Sunday, October 19, 2014

Almost the end...

The trip is coming to a close. We finished the last of the ministry projects today by going to Kasarani and attending the church service at Agape Kasarani. Agape Kasarani is the church of our longtime friend Pastor Peter Kaunda.

We accomplished a lot during our last two days with Jason and Bekkah. We finished all the trellises and Mark fabricated a door for a goat house from scratch. We also held a medical clinic, a women and children’s health training session and fed the local villagers Pilau. At the beginning of the training session several local men insisted they be included but when they learned what the topic would be they were more than happy to leave the learning to the women. I guess men are the same all over. It was great to be with Jason and Bekkah – they are so gracious to open their hearts and home to us every time we bring a team. Our Go truly is good – all the time.
Yesterday we travelled back to Nairobi which is basically an all-day effort. This morning part of the team went to the church at Kasarani, as I mentioned, and the rest of the team went to church with Chrissy Kelly. The church service at Kasarani was awesome but it was long, we were in church from 10:00 AM until 3:30 PM. After church we went to Peter and his wife Ruth’s home and had a bite to eat. We left Peter’s a little after 4:00 PM.
Tomorrow we are going to the Nairobi game park to see the wonders of God’s creation here in Africa. On Tuesday we will do some shopping and pack. Wednesday morning at 4:00 AM we will leave to go to the airport. It is hard to believe the two weeks has come and gone this fast. Please continue to pray for us as we complete our time here and travel back home.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A new day

Yesterday we took part in a medical clinic for the village Jason and Bekkah work with. The village is close to the farm and they have a medical clinic each week. Anyone who needs medical attention can come and many people from other villages walk to the clinic to be seen by a nurse. The team helped with taking temperatures, blood pressure, recording information, handing out medicines and seeing patients. You get a new appreciation for life being involved in something like a village medical clinic.

Today we will be doing some training on hygiene, working on finishing our projects at the farm and making lunch for the village. I'm sure it will be a great day. Thanks for your prayers and support.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Week!

We have spent the last three days working with Jason and Rebecca Witt. Jason and Bekkah are involved in many different ministries in this area. Their focus is to show people the love and peace of God by setting an example in their day to day living, doing whatever they can to improve the lives of the people in this area and by being an active part of the community. The men have been working with Jason on the farm and the women have been travelling with Bekkah as she and her daughters go to visit local schools. They have been visiting schools that are attended by local children who follow the local belief systems. They have been playing and singing with the children, working on craft projects and even performed a skit. The crafts, songs and the skit all deliver a message. The first craft was designed to teach the children the message “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” , the second was on the fruit of the spirit and included the skit.

We have been working with Jason to build a trellis system that can be easily moved to support vine plants like tomatoes, melons, etc. The trellises need to built from metal because nothing made of wood would last. Between the heat and the termites nothing wooden lasts for long. We are also started helping a missionary that has been working with Jason to build a hydroponic bed for growing vegetables. On the farm they have three fish tanks. The fish produce nutrients in the water that need to be cleaned or the levels will become too high and kill the fish. The nutrients in the water are great for growing vegetables. The idea is to build a structure to act as a vegetable bed over the fish tank. The bed will be filled with sand and gravel. Water from the fish tank is pumped up to the bed where the nutrients will be filtered out by the sand and gravel. The plants will feed directly from the water so no soil is needed. The water will pass through the bed and return to the fish tank clean and oxygenated. Pretty cool idea for a place that lacks sufficient water and proper soil for producing food.
It is an awesome blessing being here working with the Witts and the Kellys. God is so amazingly good and to have this opportunity to share His love in practical ways is humbling and exciting at the same time. Tim talked about a friend of ours, Rubien, the other night. Rubien was born in this area of Kenya and he has a genuine love for the people here. When Rubien was explaining why he has such a passion for these people he always says he was fortunate to be born into the family he has. If he had been born into a different family or just 80 Km further north how very different his life would have been. Rubien says he didn't choose his family or place of birth, no one does, and he feels that people deserve an opportunity to know God despite their family, people group or place of birth. At one point or another we have probably all said "If not for the grace of God", but Rubien, the Kellys and the Witts are putting this to practical application and I am thankful to have a chance to be even a small part of it.

We will be here working with Jason, Bekkah, Tim and Chris through Saturday when we return to Nairobi. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We love and miss all of you!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Second thru Fourth Day

We travelled to Njorro (pronounced Jorro) to work with David and Ann Kinyanjui. The internet service there was unreliable so I wasn’t able to provide any updates while we were there. We have returned to Nairobi and are looking forward to going to work with the Witts.
When we arrived on Friday we were greeted by hundreds of mommas singling, clapping and playing drums. We were escorted and danced into the school where we would be working on the meals and the building project. To be greeted by so many people who were excited and overjoyed to receive us was a little overwhelming but also an amazing blessing. In Njorro we were able to help with providing meals to single mothers and older mothers on Friday and children on Saturday. There were probably 265 mothers on Friday and another 350 children on Saturday. We provided the food, helped with the preparation and served the meal. The team played with the children and taught them new songs and games as the meal was cooking. It was amazing to see so all the children having fun and enjoying the attention of our group.
We also worked on building chicken coops for David and Ann. The Kinyanjuis raise chickens and sell the eggs and excess chickens to fund the work they do at their pre-schools. They also “give” chickens to people who are in need. The people who receive the chickens are expected to donate a pair of chickens back to David and Ann once the pair has started producing new chicks. David and Ann then give the pair to someone else in need. We built four chicken coops that the Kinyanjuis will use to help people in their community. The chicken coops will be donated along with the pair of chickens to people who would not otherwise have the ability to build their own coop.
We attended church in Njorro on Sunday. Tracy was able to share during the bible study time at the service. Tracy did a great job sharing God’s word and God’s love. Madeline and Bonnie shared a little about their experiences for the two days we worked in Njorro. Mark preached for the main service. Everyone did an amazing job sharing God’s word and God’s love with the people of Agape Felloship Njorro. We did one more meal after the church service and David and Ann invited people who were in the area to come in and be fed.
I had a great time serving with David and Ann and I think the rest of the team did too. The Kinyanjuis are awesome examples of God’s grace and love. They do so much to help so many people with so little and they do it all with a smile and praise for God. It was great being able to serve alongside them. Tomorrow we will leave Nairobi to go and work with the Witts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jealous God

