I have actually been involved in missions since the day I was born. My parents are also missionaries with MAF. And I can remember going along on flights with my dad when I was young, either delivering supplies to the mountain villages, or bringing sick patients to the hospital in the city. My mom was a teacher and a homemaker, and raised 4 boys and 1 girl in the middle of Africa.
I was born in South Africa and spent the first 12 years of my life in Africa, in the countries of Lesotho and the DRC, before our family moved back to the US to work at MAF's home office, then located in California. I loved growing up overseas and wouldn't trade it for anything.
I was saved at a young age, and through the testimony of my parents I not only heard about who Jesus is, but I saw their faith lived out on a day to day basis. Their example inspired me not only to pursue Jesus, but to also live my life in service to Him.
Growing up I always thought I too would be a missionary just like my parents. However, at the end of High School I had a change of heart. I didn't want to be a missionary anymore simply because my parents were. I wanted to do what God was really calling me to do. Unfortunately, I didn't know what that was at the time.
I went to Biola University in California, and I started taking classes in a variety of subjects to help determine what I should do with my life. Even though I enjoyed most of the classes, none of them really grabbed my heart. However, Biola being a Christian university requires all its students to take a number of Bible classes. When I started taking these classes I soon found that they were the ones I loved the most. And I came to this conclusion- if the Bible really is from God, telling us who He is, what He has done for us, who we are, and how we are to live in this world, then it was probably important to know. And no matter what I ended up doing in life, know the Bible would serve me well. So I became a Biblical studies major.
As I studied the Bible, and as my relationship with God deepened, I began to see God's heart in missions to bring glory to His name. I also soon felt His call in my life to go back overseas as a missionary. It was exciting at that point to look back over my life and see some of the ways God had been preparing me for this role- through my love for aviation and missions, through the technical skills God had given me, and through the cross-cultural skills I had from growing up overseas.
After graduating from Biola I spent 2 years at community college earning my aircraft maintenance certificate. I then earned my pilot's license at a local flight school in California. And I officially joined MAF this past August.