We are so excited to be heading to Kenya the day after Christmas! We are so blessed to be able to spend time with our beloved friends and family in Kenya during the holiday season and be able to share the joy of Christ’s birth across the globe! While we will be missing our family back in the states during the holiday time we know their prayers and hearts are with us as we serve others in Kenya.
We will be working at Pehucci Children’s Home in Ruai alongside the Restoration of Saints Church and their young adult group, some of which came from Pehucci. Many of the children here have no family at all and live here full time. Together, we are able to bless them with 3 gifts in a bag alongside teaching lessons from the Christmas story. Together with Kenyan young adults, we will challenge them on issues of temptation and the potential inside of them. We can’t wait to share the joy of the holiday with these kids and give them all the love we have.
We will also visit Wings of Life in Kibera and then head to the Maasai Mara where we will spend time on safari and also on mission at Siana school.
We can’t wait to take the Christmas spirit and give of ourselves to those in Kenya and spread Christ’s love all over everyone there!
Britney Christie, Co-Founder
I am co-founder of Be Free Rev and live in Oakland, TN with my wonderful husband Michael and two sweet kiddos, Lynlee and Everhett. The past two years I have seen God provide for so many through His endless love for us. He has answered so many prayers for the kids, women and men in Africa and also for us at BFR. This trip in particular is a personal answered prayer for me. Through all my years of mission work in Africa, my husband Michael has not been able to make it on a trip. He will be coming this trip and will be able to see first hand the difference that God is making in the lives of these people. He has been my rock and such a HUGE supporter of the work that we are doing and now he is going to be able to see it come together full-circle. He has seen the intense amount of work that we have put into making BFR a reality and now he is going to see what all this hard work is doing. Michael is not the only one that is close to my heart on this trip, my aunt, close friends, leaders within BFR and new friends. I am beyond thankful that God has called me into this life and beyond blessed that I get to share these experiences with so many that are so dear to me. I cannot wait to see Irene and Mercy meet Michael for the first time. I know it is something I will never forget.
Lacey Stluka, Co-Founder
I am from Memphis, TN and Co-Founder of Be Free Rev. The Lord’s calling for me was simple, “Go..” I have not looked back since. I ask myself all the time why God thought us worthy of such a huge calling in life but I thank Him everyday for believing in us and instilling the courage to stop at nothing to achieve it.
I am very blessed to be able to lead teams to Kenya and to have such an incredible team that is bursting with extraordinary gifts. Kenya is such a special place to BFR and we consider those we serve our family as well. I am excited for the team to meet all the kids and leaders that are an intricate part of BFR and watch them touch and change each others hearts. My favorite part of mission work is watching God burst out of team members as they act as His hands and feet and see how their hearts and faith shift. It is something so powerful and peaceful at the same time. I am excited to journey with great friends, a gifted team, Kenyan friends, and newcomers on this adventure to Kenya!
Nicole Hinson, BFR Team Leader
I’m so honored to be serving in Kenya for a second time since July! It was such an amazing experience that I just HAD to return. I was born and raised in the Bay Area of California before moving to Memphis at the age of 16. I have called Memphis home ever since. I attended the University of Memphis (GO TIGERS!) and I currently work for ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where it is my mission to help raise funds for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. I’ve been married to my husband, Andrew (a UT grad and Vol fan – I must really love him) for almost 2 1/2 years and it’s been the absolute best time of my life. I feel so blessed to have this opportunity yet again to travel with the Be Free team and see the kiddos I’ve missed!
Erin Tyler, BFR Core Team
Born and raised in Memphis, TN, I currently live in north Mississippi with my husband and two children. I work for Shelby County Schools as a special education teacher, providing academic and functional skills training to students with intellectual disabilities.
Over the past couple of years, I have had the opportunity to witness the amazing work that BFR is doing to empower individuals – both across the globe and in their own backyard. It wasn’t until I travelled with a team to Kenya in September, though, that I was able to fully comprehend the life-changing impact being made by those dedicated to the mission of BFR. The time spent serving on the field, interacting with Kenyan youth and leaders and learning from the incredibly talented team and leaders that God assembled for that mission were enough to change my heart forever. But, it was through the laughter of a playful child, the twinkle in the eye of a student eager to learn, the embrace of a young woman yearning for acceptance, the determination of a few special people willing to give their lives to make a difference and the overwhelming faith and thanksgiving that announced the beginning of each new day that I was given a new perspective on life and a greater understanding of God’s timely grace. This journey began, for me, as a mission to serve others and quickly became a passion to change lives. I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity to travel back to Kenya and to be reunited with all of the amazing people that I met there just a few short months ago. I am so very excited for the chance to build upon the work that the September team did and am confident that God’s plan for this December team will be equally as incredible!
