Serving in the LITTLE


Some days life, family, ministry is BIG and FULL and feels so significant.  Other days it's unseen and small and tedious.  This is life and it's both grand and ordinary.  But this life is also our gift to GOD and how we treat both the grand and the ordinary says something about how we worship this God.

Luke 16:10 says, "If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities."

This scripture isn't just about money but it's really EVERYTHING in our lives, because everything we have is a gift from God and we must be faithful in what we have been given.  Lately I have noticed that my life is SUCH a gift and the places God has allowed me to be in ministry are SUCH A GIFT.  I feel like things are growing and evolving and I just want to honor God in it all and be faithful with what I have been given.  GOD help me be faithful!!

There is a little boy in our road named Logan.  EVERYONE knows Logan.  Logan comes to our front door EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  He is looking mostly for Keller, but he is just looking for attention, love, someone to listen to his stories.  My time daily talking to Logan is very little but in God's eyes it's also VERY BIG.  God wants us to be faithful in the huge moments but also, and maybe especially, in the little moments with Logan.

God has just moved in my heart to tell me that He sees how I am sewing into the big things and especially into the little things.  Our hearts are not most revealed when we work hard at the big things that everyone sees and notices, but our hearts are truly known when we give everything in the little, the things no one will see or ever hear about.  It's GOD that we are doing this all for and HE is the audience.

Serve with beauty and boldness in the LITTLE.


Shoot To Kill


We were awoken abruptly in the middle of the night with the sound of three gunshots nearby.  Silence.  Three more gunshots and I reached over and grabbed Casey’s arm in the dark. Silence.  One more shot. 


Unfortunately, it’s not completely abnormal to hear gunshots if you live in the community of Ocean View.  Gangsterism is a part of life and we know many of the gangsters and their families who live near us.  We don’t feel threatened by them and the gang violence is towards other gang members, not innocent bystanders.  However, there are moments that sharply and aggressively remind you of the danger around you and the fragility of life. 


We talked about the shots fired the next morning, how jolting it was, and how especially ominous the final and lone gunshot was.  Casey remarked “that shot was the shoot to kill.”  He was right.  The other shots were aimed at another person to hurt them or stop them or wound them, but the final shot must have been at close range and was the shoot to kill.  That was the shot to take someone out for good.


This really got me thinking in spiritual terms and how the enemy must have a ‘shoot to kill’ tactic for each of us too.  The devil fires many different ‘shots’ trying to take us all down in many different ways.  John 10:10 says “The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy…”  We don’t realize it but the enemy is always trying to attack us.  It’s a part of our reality that we don’t like to think about, but ignoring it can be unwise.  1 John 5:19 says, “The whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one”.  Going even further, 1 Peter 5:8 describes the enemy as “a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour…”


In contrast, Jesus Christ offers us so much more - “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20).  God wants an abundant and full life for us in Him; every single one of us.  But we are under attack and to live not recognizing our spiritual reality it is blind ignorance.  There is a death warrant on each of our heads.  The enemy wants death in our relationships, death in our families, death in our emotional lives, death in our finances, and death in our relationship with God, just to name a few. 


Thankfully we weren’t in danger the night of those nearby gunshots, we must live aware of the spiritual battle around us all.  I pray we ask God to help us see our world in new ways.

Doing GOOD


Thousands of women and I attended the Hillsong Colour Conference this past week in Cape Town, South Africa.  God certainly did spectacular things there and exceeded all expectations.  But what truly made my heart sour was nothing related to the production, world-class speakers, or epic and memorable moments from the stage.

This was my seventh Colour conference to attend, and as usual I had the beautiful privilege of hosting women from Ocean View for the stunning event.  Since it is a world-class conference it would be something out of reach for most of the families of Ocean View that support themselves and so many other around them.  Year after year, Hillsong Church has graciously sponsored a group from Ocean View so they woudn't miss out on the appointment with God.  Not only does Hillsong help sponsor our tickets, but they also provide transport, welcome the ladies as if they were royalty, and feed and personally host us throughout the entire conference.  They truly go above and beyond and it makes us feel like the most exclusive guests at the conference.

During one of the sessions where we were hearing about the incredible and inspiring work of people around the world for the kingdom of God, I sat listening with my Ocean View sisters and was overcome with emotion.  I don't have to travel around the world to see brave and sacrificial work done by the people of God, I only need to look to my sisters in Ocean View.  These women serve and love in ways that I could never imagine and each have a story of life in Christ that moves me.  They inspire me greatly and I found myself deeply grateful for their time at the conference to be refreshed and renewed for what God had for them to do in their lives.

