Giving Thanks in Kenya: Meet the Team

October 16, 2012

We have been preparing, meeting, fundraising like crazy and getting our hearts as ready as we can to cross the globe to Kenya. We are so blessed to have such a great team each having unique gifts and compassionate hearts that we can't wait to see in action on the field. I know our crew at BFR is ready to see their Kenyan family and introduce them to our team. We can't wait to see how they move, change and inspire each other. We know this team has sacrificed their Thanksgiving holiday away from their families to serve in this awesome way. We are so thankful for these team members taking that leap of faith to serve those less fortunate during this time and that we can give thanks together in this special way. Now let's meet the team... Britney Lee Christie I am co-founder of Be Free Rev and live in Oakland, TN with my wonderful husband Michael and two sweet kiddos, Lynlee and Everhett.  Starting BFR was a simple choice for me because mission work has been a calling in my life for quite sometime. I am so excited and thankful for how God is leading BFR and how he formed this team. Several team members are returning and I cannot wait to serve with them again. I am also excited, as I always am, to introduce Kenya and my Kenyan family to the first-timers.  I remember my first Kenya trip and how they welcomed me with smiles and open arms; I am excited for these team members to experience this type of love. And of course I am beyond excited to see my Irene and Mercy and am very thankful to spend time with them.  I think about them on a daily basis and am happy to spend this holiday with this half of my family. I am thankful for the people God has put in my path and am so excited to see what he has in store for this mission.     Lacey Pease Stluka I am from Memphis, TN and Co-Founder of Be Free Rev. The Lord’s calling for me was simple, “Go..” I have not looked back since. I ask myself all the time why God thought us worthy of such a huge calling in life but I thank Him everyday for believing in us and instilling the courage to stop at nothing to achieve it. I cannot think of a better place to spend the Thanksgiving holiday this year than in the place that has taught me so much on what to be thankful for.  I feel overwhelmed with happiness to get to travel to Kenya with this particular team. Not only do I get to give thanks this holiday season in Kenya with my incredible partner in this call, Britney; but I also get to share it with team members from my very first trip to Africa that sparked the call to start BFR, my wonderful husband Adam, my mother, one of my best friends, an amazing new BFR Crew Member, others met through business of BFR and others that are new friends. This team feels incredibly personal and I am so blessed to hit the field running with them, and share this life changing experience.  
Thuyvi Vo
I was born in the poorest part of Vietnam, and though I don't remember much, I know I'm very fortunate and blessed to be now living in Memphis. I am the Project Manager for Be Free Revolution..
 