Morgan Cooper, BFR Core Team
Jambo! My name is Morgan Cooper, and I live in Memphis, TN. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20) has been and continues to be the theme of my story. My husband, Jared, and I were a part of the mission to Kenya in September, and it changed our life forever. Raising funds for the mission caused our faith to grow tremendously as God blessed “exceeding abundantly”. While in Kenya, it continued to grow as we experienced God like never before. Through teaching, counseling, or even just holding a hand, we learned that love works. Each ministry was unique and special to us in its own way. Jared and I are both teachers, and while there we developed a huge burden for the leaders and teachers. What amazing people! They were such an inspiration as we watched them serve their students and each other with humility and grace. We truly desire to inspire, encourage, and disciple them as teachers. Jared is very busy pursuing a master’s degree in Biblical Counseling, but we are excited for me to be able to continue serving the mission by being a part of the team in December. Our God is good and so very faithful. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
I am married to Britney, who also happens to be the co-founder of BFR and we have two children, Lynlee and Everhett. I work in my family’s stone/building materials business, which has been operating in the Memphis area for 108 years.
I’m excited about finally getting the opportunity to go to Kenya. I’m looking forward to meeting familiar faces and making new friends. I love learning about new things and I know there will be plenty of chances for that. I am grateful this opportunity and excited about the adventure!
I am an 18 year old who is proud to say she is from Memphis, Tennessee. Graduating from Collierville High School in May of 2014. One of the Be Free co-founders, Britney Christie, is a good family friend and she is the one who helped begin this journey for me.
I am super excited to be going to Kenya, let alone Africa. I’m also so blessed to have such a supportive family who are strong believers in Jesus Christ to allow all of this to happen. I love children and love to serve. I hope this team is ready for this incredible journey and opportunity because I know I am!! I absolutely cannot wait to see what God has in store for us!
I moved to Memphis a little over a year and a half ago after a chance encounter on an airplane led me to my dream job working at ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Prior to moving to Memphis, I spent the 5 years working in New York, NY for a fashion apparel company. Helping others is a passion of mine, so while in NY, I volunteered with four non-profit organizations, all focused on helping children in different capacities. The transition to Memphis from NYC was somewhat easy as I am originally from Oklahoma. I received my B.A. in Journalism, with a focus in Public Relations, from the University of Oklahoma. I am looking forward to doing God’s work in Africa!
I am the proud aunt of Britney Christie. Britney has inspired me in so many ways with her commitment to the Lord’s work and her desire and willingness to follow his lead, no matter what that requires. My desire is to have that same unbridled commitment. I have been happily married for almost 29 years and have two grown boys (yes, I am by far the oldest person on this journey). I have been on mission with my youngest son to an orphanage in Sautillo, Mexico but have told my husband for years I had absolutely no desire to go to Africa, although he was free to go by himself if he felt so led. That all changed in the spring of 2013 when Britney planted the seed for me to go with “Be Free ” in December. I told her I would pray about it but quite honestly had no idea that is what the Lord had in mind. After much prayer It became crystal clear that The Lord wanted me to go on this trip and I have had total peace about it since committing to go. I am excited that God has chosen to use me and can’t wait to see what He has in store. I know in my heart it will be life changing. Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go ; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Mandy and Felicity Strickland
My dear friend Morgan introduced me to Be Free thru her amazing jewelry. She was also Felicity’s 4th grade teacher where the seed was planted in her classroom on missions. Never did we think just 2 short years later we’d be on our way to Africa all together!! I (Mandy) was born and lived in Florida until I married. I am a stay at home mom with a photography business on the side. Me and Jason have been married 14 years and we have 2 children.
I’m from St. Louis, and have lived here for most of my life. I’ve known for some time that my purpose on this earth is to help others. My first college degree was in psychology, where I had planned to go to grad school to do counseling. After I finished my degree, I decided that I wanted to be more hands on , and pursued a second degree in nursing, which I have been doing since 2008. I currently work as a nurse in the emergency department of a very busy hospital in St. Louis.
I have long felt, that I still had more to give outside of my daily job, and have wanted to serve abroad forever. It always seemed the timing wasn’t right, or other things came up. But, when I received an email about the application deadline for this mission, I jumped at the opportunity. And I cannot wait to see what, who, and how I can serve in Africa. I am the proud aunt of eight nieces and nephews, and I love traveling and adventures more than anything.