
Group Picture with the TCA Team

The summer before my senior year in High School, I went with my home church (TCA) on a two week missions trip to – you guessed it – Brussels, Belgium, to work with Convoy of Hope Europe (COHEU). I didn’t have any life-changing experiences, per say, but God used those two weeks to change my life nonetheless.

I didn’t work with poor children, or see miraculous healings, or come away with any blow-your-mind stories. Instead, I saw a beautiful country of self-sufficiency, buildings rife with history, ancient cathedrals and churches serving as tourist attractions, a rich heritage full of religious stories that stunk of hurt and betrayal. In short, I saw the result of religion gone bad – a country that didn’t have God, didn’t want Him, and at least in their eyes, didn’t need Him.

God broke my heart those two weeks for a continent so beautiful, and so languished. And so my journey began.

I went on to intern with Convoy of Hope Europe the next summer which only confirmed that it was where I was supposed to be.

Since then, I have gone to school at Evangel University, graduated with a major in International Studies, an emphasis in Non-Governmental Organizations, and a double minor in Advertising/Public Relations, and Spanish. All of which was done with the purpose of someday making it back to Brussels to see Convoy of Hope grow and succeed throughout Europe.

And of course, there was that guy I married – my best friend, Zachary Payne. Back before we were dating, I was thrilled to find out that he felt that God wanted to use him to bring joy to places in Europe, and saw himself living there one day, and the rest is history.

It was just over a year ago that we began talking with Michael, CEO of COHEU about finally coming to work with them, and after a long application, interview, and approval process, here we are today! Approved Missionary Associates of the Assemblies of God World Missions! The time has come. Or is still coming, depending on how you look at it. After all, we still have a lot of work to do, and time to wait before we can go, but you will hear more about that in time.

Suffice to say, this time of our lives has been a long time in the makings is an answer to prayer, and literally a dream come true.


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