Before turning 20, Kenny Lambourdiere left her island home and moved to a foreign country where no one in her family had ever been. Her parents encouraged her to trust the Lord and explore opportunities in the United States. She did. With bold faith, she traveled from Guadeloupe in the French West Indies to Boston, Massachusetts.
About the only thing the two nations had in common was tracing history to landings by Christopher Columbus in the 1490s. Kenny transitioned from speaking French and Creole to American English, though she had some British English background from her schooling. She also had to adjust to new currency and culture. “God is always with me, no matter what,” she said.
Her favorite Bible verse is “The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1 NIV).
She handles confusion about her given name “Kenny” with grace. “I don’t know why my dad picked that,” she said. “Kenny certainly isn’t French. But “Kenneth” does mean heavenly.” Another translation reveals her unisex name as “Born of Fire.” That foreshadows her life journey.
After leaving everything familiar behind, Kenny resided with close family friends in Boston. She got a job at McDonald’s where she operated the grill flipping burgers. “I didn’t know a lot of English and used simple words to get by. I said ‘perhaps’ quite a bit. One of my co-workers finally told me, ‘Maybe will suffice.’ ” She chuckled at this memory, and when she laughs, her whole body rocks with delight.
During the next six years, she earned her way to a management position at the restaurant. When another co-worker moved to a bank job, Kenny decided she would try a change too. “I got all dressed up in a nice suit and took my resume to a branch near where I lived. I was told I would get a call back, but I never did.”
She waited two weeks, then went back. “I sat for an hour in the lobby waiting to speak with a manager. Back then, everything was in person instead of online.” Confident and persistent, she finally got to speak with a regional manager who hired her to start as soon as possible.
Twenty years later, she manages two bank branches undergoing a merger. “I love my job! God put me in position to provide people with solutions,” she said.
She and her team of eight offer services ranging from opening new business accounts to advising people how to regroup after identity theft. She often shares her faith with someone burdened by difficulty. “No one comes to me by coincidence,” Kenny said. “God sends them to me for a reason.”
Despite personal and professional pressures, she practices thanking God in advance for the good things that are about to happen. “When I look at the story of my beautiful life,” she said, “there’s only a few things I’d change. I love life.”
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