For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:24
Our God is a jealous God. This idea has been rattling around inside my head since earlier this summer. Pastor Mike spoke to the youth group about our jealous God.
He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions
Eclipsed by glory and I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me 

David Crowder - How He Loves Lyrics
I have known that God is a jealous God for a long time – the bible has multiple scriptures and references to the jealousy of God – but I had never really stopped to consider the deeper implications or meaning of God’s jealousy. Jealousy is usually thought of as a negative emotion, wanting or envying something someone else has and wishing it were our own. The other meaning of jealous is something closer to zealous. It is like a man who is jealous for his wife or a mother who is jealous for her children. This is the jealousy God has. A zeal and love for something that is uniquely His. A passion for His own. God is jealous of His name – His majesty, His authority and His holiness – and He commands us to place nothing else before Him. This is also the jealousy God has for us. God is jealous for our undivided attention, love and worship. Just as God jealously protects His name, He also protects us and pulls us closer and closer to Him.
This has been intensifying for me as we have gotten closer to coming on this trip to Kenya.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.                                                                           John 3:16
God wants to have a relationship with every person, everywhere. He made us and He made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. God is an all-consuming fire and He wants all of us to be consumed with Him. The people of our church, the people of our community and the people here in Kenya. Rich people, poor people, people who have much and people who have nothing at all. God wants to be in an all-consuming relationship with everyone. As I have thought more and more about the jealousy of God I have started to see His passion for us – all of us. He is jealous for me, and just as jealous for everyone.
Today we will be travelling to Njorro to work with David and Ann Kinyanjui. David and Ann are passionately caring for the children of Njorro. This will be our first day of ministry. We will spend the next few days working alongside David and Ann to feed, teach and love the children they minister to everyday. I am excited, honored, and humbled to take part in the work God is doing through the Knyanjuis in Njorro.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The first morning of the first day

The team arrived last night. Thank God for an uneventful trip. All our flights were on time, no issues at the airports, all our luggage arrived and we were able to get through customs with no issues. Everyone is doing well, or as well as anyone could expect given 30 hours of travel and little to no sleep. The Kellys picked us up at the airport. It was great to see Tim and Chris and the smiles, and a few tears, on everyone's faces. From the airport we traveled to a missionary guest house that is operated by a Norwegian missions group. It is interesting to be in Nairobi and have all the signs around the guest house in Norwegian. Today we will be taking it easy and recovering from our travels and jet lag. We will do a little sight seeing and then spend time with Tim and Chris at their house.

I am excited to see what God will do with this day and this trip. Today is like the opening paragraph on the first page of the story God will write on our hearts during this trip. Like with any good story, I am filled with a sense of wonder and anticipation to see how the story goes. Our story, this trip, is just a small part of the story God has been writing in Kenya, Green Bay and the world. I am humbled to be part of what our God is doing. Thanks for all your prayers. I know you will continue to pray with us as we go forward from here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Carpe diem!

Seize the day! This seems like an appropriate message on this day, the day we are leaving for Kenya. Seize the day! The definition of seize is to “take hold of suddenly and forcibly.” Help us take hold of the day as we begin our journey to Kenya. Help us take hold of this day and the days to come to take Christ to the people of Kenya and everyone we encounter on the way. Help us remember that today and every day is a day the Lord has made. We couldn’t make this journey without the love, support and prayers of our families and our church so please continue to take hold of the day with us in prayer.

If you are interested in what we are doing and where we are going keep an eye on the blog. I will try to post updates as frequently as I am able. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hello Again - For the First Time

It has been awhile since I've done any blogging. For anyone who may have missed the updates I apologize. It has been a very busy summer.

Living Hope is preparing to send another team to Kenya. This will be a team of many firsts. This will be the first team that is going to work with the Kelly family in their role as full time missionaries in Kenya. This will be the first team to go on a trip in the fall of the year - which is the start of summer in Kenya. This is also the first all adult team to go on a trip. I am very excited to see what God has planned for the team that is going, the impact the team will have on the Kelly's ministry, the impact Kenya will have on the team and most excited to see what God will do through, to and with all of us. For any who haven't heard we will be leaving on October 7th and returning on October 23rd. There are 7 adults going. We will be working with the Kelly's and the Witt's in different areas of Kenya. Our primary purpose will be to demonstrate the love of Christ to the people we encounter throughout the trip. Our secondary purpose is to provide support for the ministry work of the Kelly's, the Witt's and David and Ann Kinyanjui. David and Ann pastor a church in Njorro. We helped start their church on the 2007 trip. We will be supporting these ministries through the materials we take over, the work we do along side them but mostly by showing the Kelly's, the Witt's and the Kinyanjui's the love of their Savior through the love of their brother and sisters. This is what being a member of God's family is all about - following Christ's example in serving each other and those who don't know who He is...yet.

