Hi! I am MacKenzie (sometime Kenzie or Kenz, but never in your life Mack). I love Jesus, people, laughter, Mexican food, Superheroes, glitter, and chocolate.
My family is amazing and I am the proud auntie of 2 beautiful little boys, Oliver and Lincoln, and cousin to the always entertaining twins, Sydney and Sebastian.
These kiddos are some of the most important people in my life and missing the opportunity to be with them as they grow up is going to be one of the hardest parts of going to Costa Rica.
After graduating from Fresno Pacific University in 2010 with a degree in Social Work, I have been searching for a way to incorporate my calling to serve the poor, minister, and live abroad. Following my graduation I had the opportunity to work with a Rapid Re-Housing and Homeless Prevention Program, as well as to live with the World Impact Ministry in inner city Fresno.
Both of these experiences reinforced my passion for serving those living in poverty and my interest in community development, but after six months, my desire to live in a third world country took hold.
I decided to go to Central America in January 2011 on my own in the quest to learn Spanish, a dream of mine for quite some time. I ended up in a small town in Panama called Boquete where I lived for almost a year. Panama was an eye-opening experience for me—I fell in love. I fell in love with the Latin culture, with the Spanish language (which I am still attempting to master), with the way of life. I was able to live with an incredible local family and work in a plethora of arenas. Panama fulfilled my thirst for adventure, culture, and life in a developing country, but I realized that I was called to more—to be actively and intentionally serving the poor.
That is where Students International (SI) came in.
SI is an organization with the mission of bringing students and the poor together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple, and serve others in occupational ministries. Through a series of open doors and events too random to be anything other than orchestrated by God, I had the opportunity to visit SI in San Jose, Costa Rica and to see the work that is being done there in some of the poorest communities.
I am so excited to say that I have been hired on to this awesome team and I can not wait to get to Costa Rica and to begin serving there! It is such an amazing feeling to know that I will be able to invest in the lives of others a lot like I am able to do now, but to do it in a full time capacity!