"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, December 31, 2007

S is for Spiritual

Spiritual Focus:-your inner stability, being strongly anchored to your Lord and prepared for inevitable turmoil and stress

We did four different bible studies in our growth groups.
The first was on loving one another (John 13:34-56; 17:18, 20-21, 23b and I John 3:11-18).
The second was on the heart of conflict (James 4:1-3). We talked about destructive conflict, what good conflict is, how our own desires turn to sinful demands and we judge others.
The third was on why God allows adversity in our lives. Often our adversities seem completely senseless and irrational, but not to God! It is neither senseless nor irrational to Him. We went through many reasons for adversity:
Pruning, to reveal unholy lusts and pride, to learn dependence on God,
learn perseverance, to be of service to others (also coming along side those
also going through hard times), entering into the privilege of the fellowship
of suffering, and to develop a deeper relationship with God.
The fourth was on the disciplines of silence and solitude (which Brian posted on some earlier). This was the intro to our time with God later in the day.

Another part of the Spiritual section was on spiritual vitality. Unfortunately this was the day we were sick, so we only heard parts of it through a baby monitor!
Your spiritual vitality must emerge from three foundation truths:
God is God
God isn’t safe, but He is faithful
God is good
Under your commitment to missions, under your zeal for the work, these three must be set.

We talked about dealing with your fears. What do you fear? Deal with it with God; if you don’t, God may deal with it for you, and that’s not always as fun.

Soul care was the main focus. Again, go back in the December archives to Silence and Solitude to read more.
When asked the question of what you do for rest or relaxation, most of us are caught off guard and mumble something about reading.
What is rest? Rest is NOT motivated by accomplishment, by provision, by success. Rest is declaring your dependency on God for those three things.
Are we restless for the cause of the gospel? But “what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36
Our own souls need to be restored, revived, nurtured, have the ability to bless God and others, rest, need it be satisfied, experience loss & recover with grief, the magnify the Lord.

Integrity is the hidden parts of you consistent with the parts on public display. This takes spiritual work in the quiet space of our lives.

Work 6 days/Keep one day as a special day. We never got into a discussion as to what day that had to be, just one day out of seven needs to be a special day for the Lord. On that day:

-Cease: from work, the need to accomplish, be productive, worry, need of efficiency, passiveness, the humdrum and meaninglessness that result when life is pursued without the Lord at the center
-Rest: spiritual, physical, emotional, intellectual, social
-Embracing what God values: intentionality and deliberateness, wholly different set of values from world around us, unhurried, uninterrupted, quality leisure time with others, caring for people and not things, giving instead of requiring, embracing your call in life
-Feasting/celebrating: feasting on the presence of God, with music, with beauty, with food, with affection
Our great grandfathers called it the Holy Sabbath, our grandfathers the Sabbath, our fathers Sunday, we call it the weekend.

THE BIG LESSON: We *must* take care of ourselves spiritually or we won’t be able to continue caring for others.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

intro to SPLICE

In order to help us reprocess all we did in Colorado, we will post about each of the 6 components we looked at (I might even get back to that conflict post!):


Intertwined in this is self-awareness, grace appropriating (to others learning with you and later in the field), incarnational (how are you going to step into this and live it out?).

To explain a little of the methodology they use (RARE-upside down):

Experiential-experience it yourself, the whole person, do activities
Reflective-personalize principles that surface in your experiences
Affective domain focus-deal with issues of the heart, what you feel and think in your heart has priority over just head knowledge
Relational-training is in context of community. Individual development is viewed from the perspective of how it takes place in relation to others

Remember the iceberg-we only see about 20% of the berg. We tried to get beyond the surface. Understand what your intent is versus what is communicated. We don’t always know the background each brings and what someone else brings to it and how they may take it (a major example was when we were talking about issues related to singlesness on teams-I am sure I will write about it when we get to that day!).

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

call to bed

This is a picture of all the crazies we spent three weeks with (minus one-we missed you Alfreda!)

Wednesday night of the last week and we were all drained, tired, maybe a little silly. We had recently gotten address sheets for everyone, but not everyone had included their blogsite on it. The other Brian started talking about ways to get everyone’s blogs. Send a sheet around, ask everyone, etc. My Bri and I decide it’s time for bed. But on the way up we hit the classroom, grab a big sheet of paper and label it “Blog Addresses”.
We write KALLEVIGS-calltoobedience.blogspot.com. We write this in multiple colors, under Kallevigs I draw 8 stick figures, under call we put a cell phone.
Grabbing a tray full of colors we bring the plate down to the main floor and give the instructions: using multiple colors and pictures, write your blog address and any other thoughts, feelings, or gut level reaction to doing this activity. We got a good laugh! (This was the question we were frequently asked during class, not our favorite one!)
Then one of the gals looks at our address and says, “Call to bed??” She didn’t quite get the whole phrase at first glance. The other gal in the room laughs and says, “Well, they do have 6 kids!”

