Category Archives: Stories of Hope

Meru National Park – Kenya

Not all our activities in Kenya revolved around mission work. On the first day in Nairobi, we visited a mall and had the opportunity to see how the middle class live. I could have closed my eyes and imagined I was home, in America.  However, we were required to go through metal detectors and our bags were searched for weapons before we entered the  mall.

It took us about two hours to drive from our camp site in Tharakaland to the Meru National Park. I learned that travel distance is measured in time, not miles in Kenya.  The Meru National Park is about 870 square kilometers or about 540 square miles. We spent one night at the luxurious Elsa’s Kopje Lodge and enjoyed a guided game drive through the Meru National Park. Considering the size of the park, we might not have seen any wildlife, but God blessed us as you’ll see by the photos below. The only animal on my list that we didn’t see in the park was elephants. We were very close to a herd, but I could only make out a trunk because of dense brush. Maybe next time I’ll get to see elephants in the wild.

We had little time to relax by the pool. After days in the wilderness, this seemed like a dream.



Our shower.

Another team members room. Notice there are no walls, only screens that are closed at night.


The dining room.


This walkway led to the dinging room from our room. Guests are required to have a guide assist them to navigate the pathways after dark.

After camping, this bathroom was a dream come true.


This is a view of the dining room and bar. Dinner was served to us on tables set up on the lawn on the previous evening.

This is the truck we travelled in while we visited the park.


The signs as we left Elsa’s Kopje and entered the park.

A view of Elsa's Kopje as we start the drive.

A view of Elsa’s Kopje as we start the drive.


This is a view of other team members in their truck.


This is Judy. Notice the white rhinos in the background.

We saw many zebras in the park.

I love seeing the zebras too.

I love seeing the zebras too.

A herd of cape buffalo.

The giraffes are my favorite.


I was not brave enough to cross the swinging bridge.


We saw a few monkeys.

A kudu, according to my husband.

The cape buffalo have been know to wander onto the lodge grounds.

The cape buffalo were have been know to wander onto the lodge grounds.


A beautiful sunrise and then we loaded back into the truck and drove for eight hours to Nairobi.

We spent the morning in Nairobi visiting an elephant sanctuary.

We spent the morning in Nairobi visiting an elephant sanctuary.


We spent the afternoon in Nairobi visiting a giraffe sanctuary. This is my sister kissing a giraffe. I believe I am the only one on our team who took a pass on this activity.


After a day of touring Nairobi, we loaded the plane, travelled about 22 hours, and arrived home, safe and sound. Thank you Jesus and thank you to those who covered us with prayers.



A Ten Year Celebration

By Paula Mowery

On Wednesday, September 30th, my husband reminded me of a ten year anniversary. No, it wasn’t our wedding anniversary. That’s twenty-six years this year.

Ten years ago on that Wednesday my husband had heart valve replacement surgery. His faulty valve was replaced by a diamond titanium version that clicks each time his heart beats.

I will never forget the surgeon speaking to us after the surgery in the waiting room. He shook his head and said, “I don’t know how he was still going. His heart had worked so hard it was the size of a football. But he did fine and you can see him pretty soon.”

Later we were told that if he had experienced any kind of episode, help probably wouldn’t have arrived in time to save him. That’s comforting for a wife who watched her husband get in the pulpit every week and give it his all.

This experience has proven to me that God doesn’t waste any experience. My husband has a different perspective now as he visits those in the hospital. He has been able to specifically encourage other men who have undergone his same surgery.

Though the constant clicking is something he has had to learn to live with, I am glad that when it becomes really quiet, I can hear it. Because it clicks, I still have my husband here with me.

I feared losing him when I discovered everything that would happen during the surgery. What scared me most was the fact that they would stop his heart and then have to start it beating again after replacing the valve. Someone was in charge of keeping his body alive while his heart was still. We later found out that the man who did this asked for prayer for my husband that night at his church, not knowing we had friends there. Is that God, or what?

God let me know during this that my hubby would live. This surgery was necessary to free my husband to minister. It was as if God said that this heart condition had him reigned back and now he would be released.


God held true to the promise. My husband is a senior pastor and he ministers at about ninety-five miles per hour.

Sometimes we don’t know why something happens, but we must always be open to what God will reveal to us. He really does know what is best for us, and He is capable of working good from any situation.


Paula Mowery is an award winning, published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her new release, For Our Good, can be purchased by clicking on the link below.


Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love was her first solo romance and was a finalist in the Carolyn Readers Choice Awards in 2015.

Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in Woman’s World, The Christian Online Magazine, and the multi-author devotional blog, Full Flavored Living. She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.

As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.

 Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team. She was a member of the 2014 and 2015 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference faculty.

Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.

You can follow Paula at Learn more about Paula at her blog at or enjoy her monthly columns on