In preparing for this trip I have been reading John Piper's book "Let the Nations Be Glad!" Quoting the book, "Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church, worship is." When I first read this statement I did a double take. I'm passionate about missions for a number of reasons  - after all Christ himself commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations - so this statement caught me a little off-guard. This is a book about missions after all. The book goes on to say, "Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more." This really resonates with me. We were made to have relationship with God - to worship God. But how can we worship someone we don't know. Missions exists to introduce people to God, and as people come to know who God is, worship becomes the natural expression of our relationship with the Father. Worship also drives missions. How can we tell people about someone we don't know and love? Worship is the goal and the driving force behind missions. Makes sense because God is the ultimate, the first and the last, our provider, our protector, our Father and our Creator. Nothing is greater than God because the created can never be greater than the creator. This is a great reminder for all of us, or at least me, that we are made to worship our God and it is only through our worship of Him that we can truly serve each other.

If you are interested in what the Kelly' are doing in Kenya you can follow them on Facebook - just look for the Kellys in Kenya page - or you can sign up to receive their email newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter click here and enter your name and email address. If you are interested in what the Witts are doing in Kenya you can follow them at the

Be blessed!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Around Town

Mark and I have been back in Nairobi since Thursday. We had a couple of adventures on our way up north and on our way home. A reliable four wheel drive vehicle is a basic necessity here...

On Friday Tim and Dan took us to a meeting at FTT (Finish The Task). FTT is a Kenyan organization that Bethany has partnered with to reach the unreached people here in Kenya. A group is considered a unique people if they have a distinct language, culture, customs etc. An unreached people group is a group that doesn't have a church presence in their language. Most of these people groups live in remote areas with difficult climates and harsh living conditions. FTT is focused on mobilizing the Kenyan church to send missionaries to these groups. We met with Ruben and Ezekiel, directors from FTT, to hear their vision for reaching these people and fulfilling the great commission.

We also meet with the pastors of Agape Madaraka and got a tour of the church. It was a little nostalgic for me. I remember when the church was a tent and now it is a building capable of seating 1500 with classrooms for a bible college, a computer training program and a dress making school. It is inspiring and humbling to see what God has done through AFC. They had 6 churches around Nairobi in 1999 and today have more than 230 churches all over Kenya, Uganda and Sudan.

I mentioned Pastor David and his wife Ann from Njorro in an earlier post. They have taken on the task of feeding and teaching the vulnerable children in and around Njorro. These are children who are orphans or whose parents can't provide for them. David and Ann feed them three meals a day, five days a week. To raise money for buying food they have started raising chickens. They collect the eggs and sell them to purchase food. They also raise and sell the chickens to raise funds. They have started giving a pair of chickens to people to start raising their own. When the chickens start to grow a pair of chicks is given back to David and Ann to continue their operation. Who knew chickens could be used to improve the economy of a town.

Thanks again for praying for us. Please continue to pray for us and the church here in Kenya.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Up North

We traveled to Gtown this afternoon. We got here about 3pm. Nice to see Jason, Bekkah and the girls. They seem to be doing well. We will be here until Thursday. I'm looking forward to seeing all the things that are going on here. It's also great to reconnect with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tomorrow we will visit the school and the farm. LHC has been working with Bethany and Agape on the school since 2010 and everyone we see it the project has advanced. The farm is a Bethany project that is used to teach sustainable agriculture in arid climate. The farm is an amazing project where they grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables. I'm looking forward to seeing how things have progressed here.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Into Africa

Mark and I arrived in Nairobi about 9pm local time on the 13th. It was a little surreal coming to Kenya and being picked up at the airport by Tim Kelly. The flights were good and we got here with all our luggage. Blessings from the very start.

We spent Friday recovering from the trip over and trying to adjust to a nine time zone change. We also got to celebrate Micah's birthday with him. Dan and Nancy stopped by to get us and I was reminded how God had brought us all along in His plan. Tim and Chrissy are taking the leadership role for Bethany here in Kenya. Dam and Nancy will soon be back in the states leading Bethany missions worldwide and I'm blessed to be part of what God is doing both here and at home. God has surely done a lot in the 12 years I have been involved with missions and Living Hope and I'm convinced that the best is yet to come.

Yesterday we traveled to Njoro to visit Pastor David Kinyanjui and his wife Ann. We helped plant their church in 2007 and are planning on taking the adult team to work with them in October. They are doing some amazing work around Njoro with very little means. They started a feeding program for at risk children, babies really. They would feed the children porridge each morning. They soon realized feeding was not enough and opened a pre-school to prepare the children for going to regular school. These are children without parents or whose parents cannot provide for them. They now have two schools with over 120 students that they feed 3 times a day five days a week. Their students are ranked second in exams for entering primary school and they are being taught by volunteers. They also work in an Internally Displaced Persons camp. The people who live there lost everything in the post election violence of 2007. The people live in make shift tents and have very little hope. This was one of The most difficult circumstances I have seen in all my trips to Kenya. In the coming months we will continue to plan how we can come alongside David and Ann in their ministry. I'll write about what they are doing with chickens in a future post.

