Planted by the Water

“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:18)


When I was 12 years old, my grandmother took me to a Boulder City-area church – a place I loved attending, though only did so when my grandmother visited during summer breaks. That day, a young adult that I had always looked up, told Children’s Story. Her story only deepened my admiration of her.

She had just returned from a year as a student missionary. She described some of her experiences while serving as the first grade teacher in Yap, Micronesia. Her passion for spreading God’s love has stuck with me throughout the years, inspiring me to be a missionary as well. 

When I was about 14, I read a book about missionary David Livingstone. Reading through his life and experiences only furthered my desire to be a missionary. He had gone to places no one else had gone before, and braved things no one else had braved. His life was a testament to God’s guidance and protection.

Over the years, many have told me to go to college, get a good engineering job, and make lots of money. They said that was how I could best serve the Lord and my family. I, however, have always had a taste for adventure, exploration, and learning.

It had started with my grandmother. She had flown me all the way from Nevada to Michigan for camp meeting. There, I met many inspirational people: youth leaders, pilots, writers. They all inspired me in different ways. The youth leaders showed me that learning about the Bible and God doesn’t have to be like a boring church service. The pilots taught me that adventure can come through work, as well as play. And the writer I met told me to explore: explore myself, my beliefs, and my understanding of God.

Parents showed their support for the students at the Recognition Ceremony.

Once camp meeting ended, many people resumed their normal lives. My grandmother and I, however, did not. After camp meeting, we started on our annual cross-country road trip. We travelled all over the United States on our way back home. We explored the national parks while camping under the stars each night. My happiest childhood memories come from those moments under the stars, listening to God. Those were the moments I always felt closest to Him.

As I continued through school, many discovered that I have a talent for mathematics. As such, I have been pushed towards the engineering field. My grandmother, however, had unwittingly influenced me in a different direction. All my life, she had been a teacher, and all my life, I saw the impact that she had on others’ lives. Many times, people approached her and reminisced about how much they loved her and grew closer to God because of her. I found that I wanted to be able to impact others in a similar fashion, which is why when I finally arrived at college and had the opportunity to be a student missionary, I jumped at the offer.


I knew I wanted to be a teacher, though I was worried that wasn’t what God had planned. I also wanted to go somewhere in Africa, preferably Egypt or Kenya. When I started my search, I was extremely excited. There were several positions open, including for a music teacher on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. Music has always been a major part of my life, so much so that I play a multitude of instruments. The problem was that in order to apply, one must be an advanced piano player. Though I do play piano, I am not at that level. I was disappointed, but I continued my search and prayers for God’s guidance.

Eventually, my results were narrowed down to second grade teacher. I was excited for that prospect, but the only positions open were on islands. I wanted to avoid going to an island at all costs. I like the desert; it is where I am happy and comfortable. Anything wet or cold tends to make me feel rather miserable. I tried and tried and tried to find any other option, yet God kept pushing me towards the islands.

Finally listening, I applied to serve in Yap, Micronesia – it was a place I had heard of before and I was told it was much more in need than most others. I was prepared to apply to Palau, Kosrae, or Chuuk if that is where God led me. There was no need, however. Within 24 hours, the principal of Yap confirmed my application to Yap. 


I had no fear of being the only SM on Yap; I believed that whatever came, I would be able to take it all by myself. I was foolish. While waiting for my last flight to Yap from Guam, I met the other SM traveling to Yap. Although we had our struggles with each other, I would never wish to be the only SM.

The two of us can understand each other in ways the others here on Yap cannot. We are of similar ages and from similar backgrounds. We have similar understandings and beliefs as a result of growing up in the States. Without her, I know I would have given up through the challenges. 

At times, these can seem overwhelming. Yet those are the times when God shows how much of an impact we are making through our students, through each other, and through our new family on Yap. 

During my first Parent-Teacher Conference, the parents of one of my students mentioned I had not expected. Their son had suddenly stopped eating pork, a major meat source on Yap. Their son had informed them that “Teacher Brook said that pig is not good for you.”

Several weeks earlier, our class had discussed what the Bible says we should and should not eat, specifically relating to kinds of meat. I had no faith that our discussion would result in such strong conviction from my students. It has been several months since our discussion, and my students often come to me asking if what they brought for lunch is okay to eat. They even said they have refused to eat the given meat because was unclean. 

This blew my mind. When I was about 10, I had attempted to stop eating pork after my grandmother told me that the Bible says it should not be eaten. I had lasted only a week before I finally gave in to my atheist parents. But these children, at only six, seven, eight, and nine years old are standing up to their families and culture because of something the Scriptures say. 

On the last day of school, Brook gave each of her students a Bible which they immediately opened to read.

A recent PTC revealed that another student has been changing her family in a different way. Her parents are both teachers at other schools on Yap. Her father, who teaches high school, has been constantly surprised by the material we are covering in our elementary class, as these are topics he is only starting to teach his students. He has started to take more notice of his daughter and her studies, including her Bible class.

Her mother opened up to me that their daughter has brought the entire family closer together and closer to God by asking her parents often deep questions about the Bible. As a result, the entire family has started to hold Bible studies of their own. She is only seven years old, yet she is making such a huge impact at home because of what she learns at school.

It's not only through parents that God shows me how He can make an impact if only we allow Him to work through us. It happens in the classroom and at school, as well.

At the beginning of the school year, I had a very quiet, shy, and scared new girl. At only six years old, she should have been happy and carefree, but his small girl had been through some terrible things. It resulted in her transfer to the SDA school, curled up in her own little cocoon. She was so shy and scared that she refused to speak or even look at anyone. However, one of her new classmates was willing to be her friend, even if she didn’t say or do anything. It took several months, but the quiet girl came out of her cocoon and has blossomed into an amazing young person. Despite what she has been through, she has become a light. She now goes out of her way to help others, when she used to go out of her way to avoid others. She went from unwilling to make a sound, to saying a special prayer for upset classmates. Only God can create such a change in such a short amount of time.


You can see and hear the love of God in my students. They are excited to learn more from the Bible and eagar to sing or talk about their Savior. These kids have not only grown closer to God and each other, but they have brought me closer to God and my new family as well.

GMM’s theme of “Go, Give, Grow” is the only way to describe my experiences. I have gone into something unexpected by following God’s guidance. I have and continue to give all I can to Him and these kids. And in return, we are all continuing to grow with each other and with our God. 

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