Investing in Senegal since 2000
I was called to cross-cultural Christian work as a middle-schooler. I had grown up around the Bible and knew the stories, but when God spoke to me during a worship service He became real to me and I knew He wanted me to cross barriers to take the good news about Jesus to people who had not heard about him before.
During my time at Wheaton College I was fortunate to work and study in Tanzania for six months. This was my first overseas experience. Learning another language, accompanying Tanzanian extension workers far up into the mountains, and living with a Tanzanian family at times pushed me beyond my abilities, but it also confirmed my call to service outside of my home culture. I returned to Wheaton knowing that I would return to Africa, and that I needed a good wife to be able to last any length of time at it!
God started stirring in me a desire to live and work cross-culturally when I was in the 8th grade. As I began studying French that year, I found that I loved hearing about other cultures and learning a new language. Around the same time I heard God calling me to commit myself to being a serious disciple of Jesus. I received a strong biblical education at The Master’s School in Connecticut where I studied for ten years and was mentored by my parents and other godly adults, both at school and at our home church, The Barn (Covenant Presbyterian Church).
In tenth grade a student from Ghana joined our family for a year and became like a brother to me; that was the beginning of my interest in Africa. So through the gifts and passions He created in me, and through people and circumstances, God slowly made it clear that He was calling me to work in French-speaking Africa. By the time I graduated from high school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in teaching and serving the Lord overseas.
I went on to be certified as a foreign language teacher at Wheaton College, where I also got my first taste of cross-cultural life and ministry through a short-term experience in Honduras, a semester in France, and finally a semester student teaching at Dakar Academy in Senegal. Corey and I met just before I came to Senegal that first time in 1997, when he was just returning from an internship in Tanzania. We were both looking at a career in cross-cultural work in Africa and quickly decided to pursue this together; we married in 1998.
It was while Katie was student teaching in Dakar in 1997 that she first met some SIM workers. Through that connection, we ended up joining SIM and coming to Senegal. On Jan. 1, 2000 the two of us went to Quebec where Corey spent five months in intensive French language study before we moved to Senegal. We spent our first term in the small city of Thies teaching computer classes in French and studying the Wolof language and culture.
Our daughter Emma was born there in 2001; she was followed by Molly fourteen months later in 2003. Just six weeks after Molly’s birth we moved to the rural area of Senegal called Kaffrine where we have served since. Our third daughter Julia Wheaton was born in 2005. All three girls have spent the vast majority of their childhoods in Senegal and speak English, Wolof, and French.
In April of 2018 we added our two sons by adoption, Jake and Will. They are a great joy to our family and add a lot of laughter and fun!
Subscribe to the Prayer Log
You can receive updates via email when we post news on our site - just click below and enter your information