Today we will be going to church in Kasarani at Pastor Peter Kahunda's church. Mark and I will be speaking at the service. After church we are going to lunch at Peter's home and then visiting the church we helper plant in 1999 at Githurai. We won't be home until late tonight but I'm looking forward to an awesome day.

Please continue to pray for us and our families and have a blessed day.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Here We Go

Mark Jarosinski and I will ibe heading over to Kenya this afternoon. By the time this day is over we will be with the Kellys in Langatta, Nairobi, Kenya. I am excited and a little anxious about the trip. It is a long flight, actually two flights, and I’m not any more used to sitting for 16 hours now than I was when I first went. But my nervousness goes beyond the normal travel concerns of long flight, will I get sick, hope my luggage makes it. This trip feels different to me. It could be due to the change in my role or because I’ve never been at this time of year. It could be due to the changes that have occurred in Kenya since I’ve been there. It could be a lot of things but I believe this trip feels different because it is different. God has been working in Living Hope Church and in Kenya. God has been creatively changing the Kelly family and the direction of their lives and creatively leading Living Hope. This trip feels like the next step in an epic journey. I am humbled and blessed to have a role in God’s plan. Yes, I am feeling a little anxious about this trip but I think we should always be mindful of the awesome, amazing , holy God we serve and the role we have in His plan. I pray that God will make me worthy of the calling He has made on my life and continue to make me into the man He wants me to be.

Please pray for Mark and I as we travel. We will be sure to pass your greetings on to everyone we meet. We will be in Nairobi, Nakuru, Githurai, Kiberra and G-town. We will be planning the October trip as well as visiting the places we have worked in the past. It will be exciting and I am looking forward to every step. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wow…what a summer. It seems like time has flown away once again. God has done so much in and through us during the past six months I hardly know what to say. It seems like it was just a few days ago when God started the process of sending the Kelly’s to work as full time missionaries in Kenya. He has seen them, and us, through the work He started and today the Kelly’s are fully engaged in the ministry work He is doing in Kenya. I feel blessed to have been a small part in what God is doing with the Kelly’s and what He is doing in Africa. I hope all of you feel blessed by this as well. Nothing would be possible without God and much would be infinitely more difficult without the work and contribution you all made to seeing God’s plan through to the end.
So the Kelly clan is finally in their home in Nairobi. The Publish 4 All system has been delivered and they are learning to operate the system to provide materials that will be used for furthering the Kingdom. What an amazing journey this has been for them. Between the travel adventures, the housing adventures, vehicles and all the rest I know God has great plans for them and the work He has for them in Kenya will yield great results.
Who would have guessed the airport would burn down while they were in transit? Who would have known that the guest house they had booked wouldn't be available? Who would have imagined their household goods would arrive three weeks ahead of schedule and create so many storage challenges? Finally, which of us would even think it remotely possible the office for issuing visas to remain in Kenya would be arbitrarily closed for over four months? I’m sure God knew all this would happen and He provided for the Kelly’s each step of the way. I have always heard where there is great truth there will be great opposition. I know God has great plans for them because of the opposition they had to deal with just to get there.
I would also like to say a special thanks the Living Hope Missions Committee. Bob Wigman, Joel and Laura Bosacki, Brian and Heather Marchant and Elizabeth Mosupye all went the extra mile to serve the body of Christ by being part of God’s plan for missions and supporting the Kelly’s. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue to work with a group of people who have an amazing heart for God.
This has been an amazing time in our church but, as Pastor Jerry says, the best is yet to come. I believe God has only just begun to use the church to impact our community and the world. I believe the Kelly’s were just one part of God’s amazing plan for LHC. The young adults at LHC are going strong and forming a growing body within the church. I believe this group will do amazing things in the weeks to come. The youth group continues to be strong and the possibilities of growing youth and young adults group are truly exciting. There are new ministry and service opportunities all the time and there will continue to be missions opportunities.
This Sunday, November 17th, we will start a cross cultural servanthood Sunday School class. This will be a great chance to learn more about being a servant in our church, our community and in the world. On Ben Hurst, a missionary assistant with the Assemblies of God, will be speaking to the young adults on November 23rd and the Sunday School class on November 24th.

Please continue to pray for the Kelly’s our church and our leaders. I am excited about all God has done and will continue to do through us and the prayers of His people. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

A cord of three strands...

On Tuesday Pastor Mike and I took the Kelly family to Chicago to start the next stage in their journey as missionaries in Kenya. On the way home Mike and I were talking (I should say I did a lot of talking with Pastor Mike trying to get in a word here and there – sorry brother, I’ll listen more next time J) and I shared the one thing I miss about serving in the military. A sense of close camaraderie. I was stationed aboard a submarine with 89 other men. At any given time there would be 30 men operating the sub and another 30 – 50 men performing maintenance. The remaining crew would be sleeping, eating, doing laundry, all the little things everyone does every day. If there was an emergency like a fire or flooding everyone responded. We all had a specific role and we all relied on each person to perform their role. We all depended on one another for our safety every minute of every day while we were at sea. If even one of us made a mistake it could have disastrous consequences for the ship and the crew and we all knew it. There were several occasions when we could have found ourselves in the deep end (pun intended) either through a mistake someone made or just circumstances if we hadn’t all pulled together and done our parts to the best of our ability. We all knew if one goes, we all go. There were a lot of things I really didn’t enjoy about being in the Navy but I loved the sense of shared purpose and commitment to a group with a common goal – the camaraderie. I think this is exactly the level of commitment God wants between all Christians, all the time. As children of the on true King we all have a role to play.

