The Backstory

You wanna know the backstory? Are you sure? Like, how much of it? Because I don’t really know where to start, and that, my friend, is a dangerous thing.

I was born in the Original Washington in 7 minutes flat, back in the early 80s. My sister said they found me in a trash can, but after a while I realised we looked too much alike for me to be convinced I was adopted.

Maybe that’s too far back.

The adventure that started in the sweetest little town in Eastern North Carolina continued a half an hour up the road, where I picked up a couple of degrees (Broadcast Communications B.S., International Studies, M.A.) at East Carolina University. How magna cum laude ever found its way behind my name, the world may never know.

While studying, a three-month adventure to Mexico, a shorter one to South Africa and Zambia, and a third to Scotland convinced me that some more time abroad was a good next step.

From there I spent an exciting year learning the ropes at a Pawn Shop, before departing to be part of a church plant in the chilly British Isles, where four years in Edinburgh earned me a consistently improving attempt at a Scottish accent, a barrel-full of wonderful new friends, a Masters in Theological Ethics, and half a PhD.

While enjoying my bacon roll with brown sauce, and exploring Auld Reekie, I met a strapping South African lad who is not to be confused with the Croc Hunter. Ahem. We married less than two years later, and have a Scottish-African-American Bear, a sweet Baby Brother, and at least ten thousand photos to show for our adventures together thus far.

We moved to South Africa two years later, and founded a local division of the international charity Samaritan’s Feet, called Samaritan’s Feet South Africa. Catchy, hey? After about two years of calling the Western Cape home, we moved back to that sweet little hometown of mine in Eastern North Carolina. And isn’t it amazing — I’m soon expecting the birth of our third child, and she will be born in that same hospital where this adventure all started — but will she beat the record of seven minutes flat? We’ll see.

Though my mailing address has changed ten times and spanned three continents in the last seven years, I am ever so glad that stepping outside my door with passport in hand has led to the pie of adventure that has befallen this little ol’ gal from Eastern North Carolina.

So, I write with love, from here.


This is the wee Collie clan, at present — a photo of all of us with new baby sister should be on its way soon!


How was that for the the short and short of it? For the rest of the story (as it unfolds) and some extra thoughts thrown in free of charge, you can head back to the home page or peruse the archives. Thanks for stopping by!

I love feedback, I hope you’re encouraged and I hope you enjoy! If you would like my opinion about something, would like me to write about something, or even if you think I should just hush, as the Scots say, gies a shout! You can email me at cedcollie {at} gmail {dot} com or holla at carolinecollie on Twitter. We raise our own support for our ministry, so feel free to ask for those details, if you’d like information about making a contribution!

Blessings and grace,


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Gloris Young October 14, 2009 at 12:05 am

Hello, Caroline! I am a PROCRASTINATOR! I mentioned to my husband about your ministry, then let it drop. He wants me to research it before we jump on board. I’ve been busy, and…. So, thanks for contacting me on Gloriadelia. It was the bump I needed to get moving again. God bless your cute little South African family! Gloris (


Kristin Taber March 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

A BEAUTIFUL Backstory!


Nancy Poplin April 11, 2010 at 5:17 am

I came across your blog tonight while browsing through blogs of mutual friends. (I love it, btw!) So, after reading your “backstory,” I now am starting to wonder if I may have met you in Edinburgh, back in 2005. I was on the 10 day church plant to Scotland that summer with Every Nation. Yeah, I know that there were 90-something of us, but maybe we met? I am trying hard to remember. I was in one of the Glasgow groups, though. Anyway, I absolutely want to go back! Hope everything has gone well there with the church plant since then!

God bless you! Thanks for being a blessing to others!


Caroline April 12, 2010 at 9:24 pm

Hey Nancy — glad we’ve connected or reconnected! I am not sure if we met during your trip in 2005. I was just getting settled in when your team arrived, so I was a bit hands-off during those first mission trips because I was trying to find my feet in a new place! I hope you get the chance to go back. The church is doing well and I really miss the people that I grew so close to over those four years. Thanks for the encouragement!


Christopher Teasdale September 9, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Hello Caroline…

‘Great to be in touch with you.
I am looking forward to getting to know you all
and your work in CPT more.
Please, contact me as soon as you get the opportunity.

Thank you,
In Christ…


Nicci Crisp January 27, 2011 at 8:22 am

Hi C

you have had me in hystrics reading ur blog… i am glad to see i am not the only one struggling with the baby naming thing…

Have a God Blessed day



Caroline January 27, 2011 at 9:36 am

Thanks, Nicci! I’m glad you’re having a good giggle! I think boy names are way harder than girl names, don’t you? Here’s hoping we’ll figure it out before the little one arrives!! xCC


Taryn July 14, 2011 at 8:35 am

Hi there. I saw your post on se7en’s celeb blog and came visiting here :-) lovely honest and interesting blog! I love it. :-) my husband recently returned from a business trip to NC (he works in security with G4S) – he loved it! What town in NC are you from/returning to? I lived in Michigan for a year and loved it. One day I hope to return with the six of us and experience life there for a bit. When another country becomes your home for a while, it gets under your skin and it’s hard to shake it off! I feel for you and your family as you make this emotional move! Adventures are fun – albeit hard on the emotions! Praying God’s peace and joy as you travel this road!


Caroline July 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Thanks so much, Taryn! I just replied to your comment on Se7en’s blog as well — isn’t she great? And I visited your blog too — lovely!! We’ll be returning to my hometown, Washington, NC for a while, but my husband will be working in Greenville, about half an hour from there. (And where we plan to look for a place to live when we can!) I completely understand the feeling you’re speaking of — Scotland and South Africa are under my skin now and they sure are unshakeable! It hard to go, but knowing the Lord is leading the way is making it easier. Thanks for the prayers! Many blessings to you and your cute crew!!! So glad we’ve connected!


Robbie Mattox April 19, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I am a southern girl who has found herself in South Africa on two mission trips…albeit far from the cape. I love the country of South Africa and often think of the great friends I have made there.

With 4 children adopted from China, my heart lives in China, too.

Don’t know how I’ve come across your blog, but I look forward to learning more about your work!


Caroline April 25, 2012 at 10:09 am

Thanks so much for leaving a note, Robbie! It is such a wonderful country! I would love to hear more of your story — especially the adoption story, wow!! Blessings to you!!!


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