A Little About Me...

10:00 PM

jen

For those of you visiting me from the Candle In The Corner Giveaway, welcome! I pray you will be encouraged and blessed as you look around. For my regular readers, if you haven't read about the Candle In The Corner Giveaway, check it out! It's such a fun event running through November 11th. So there's still time!

I would like to take some time to introduce myself to those of you visiting for the first time. So sit back, relax, grab a cup of coffee, and I'll try not to be too long winded!

coffee

I am a 30 something (smile) mother of 2 beautiful children, Joshua and Emma Grace, and wife to one fabulous husband! I love blogging, knitting, scrapbooking, photography, and anything handmade and homemade! I have been a missionary for the past 13 1/2 years and Jeremy for the past 11 1/2 years. We've lived in South Africa for the past 2 1/2 years bringing hope and home to Africa's orphans through Ten Thousand Homes. But our journey to Africa started long before 2007...

family shot
my beautiful family

Jeremy and I met in 1998 in Tyler, TX where we both volunteered with Youth With A Mission (YWAM). We were married September 11, 1999 and then watched as God took us all over the world! It was an exciting time ministering the love of Jesus on different continents. July 2000 found us in White River, South Africa as we led a team of young people for 4 weeks ministering in schools, praying for the sick and dying in their homes, and performing children's programs with the orphans. Jeremy and I had no idea what kind of impact this trip would have on our lives...

joshua playing
joshua playing with the boys at a care center, 2006

Part of our time we worked at a Catholic mission in Barberton. This dedicated group of nuns took in the unwanted children and adults who were infected with the HIV virus. Their desire was to care for them and show them value as their bodies lost the fight against AIDS. One night while we were there, Jeremy and I sat with a woman in her 40's as she passed from this life. Because of her husband's cheating lifestyle, she was infected with this horrible disease. We sat with her through the night, putting wet cloths on her forehead, and singing praises to Jesus, desiring to give her the most peaceful death we could. It was that night our perspectives and hearts were changed...

jen
me playing with the babies, 2006

Seeing little children winded after only 20 minutes of play and watching this woman fight for her life as she had a disease that was not her fault, we realized that these precious people did not deserve this death sentence. They were the innocent ones, victims of the sins of others. It was that night that our hearts were softened and our eyes opened to this pandemic that has been sweeping across Africa, leaving millions of children orphaned. We had no idea where it would take us...

emma g
emma grace loving on babies, 2006

We came back from that trip holding Africa loosely in our hands, asking God for His direction. We made occasional trips back to South Africa, feeling like each time we began to get a piece of the puzzle. In 2005, we began forming a team to move over to pioneer Ten Thousand Homes. We landed on the ground in 2007 ready to serve God! We had idea what starting a new ministry meant...

jeremy
jeremy at a care center, 2006

As we started out, a group of 5 people, praying about where to concentrate our efforts, God was faithful to meet us. Now 2 1/2 years later, our staff has grown to about 15 people. We are working in 3 different communities, caring for about 500 kids every week. We are discipling Africans through YWAM's Discipleship Training School program. We are making an impact on Africa by showing these kids the love of Jesus. We are amazed at what God has done and is continuing to do...

take my picture!
kids in mbonisweni

As we live here in Africa and see the millions of children, we realize that God has given us, the church, a mandate to care for the orphans and widows. The heart of Ten Thousand Homes is to be a movement of people who are doing their part to make a difference. From the local plumber to the banker to the soccer mom, everyone has a part to play. Whether it's through intercession, giving, holding home parties to raise awareness, or sending a child a blanket to keep warm at night, we believe we all have a part to play...

trevor manzini
recipient of knit-a-square donations

A home is more than four walls and a roof but it starts there...
As we see these children, sometimes a 15 year old as the head of the house, and we see their unsafe living conditions, we know that we must help. Over the years, we have built several homes for these kids. We long to show them what home is like, filled with love, hope, peace, value, and everything that makes up a home. We know that a home is more than four walls and a roof but it starts there...

roof
most recent home built in kabokweni

For questions, feel free to email me. You can also visit the Ten Thousand Homes website and blog to find out more about who we are and read stories of the kids we minister to. If you would like to be added to the Ten Thousand Homes prayer movement and monthly email newsletter, please subscribe here. And if you would like to be added to our personal email newsletter, feel free to email me.

Before I leave you, this is what I have contributed for the Candle In The Corner giveaway...

A set of 5 notecards handmade by my sister-in-law
depicting different African animals.
felted notecards

A paper beaded necklace made by Eunice, a local African girl who just finished our discipleship school and currently volunteers with one of our feeding programs. She hand rolls these beads made out of magazines and cereal boxes. The necklace measures about 14 in. long.
paper beads

This is a coin purse made by ME! The inside is lined
and the front has an elephant accented with beads!
coin purse

This is a bowl made out of soap stone. It is a beautiful bowl
measuring about 10.5 in. across and featuring elephants!
soapstone bowl

Thanks again for visiting. I pray you are blessed and refreshed by Jesus as you visit this space! Click here to visit Heidi's blog, the wonderful woman who is sponsoring this event, and to enter the giveaway. Not only do you get a cool cultural item if you win, but you are also investing in what God is doing all over the world through these missionaries!

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11 comments

  1. Jen, just wanted to drop by and say hello! I am also participating in the giveaway and my husband and I serve in Botswana.....not too far from you! :) You have a beautiful family! Your post touched me because I know....I am living it too! The pics of your children with the African children are precious! Hugs!

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  2. Oh..Jen..I LOVE your items!

    I SOOO wish I could have a shot at winning one of these fabulous giveaway items that have already been displayed...and there's still more to go!!

    Loved your post!! great Job!

    God Bless You!

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  3. How exciting to find yet another missionary mom! I'm North of you guys in Russia. We have many African students that we go to church with and so have our heart strings a bit tied to the continent!!

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  4. oh, I forgot to add...my in law family is from Longview--and my sis in law went through YWAM and so did my in laws!!

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  5. Beautiful, Jen. God is so evident in your ministry and faithfulness. Thank you, sister, for what you and your family are doing.

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  6. First of all...Thank you for your ministry! And continued blessings for all the work that all of you have done and do!

    Blessings & Aloha!

    (And what wonderful, creative items! I just became a follower to your blog. Although, my blogging and blog reading time is limited...like, right now, I should be betting off to work :o)... I'll be back).

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  7. Great to get to know you Jen!

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  8. I'm visiting from the Candle giveaway. Great to have a peek into your Corner and become acquainted with the way you are shedding the Light midst the darkness. I am soooooo impressed by these stories I am reading of young people, like you, who just launch out into the unknown by faith in obedience.
    We were with OM some 20 years, five of those on the ship Doulos.
    We will never forget how YWAM gave to make one of our ships possible.
    Blessings!

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  9. Just moments ago, I was reading an on-line article about a 4 year old child whose body was found in a dryer--another senseless act of violence perpetrated against the most "innocent" of our population. My tears were ample and my anger all the more...

    What a contrast to come here via Heidi's blog and witness the vibrant faith of you and your family as you seek to minister to the most innocent--the least of these. You're expending your lives on behalf of God's kingdom purposes in a way that most of us won't.

    Truly, I thank you for "seeding" some good today in this world where evil is so prevalent and painful. My prayers are with you.

    peace~elaine

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  10. Jen... you've done such a wonderful job with those items, that necklace is stunning!!! I'm praying for you and it's been really nice to get to know you a bit through this post, my husband left South Africa 9 years ago, he misses it, it was real nice for him to see the pics and your story. Thanks so much for sharing! Blessings,
    Ana Degenaar

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