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.