My love of helping others is never-ending, and I could not think of a better way to express that love than to the men, women, and children in Kenya. I am so looking forward to this journey, because not only will it be my first mission trip to Africa, but it is also the first time I will be able to work on the field with Britney and Lacey. I am constantly inspired by them in the office, so I am full of anticipation to be inspired on the ground in Kenya.
There's only one thing I want to do: change the world.         Mary Shelton I was born and raised in Memphis, TN. For a girl who has never moved away from home, I jumped at the chance to travel across the world AGAIN to Kenya, Africa; a place I feel in love with two months ago. My passion is helping, supporting, and connecting with others, which lead me into my career of teaching. My heart is overwhelmed with joy to have the opportunity to share my love with those that don’t know love otherwise. I am equally excited to shadow Britney and Lacey, the incredible ladies behind BFR, on this journey to learn the ins and outs of leading a team on an unforgettable experience. The day cannot come soon enough to be back on Kenyan soil!   Adam Stluka I’m a small town Missourian that has lived in Tennessee for the past 7 years.  I currently negotiate corporate hotel contracts for a company here in Memphis. From a young age I have always felt God’s hand directing me to help the unfortunate and given the ability to listen and encourage others.  I believe that we as every day people let “things” fill our lives and thoughts to where we don’t allow ourselves to fully concentrate on Christ and what He has done and will do.  In Kenya, especially, it’s amazing to view this image daily and feel the Holy Spirit on a continual basis.  This feeling is what I long for and the reason I feel the call to return this November.           Cindy Pease I am glad to say I am from Memphis. I love sports, reading, quilting, my family and most of all my faith! My profession is mental health counseling for adults. I have a private practice in Bartlett and Covington. I am blessed to have a job I love!I am surprised to discover that God has called me to go to Africa. My daughter, Lacey, has always inspired me. Her work with Be Free Rev is phenomenal and I totally support what she is doing with it. I just never imagined that I would be going there myself. In prayer I came to realize that God wanted me to go to Africa. I am looking forward to sharing this experience with my daughter and son-in-law and meeting the many special people there. I am interested to see how my ministry there will unfold, as well as learn what Africa has to teach me. Roger Williams I am from Jonesboro Ar. Married to my wife Lori for 29 years. We have three fantastic kids that I adore, two of which will be joining me on this mission trip. I cannot sing very well, scared to stand up in front of people and talk, and often times very passive in getting out of my comfort zone. With God’s gentle nudge…I took a leap of faith last year and served in Kenya…what an absolute blessing for me. This will be my second trip to Kenya…I can’t wait to see my brother’s in Christ again.As a hobbiest photographer, I’m always looking for that one photo that will capture the heart of others. The image that will stimulate prayer…financial giving…and the desire for other’s to get involved.         Taylor Williams I am from Jonesboro, AR. I moved to Memphis 3 years ago for my job as an RN in the ICU at The Med. My job as an RN has always been my passion.  I also love spending time with my family, anything involving sports, and traveling! I am a huge believer in having a bucket list for your life and actually doing things on that list! To serve on at least one mission trip was top 5 for me.  Last summer I had the opportunity to cross that off my list! Kenya and its people truly touched my heart. I started to look at that mission trip as not just something to cross off of my list but as a way to hopefully change the lives of the people I encountered. By the end of the trip, I felt like the Kenyan people helped me more than I could have ever imagined. I am so thankful to God for giving me that opportunity, and I cannot wait to go back!       Jordan Williams I was born and raised in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I’m currently working at an after school daycare. My goal is to get into Occupational Therapy school and work with kids. Kids are my passion. I want to serve on this mission trip because I’ve always wanted to help others in any way I can. I hope to make a difference in the lives that I touch. I’m looking forward to going to Kenya to see the wonderful faces my dad and sister got to see last time.                   Meredith Wentworth I am a nurse from Memphis, TN, currently doing travel nursing in WInston-Salem, NC.  There is no doubt I was called to be a nurse, I love to love on people at their absolute weakest. I was forever changed when I had the opportunity to go to Kenya two summers ago, and I've been trying to find my way back from the moment I left.  In this life we are faced with so much uncertainty, the one and only constant is the love from our Lord Jesus Christ.  I wholeheartedly believe that He placed this opportunity back in front of me to fulfill His divine purpose, to spread the news of His unfailing love to others.         Kristin Funston
I currently live in Memphis, TN but am from a little bit of everywhere, as I grew up a military brat -- though I consider both Kentucky and New Mexico home.  I currently am a stay-at-home mom and write a little bit on the side, as well as help my husband with his sport performance business... that is when our child allows me time.  ;-)
I am unbelievably ecstatic to serve the Lord and His people through this mission trip to Kenya.  I have always had a sense of unrest when it comes to using my gifts and talents to serve God, as if He is continuously calling me to go out and do more.  I am hoping this helps fulfill some of the work He has created me to do.  Going into this whole experience, I am trusting God with an open mind and heart, and am so excited to do His work alongside some amazing people and ultimately glorify His name
      Mary and Nick Wirwa We have lived in St Francisville, LA for almost 2 years now.  I am a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Mary Helen is a co-owner of AdiBelle Boutique. We have always been called to serve God through missions work, both locally and abroad.  Africa has always been on our heart.  Through AdiBelle Boutique, we have connected with Be Free Revolution. We are so excited about the trip and being able to broaden our minds of greater things in this world as well as getting the opportunity to share Christ's LOVE!         Katie Kirsch I was born and raised in Illinois and currently live in Chicago with my dog, Annie . I am a teacher, more specifically a librarian. I do library and technology for an independent school, working with the high schoolers. I really enjoy working with teenagers (some people think this is crazy ... I LOVE this age group). Random facts about me: I run. I read. I never miss a chance to wish on a star. I love taking photos. Summer is my favorite season, followed closely by Fall.  Music is a constant in my life. I have a loud laugh. Brunch is my favorite meal. I love wearing flip flops. I love to make lists.:) I have always wanted to "do more and give more" in a real, hands-on way - I believe this mission trip will allow me to do so. I am blessed and lucky in so many ways and welcome the opportunity to give back. I  am excited to teach and connect with kids on this trip - kids are kids wherever in the world they may be. :)