Saturday, March 9, 2013

Happy International Women's Day

Yesterday was international women’s day; and let me tell you I work with some amazing women here in Liberia!

Annie G, Me, Vic, Annie K in front of Amani! 

In honor of International Women’s Day Amani Ya Juu Shared the story of one inspiring lady at Amani Liberia, Annie.

While you are at it, check out Amani Liberia's blog and see what Patricia and Felecia have to say. You can also see what a typical day is like for the ladies

Thursday, October 11, 2012


 I’m walking home from Amani and I look up and see a rainbow that is so perfectly weaving through the Mount Nimba landscape. After a long day of work, better yet, a long month of triumphing over many challenges this rainbow brought joy and hope.

This rainbow signifies many things to me. They appear after a storm as a promise of hope or as a Liberian explained, “it will soon be dry season.” Which for them is a great thing, it means its going to get hotter and dryer. The winter coats they wear in 70 degree weather will be put away! I am hopeful that it will allow us to fix our roof that seems to have a new leak whenever a storm comes through!!

Secondly, I saw it as Gods reminder of His Love for us, and the promise of God in His Word. He paints the world with limitless amount of color, and just when we get use to our world, our town, our lives He paints streaks of color across the sky as a reminder of His beauty and greatness. It’s a reminder of how much detail and uniqueness He puts in everything, everything He created, including us, and His will on our lives. It reminds me that He has made us all fearfully and wonderfully, and the same rainbows He sends here are the same rainbows He sends back home, we are all connected, even with oceans separating us.  

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Timing is everything

This summer while I was enjoying my time back home, my dear friend, Jeanette, taught me a valuable lesson on God’s timing. She showed me how God was revealing to both of us that His timing is perfect. She sent me back to Liberia with this vintage travel clock to remind me of God’s timing and His plan for me.

I wind the clock up every 30 hours; I hear through out my day the faint ticking of the day passing by. I am reminded to trust in God and to live every minute focused on Him.

Back in May God showed me, in a dramatic way, His timing. He so perfectly placed me in the midst of an unfortunate and difficult time for Amani Liberia, and showed me that it was time to step even farther out of my comfort zone, farther out of my own knowledge and skills and farther out of the luxuries of my home in the US into the position of Amani Liberia, Country Director.

Since then I have been doing things, that only by God’s grace on my life and strength I could be doing. I am so blessed to be in this position; I am building a stronger and deeper relationship with God, and a stronger and deeper relationship with the members at Amani.

But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my God.”
My times are in your hands.
-Psalm 31:14-15

Thursday, May 17, 2012

God bless the Amani Girls Club of Liberia!

Amani Liberia has started a wonderful program called Amani Girls Club. We are finding that in Liberia there is a severe problem of young girls not finishing primary school. They leave school at an early age due to responsibility at home, or simply a lack of support from family and community. This makes them more susceptible to young pregnancy and high risk jobs like prostitution. Statistics say that if a girl can succeed past the sixth grade, she has a higher chance of graduating from high school. Support to stay in school for the girl child is essential.

The Amani Girls Club goal is to give value and self worth to the young girls in Yekepa. We want to build these girls up and help them understand the importance of education, in hopes they will be self-motivated to set their sights high. The Girls Club has over 150 girls already. Girls ranging from 8-13 years of age attend one of the 5 weekly meetings.

We thank God and give Him the glory for this. He has brought a wonderful team together to build the club. We have an Art Therapist who has done and incredible job doing the curriculum and spearheading the beginnings of the club, we have great college students running the meetings and a few beautiful mothers reaching out to the community.

At the beginning of the meeting the girls get in a circle and say the Amani Girls Club promise, they join their hands and form a heart with their fellow sisters.

Amani Girls Club Promise
We promise for the rest of our lives to serve God and our community.
To respect ourselves and others,
And, to live by the Amani Girls Club values:
To be confident,
To be courageous
To be honest
To be kind
And, to stay in school!
God bless the Amani Girls Club of Liberia!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

We're in!

The Amani members are filled with thanksgiving as we are all moved into our building. We are still waiting on furnishing, electricity and other small details but we are able to start production in our newly renovated building!

Here are some photos to show the progress of Amani:

Amani Liberia Building May 2011

While the renovation of the Amani building was taking place the Amani members worked hard on our back porches, enjoyed devotions inside, and patiently worked through the hot days and thunder storms.

Many hours went into the renovation of the building. The workers were very grateful for the job and I really enjoyed working with them all. They did an amazing work!

We moved into our building on April 23rd!!

Here is the Amani Liberia Team. We are all so excited to be in our building! We thank God for his faithfulness and give him the glory!