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”                                                                                        1 Corinthians 12:4-6

I believe God has made us to be reliant. Reliant on him and reliant on each other. We need each other to become the people God has called us to be.

“Just as iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another.”

                                                                                                                                Proverbs 27:17

We need each other to be effective in showing Christ to the world.

“A new commandment I give to you; that you love one another – just as I have loved you that you also love on another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples – if you have lover for one another.”

We need each other to overcome the obstacles in our lives.

“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”                                                                                                                Ecclesiastes 4:12

We need to stand together, bound by a common purpose, committed to a common goal, unwilling to leave anyone behind. We all have a part to play. The Kellys have been called to Kenya, the Bakers have been called to China, the Piantines have been called to the disabled, the LeMieuxs have been called to reach bikers and the list goes on. We are not all called to go but we are all called to play a part. Some may be called to pray, others to encourage. Some may be called to coordinate and administer, others to simply work. No part is greater or lesser than any other because without any one part, we all fail. 

This is really what missions and evangelism is all about. A group of committed people, called and equipped by God, doing their part to ensure no one is left behind. We commit, God multiplies and the world is changed.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Soon gone...

It is a little hard to believe the Kellys will be leaving for Africa in a little over four weeks. They have been preparing for a year and the time is almost here. Where has the time gone? I'm sure there is still much more to do and at the same time it is all in God's hands. Tim and Chris have been such a big part of Living Hope Church it is difficult to imagine them being anywhere else. I have been going to LHC for 22 years and there has never been a time when the Kellys weren't there, involved in the ministry of the church.

Tim and Chris have directly and indirectly impacted the lives of so many people at LHC, especially the youth. They have been involved in the Psalty program. Who could forget Risky Rat? Tim and Chris have been, and still are, advisers for the Youth Group. They have been involved in Family Camp, working with Spencer Lake Bible Camp, Camp Daniel, and of course leading short-term mission trips all over the world. There are so many people whose walk with God have been impacted by the Kellys. I have been privileged to work with Tim and Chris for over ten years and I will miss seeing them at LHC. It will take a little time to get used to not having the Kelly clan sitting in the middle section, third row from the front on a Sunday morning.

Tim and Chris will soon be gone...but not separated...from us. They are moving to Kenya but they are going as missionaries of Bethany International and Living Hope Church. They will continue to be a vital part of the ministry of our church. We'll just have to Skype, or go on a mission trip to Kenya, to see them. We need to continue to hold Tim and Chris up in prayer providing them spiritual and emotional support.

The Kellys have some specific needs as well. A lot of the day to day household items we take for granted are very expensive in Kenya. The Kellys will still need these things and if they can get them here to take with them it will be much less expensive. A couple of their friends have been working on gathering as many of the items as they can but there are still quite a few things on their wishlist. So, if you are thinking of getting the Kellys a going-away present how about getting one of the items from their list. The wish list can be accessed by clicking here, "The Kelly Wishlist", or by clicking the link below. If you weren't thinking about getting them a going-away present you should be now that you've read the post so follow the link and pick something from the list.

If you do get something on the list please post a comment here letting everyone know that the item has been taken care of. That way we can get everything on the list instead of 50 sticks of deodorant.

If you see Tim and Chris over the next few weeks be sure to let them know we love them and are with them as they follow God on this journey. You can also let them know by commenting on their blog Thanks for taking the time to read this and for all you do. May God bless you as you continue to walk with Him!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our God multiplies...

I have been praying about missions, evangelism and all that God is doing in our community and around the world. I am constantly amazed that the creator of the heavens and the earth would allow someone like me to be a part of what He is doing to work His plan for all creation. When I look at the enormity of what God is doing at times I am overwhelmed and I don’t see how I can really make a difference. Then God reminds me - He multiplies!

One example of God’s multiplication is the miracle of the loaves and fishes.  Jesus performed this miracle twice. The first instance is recorded in Matthew 14:13-21, Mark  6:31-44, Luke 9:10-17 and John 6:5-15. In this instance a large crowd, about five thousand men not including the women and children, had gathered to see Jesus. As the day came to an end the disciples suggested Jesus send the crowd away so they could buy food for themselves. Jesus had a better idea. He took the five loaves and two fish the disciples had and blessed them. He broke the bread and gave it to the disciples to distribute to the crowd. When everyone had eaten and were satisfied the disciples gathered the remaining bread which filled twelve baskets. The second instance of this miracle is recorded in Mark 8:1-9 and Matthew 15:32-39. In this instance a great crowd had gathered to see Jesus bringing the sick and infirm to Him to be healed. The crowd was there three days and Jesus did not want to send them away hungry but the disciples did not have enough food to feed them. Jesus took the seven loaves and few fish the disciples had, and blessing the food broke the bread and gave the food to the disciples to distribute. There were about 4000 men in the crowd, not counting the women and children. When everyone had eaten and were satisfied the disciples gathered the remaining bread and filled seven baskets.

In both cases God was able to take what the disciples had and multiply it to feed multitudes with more leftover than they started with.  Jesus taught parables about God’s multiplication throughout the New Testament – the parable of the sower, the parable of the talents, the parable of the leaven all teach us something regarding the Kingdom of Heaven and the multiplication of God. I like the way one author I read describes it – “Whatever you keep is all you have, what you give God multiplies.”

