Jessica Buchanan, the woman rescued from Somalia bandits by U.S. special forces, is so dedicated to helping others that she sold all of her belongings to become a missionary in Somalia.

Buchanan, 32, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Valley Forge University, a Christian college in Phoenixville, Pa., in 2007. She was a student teacher in Africa before graduating and her romance with the continent began.

“She fell in love with Africa,” Rev. Don Meyer, dean of Valley Forge University told the Associated Press. “She could hardly talk about Africa without tears in her eyes.”

Her home church, the York Cavalry Temple Assembly of God, put out a message during her captivity that combined her devotion and determination.

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