In the summer of 2005, while in a program that exposed me to the wilderness and played a key role in changing my life, I was exposed to a youth program that challenged and helped to build character in youth by teaching them wilderness skills and taking them out on treks. It occurred to me that I would love to operate an organization that did something similar, but interwove faith as a key component to growth and recovery.
In the years that followed, I grew in my career as a team leader for a large financial institution as well as a part-time waitress at a family restaurant while attending college to complete my undergrad degree in Business Management. The dream seemed to get further away, though it was still tucked in the back of my heart. I left the bank and joined a non-profit that funded a Christian adult rehabilitation center. This position brought me closer to recovery, client-oriented work; but also taught me a lot about the essentials and difficulties in operating a non-profit.
Even though my career and educational path were always progressing and I was continually successful in my roles and responsibilities, I was not satisfied – my heart cried out for more. Through all this time I continued to build on my recovery, strengthen my relationship with Christ, and serve others. My life continued to improve and my circle continued to widen. But even though I loved my life, besides its temporary difficulties, I still longed for something different.
After months of praying about my future path, talking with others, and continually taking action, I found Tree of Life through Google search. I called to find out if they needed any female guides – and they did! But not only did they need a female guide, they needed someone that could help with the business portion of the organization and their marketing. I felt that my skills, experience, and education would be used for good to further God’s kingdom at Tree of Life.
In the months between that initial conversation and arriving at Tree of Life, I had so many experiences that I felt the Holy Spirit convicting me to contribute my time and talents here, as well as several “Godincidences”. I felt like if I did not come out here and turn my life over for this mission, I would be disobedient to God’s will in my life. I am so grateful for all the friends and family that have supported me, encouraged me, prayed for me, and loved me into being the person I am today. And, I am so excited to see how God will show up in our team work with Tree of Life Christian Wilderness Expeditions.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9