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.           Luke 6:38

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And there put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.                                                                                                    Malachi 3:10

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.                                                                  2 Corinthians 9:10

Whatever we give to God for His will is multiplied. If we give our money, God will multiply it. If we give our time, God will multiply it. If we share His love, God will multiply it. I believe God has given us a great opportunity as a church. We have been involved in what He is doing in here in our community and also as far away as Nairobi, Kenya. As the Kelly’s transition into their role in Kenya we will be even more involved in Kenya, our community and in partnership with Bethany International in Minneapolis. God will use these connections to multiply our impact on the world around us.

So, what do we need to do? We need to commit to giving to God. We need to be committed to giving God our time, our prayers, our devotion, our love, our finances, and whatever He asks. God will take whatever we give and multiply it for His work and His glory. If we don’t give then God can’t multiply it – remember anything multiplied by zero is still zero. One of the best ways we can give is by sharing what God is doing in our lives, in our church and in our community with others. This gives us the chance to share the good news of God’s everyday impact on our lives and the lives of the people around us. It also gives others a chance to get involved and be a part of what God is doing.

In my last blog post I mentioned the costs to move the Kelly family to Nairobi. I can’t imagine how any one of us could raise those funds but God can because He multiplies. The Kellys have raised $54,245 or enough to cover 3433 miles of the trip. They’re about 500 miles off the coast of England. They need to raise another $70,000 or so to be fully funded. I believe God can multiply what we can do to help the Kellys raise the funds they need but we have to commit our part. We have all contributed financially through donations, the banquet and auction and the rummages sale. We have committed our prayers and I know we are praying because of the doors God has opened for the Kellys. We also need to be committed to sharing what the Kellys are doing and what God is doing through them with our friends, neighbors, relatives and anyone else who might be interested. I believe if we continue to be committed to praying and sharing we will be amazed at the multiplication God will perform!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

No gold, nor silver, nor copper...

In Matthew, Luke and Mark we read of Jesus sending his disciples out to the world.

These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, "Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold nor silver nor copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics nor sandals nor a staff, for the laborer deserves his food.                                                                                Matthew 10:5-10

In verses 9 and 10 Jesus instructs the disciples to go without making additional preparations for their journey. I believe this instruction serves two purposes. The first purpose is to have the disciples rely completely upon God for their provision. God provides for the disciples through his children - the church. Learning to depend completely on God is essential for all who would be His disciple and providing physical, emotional and financial support to His disciples provides all of us with an opportunity to receive the blessing of spreading the good news of the gospel. I believe the second purpose of this instruction is to get busy now. We can prepare, wait, hope for better timing, etc. but there will likely never be a better time, we probably won't be more prepared and the only thing you are guaranteed to get by waiting is older. When God calls us to go and do something He wants us to go and do it as Elisha did - right now with no looking back.

As I was thinking about Matthew 10 and Luke 10 I started wondering what does it take to "go" when you are a family of six, like the Kellys, and the place you are called to go to is very poor, like Kenya. The first thing to understand is how far it is from Green Bay to Nairobi. There are several different routes you can take when travelling to Nairobi. Most involve flying from the United States to Europe, and from Europe to Nairobi. If you fly from Green Bay to Chicago, on to London then Nairobi the trip is 8226 miles. That is a lot of going!

As a side note, while I was figuring out the total distance from Green Bay to Nairobi, I learned that you can actually drive from England to Kenya. Driving adds about 2000 miles onto the trip but that would be an epic road trip. Something new on my bucket list :)

The Kelly's have budgeted $130,000 in start up costs. This includes their travel costs, the costs of their household goods (appliances, furniture, etc.), costs for a vehicle, security deposits on an apartment, utilities, etc. and everything else you would need if you moved around the world and set up a new home. So, a little math and I realized it costs about $15.80 per mile to send a missionary family of six to Nairobi, Kenya.

We have done a lot of fund raising lately. When I say we, I mean all of us, everyone at Living Hope Church. We have been blessed by the Peder Eide concert, the Great Commission Banquet and the Rummage Sale. The generosity of God's people is amazing. 

Through these three events we have helped the Kellys raise almost 25% of their start up budget. Another way of looking at the funds raised - we have helped raise enough funds to get the Kelly family 2080 miles along there journey. That will get them someplace over the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Only 6146 miles to go! 

Now, if we could just find 6146 people who would be willing to donate $15.80 we'd be all set. The only problem is I don't think I know 6146 people. I do know all of you though and between all of us we know way more than 6146 people. If we assume there are about 200 adults at Living Hope Church and those adults all know 30 other adults and those 30 adults also know 30 adults we are three degrees of separation from knowing 180,000 people. So, if we all took the time to share what God is doing through the Kellys with the people we know and we could get them to share with the people they know 180,000 people would hear what God is doing in Africa. If just 3% of the people who heard would choose to get involved in supporting the Kellys by donating $15.80 the Kellys would have all of there start up budget and they won't have to swim the rest of the way to England.

I believe this is what God intended for all evangelists, missionaries and disciples. Some He calls to go and others he calls to provide. We can't all go and we can't provide 100% of the support that is needed. But we can share what God is doing and how the believers we know can be involved. I believe we will be blessed for sharing, they will be blessed for listening and we will all be blessed by being involved with God.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

How will they go unless they are sent...

 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Tim, Chris and the entire Kelly family will be moving to Nairobi to work as full time missionaries. They are planning to move in August. This is a very exciting and challenging time for the Kelly’s and for Living Hope Church. Tim and Chris will be working as missionaries for Bethany International but they are being sent by us, Living Hope. I believe this both a tremendous opportunity and a tremendous responsibility for our church. A part of our church family will be ministering in and around Kenya full time. I am always amazed at the things God can do through us and with us if we will let him.

So…how can we help Tim and Chris in fulfilling the call God has placed on their lives? How can we send them? First, I believe we need to pray for the entire Kelly family. They will be challenged in new ways as they prepare to go and they will need all the praters, guidance and wisdom they can get. Second, we need to make sure they know we love them and we are with them. When you see Tim and Chris, or the kids, stop and say hello, ask if they need any specific prayers or help with anything, just stopping to say hi can make all the difference. Third, we can provide our financial support. I don’t mean simply donating towards their support, although all donations are welcome. I mean helping them to raise the monthly support and their “go-fund”. How can you help? Do you know people outside of Living Hope that might be interested in hearing about what the Kelly’s are doing? If so invite them over for dinner and ask Tim and Chris to come share what is on their hearts. Do you work with a group or organization that might be interested? If so ask them to have Tim and Chris come share at a meeting or other event. I believe the more people who see and hear Tim and Chris’ passion to help the peoples of Kenya the more they will want to get involved and contribute.

Another way you can help is by getting involved in the fund raisers we will be holding at Living Hope.

An Evening of Worship

On Saturday, April 13th Peder Eide will be performing at Living Hope. Doors will open at 6:30 PM and the concert will start at 7:00 PM. Admission is $5.00 at the door. For $10.00 you can buy one ticket for the concert and a bracelet to remind you to pray for the Kelly’s. For $15.00 you will get into the concert, get a bracelet and a really cool T-Shirt. All the proceeds from the concert will go towards the Kelly’s “go-fund”.

Mission’s Banquet

On Saturday, May 11th we will hold our annual mission’s banquet and auction. The cost of the banquet will be $25.00 per person, $40.00 per couple or $150 per table of eight. This is a great evening of food, fun and fellowship. If you’ve never been to one of the mission’s banquets you don’t know what your missing.


Annual Rummage Sale

On Saturday, May 25th we will hold our annual rummage sale. There will be more details as we get closer to the date.


The easiest way to help is plan on attending and bringing all your family and friends. The concert and the banquet will be a lot of fun, and you probably can’t find a better value for your entertainment dollar.


If you are interested in helping with any of the fund raisers see Joel and Laura Bosacki, Bob Wigman, Brain and Heather Marchant, Elizabeth Mosupye or Mike Waldrop.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


I'm facilitating a Sunday School class on submission. We talked about Elisha as part the lesson this morning. Elisha was a prophet of God and started his ministry as Elijah's helper. When Elijah first met Elisha he was plowing a field with twelve yoke of oxen. As Elisha and the oxen passed by Elijah, Elijah threw his cloak over Elisha. Elisha left the oxen and ran after Elijah saying let me go say good bye to my father and mother then come and follow you! Elijah replied, "Go return! What have I done to you?" Elisha returned, slaughtered his oxen, used the yoke for firewood, cooked the meat and gave it to feed the poor then followed and served Elijah. This is an amazing example of submission. Elisha left everything he had to follow Elijah. Not only did he leave his possessions behind he actually took what he used to earn a living and gave it away then followed Elijah.

Can you imaging being so submitted that you would change everything in your life because you were called by God?  I can only imagine that Elisha was a successful farmer since he had twelve yoke of oxen. Elijah throws his cloak over Elisha as he's passing by and Elisha is ready to give up everything to follow Elijah. Even after Elijah to him to go back he still gave up everything. As we were discussing submission and Elisha this morning I thought of some other people who have willingly left everything they know to follow. Dan and Nancy Germo, Jason and Rebekkah Witt, countless other missionaries serving all over the world and soon the Kelly family. Tim, Chris, McKenna, Thomas, Kayden, and Micah will leave everything they know, and most of what they own, to travel half way around the world, establish a new home in a new place to follow the call God has placed on their lives. Like Elisha they will have to submit to God and reach a place of no going back, a place of being all-in, a place of no retreat and no surrender to follow God. I pray that I can submit my life with no reservations but when I think of what the Kelly's are doing I'm not sure I could and I am all the more humbled, blessed and amazed at what God is doing in their lives and that we can all be part of it. If you want to stay up-to date on their journey you can follow them at If you're not signed up to follow their blog I would encourage you to sign up and let them know we are with them as they go forward.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The greatest mission of all

The group of Bethany interns we worked with on our last missions trip has returned from Kenya. As they were preparing to come home, they were all posting pictures and messages to friends and family on Facebook. Seeing all the pictures started me thinking about Kenya and I realized we have been back for six months. Where has the time gone? I realized I have become so busy, especially this time of year, that the hours, days and weeks have flown by and before I knew it my day to day life had lost some focus. The pictures from the interns brought to mind all the amazing things we have been blessed to be part of both here at home and in Kenya. Our God is amazing, awesome and I am humbled when I think of all he has done in my life. As I started thinking about missions and the work we have been able to share in I started thinking about missions and Christmas, since that special day is right around the corner. It occurred to me that the greatest mission trip ever started on Christmas day, in a humble stable, with a baby wrapped in blankets and lying in a manger. A missions trip involves crossing cultural lines to present the gospel to a people group who have never been exposed to Christ and the grace of God. The son of the most high God left his Father to be born the son of a carpenter and a virgin. He was rejected, beaten and killed to bring salvation to all people. Can you imagine leaving heaven, being born in a barn, rejected, mocked and ultimately killed by the very people your are trying to save? Talk about crossing cultural boundaries to reach a group of people! Because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ all people can be children of the one true king. Because of the sacrifice of Christ we all have a mission:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”   Matthew 28:19-20

No Christmas? No forgiveness, no salvation, no mission, no hope. In all our comings and goings throughout the Christmas season, and all year long, remember the true meaning of Christmas.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.                                      John 3:16

I'm thankful God and the Son are never too busy and never lose focus. I pray we all remember the true reason for Christmas and as we celebrate with our friends and family we remember to say thanks for the gift we received through the missions trip Jesus started on Christmas day.