What an honor to be a part of a church that truly considers others and shares what God has given us to those outside.  They love and care for the Ocean View community and I count it as such a privilege to help host these stunning ladies.  May we NEVER neglect doing good!

“Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

-Hebrews 13:16 ESV

Too Close to Home


We are seriously living the dream as American missionaries living in Cape Town, South Africa.  We have been here 8 years now and so things aren't 'new' to us anymore and we have learned so many lessons.  We live in a 'coloured' (mixed race) township of about 300,000 people called Ocean View and it truly has become home.  There is so much to be thankful for, and yet every once in a while things hit too close to home....

In recent times the people of our community grew a great anger and unrest about the state of policing and protection for the innocent in our community.  The gang situation has been worsening and it seems our home is a place where people who are running from the law come to hide.  This creates violence between the gangs.  Most of the times the violence is late at night in the dark corners of the community, but every once in a while it comes out into the open.  Recently a young boy was shot and killed as he stood in his own home as his family prepared for a wedding the next day.  It was unthinkable and tragic and wrong and the community went in an uproar.  Eventually we began to see riots outside the entrances of the community, a common way of protesting in South Africa.  People take tires and burn them with oil, they throw rocks at cars, and they chant with signs and shouting about their complaints.  It usually starts honest and passionate and can sometimes end violently.  Unfortunately this is what we encountered surprisingly one morning.

We were leaving to take the children to school one morning, and had been hearing through the social media conversations that the protests were heating up in the front of the community.  We had our children and two teachers in our car and hoped to simply drive out the back of Ocean View.  We got to the entrance and immediately the bonfire of tires and gasoline sent chills down my spine.  The fire was ominous but was in the middle of the road and so I thought I could simply drive around.  As I began to drive, three Rastafarian men suddenly surrounded my car and began angrily shouting at me.  "Turn back!  Turn around!  Go back!!"  It all happened so quickly but what I remember clearly was the look in their eyes of mad hate.  They were so aggressive and had never met me a moment in their lives.  For some reason my first instinct was to roll down my window and calmly and clearly speak with them.  I began to tell them that we WERE going through and that we had some place to be.  No matter how calm I was, the fact that I wasn't heeding to their anxious instructions only made them more angry and they then began to shake the car and continued to shout.  At this point (again I am not sure why this was my response) but I got louder and ordered them to stop, which they did.  They quickly (and strangely) calmed down and shyly said I could pass (looking around to make sure no one saw).  I said thank you and we drove on.

Only then did I notice that the kids were crying in the backseat and the teachers, both residents of Ocean View, were also very shaken up.  We all were in shock.  It just happened so fast and I had no idea how I would respond to it outside of the moment.  The children quickly calmed down and we talked about it many times afterwards to make sure they weren't traumatized.  The teachers debriefed with their staff at school and were fine.  For the rest of the day, however, the moments kept playing in my mind over and over again.  I knew the outcome, and I knew that I just reacted from my guts in the heat of the moment, but what if it had all escalated?  What if they had thrown the rocks at the car (which happened to other cars)?  What if they had forced us to get out?  Who knows what could have happened to my precious children?  What if it had all gone terrifyingly different?

We love living in this community and absolutely love the people of Ocean View, but violence and pain are unfortunately a part of the story as well.  We can't always predict what will happen and things like 'safety' are viewed differently by us than most we know.  However, when it comes TOO CLOSE TO HOME it can really rock my soul.  What am I willing to put out there for this calling?  How much risk is too much?  How much love is too much?  How much of what my children experience and witness is too much?  How much of what I experience and witness is too much? 

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I am glad that I provide the space to wrestle with them when they simmer to the surface.  They do not have concrete answers but they need to be asked.  The need to be noted and the questions need to be felt.  Once I allow myself to wrestle with them I settle back again into the glaring certainty of our call to Ocean View.  I sense again in my soul our family's calling to live among these friends as neighbors and family.  Soemtimes the cost may seem too much, but it's not today, and it wasn't on that day.  The cost is actually NEVER too much when it's what God has called you too.  After the questions and the wrestlings we find a deep peace in knowing our calling and being obedient.  And we know God is with us, and that even when it seems too close to home, our home is really in HIM.  And we are really good with that.


Shining a Light

Recently in Ocean View I have started up another Shine course.  Shine is a course created by Hillsong Church with a goal to use Biblical principals to teach woman about their value, worth, and inner potential.  It has profound principles, is full of truth without being overly 'Christian,' and just creates a fun and touching atmosphere for women to connect with one another and themselves.  I absolutely love teaching it and the fruit that comes from each course.

