About Our Journey

Our History

Our journey towards international missions began about 10 years ago. The Man went to Benin and Togo – which is in West Africa. He, definitely, came home a changed man. Of course, I thought that he had lost his mind. He was ready to give all of our worldly possessions away, jump back on the airplane with me and our three young daughters, and GO. Instead, about six months later, we got on an airplane together and went to Benin with a short term medical mission team. We set up medical clinics in the bush and provide medical care for 200-300 people per day. Now, the Man will tell you that there is no better way to get my attention than to bring a group of babies in front of me. One day, the director of one of the local orphanages brought some of the sickest babies to the clinic. In fact, some of these babies were so sick and malnourished that we ended up seeing them several days for fluids. These babies had nothing. No mother, no father, no family – nothing. Except a lady in an orphanage who loved them and told them about Jesus. Well, after 10 days of serving the poor and oppressed, we came home and went back to our normal American lives. But we didn’t feel normal anymore. Both of us had left part of our hearts back in Africa.

A few months later, our church had a Global Impact Celebration where missionaries from around the world came and shared their journey. At the last service of this event, we walked down and dedicated our lives to missions – not really knowing what God had planned. Little did we know that God was calling us to turn our world upside down. The Man eventually resigned from a stable career at the fire department and started seminary full time. As we continued on this journey, God called us to move to the New Orleans campus. Once again, I thought the Man had lost his mind. But we blindly followed – with no jobs and a house with an American sized mortgage, we went. Still we didn’t know what God’s ultimate plan was. For four years, we served in the Crescent City and came to love everything that is New Orleans. It wasn’t until 3 graduations, 6 years, and countless lessons learned that God revealed His plan.


We are serving in South Africa.  We serve children who are living in extreme, even life-threatening, situations.

Together, we are praising Him and serving Him in a foreign land.

Happy Day!! Journey On!! Blessings to you and yours!!!

The Man; blessed with a servant’s heart. Ready to jump in and serve wherever and whenever; He loves Jesus first and us second. You are likely to find him somewhere with a group of children surrounding him; the heart of a child always recognizes that he is just a big teddy bear. He loves unconditionally and overwhelmingly.

Me; the wife, the mom, the nurse, the writer. Doubting sometimes; sometimes confident. Learning to trust in Him. Serving blindly, following without knowing where the path goes, trying to love strongly, recognizing that in my weakness He is strong.


Big Sis; she loves with all her heart and sometimes that opens her to hurt. Yet, she continues. She is amazing with children; sings like a angel. When her fingers twinkle over the piano keys or when she makes the flute sing, I know that ears are blessed. Her loud and boisterous laugh is happy silly.


Middle Sis; overwhelmingly silly; big smiles and silly giggles are common with her. She is a little bit of an introvert; her friends are her friends for life. If Middle Sis lets you into her heart, she will hold you there forever. She is blessed with fingers that can strum a guitar or clink on the piano and make glorious music for the Lord.


Lil Sis; an animal lover, her heart breaks for all of God’s creatures; she loves beyond measure. Babies – furry or human – melt her heart. She never meets a stranger. Musically gifted with her voice as well as fingers that make a violin sing, she loves performing.


All photos on byhisdesign5 are my creations unless otherwise indicated. Please do not use them without contacting me first.  Thanks!

4 Responses to About Our Journey

  1. Your post on word roots is great. I hope that what we have created on the web will help your girls and your blog readers. A quick description that recently appeared in our local newspaper is below. You can use the text any way you want, because we provided this to the newspaper. Everything on MyVocabulary.com is interactive, printable and answers can be emailed to others.
    From the Scripps Prep Journal:
    “Good For You: Website Helps Educate Interested in literacy? Vero couple offers free vocabulary website!

    “Jan and Carey Cook moved to Vero Beach two years ago, after sharing a
    long history with the city. Jan’s parents, Emily and Henry Beuttell
    moved here in 1968. Carey’s mother arrived in 1972! For 14 years, Jan
    and Carey have developed their passion for education in a creative
    website. They don’t sell a thing!

    “MyVocabulary.com includes 2,000 pages of FREE vocabulary word puzzles
    and activities for all ages. Words are selected by level of difficulty
    and at school grade levels. You’ll find themed features based on the
    calendar, 410 word lists, SAT and ACT test prep word challenges. In
    the month of February through March the site features word puzzles
    using the Latin root for Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Math, Ground
    Hog’s Day, President’s Day, and Valentines Day. In March, there are
    St. Patrick’s Day and March Madness basketball puzzles. Among other
    features, participants use Shakespeare content, Civil War events,
    Olympics® word games, Elections and a plethora of student-friendly
    activities. Material is suitable for life-long learners, gifted/
    talented students and can be used individually and in groups. Their e-
    newsletter reaches over 20,000 participants.

    “Visit myvocabulary.com. For more information, email jancook@myvocabulary.com

  2. casey says:

    Your children are beautiful!

  3. Susan Mathis says:

    Thanks so much for your great blog. I particularly liked you article on Praying Proverbs 31. What a great idea!
    I was wondering is I might do a guest blog for you sometime on designing a homeschool plan of study around Proverbs 31. I’ve thought about this for years and have used much of the plan with my now 17 year old daughter. I’d love to share some of my ideas with others. Please let me know if you’d be interested.
    Thanks again,

  4. Michelle Shove says:

    Hi, I just wanted to thank you for your blog. It touches me personally because I grew up in New Orleans but we now live in Japan. It does my heart such good to see other Christians living in my hometown and raising Godly families. I don’t have to tell you the bad rap NOLA has. So thank you! Press On!

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