I’m a lover of coffee, people, and Jesus, when you can combine the three, that is where the magic happens. I grew up in a world of missions. My grandparents were missionaries in Bolivia with the Araona Tribe for over 50 years. I grew up hearing the stories and listening to their answers to the call God had for them. My dad was a youth pastor and then continued on to be a missionary bush pilot in South America and now serves with the same tribe he grew up with in Bolivia. To say missionary service work was in my blood and was in my routine was a given. But still, I never quite knew where my calling was because that was a topic that was thrown around in youth groups and churches all the time.
“Cleveland, Ohio” announced my youth pastor back in 2008. I was a sophomore in high school with not much on my agenda other than sports, friends, and some sweet tunes. When I heard Cleveland, I thought to myself, what’s in Cleveland?
So, we set off on a week of service to The Nehemiah Mission.
For the first time in my life, I felt at home in a place that was not home. I met a girl named Katie, she was from Liberia, and she was surely walking to the beat of her own drum. Katie opened me up to an entire community of Liberian children and their families of well over 100 in population who were looking for a guidance and acceptance on the near west side of Cleveland. I returned home to New Jersey with a strong urge to return back to Cleveland and even at sixteen I was looking up Cleveland housing. The following two years we returned to Cleveland each time, and my excitement grew more and more to see my little ones who were growing up and letting me into their lives not only for a week in the summer but throughout the year. In August of 2010, my family was going through some major changes and parted their ways. Changes that at the time felt like it was the end of the world, but in fact, it was just the beginning of God using things that are considered evil and making them right for His Glory. Everything I went through, the good and the bad was all in preparation for me to work with the girls that went through the same things I have on an even larger scale from different forms of abuse, neglect , and hopelessness. What was in Cleveland, Ohio? God’s calling for my life to reach a group of girls who I could have never guessed.
January of 2012, I picked up everything I owned, packed it into my 1999 Red Volkswagen bug and began my journey to Cleveland, Ohio at age eighteen to just see where I could “fit” at the Nehemiah Mission. With a large support of prayer warriors behind me, I spent the first year living life with a group of Refugees from Liberia who were also trying to fit in somewhere in a place that was defining poverty, discrimination, and injustice. I was completely out of my comfort zone in a city I knew nothing of and an African culture I had no business in. Outside of my comfort zone was the first time I saw God at work around me and never felt it more in every fiber of my being. Eighteen years old, and some courage within me sent me to Cleveland where I knew not one soul other than a few Liberian children. Trying to figure out a program for these girls the number of children began to grow. Suddenly we found ourselves running Vacation Bible Schools with 60+ children, I realized it wasn’t about the numbers, but it was about the community leaders of these female girls that needed to be developed. Nehemiah Mission became a safe haven for a group of 7-15 girls and 5-10 boys at any given time. I realized there wasn’t a need to be in the lines of a “program” but more in the lines of these kids need a fighter, a voice, an advocate, and they needed love.
Now I find myself at 22 years old, being called mom… and now Grandma. With having at any given time 3-4 girls living with me, a car full of singing teenagers, family dinners , and even the 2 am phone call emergencies for police officers or just chicken soup. I’ve learned now more than ever how important it is to give an unconditional love to these kids who never had a fighting chance, because before they could even begin society told them it was the end. I strive every day to be someone who may not know all the rules of life but know the plan that God has for me and more importantly know that God has a huge plan for these kids. For them to see that I may be young, and to see that being young isn’t a burden but a powerful tool we have in our generation to break chains. The mission field is plenty, but the laborers a few. I’d like to see a generation of young people rise up and realize that sometimes the mission field is right in front of your first step. My prayer is that this encourages the young and the old that love can bring any one together. No one could have prepared me or warned me where I’d be today, but God can teach you how to love, and that breaks down the barriers of minorities where unity triumphs.
If you would like to connect with me about God, life, coffee, or just to say hi feel free to shoot a message out !
One love. One world. One God.
***You Can Reach Becky Here!***
For more info on the Nehemiah Mission of Cleveland visit: