Trained a journalist, I prefer to write others’ stories, leaving me out of the ink. But through the years I've lived in Indonesia, I’ve waited for the language to stick, the sweat to dry, and my own questions to silence. I've grown some gray hairs, entered my 30s, deepened my soul along with the wrinkles and found Story.
I have the unique opportunity to spend my days listening to stories from insiders of some of the world's most isolated, unknown people here in Indonesia, as they tell me journeys through struggles to resiliency and hope, as our lives intersect as neighbors, friends, mothers.
I'm growing in courage to figure out and share the stories growing inside of me.
My own story starts on an island— my birthplace of Hawaii—and eventually moves to on another island—Borneo, Indonesia, where I live now. I've lived a lot of places in between the two. As a kid, I moved as often as every six months to three years.
Each time I moved, I was lost and lonely and felt out of place until I threw myself into new cultures, new friendships, then watched the moving trucks return and start it all over again.
But my mom could whip up a batch of warm cookies in a house full of boxes. My dad taught me how to keep my elbow up when throwing a football in any sized yard we had. And my siblings stood next to me at the bus stops on the first days of the new schools. And one of the most valuable gifts my parents gave me was a door open to the world, welcoming others of various cultures, perspectives and faiths into our home, and encouraging me to exit out of it to explore their homes, too.
I became comfortable at being uncomfortable; at home with people who look different from me on the outside but who often share some of my deepest-held values; and a wanderer who also likes to grow roots as quickly as possible.
I graduated from high school in Colorado Springs, attended Grove City College in Pennsylvania, and worked as a newspaper reporter, first as an intern at the Washington Times and then at the Marshall News Messenger in Texas. And I met my husband, Brad, on a bus going from Germany to Italy. Our first conversation lasted through four countries, and we’ve continued to talk and share our hearts and dreams as we married and moved to Indonesia twelve years ago.
My husband had the idea to fly airplanes with a purpose so we moved to Indonesia to do relief flying in 2005, serving marginalized and amazing people groups in interior Borneo. I was completely in, eager to live a life of depth and exploration and connection and service.
Indonesia welcomes me, challenges me, shapes me.
This life here inspires me to keep going... to live bravely, love deeply and express honestly the questions and curiosities and hopes within and outside of me, which are often the same Story.