The women I am teaching all doing various sorts of volunteer work in the community of Ocean View, as well as being from the community of Ocean View.  To me, this means that these woman already know the life that comes from helping and serving others, and so I honor them already.  What they don't always know is their own value and beauty, and already we have begun to uncover that in our time together.

Being around these woman has reminded me of the beauty in allowing your own light to shine.  One of the women began to share her heart and her story, and how much her life changed after she came off drugs.  She had been addicted for years and years, and now her new life in Jesus is completely different away from that lifestyle.  She now serves the people of Ocean View alongside her daughter, determined to make those around her know the love of God.

I am stunned by how significant a life and heart can change when Jesus Christ shines His love on them.  I am stunned by how much light comes out of this woman as she shines for Jesus.  I am stunned to see her huge potential and in awe of all I know God will still do as He shines through her.


Time and time again as I spend time with friends, old and new, in Ocean View, I am struck by the fact that it is not I who is shining the light of Jesus on them, but them shining the light of Jesus on me.  Through their lives and hearts I get to see a part of God that I have never personally experienced but am humbled and awestruck to know.  Who knows what God has ahead for these women, and even for my own life.

What is Our Response?

I was in McDonalds, trying to mind my own business with my chocolate sundae, and accidentally I once again overheard the conversation I hate to hear.  One person asking another about the community of Ocean View, and saying, "Aren't you SCARED to go there?"  I honestly stopped listening right there, because I am personally tired of creating my own response.  But in these days, even I have to admit it's a valid question.

We witnessed another tragedy recently in Ocean View, another death among many, but this one was different and it has shaken our community to its core.  This was a young girl who was sweet and loved by many and never deserved to be mistreated at the hands of such darkness.  There are unfortunately many deaths we hear about, but most of the are people involved in gangsterism and drugs, and so sadly death is sometimes a part of the lifestyle they have chosen to be in.  But not Cameron.  Cameron wasn't a gangster, although she did associate herself with some people who were not good characters.  Cameron wasn't involved in the gansterism and darkness of Ocean View herself, and her death has shocked and scared everyone in our community.  We all find ourselves asking if we are scared to be in Ocean View...

So what do we do in this time, and in the face of this darkness.  What is our response?

There have been many already.  People have left, or have pulled out their associations with Ocean View.  People are angry and fed up with gangsterism and those affected.  People are terrified at who or what could be next.  People are judgmental about the 'others' who these things happen to and separate themselves from it completely.  But to me, all those responses are separation.  They are separating ourselves from those affected and those hurting, assuming we are going to figure out how to be the safe and secure ones in the face of darkness.

Unfortunately I just don't know HOW to do that.

I don't know how to seperate myself from Ocean View because it's my home and it's my people.  Maybe with other darkness, other pain, other heartache I could stay away from it, but this heartache is in the middle of my own heart and I can't shake it.  I can't just walk away.

I am SO GRATEFUL that I can't seperate from this pain.

As the weeks have gone on and people have moved on from the pain of Cameron's death, I have thought about how thankful I am to not be able to seperate.  I am thankful that this is my home and these people are my family.  I know how this entire community has rallied around Cameron's mom and brothers to love and support them.  I know how the community of Ocean View has risen up to speak against the darkness and violence and try to bring it to an end in unity.  I know how people have woken up day after day, and even when they are afraid, they have still entered into this community and lifted on another up, because that is what you do with family.  The values that are expressed in this community, as dark and violent as it can be, are beyond anything I have experienced before.  

So many others look at Ocean View and only see the terrifying darkness.  My response is different because I look at Ocean View and see the overcoming LIGHT.

The Season of Silence

Nichole Nordeman has this incredible song called 'Seasons' that gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.  She talks about the seasons of the weather and how it is the same with us in God.

"And everything in time and under Heaven
Finally falls asleep
Wrapped in blankets white, all creation
Shivers underneath

And still I notice You when branches crack
And in my breath on frosted glass
Even now in death, You open doors for life to enter
You are winter" -Nichole Nordeman

Lately I have found myself in a season and it's one I don't particularly like.

There is a season I also don't like and it's winter.  Winter is harsh.  It's dark.  It's cold.  It's tiring.  These words can describe the season of life I have been through in many ways, as well.

Seasons can be hard, and they can feel like they are never ending.

But recently, when I was talking once again to God about my current season, I heard him whisper sometimes extremely important.  He whispered, "It's a SEASON."  


This was a loud whisper because my particular season had been a season of SILENCE.  But what was so stunningly important to hear from God was that it was a SEASON.

I immediately thought of the four seasons of weather and later this song. 