Merry Christmas and God Bless.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Back Home

We all made it home safe and sound. Thanks for all your prayers and support during the trip. We were able to accomplish all we set out to do and more but we couldn't do it without the support of everyone at home. It was good to be back with family and friends and to be able to share stories of our trip. I will try to post a few here over the next few days.

We were able to complete the furniture for two of the classrooms and assist with pouring the second floor ring beam on the school. Completing the ring beam is the first step in building he permanent roof. I'll try to explain more about that in a a future post. For now, a few pictures from the trip....

 Downtown Nairobi
The Team 

A small village... 

Getting ready to pour the ring beam 

Building tables 

Building table legs 

 Getting ready to mix cement

Sanding chairs 

Pouring the ring beam 

Cutting the footing for a new collumn 

The chairs 

The tables 

Completed ring beam 

Book shelf 

After church 



Friday, June 22, 2012


We finished our project at the school today. We built seven tables and fourteen chairs for the literacy class, a table for the sewing class and two book shelves. Looking back I am amazed at what the Lord has made. We started with some very rough cut lumber, a few tools, Tim K's skills as a builder and a leader, and a group of people who were willing tp be used by God. In four short days we were able to furnish two classrooms and cast the ring beam for the second story of the building.The tables for the classrooms are five feet long and will seat two adult students. The table for the sewing class is six feet long and will be used foraying out patterns and material for making dresses. Our team, the Bethany interns and the tea from Agape Madaraka all worked together to accomplish what none of us could alone and we had a great time working together. Pastor Wananga said he believed God elevated us to accomplish the work and I would have to agree. One of the interns asked me if I had been at the school before this trip and I said yes. Looking back it is hard to believe that just three years ago there was nothing on this piece of land other than a three sided tin shed. Today there is a two story stone and cement structure that will be used as a platform to show God's love to a group of people that most would rather forget. God has not forgotten or forsaken them. He is working with and through all of us to reach out to them. Seeing what He has accomplished is evidence to them and us that He continues to reach out to everyone. Our continuing involvement in this project is a blessing. To have an opportunity to work with our brothers and sisters from Agape and Bethany is a blessing. The team from Agape took a week to come to a difficult place to work hard for their God. These are men and women who have little to offer other than themselves and their sweat and they give freely. The Kenyans don't always know where their next meal will come from and they are still willing to take time away from work to be a part of what God is doing. The Bethany interns are a group of young people who are willing to go to the ends of the earth, literally, to pour out their lives for God. To have an opportunity to work with people like this is a blessing. Tomorrow we are going to visit the farm and Jason and Bekah's home. Sunday we will have church here with the local Agape congregation then return to Nairobi. I will post pictures as soon as I can. Thanks for the thoughts and prayers you are sending us. Without your support and love we couldn't do this.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

if you build it...

Spent the day building tables for the school. The progress that has been made on the building is pretty amazing. The walls on one side of the first floor are complete. The ring beam for the second floor will be poured this week. Once the ring beam is done the roof will be constructed and the second floor will be useable. We helped by carrying sand and gravel upstairs for the ring beam. The cement will be mixed, by hand, on the second floor and carried by bucket brigade to the form. Once the pour for the beam is started it has to continue, uninterrupted, until the beam is complete. Lots of buckets! We built the bases for seven 5 ft. Tables yesterday. We also made a template for the chairs and built the first table top. We will make the remaining table tops today and start building the chairs. Everyone worked hard today and seemed to enjoy working alongside the Kenyans and Bethany interns who came with us from Nairobi. The Agape church in Madaraka sent a group of eight, including two pastors, to work with us. There are eight interns from Bethany college here too. The interns will spend 16 months here. It is great to be able to work together and fellowship with our partners in this project. As soon as we have the tables and chairs ready a dress making class will start at the school. They are also using the school to teach language and literacy. We have a comfortable place to stay, food to eat, and we are working for our Father. Could anything be better? The weather has been good - not too hot - we are amazingly blessed! I wish you could all be here with us :) I'm having some technical issues posting pictures but I will keep trying. God is doing amazing things here on the oter side of the world and we can't wait to share it with you.

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Team

We are on site and getting ready to start working on the project tomorrow. Everyone is in a good mood and excited to be here. Hopefully, they will still be in a good mood after working all day tomorrow.

On the Ground!

We arrived in the Northern Kenya today. We chartered a public bus for the trip from Nairobi. The ride was interesting but we all made it safely. The entire trip has gone well to this point. Please continue to pray for us. We will be going to the school for a meeting a little later today. I am excited to see the progress that has been made since we were here last. The project has been moving forward steadily. The ring beam for the second floor should get poured this week. Can't wait to get to the site and start working. I will post again later today and try to include some pictures.