Available for God, Serving in Kenya

Terri (Stull) Emerick ’87 is passionate about teaching geometry and being used by God. As a teacher at Rosslyn Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, she gets to do both. Since 2010, she and her husband, Rick, have been living and working in Africa. And they don’t plan on leaving any time soon.

But Emerick wasn’t always planning on being a missionary. In fact, the secondary education major had lived in northern Indiana all her life when she felt God calling her to be “available” following a church service early in her marriage. Nine months later, in 1995, she found herself in Kenya, serving as a missionary associate at Rosslyn, along with her husband and two young children. The Emericks lived and worked in Kenya for two years before returning to life in Indiana.

“By that time I was hooked on serving and I remembered that God asked me to be available. So anytime I was available to do missions work, whether short term or long term, I went,” Emerick says.

Sixteen years later, with their children grown up and out of the house, the couple returned to Rosslyn. It’s a boarding school that utilizes an American curriculum, so Emerick says that her typical day teaching is much like that of an American teacher. Students come from about 50 different countries and many of them do not know Christ, even though Rosslyn is a Christian school. So the school itself is somewhat of a mission field.

“I am able, through the devotions I lead in class, the Christian perspective I give to learning and the interactions I have with students outside of class, to plant seeds,” she says.

Beyond the classroom, Emerick chaperones teams of Rosslyn students doing mission work around Kenya, most recently taking a group of 9th graders to work in an orphanage and help at a school in the slum of Kitale. She also acts as a spiritual mentor for female students and participates in a women’s Bible study for the domestic workers of Rosslyn.

But one of her favorite roles is sitting on the board for Compassion for Africa (CFA), an organization based in South Bend, Ind. that supports abandoned children in Kenya and Uganda through two group homes.

“We act as a liaison between the supporters in the U.S. and the pastors that run the homes,” Emerick says.

She enjoys being an “auntie,” throwing a birthday party for the girls’ home 3-4 times per year where she brings treats and gives each birthday girl a book.

Emerick says that living overseas has given her a broader view of just how precious each life is.

“I’m passionate about be used by God to make a difference in someone’s life. I am not a preacher, and I don’t always have the words or the knowledge or the funds I wish I had, but what I have is God’s.” 

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