Home About Me About Kenya News Guestbook

About Me

JudyI was born in New Orleans, LA, on February 12, 1946, to a Christian mother and a father who would become a Christian much later.  My brother was born 2½ years later.  We were both brought up in church (Central Baptist) from birth.  My mother was the church secretary, organist, and director of the youth department in Sunday School.  My father, a television engineer, was responsible for broadcasting the Sunday morning sermons on a local radio station.  So, although he wasn’t an active member, he did hear the sermons regularly.


When I was a sophomore at Southeastern LA College, in Hammond, LA, my mother died suddenly at home.  That was 1965 and she was only 45.  On the Sunday following her funeral, my father made his profession of faith in Jesus Christ and became an active member of the church and grew in the grace of the Lord.  If the only reason my mother had to die was to bring my father to faith in Jesus Christ, her untimely death was truly not in vain.  Daddy remarried a few years later, and then he died of cancer at the age of 60 in 1974.  Momma and Daddy are united again in heaven and my prayer is that my step-mother will be saved some day so she can join them.


In 1967 I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Music degree with a major in piano and minor in organ.  A week later I married John Hatton Rushing and we went off to Fort Worth, TX, to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where he received his Masters in Church Music.  Seminary studies were interrupted by four years in the Navy during the Vietnam War, but he finally received his degree in 1976.  By then we had two children:  Terri Lynn (1970) and John Barry (1972).  What a blessing they are!  They are married and have given me five grandchildren: multiple blessings!


We served several churches in Texas, Maryland, and Virginia during the seminary and Navy years, and then served two churches in Georgia full time until 1984 when John became a part-time church music director and opened two custom picture framing businesses.  In 1985 I became the organist at First Baptist Church, Snellville, GA, and then joined the music office staff in 1994.  I retired in 2006 after Judy and school childrenmore than 20 years.


My husband, John, went to be with the Lord on December 4, 1995, after a 10-month battle with cancer.  He was 51 and we had been married 28 years.  God has a plan for each of us and John’s plan was finished.  He had run his course and finished the race.  However, mine wasn’t finished yet and it was at this point in my life, as a widow, that God began preparing me to serve Him in Africa.



My Testimony - God's Call to Africa

When I was 11 or 12, I remember telling God, “I’ll go wherever You want me to go, but don’t ever send me to Africa.”  My vision of Africa was formulated from movies, especially Tarzan movies, where snakes dropped out of trees and crushed people to death.  I’m sure now that God had a good laugh out of that one, since Africa is exactly where He is leading me to go.


When my husband, John, went home to be with the Lord in December 1995 after 10 months of fighting cancer, God began planting seeds for this present season of my life.  After John’s death God told me not to remarry.  He said, “I have something for you to do, and if you remarry, it will inhibit what I have for you.”  Now, 10 years later, He has revealed what that “something” is.


At the same time God told me not to remarry, He also told me I would travel.  I’ve been to Israel, Japan, Canada, and many places in the US from New Mexico, to New York, to Florida.  On the way home from the Bahamas on a cruise ship, God said, “Your next trips need to be mission trips.”  I immediately thought, That sounds great.  My first mission trip was to Africa in 2002, which totally amazed me:  first, because I had told God not to send me there, and second, because God had obviously changed my heart and I really wanted to go.  I was in total awe of how the Lord had been working in me and I wasn’t even aware of it!  The next mission trips were to Mexico with high school students and New York City to minister during the 2nd anniversary of 9/11 in 2003, and then back to Africa in 2005.


The first time I was in Africa I fell in love with Kenya and the beautiful, gracious people who live there, and God told me, “You can live here on social security and be rich.”  Since then my conversations with the Lord about Africa have been regular and frequent with confirmations and reconfirmations about my going.


The Lord has had an answer for all of my concerns, for example, health care.  In December 2004 I contracted bacterial meningitis, which is not contagious but is deadly.  I could have died right in my own home with the best health care facilities all around me in Atlanta.  But God miraculously showed His love, protection and healing power that He can also show in Africa.  God isn’t going to take me until He is ready no matter where I am.


Another example is my family.  My son is not saved and I have prayed that God would let me see him ask Jesus into his life before leaving for Africa.  While walking on one of the many cow paths in Kenya one day, I was pondering that situation when God said, “Just as you have planted seed here, you have also planted seed in him.  Just leave him in My hands.”  What can anyone say to God after that?  I can do a better job than God?  I don’t think so!


It has been amazing to look back on these last 10 years and see how the Lord has gently and compassionately led me to this point.  I never in a million years would have guessed that God would choose me to go work for Him in Africa, nor would I have guessed that I would want to go.  But I am so excited I can hardly wait to get there and start working.  And, by the way, in two trips to Kenya I have yet to see a snake!


Top of Page