I am a former teacher turned stay-home Mom. I began crafting and writing more than 15 years ago to maintain my sanity and have been able to turn both into successful and satisfying businesses. I have also been very active in charity work, even having my own non-profit organization for a number of years.
My greatest motivation came from my dear friend, Pat Bradley, founder/president of International Crisis Aid (www.crisisaid.org) whom I met in 2002 in the process of searching for someone to take some stuffed animals to hurting children in Sudan. Pat was, at the time, regularly taking in aid at great personal risk to the NO-GO ZONES of southern Sudan and into war zones, like Tora Bora, in Afghanistan, going where no one else could or would.
At first I thought Pat was completely insane. As I got to know him, however, I realized he didn't do these things because he was crazy but because he had found something he cared more about than even his own life - saving the lives of widows and orphans and those at the mercy of oppressors.
I was going through my own personal struggles at the time and Pat took me under his wing. He was the first person who ever told me I was worth something and had something valuable to offer. He showed me how to put others first and use my gifts and talents to make a difference in the world.
When Pat asked me to write an article about ICA's work in Ethiopia in 2008 I knew it would be a tough assignment, one that couldn't be effectively accomplished from the safety and comfort of my office. I would have to go and see the work for myself. What I didn't realize was that, what started as a simple research trip to a small village south of Ethiopia's capital, would become a personal journey that would dramatically challenge me on every level and have a deep and profound affect on my attitudes and the way I saw the world.
I quickly realized an article wouldn't be enough so in Where There Is No Comfort I set out to lay down a firsthand account of the unimaginable hardships faced by the Ethiopian people, from extreme poverty and starvation to sex slavery and life on the streets of Addis Ababa. My sincere hope is that through this book readers will begin to see the world in a new way and be emboldened to move beyond their comfort zones and embark on a life changing journey of their own to that most challenging, yet most rewarding of places - making a difference in the lives of others.