It is my honor to introduce you to Rachelle and Zeb! They are seriously praying about being long term missionaries for Hope Bridges in Northern Thailand. I am excited to share the first part of their story. Here’s part of Rachelle’s story, Can’t wait to read the next part! I met Rachelle while shopping for a backpack and that;s where the conversation about missionary work started. I met Zeb a little later that same evening and wound up spending I think 2 hours talking with the two of them. I’m blessed to know and share life with them.
Zeb & Rachelle

Rachelle – I was the little girl that grew up in the pew. I can remember it as if it were yesterday sitting next to my nana (grandma) in service and telling her that all I wanted to be able to do was to touch the floor while sitting in the pew. She smiled and said, sweetheart someday very soon you will be able to. That someday came to soon. My home was what I dreaded the most, because my father was an alcoholic and spent all our money away on alcohol. My mom wanted more for me brother and I so she went back to college. Because of this I had to grow up sooner than later.

I took the role as the mom for my little brother and made sure he was feed and had a bath. By this time I could now touch the floor while sitting in the pew and the question that I kept thinking about was John 3:16 and how I could have Jesus in my heart. So at the age of 7 I gave my life to Jesus. That summer from the age 7-12 I felt like I was no longer a little princess…I felt like free bait.

I was sexually abused and didn’t see the end of it. All I can remember was I wanted out and I was sick of people at my grade school calling me mean names. Relief came when I was in 7th grade, I had a wonderful Sunday school teacher that made me look inside myself and find the true me. I was able to finally take control of my own life. My 7th and 8th grade year was quite different. I along with 5 other kids from my sunday school class were told that we should have a goal to triple our number in our class. All 6 of us said yea right! And wow is the first thing that comes to my mind right now thinking back on it. By the middle of my 8th grade year we had an average of 40 kids from our grade coming to Wednesday night youth. My life was starting to look different and for the good.

Two months before my 8th grade year was done my mom sat my brother and I down for a talk. At this time my parents had been divorced for about a year and my mom wanted a fresh start so we were told that we were moving to Kansas City. At first I was crushed, I thought wait things are starting to look up for me why now? So with a month or so left of school we moved north and started a new life.

I made friends and tried to keep myself in the Word but it was hard because I didn’t have my support system. My two nanas, my youth pastor, Sunday school teacher and my friends. So for the next four years while on high school I found my God in sports, boys and alcohol. My senior year was the worst I was very disrespectful not just to my mother but other adults. I got kicked off the track team for skipping school and smoking pot.

Two weeks later I received a package from my home church I grew up in. It was a bible from my youth pastor and Sunday school teacher. I took that as a second chance and got involved with a local church and became the 3-4 year old teacher for 2 years. At this time I was 19 years old and I knew what I was meant to do, teach! So I went to school to become a teacher but not just any teaching job I wanted. I wanted to be a missionary.

So finally after 7 years for schooling, teaching and outfitting people for backpacking trips I made my way to Senegal, Africa. I got to see what it was really like to live with little and to be happy with what you had. My boss told me something that I will never forget. “I have always lived like it was the last 5 minutes of man kind and for the first time I have learned to live as if it were the first 5 minutes of man kind. I got back from my mission to Africa June 2012 and had plans to go back In April 2013, as many of you know God sure surprised me! I got married April 13, 2013 to the man of my dreams. I know real cheesy, right? Well to find out more about my life and Zeb’s life check back next week.

God bless,

Rachelle