Saturday, December 22, 2007


This is the story of Omodo, which we heard about at MTI. What do you think?? We would really love to hear some responses!

On one of my trips I worshiped in an African church where nobody knew me. After the service I talked to two boys who had also attended.
"How many brothers and sisters do you have?" I asked the first one.
"Are they all from the same stomach?"
"Yes, my father is a Christian."
"How about you?" I addressed the other boy.
He hesitated. In his mind he was adding up. I knew immediately that he came from a polygamous family.
"We are nine," he finally said.
"Is your father a Christian?"
"No," was the typical answer, "he is a polygamist."
"Are you baptized?"
"Yes, and my brothers and sister too," he added proudly.
"And their mothers?"
"They are all three baptized, but only the first wife takes communion."
"Take me to your father."
The boy led me to a compound with many individual houses. It breathed an atmosphere of cleanliness, order, and wealth. Each wife had her own kitchen. The father, a middle-aged, good-looking man, tall, fat, and immpreSSIVe, received me without embarrassment and with apparent joy. I found Omodo, as we shall call him, a well-educated person, wide awake and intelligent, with a sharp wit and a rare sense of humor. From the outset he made no apologies for being a polygamist; he was proud of it. Let me try to put down here the essential content of our conversation that day which lasted for several hours.
"Welcome to the hut of a poor sinner!" The words were accompanied by good-hearted laughter.
"It looks like a rich sinner," I retorted.
"The saints come very seldom to this place," he said, "they don't want to be contaminated with sin."
"But they are not afraid to receive your wives and children. I just met them in church."
"I know. I give everyone a coin for the collection plate. I guess I finance half of the church's budget. They are glad to take my money, but they don't want me."
I sat in thoughtful silence. After a while he continued, "1 feel sorry for the pastor. By refusing to accept all the polygamous men in town as church members he has made his flock poor and they shall always be dependent upon subsidies from America. He has created a church of women whom he tells every Sunday that polygamy is wrong."
"Wasn't your first wife heartbroken when you took a second one?"
Omodo looked at me almost with pity. "It was her happiest day," he said finally.
"Tell me how it happened."
"Well, one day after she had come home from the garden and had fetched wood and water, she was preparing the evening meal, while I sat in front of my house and watched her. Suddenly she turned to me and mocked me. She called me a 'poor man' because I had only one wife. She pointed to our neighbor's wife who could care for her children while the other wife prepared the food."
"Poor man:' Omodo repeated.”I can take much, but not that. I had to admit that she was right. She needed help. She had already picked out a second wife for me and they get along fine."
I glanced around the courtyard and saw a beautiful young woman, about nineteen or twenty, come out of one of the huts.
"It was a sacrifice for me," Omodo commented. "Her father demanded a very high bride price."
"Do you mean that the wife who caused you to become a polygamist is the only one of your family who receives communion?"
"Yes, she told the missionary how hard it was for her to share her love for me with another woman. According to the church my wives are considered sinless because each of them has only one husband. I, the father, am the only sinner in our family. Since the Lord's Supper is not given to sinners, I am excluded from it. Do you understand that, pastor?"
I was entirely confused.
"And you see," Omodo continued, "they are all praying for me that I might be saved from sin, but they don't agree from which sin I must be saved."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, the pastor prays that I may not continue to commit the sin of polygamy. My wives pray that I may not commit the sin of divorce. I wonder whose prayers are heard first."
"So your wives are afraid that you become a Christian?"
"They are afraid that I become a church member. Let's put it that way. For me there is a difference. You see they can only have intimate relations with me as long as I do not belong to the church. In the moment I would become a church member their marriage relations with me would become sinful."
"Wouldn't you like to become a church member?”
"Pastor, don't lead me into temptation! How can I become a church member, if it means to disobey Christ? Christ forbade divorce, but not polygamy. The church forbids polygamy but demands divorce. How can I become a church member, if I want to be a Christian? For me there is only one way, to be a Christian without the church."
"Have you ever talked to your pastor about that?"
"He does not dare to talk to me, because he knows as well as I do thaI some of his elders have a second wife secretly. The only difference between them and me is that I am honest and they are hypocrites."
"Did a missionary ever talk to you?"
"Yes, once. I told him that with the high divorce rate in Europe, they have only a successive form of polygamy while we have a simultaneous polygamy. That did it. He never came back."
I was speechless. Omodo accompanied me back to the village. He evidently enjoyed to be seen with a pastor.
"But tell me, why did you take a third wife?" I asked him.
"I did not take her. I inherited her from my later brother, including her children. Actually my older brother would have been next in line. But he is an elder. He is not allowed to sin by giving security to a widow."
I looked in his eyes. "Do you want to become a Christian?"
"I am a Christian," Omodo said without smiling.
As I walked slowly down the path, the verse came to my mind: "You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


