Hey everyone! I would like to take my first blog post to introduce myself and share a little bit about how I got here.
I’m Katelyn and I was born and raised in North Carolina. I love to read, travel the world, learn other languages and cultures, meet new people, and just live life as an adventure.
If I had all day to sit and talk with you, I could tell you how I have clearly seen the Lord working in me for as long as I can remember to prepare me for exactly where I am today. But for time’s sake, I’ll give you a more brief overview of how I ended up as SRI’s guest house host.
I remember in my senior year of high school, my Spanish teacher asked me what my plans were after graduation. I told her that I wasn’t sure, but I knew I wanted to study Spanish and had felt called into ministry, but had no clue what that would look like or how I would ever combine the two. I went on to graduate from Western Carolina University (Go Cats!) with a BA in Spanish and a minor in business.
Fast forward to February 2020 and I came on my first mission trip with Solid Rock. I spent the week doing home visits with Pastor Enol at the barrio clinic sites. I also got to know Adia and Monchy well that week and they quickly became my Dominican parents! To say my experience was life-changing is truly an understatement. It changed my worldview and deepened my longing to know the Lord more. The Lord worked in me in so many unexpected ways that week and I put what I had learned to practice when I returned home. After the trip, I began to pray that the Lord would open doors for me to work with Solid Rock and asked my friends, family, and bible study group to pray with me.
At the time, I was coaching travel volleyball for Fellowship of Christian Athletes and wanted to give my players the opportunity to serve abroad and experience the Lord in a new way. So, I got some of my players and their moms together and headed to San Juan! I led trips for FCA players & family for 3 summers. We hosted Vacation Bible Schools, completed various construction projects, and this past summer, we were even able to host a Christ-centered volleyball camp with a local team!
I also taught high school Spanish for 3 years and was able to bring the world to my students and share my travel experiences with them. I absolutely loved teaching, but at the end of the 2022-23 school year decided I needed a break from the system. So, I quit my job with a loose back-up plan.
A few months later, Kamanda and Joe reached out to see if I’d be interested in coming temporarily as ministry support to help keep things running after the Hoovers had moved back to the States and Sarah had plans to be in the States for a few months. I prayed about it and talked a lot with my family. We were all sure that this was where the Lord was calling me to be. So, I said my “see you laters,” packed my bags, and moved to San Juan on September 12, 2023.
In less than a month of me being here, the Lord opened an unexpected door and I transitioned into the role of the guest house host. Although at first I was overwhelmed and out of my comfort zone, the Lord’s faithfulness and His presence has been so evident in this season. A verse that I have meditated on a lot since being here is Psalm 108:4, “For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” I have truly seen the evidence of the Lord’s unfailing love and faithfulness in seasons that didn’t look or feel good as well as in this season of transition.
Since moving to the guest house, I no longer see it as a “motel” of sorts for mission teams. I see it as my home. I see it as a place where strangers come in on Sunday and leave as friends on Friday. I see it as a place where I can invite people in, break bread with them, serve them, love them, and above all, share God’s goodness with them. I see it as a safe place for broken people to rest in the arms of Jesus. I see it as a place for fellowship with each other and with Christ. The guest house is the unexpected, yet beautiful home and ministry the Lord has set before me. I’m so thankful for the relationships, conversations, and memories that have already been made in this new home of mine and I can’t wait to see how the Lord moves in this place throughout 2024!
- Restored health for my grandpa who had a stroke last January
- Endurance for this busy season
- Spiritual and physical rest
- Peace while being away from family