RachelI am currently finishing my degree in Elementary Education from Liberty University online.

I am originally from Dublin, Georgia, but spent lots of time in Ellijay growing up. I love to kayak in my perception torrent. I also love spending time at the river and hiking with my Black Lab.

I got married at Big Canoe, to Mike Gondek on August 2, 2014. So far it was the best day of my life and such a blessing.

I am teaching Spanish in grades K-12. I began studying Spanish in the ninth grade. When I first started studying it I did not like it at all. My second semester taking Spanish, my school took a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. While I was there, I was very frustrated because I could not speak well. Even though I could not speak, I saw the love and joy of Christ in the hearts of such poor people. Although they had nothing, they considered God’s love as more than enough for them. It was on that trip on April 1, 2007, that I asked God to come into my heart and change me. Although I had grown up in a Christian school much like NGCA, and heard about God my whole life, it took extremely poor people who didn’t speak my language to truly see the love, joy, and grace that God gives. When I got back, I was able to understand the importance of studying a foreign language. I truly devoted myself to studying Spanish so that when I returned to the Dominican I could share the gospel in Spanish. I have a huge heart for missions and since then have been on over ten foreign mission trips. I believe that our school mission trip was truly a defining moment in my life and because of that moment I have the opportunity to teach Spanish today.

My husband and I are currently visiting churches in Ellijay. We have visited several, and the desire of my heart is to find a church that gives us community, fellowship, and will support my desire to continue short-term mission work.