December newsletter is on the right side-highlight and click.

But if you are on our mailing list, you can wait for the nicer print version in our mail box soon.

Any tech-savy people out there want to explain a better way for me to post my newsletter? I do it in Microsoft Publisher.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Over the last month we have been learning many lessons, only some of them were in and during class time. Others were things that seemed to be very subtle, yet reoccurring. In listening to others in transition/ preparing to go to the mission field, there are some things that stood out to us, things that frankly did not seem right. A big one is how support raising is done. We met people who are traveling all over the country raising support to go into their respective mission fields. They are spending X amount of dollars to raise X amount of support. Looking at it from a strictly from the cost effect stand point it is extremely inefficient. Because often you raise support to be able to go and raise more support. There are stretches when it is very “profitable” to do it this way but you always have times when it is not. Do I have an answer to how it should be done? NO. I wish I did. Only God does. But to keep doing things in a way that wastes God’s resources because “it may not be right but that is the way it is done and always has been done”. That has been a response to me on several occasions regarding “church politics and policies”. Personally I don’t like excuses for poor policy and behavior. Now understand I’m not talking about any one church, I’m talking about the “church” in general. This falls under ALL denominations. I am convinced that the greatest hindrance to missions is church building projects. On more than one occasion we’ve had churches and individuals say “they would love to BUT we’ve committed to supporting this building project or maybe once the building it paid for they can support missions more.” It is sad but true. I’ll probably get in trouble for this but I think a lot (not all) of these building projects are born out of pride and fear, competition with other churches, a need to be the biggest and the best. Just another of the many ways satan gets the church off track. It is sad to see the bride of Christ being a stumbling block to the commands of Christ. Is there anything that can be done? YES! There is a common thread that is lacking that I have seen and that is there is little to no corporate prayer in the church besides a 2 minute prayer on sun. morning. PRAYER should be first and foremost in the church, but then again, if it’s not first in your home why should it be in church? As you can tell I’m frustrated with the churches failure in this area. And the leadership of the churches will have to answer to God for not making prayer priority number one. Rarely do I worship in church any more. I worship in other places less conventional. I used to in the barn when I milked the cows, now it is at home both alone and with others, at times it’s outdoors. There used to be a prayer meeting every Sunday night and Wednesday night that I went to, those were times that I would come before the Throne of God and worship Him in spirit and truth. I miss those times. It is the very reason that Kel and I started having a weekly prayer meeting in our home (you’re all invited!). I guess these are just the ramblings of some frustrated former dairy farmer, who believes that our Father has so much more for us. But we are so busy doing what we think He wants us to do that we never bother to ask Him (and then wait for a response) what He wants and desires for us and from us. Then God speaks, and do we have the faith to walk it out? Remember God is not always safe but He is always faithful!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We are Home

