Once upon a time, a young Californian felt God call him to go and serve orphans in Africa. He did what any young Christian might do and looked for opportunities to serve at a Christian orphanage in Africa. He found it in Tanzania.
Once upon a time, a young Californian woman went on a missions trip to Africa. The next summer, she served orphans abroad in Eastern Europe. She felt God incline her to serve the least of these abroad.
One day, the young woman received a newspaper clipping about a young man that was moving overseas to work at an orphanage in Tanzania. Some similarities were striking and her mother encouraged her to find the young man online.
The young man received a message from a (beautiful) young woman. “I read about you in the newspaper and thought I’d reach out.” A few messages were exchanged but the two didn’t meet. He got on a plane and moved to Tanzania in January 2010 to work at the orphanage.
God brought him again to the young woman’s mind and she checked to see when he was leaving for Tanzania. He was leaving that day. She saw a video online in which he shared the journey God had put him on. The Holy Spirit encountered her as she watched. She began to pray about also serving orphans in Tanzania.
A month later, the young woman reached out to him and said that she had been praying. She was looking for an opportunity to serve in Tanzania. He got her connected to a non-profit called Global-Effect. She was accepted to serve as an intern for that summer.
On July 6th, 2010, they met for the first time. By this point, they had both prayed about one another. Later during her internship, the young man pulled her aside and said, “It seems like God is writing a story.” On August 15th, less than six weeks after meeting, the two got engaged.
The engagement started with daily Skype calls between two countries, followed by time together in California before getting married on June 4th, 2011. A month later they returned to Tanzania.
The first year of marriage and ministry together was good, but hard. They began to see the difficulties that orphans were facing in a new light. At the same time, they began to experience real family, especially as the newlyweds began expecting a baby girl. The year ended and they left Tanzania and the orphanage altogether with their eyes set on becoming parents and living in California.
In September 2012, a little girl was born. The young woman became a mother, the young man became a father. He got a job at a church, but Tanzania didn’t leave their hearts. After a year and a half in California, the family of three returned to Tanzania.
In 2014, they began to explore ways that orphans can become sons and daughters in Tanzania. They started a little program called Kingdom Families. As the program got underway, the Kingdom came through their own family once again.
In December 2014, a little boy was born. Now a family of four, God impressed on their hearts what adoption might look like for their own family. As they embraced a newborn, they began considering a boy back at the orphanage.
In August 2015, an eight year old boy was adopted. Now the couple began to not only understand being parents but also the blessings and challenges of adoption, which they had made core to their ministry.
The family of five now continues on to love one another and love the people of Tanzania. They are seeing God’s faithfulness daily. They are grateful for God’s grace in writing their story.