Who is Joanna?

Originally, I come from the magical mitten called Michigan. Now I'm a mzungu trying to blend into my surroundings, attempting to learn Kinyarwanda and following Jesus through all of it. Even though I now life in Rwanda, and love it, this missionary thing was the last thing I wanted. Growing up as a missionaries kid, I never wanted to be one. I didn't want to always be poor, eat bugs, live in a hut, have to learn a new language. All of which, I have done and some I continue to do. 

In 2010, I felt something in me wanting to go on a missions trip. More as a "last draw" with God than anything else. I told God that He had better do some big things or I was done with this whole God thing - because it didn't seem to be working to well for me. That summer, God took me to South Africa. This trip was incredible. It was on this trip that I felt love for people I just met. I saw God work like never before. I saw God work in me. That trip ended with a verse (1 Thessalonians 2:8). And it was with that verse that God called me to Africa, long term.

Long story short, I knew God was calling me to Africa, but I wasn't sure where or to do what. But over time, He showed me. I went back to South Africa in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 I went to Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda and Burundi. In each of those countries, I have been able to do multiple ministries and meet countless people. Over those four years, God has changed my heart, challenged me, taught me, worked in me and worked through me. He is so awesome!

Now, I live in Rwanda. I work with a ministry of YWAM Rwanda called APRECOM. APRECOM is Aids Prevention and Care Outreach Ministries. We work with vulnerable women in children. Some are HIV+, some are widows and some are both. We do what we can to support them physically, socially, emotionally and spiritually. We pray, counsel, encourage, feed, pay for school fee's medical fee's, medical insurance and whatever else may come up. We bring love and life in the midst of brokenness. 

The beginning and now.