Home… the word means something different to each person. Our home is the house we live in Kandiyohi, but I still consider the farm home as well. For the last 3 weeks I have called MTI in Colorado home. Eventually our home will be in the bush of Zambia, Africa. The last 3 weeks have been really good and really hard. It has been draining and exciting. The days sometimes went by very slow yet the weeks went by very fast. We live in paradox- that is our reality. Right now we love and hate pretty much everything about our lives. It is a strange place to be but it is good to know that 1) it is okay and 2) it is actually normal. Now that we are home the reality has set in that we have a ton of stuff to get done in the next month. Right now we are all tired and a little crabby. The last 3 days have been very stressful. We finished packing and loading up Friday morning. We finished saying all our goodbyes (oh yeah, I woke up with a headache so the day did not start off the way I was hoping) and got on the road about 12:30. It was also snowing. The drive that should have taken 4 hours took 6 1/2. The number of vehicles in the ditch was too many to count. We did see 3 rollovers, 3 multiple car accidents, and one accident that we never got to actually see because the interstate was closed and traffic was parked for miles. We got off and took a much less traveled road and got around and kept going. By the time we got to North Platte I had muscle spasms in my neck, back, legs and arms. I had driven so long, so tense that I could not relax. Saturday morning we didn’t get going until 9:30 and we took a little less traveled route. It was a very scenic road across southern South Dakota. We got home about 7:30 pm, so 10 hours on the road. Then get the van unloaded and start getting stuff put away (or I should say in Kel’s case get everything put away). Got everyone to bed, even though the kids were not all that tired. We had church in the morning. That was one of the reasons we needed to get back. Our Sunday school class was planning on presenting us with the “shower” gifts they had for us. We will definitely be clean!! 3 huge boxes of toilet paper, 50 toothbrushes and about 50 bars of soap were included with the pillows, sheets, tire repair kit, music cd’s, gift cards, dishes, and more. (Yes, I will update our list soon) What a pure blessing to have a community of believers to come around us and bless us this way. It may seem a little extreme to have that amount of things (I didn’t ask for those numbers, that’s just what people happened to give), but we are a family of eight, and these will all be things we will not have to buy once in Zambia (at least for quite awhile!) We would like to thank you for your prayers over the last 3 weeks. We saw our Father answer. It was a privilege and an honor to go through the SPLICE program at MTI. We know we will be using what we learned long before we get to the field. In closing I would just ask to continue to keep us in your prayers.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Grief and Loss & Goodbyes


Tuesday morning was a long morning, the module was on grief and loss. To me it was digging up (looking back) at stuff I would just as soon leave alone and let it come up when it comes up. We talked about how God (the Bible) views grief and loss, what does that look like? How do we view it? How do we/I live it out? Have we been taught to mourn biblically? This is something that our Father cares about and has shown us a model In the scriptures and it is NOT the western/American model. This is but one of many daily life issues that our Father has addressed in His Holy Scriptures that isn’t often taught anywhere.

Today this is what the entire day was on. It started out with each person/ couple going up in front of the class and sharing where we were going and what we thought our mission was going to be there (we learned it so often not what we think it will be), also to share one prayer request for the country we will be going to and a request for ourselves. Then people from the class would gather around us and one person would pray for us. It took the entire morning but man was it GOOD!! This afternoon was on goodbyes. How important they are for ourselves and for others, and how to properly do that. We talked about how it is done on other cultures and the emphasis that is placed on it. Then for an hour and a half we walked around and said goodbye to each other. This consisted of a lot more than a simple goodbye. We had to speak a word of encourage, exhortation to each individual and than they would reciprocate it. It was rather uncomfortable, but it was also very encouraging. We had a lot of compliments on the kids and their behavior, on how they interacted with the adults, especially Cybil and Mariah. After class we sat down with the kids’ teacher and discussed his observations. A lot of them were things we had an idea of already, and some things we didn’t notice as much anymore-we have become used to it. So it was good to hear what other people saw. I think we put their teacher on the spot!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Last Couple of Days

Well, it has been an interesting couple of days here. Yesterday morning I woke up early and checked the email and there was someone checking in on us. That was the first I had heard of the shooting up near Denver at YWAM missionary training center: two dead, two wounded. People here started getting calls during the morning. The first news reports said “shooting at Colorado mission training center,” which caused concern. It’s not everyday that you are at a missionary training center and just up the road about 50 miles, another training center someone walks in and opens fire. Personally I didn’t think a lot about it-it was ironic (just the fact that we are at a training center too).
It was Sunday morning, instead of going to church we decided to go outside and play with the ids. We had 2-3 inches of fresh snow. It was clear skies and 35 degrees, so our church was just enjoying ourselves in the snow with the kids. Kel and I really didn’t think a whole lot more about the shooting. Typically random acts of violence are not random. After dinner we put all the kids to bed for naps. We were downstairs sitting together working on our December newsletter. Brent came out and said he had just received a call from his mom who had told him about the shooting at New Life church, just 10 miles down the road from us. Now people at MTI began getting nervous. We had little info-all we knew was that a person or persons were targeting Christian facilities in the area. The police came and filled us in and we basically went into “lock down”. We were informed not to go out or let anyone in that we didn’t know. I suggested that we take up a collection so that I could go purchase a new firearm, but I didn’t have any takers. That evening pretty much everyone got together to sing (three guys brought out their guitars and one his flute), play games, hang out. It was a party atmosphere. It was interesting to watch how people reacted in an actual “crisis” event. I knew Sunday night that we would probably be discussing this event (feelings, emotions, reactions) Monday morning, and I was right. We spent all morning (3 hours-2 hours too many from my perspective) on it.
I just didn’t have too much to “work through”, but here are a few thoughts-
In my mind it is just a sign of the times. Christ Himself said the world will hate us. We really should not be surprised by this. If we live out our lives as Christ followers and the closer we get to the rapture, the worse it is going to get. So I ask this question: What are we to do as Christ followers? Run and hide, stand still and tall, or stand and fight?? How many “Christians” will stand with Christ when persecution comes to this country?
One lesson I think I learned is the importance of the community of believers, to come together. There is strength, love, tenderness in that fellowship.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Silence and Solitude