Sunday, April 15, 2012


A little over two weeks ago I landed in Liberia with a plane full of cheering passengers. They cheered as if it was their first time ever on a plane, and were so excited to touch ground again…

Maybe it was their first time on a plane. Perhaps it was their first time back in Liberia since the war. They might have thought the pilot did an excellent job getting them safely back to earth, or they were coming from one of their many trips to Ghana. Or maybe they are always that excited.

Regardless of the reason for the loud cheering and clapping, joy filled the plane and a smile appeared on my face. That joy filled me and I became so excited to be back in Mother Liberia!

Two weeks later and I am still so happy to be back, I have a lot to do and I am ready!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Being home for 4 months has had is challenges and blessings. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions, moods and attitudes. But one thing I am learning, and re-learning over and over again is that I need to put my full trust in God. He knows what he is doing, and frankly most of the time I am not going to know, and I am actually enjoying that. I am finding that I really am not a planner, so it is kind of perfect to have a God who has already planned everything out for me. I just need to do my part to focus on Him, and learn from Him. 

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”- Psalm 32:8

While home I have been raising support, working at a wonderful job…and welcoming my nephew into the world! It has been such a blessing to spend time with my nephew, Rainier DeForest Gray. In just the two months he has been alive he has grown and changed so much!

But the time has come to return to Liberia and I am beyond excited! There is so much I will be doing, and cannot wait to see the beautiful Amani family again! And God has truly shown his faithfulness as I am well on my way to obtaining the support I need.

On a different but relevant note, check out this post about Teresa one of the beautiful ladies I have had a privilege to work with and get to know. What a beautiful story…I am so blessed to be able to work with the ladies at Amani.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Rewind: what we wore

Because my blogging skills are, lets say, lacking.  I am going to attempt to go back and blog about different things that I have done and experienced while away!

Back in May we had our Sankofa fashion show here in Liberia. And as you know it was a big hit! But I am not going to talk about how successful it was, how amazing Korto Momolu’s designs were, or even how the message of transformations was shared to hundreds of Liberians.

I am going to talk about what I wore! Not only what I wore, but what my fellow Creative Director, Stephanie, and the Director of Amani, Becky, wore!

You may have already guessed it but we all wore something that was designed and created by me while I was here.

Stephanie wore an awesome hot pink pencil skirt that I designed. The fabric is beautiful woven Nigerian fabric. She pared it with a fun floral print top she had and some great gold heels! Who said you couldn’t rock some fabulous high heels in the middle of the Jungle!

Becky looked stunning as usually in my asymmetrical dress made from all African fabric. She really can pull anything off, she has an amazing wardrobe full of beautiful African textiles, this dress just adds to it.

I wore a dress I designed that used a few variations of tye-and-dyed fabrics, along with a very African like textile that I purchased years ago at a yard sale. I am so glad I held on to it for so long. It was the perfect piece I needed to complete my design.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Oh Monrovia

This past week we drove down from Yekepa to Monrovia, a bumpy 6 hour drive.

road to monrovia
Top Left is Firestone rubber trees…I didn’t know rubber came from trees
signs on road
The sites, the smells the noise of Monrovia is all her own. The streets are plastered with election campaigns, and are alive with the everyday commotion.


We spent long days in town shopping. We went shopping for Lapa, materials for the building, and followed up on previous orders. I meet with an aluminum company and ordered furniture I designed. And much much more…

The rain held up long enough to allow a ‘dry’ experience, and a few nice walks along the beach.


It was a very successful trip, we were in and out almost everywhere we went. (Which is unusual here.) I had a great time but was ready to go back to the peacefulness of Yekepa, where I hope to stay put until I leave the beautiful country of Liberia!

Monday, September 26, 2011

7 months

Yekepa 013

Last thursday marked 7 months since I left home. What an amazing time I've had. As I look back and reflect on everything that has happened, I see God getting so much Glory. From the challenging transition to Ohio then to Liberia, where he brought Stephanie and I together to build each other up, knowing that during our time in Liberia we would need the support from each other. Just as he sent his disciples out 2 by 2 he sent us to Liberia, and also provided a support all around me throughout my time. I saw how He was glorified as a nearly impossible fashion show became a huge success, two times over. How He protected me in my travel to Kenya, and really blessed my time with all the beautiful ladies at Amani Kenya. How now, being back in Liberia for over a month, he has continued to guide me, teach me, encourage me, and has grown my faith even deeper. He has allowed my weaknesses to be used for His glory, and has lead me to build up others as they build me up.

I have 6 more weeks until I go home, and while I am excited to see my family and friends, I am also excited to see everything through to completions in the coming weeks. I have a lot to accomplish in a short amount of time, but I have faith that God will continue to give me strength and the ability to get it all done. I have faith that God will continue to provide financially as he has the whole time. I thank God for my time here, I give all the glory to Him!