This past April, my pastor came to me and told me he thought I should go work for Under the Same Tree. I was a bit baffled and he told me to pray about it. It seemed like an unrealistic idea to me and at first, I thought little of it. His words stuck with me and led to some more in depth talks. Through the past several years, I have spent quite a bit of time looking for my part in working with these East African communities. I was graduating in May 2017 with my Masters of Social Work (MSW) degree and many had asked about my future plans and my response was always “I would love to do community development and empowerment in Africa, but that seems unrealistic.” God already had a plan.
Being a parent of a child from Ethiopia has given me a heart for East Africa and we had visited my son’s birth family the past year. When returning from Ethiopia last year, I had talked to Katie Gresham quite a bit about the town my son was from and what could be done to assist this community. I learned a lot from Katie about the model UTST utilized to empower individuals and communities.
The more I thought and prayed, the more I realized the timing might just be perfect. This was not directly assisting the town my son’s birth family was from, but it was helping East African communities. And eventually where may it lead? Faith has driven much of what I have done the last several years and why should this decision be any different? From adoption to going back to school, I had rarely taken the easy route. I was realizing that this might be a time where once again I had to trust that God’s plans were greater than mine.
We have been supporters of UTST for the past couple years and now I have gone to work for them. I believe in what UTST is doing and trust God will provide for our ministry. A team of us will be traveling to Uganda and Kenya in August; we request your prayers for our trip. As Katie and I continue to diligently work to grow our resources and support communities with the UTST model, we ask that you prayerfully consider how you can be involved. We cannot do this without our current partners and our future partners. Thank you for walking alongside us on this journey!
With Love, Christy
“Let your faith be bigger than your fears.”