Thursday was silence and solitude. We had an assignment to go out for 30 minutes and write a letter to God. About what I (Brian) am not sure, don’t remember the specifics-I think it was on our integrity in resting in Him. I didn't really follow the directions. For one, I decided to go outside for a walk. I just started talking to my Father. I shared with Him some of my struggles. A word kept coming to mind and it was the word, hypocrite (OUCH!). I asked God to search my heart to reveal my sin in my life. Guess what? He did! The first thing I had to ask forgiveness for was not worshipping Him with unabandoned worship like I can do when I’m alone; for holding myself back from Him out of fear. Also for opening up my mouth when it should have remained shut (because of pride). And finally for being quiet when He has called me to speak (because of fear).
These were the three areas of sin I needed to deal with. That got me a ways down the path. At this point I decided to go take a little less traveled path up towards these rock formations. As I was walking I prayed, "Father, I desire the people here, especially Kelly, Cybil, and Mariah, to experience you in an amazing, supernatural, real way. I desire it for them because I desire it for myself."
After this, I sensed the Spirit lead me to go up-climb up this rock formations. So I made my own path for a ways and got to the base of the rocks and then started up. IT WAS AMAZING! Working my way up and through these huge boulders. I then came up into this huge cavern. I was pretty much protected on all sides. I just sat there in silence. As I sat, the warm sun shone through right on my face. I could feel no wind, just the warm sun. The passage about being in the cleft of the rock came to mind. There is shelter in the cleft of the rock from the storms of life. But God reminded me that it is not permanent and you will need to go back into the storm/life, and there will be times I will call you into the storm. But, no matter what I will always be here. I am your shelter from/in the storm.
From there I knew I needed to go up, and up I went. I went to the top of the rocks. Unbelievable was the view. I sat up there on top, not too far from the edge and just looked around in awe. Something we have been learning, implementing, is to recognize our own feelings and reactions to things, situations, comments, how doe we see, feel, react; so that’s what I did.
My heart was pounding, partly from the climb and partly from sitting next to a 50 foot drop. I felt fear, anxiety, yet excitement, adrenaline. I wanted to go closer to the edge. I wouldn’t let myself go any closer (which in this case was probably smart). What God revealed to me was this was often the way my relationship is with Him. I want to be close to Him but I’m afraid. And rightfully so because it is dangerous and it is not for the faint of heart.
As I sat there I clearly felt, heard, sensed God begin to tell something. I grabbed my note pad and began to write. Then my hand started shaking and the tears began to fall. My Father clearly said:
“Brian, you are going to experience fear, anxiety, passion, hurt, joy, mercy, grace, love, heartache, trials, and ME like you never have before!”
I just sat there shaking and crying. I lay back on the rock and looked up; there in the clouds directly above me was cross, as plain as day. I actually just started laughing in my tears. I just said, God you are so cool! I sat up and asked, now what? “Let go-waste time”-that was part of our assignment, “waste time with God”. So I got up and started exploring my Father’s creation with Him. I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun I had. It was awesome! I felt like a little kid running in the woods just being amazed at what God created for me. He created this world for me/us to enjoy, to worship Him in it. That’s what I did Thursday and it won’t be the last time. There was no pressure up on those rocks to get anything done. We as our Father’s children don’t waste enough time with Him (it is never a waste of time!). I heard it put another way, “holy loitering”-to go and spend time with Him with NO AGENDA. No time limit. How rare is that? VERY! I would say. How important is it? VERY! I would say. It was an amazing day. One I will not soon forget! Praise Father!
Soon I just felt it was time to come down. I don’t know how I knew; I just knew it was time to come down. I didn’t know where I would come out of the brush, but there I was, right at the trail’s head. I came down and in the room, just at the time Kelly was supposed to go out for the next assignment. The class was supposed to go out and mediate on Matthew 11:28-30, taken from the Message:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. 29 Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 30 Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."

