Jeanine B: The ordinary important

I first met Jeanine as a fellow expat living in South Korea. Over the years, I’ve watched her kids grow up, and enjoyed the fellowship of her and her family on 3 separate continents. Jeanine tells us of her inter-cultural and multi-ethnic life, the lessons her children have taught her, and her faith that’s sustained her through it all. Read on for her full story!


While I am Minnesota born and raised, my first name is actually French. Additionally, my maiden name is Norwegian, but my married last name is from Middle Eastern culture despite the fact that I am married to a Peruvian whose first name is of Italian origin.

Yes, our names our quite strange, but they match an international lifestyle that we have had ever since we were married.

Continue reading

Ntiusha Chumanya: Keeping the dream when reality hits

This month’s story of significance comes from Ntiusha (pronounced in-tee-yu-sha) Chumanya, a high-schooler in Zambia, Africa. He tells us about his love of drawing, his parents, life lessons, and how he altered his course to find a new path to his dreams. Read on for his full story!


My name is Ntiusha Chumanya, and I live in Zambia, Africa.

Continue reading

Mei: Give back

I had heard about Mei long before I had the pleasure of meeting her. A co-worker of my husband, he had already told me many stories about her zeal for adventure and passion for travel before we ever clapped eyes on each other. Now that we have officially met, Mei has certainly lived up to all of the stories my husband told me. I love following her travels – it seems that every time she posts something online she’s in a different country!

Here is Mei’s story:

Continue reading

Heidi F: Choose joy

I have known Heidi all my life. Or rather, I suppose it would be more accurate to say that Heidi has known me all my life.

When I was born Heidi’s parents and my parents were already close friends. Her mom taught the Sunday school lessons for the kids in our church tirelessly – week after week, year after year. I remember her set of flannel characters that she used to visually illustrate stories from the Bible. When I turned 13, Heidi’s dad wrote me a sweet little poem as a gift to commemorate the occasion. I still have it, almost 15 years later.

Heidi was several years my senior, so we never really ran in the same circles, but I remember thinking many times as a child that Heidi was one of the “cool” grown-ups. She had a winning smile, warm personality, and seemed to always be doing interesting things. I adored Heidi.

Then life happened, as it always does, and our families grew apart. My folks moved out of town, and then Heidi moved even farther away. We still kept up with each other through Facebook, friends, and occasionally old church reunions. I enjoyed hearing from a distance about the changes in Heidi’s life – moving to Colorado, joining and then leaving YWAM, getting married, etc. I realized, however, that I didn’t really know her story. To truly know someone’s joys and struggles, you have to been a bit closer to them than their Facebook feed.

That’s why I was so delighted when Heidi submitted her story to Stories of Significance. To hear such vulnerability from someone I admired so greatly…well, it only serves to deepen my admiration for her even further.

Here is Heidi’s story:

Continue reading

Evelyn and Gilles: Create your opportunities

This month’s Story of Significance comes from a lovely older French couple who stayed with us for about a week. We enjoyed many wonderful hours of laughter and conversation with them as they shared their wisdom and observations on almost everything under the sun. Read on to hear more.

My first impression of Evelyn and Gilles was that they had many strong opinions.

In our very first conversation with them, Evelyn was constantly saying that things were “real problems.”  Taxes in France, crime rates in the United States, health care systems, terrorism, obesity rates…all of these things were, in Evelyn’s opinion, “a real problem.”

My second impression of them, following quickly on the heels of the first, is that this was a wonderful, open, and incredibly fun-loving couple.

Continue reading

Amber Jones: Follow your fears

A few months ago, Amber Jones reached out to me via email. She had read my story from a blogger that we both follow, and was inspired enough to send me an email letting me know. (Which I loved, by the way! I’m always up for meeting new readers. Hint hint, wink wink ;])

After corresponding back and forth a few times, I asked her if she would like to be featured on my new monthly series, Stories of Significance. She enthusiastically agreed, and I’m so glad she did!

Amber’s story is a wonderful start to this series. Refreshingly honest and relatable, she shared some real nuggets of wisdom that she’s learned over the years. My favorite lessons are: 1) follow your fears, 2) you can achieve what seems impossible, and 3) sometimes the best things in life are the ones we didn’t even think we wanted. Enjoy!

Continue reading