That whisper was life to me because it was not God telling me he was taking away my circumstances, or going to now speak really loudly, or change all the things in my life that I don't like.  But it was God reminding me that what I was facing, for me a season where God was glaringly silent, was just a season.  And while seasons come and they come with a vengeance, while they can be slow, and dark, and cold and painful, they are only a season, and they eventually END.

Seasons are beautiful because they come and then they go, and at the end something new begins to sprout up and grow. 

So I wait in my season and I look out the window, I rub the ground with my feet, and I look over the mountain for the spring breeze in the air.  Because my season is just a season, and I am promised by God that something NEW is about to grow.


"And everything that's new has bravely surfaced
Teaching us to breathe
And what was frozen through is newly purposed
Turning all things green

So it is with You and how You make me new
With every season's change
And so it will be as You are re-creating me
Summer, autumn, winter, spring" - Nichole Nordeman



Picture via


Welcome New Volunteer Rachel!

We are excited to welcome our new volunteer Rachel Harpole to Ocean View!  She is here for just over 2 months working in Ocean View and with Ubuntu Football.  See some of her story here.   Maybe YOU should be our next volunteer!

"Hello everyone!  The thought process of coming to South Africa began about a year ago when I began teaching. I worked in a very diverse semi-inner city school where there was a lot of need, but not a lot that could be done as a teacher. I felt so helpless and I hated it. But the thought of going all the way to South Africa was still quite distant. Things became a little more real though when some of my friends came to Ocean View for a couple of months. This thought that I had in the back of my head began to creep up as more of a reality. In August, my summer began to wrap up and it was time for me to face the music. I was at an extremely pivotal moment where I had to choose what I was going to do in the upcoming year. I could continue working in the restaurant with all of my friends, having fun 24/7, and only having to be responsible and act like an adult about 10% of the time. I could seek out a teaching position and hope and pray it would be a better situation than my previous one. Or, I could take advantage of this flexible time in my life and go for something truly amazing and pursue this mere thought of serving in South Africa. I prayed that the Lord would make His plans evident to me and here I am! The entire process in preparing to come to South Africa was so much easier than I expected. That along with the love and support from family and friends only confirmed for me that this was God’s plan for me and I couldn’t wait to see what my time would be like once I got here.

Here in South Africa, in the afternoons, I go to help the Ubuntu boys with their homework, which is a learning experience for us all! It just goes to show that you really should listen to your teachers when they say, “You never know when you’re going to need to know this one day.” I also spend two days a week helping out at the Care Center. Mainly, I am an extra set of much needed hands, but the goal is to help the students learn how to function and behave in a classroom with routines and procedures. 

As I look ahead to my time here in Africa, my goals are to:

  • Grow in my faith and have a stronger, more passionate and intentional relationship with Jesus
  • Be humbled and grateful through serving others
  • Make a different in this community in whatever little way I may be able to
  • Learn about myself and how I can be the best version of me
  • … I know there is more to come that I can't even imagine yet!"


My Banner

April 24, 2015

My time serving as a pastor at Ocean View Methodist has recently come to an end and I have been reflecting on the years and all God taught me there. We came to know South Africa as home while serving at that church and it became a home for us and our growing children. Leaving is painful, especially as the future is not clear, but obedience to God is everything and we know He will light the path.

I love to reflect and wrap things up and that is what I did in my last sermon at Ocean View Methodist two weeks ago. I reflected on Exodus 17 where God’s people find themselves in a battle that could only be victorious when Moses’ hands were lifted in prayer. After the battle was won, Moses received a new name for God: Jehovah Nissi or “God is my banner.” God wanted them to remember what He had done for them and that in HIM was always the victory. A banner or flag has been used throughout history to declare a party’s victory or meaning, and it still remains its purpose. I felt led by God to declare what my banners were over my time in Ocean View. If I had a flag to fly about what God taught me while serving his people at OCean View Methodist, what would it be?

My BANNER and my VICTORY in Ocean View would be:

1. We are GROUNDED by the Word of God

We have encountered many challenges during our five years living in Ocean View and walked with many families through their own desperate times. Through these challenges we have seen that ONLY the word of God provides light, hope, and vision. ONLY the Word of God helps His people to see His truth and face and guide through the darkness. Only God’s word speaks fresh into dead situations and total darkness.  There is nothing sweeter, there is nothing richer, there is nothing more true, and there is no other way to hear the heart of God than to go to His Word.  God’s Word is my banner and that is my victory.

2. Our Obedience Brings Blessing

I heard this truth years ago from Beth Moore and it was something I believed I lived by. I have however learned that obedience is truly difficult and calls us not just to outwardly look like we are following Jesus but inwardly as well. I have to completely trust Jesus and give him every part of my life in order to show that I am truly following His heart. It’s about the state of my heart in the follow not just the footsteps I am leaving. Obedience is following HEART AND SOUL and I have learned that while living here. Obedience brings blessing is my banner and my victory.

3. God’s Love Always Wins

When I came to South Africa I thought it was so that I could love the people here, but instead they have taught ME what love really looks like.  In the community of Ocean View there is a great deal of hurt and it is certainly a truth here that ‘hurt people HURT PEOPLE.”  Most often the people we hurt the most are those who love us the most.  This has been true in the families I have served here.  I have personally been hurt and seen them hurt one another, but out of that something has shone through that I didn’t expect.  What defines the people in Ocean View Methodist is not their hurt but truly the way they love even though they have been hurt.  They love despite the hurt.  They love through the hurt.  They love those who least deserve it, including me.  No matter how dark it has gotten in Ocean View I have seen my friends choose love and it has taught me that truly, love ALWAYS WINS.   Love conquering all is my banner and my victory.

I am so thankful for what God has written on my heart and life as I have served at Ocean View Methodist Church.  It’s hard to imagine our life and family apart from this church but I am certain that the relationships will continue to grow and flourish for years to come.  My heart is filled with gratitude for all God has shown me over the years atOcean View Methodist.  JESUS and HIS LOVE is my banner and my victory.

Marriage and Missions

March 23, 2015

Last month as the Prince’s celebrated Valentine’s Day the predictable banter ensued between my husband and I where we tried to get the other person to plan a fancy date so we wouldn’t have to.  I got a babysitter and until hours before we had absolutely no plans for Valentine’s Day.  We eventually went on a (GREAT!) date but it took some mustered energy from us both.

As the Valentine’s weekend went by I watched through social media as friends in various stages of life posted about their Valentine’s day plans.  The single people either were silent or boldly posted pics of Netflix and wine parties.  The newly in love or married couples went on fancy dates and proudly displayed their bleeding love to the world (barf).  The parents with children were also silent OR just posted pictures of their ‘little valentine’ children who now fill their hearts (and time and emotional capacity and every word in their home).  It made me think about Casey and I and what makes it work for us now that we have been married almost THIRTEEN YEARS (GEEZ OLD PEOPLE ALERT!). Oh how different ‘love’ looks in the different seasons of our lives!!

Everyone is different, but for me, marriage is something I always want to enjoy and find life in, not just endure.  I am not happy to have just a life partner or best friend, I also want a lover and someone who pursues my heart.  I want my PRINCE (hah) and I want to be the PRINCESS (Sarah in Hebrew means princess… double barf).  What does this actually look like when you have two small kids and live a life of mission and ministry?? We are full-time missionaries and our lives are engrossed and overwhelmed with people and tasks and needs and voices and things to do.  How do we make it work and how do we keep the love alive?


Well the easy answer is that we live by God’s grace EVERY DAY and it isn’t a fairy tale, it’s real life. But it’s honestly better than the fairy tale and worth the work and effort.  At the end of the worst day imaginable or the greatest thing ever, the person I want to most share it with is my husband and I call that a ‘win’ every time.  But marriage and missions means that our relationship is something that we work on just like we work on all the other things in our lives God has called us to.  God has called us to be parents.  God has called us to missions.  God has called us to Africa.  God has called us to love people.  God has called us to serve people.  God has called us to minister to people.  And God has called us to this marriage.  That means we must put in the effort and care and time and focus that we put into all the other things we are called to, maybe even MORE.

In the Prince’s world we take our marriage very seriously because it’s a huge part of our ministry.  The community we live in has a lot of broken families and hurting homes and they often look at us wondering if what we ‘preach’ is even real.  So we have to make sure that it’s real and we work hard on it.  We take dating seriously and spend as much time together as we possibly can because if we aren’t loving each other well then we can never love others well.

We love being together and love our lives together.  But love doesn’t come easy and we know that our love is a combination of a lot of work and God’s miraculous hand.

During a fundraiser event that we had in January a friend came up to us and shouted excitedly, “You guys are just the most perfect couple ever!”  I could only laugh because it was the most ridiculously thing I had ever heard.  I had no words.  Later I found myself thinking more about the ridiculousness and what ever gave her that crazy idea.  We are FAR FAR FAR from perfect but we ARE in love.

That same month I saw this great quote from Lisa Bevere and immediately sent it to Casey.


Our marriage is FAR from perfect but it is great and it is growing and we treasure one another.  We are on mission together and we are on mission love one another.  We love that mission.