Our instructor made the point of saying you are all used to your NIVs, NAS, KJV, NKJV, etc. and then I throw this totally modern way of looking at it. Mediate on it and see what God has to say.
I (Kelly) thought a lot about the things I get tired of. I thought how I don’t know if I really know how to get away, how to walk. How am I supposed to watch God? What does it look like to keep company with God? I just pondered for a while. A bit later I was just trying to look around and enjoy since our time was not done yet. Off in the far distance, I see a bird soaring in the clouds. Not flapping, just soaring, gliding, circling. Not trying to accomplish anything, yet getting somewhere. God again pierced my heart and told me to cease striving-quit flapping-quit struggling. Just soar with me, enjoy the heights, enjoy not going anywhere in a hurry. The bird got where it needed to go, but it circled and took its time. You all know me so well-not something I am good at! I remembered the lessons learned from the past, yet my practice wasn’t as good as my head knowledge. God had to tell me again.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Today we did a simulation. Brian awoke with a migraine, so he didn’t think this would be a great idea to be yelled at or in a closed area with a lot of other people. The sickness has spread about the community here, so there were a few others not involved. Basically we were a mission group that got split up, then a group of 12 of us were hiding in an attic of a hospital with some food and water. Different scenarios and questions were posed to us to decide what to do with.
First we had to organize our group. We didn’t do this very well-as in who was going to do what to stay there long term. You know me-I need to be organized! Next we had to decide if we would let in some national believers with three others whom we didn’t know, but the believers did. This would affect our food and water situation, there was the possibility there was an informer in the group, etc. We had to discuss if we should take them, if there was any other way, if we were already exposed. Our group took them in.
The next scenario had us deciding which 5 of the 12 were going to be able to get out on a plane. At this point all we knew was that our kids were safe-no word on our spouses. There were 3 single gals, 3 married (2 with small children), 1 single guy, 5 married guys (3 with children). This decision wasn’t super hard. We decided the women with small children would go, some of the single gals (not the nurse in case they needed here), and one of the guys with kids would go to help get us to the plane.
Well, then we found out about our other group-they were all okay. But they knew about the plane too, so we were now down to 3 people who could go. In our group, it was me and the other mom, and then a single gal. Again, these decisions didn’t seem too difficult. We looked at the rationalizations of who could run/was fairly healthly, who might be more threatened (women/rape), whose spouse would go for children (we had to assume what our spouse would tell us to do). Part of me wanted to stay so I didn’t “miss” out on what was happening, but I knew Brian would expect me to go. So I really didn’t fight it too much.
Well, of course, we were never actually able to get anyone out of there. Stealing our hope a little?
Then came the toughie. Actually, I don’t feel the decision itself was that tough, our group was all on one page pretty much. We had two of the older people volunteer, and we voted and accepted it. That’s when the tears started flowing. They “fired” the shots right next to us-they commanded for two more to come out. Without hesitation one married and one single guy went out. Again-shots. Come out, see the bodies. Take a break.
As I come up the stairs I am trying to finish crying without blubbering, Brian sees me and quite frankly is fairly upset. It makes him angry to see me upset in any way. (I still have a headache from not finishing my cry-or emotional release, whatever you want to call it. I call it 5 days in a room with sick kids! Or maybe Brian should be the one crying as he’s been in the room with Myron the most)
So of course we meet to discuss what we thought, felt. Brian and I talked in the room some (he was with Myron). Brian was okay with not doing this simulation, partly because he knows (or doesn’t know?) what he is capable of when his family is threatened. He is not sure how he would handle it, and wouldn’t want to let others see how he would handle it. Plus, he just didn’t think he would be able to fully allow himself to engage in the simulation.
What did I feel? I am not sure. You are just kind of in the moment. You know it is a simulation, but yet you are suppose to make it real…I guess I was a little surprised that I let the guys really take the lead and not have to be involved in that leadership. I usually don’t like to be the one making the decisions, but I generally like being involved in how the leadership will work. I really didn’t feel a need to. I (as we all did) threw out points for consideration, but I really didn’t take a lead role as I thought I might have.
I thought our group ran very well. Everyone was heard who wanted to be, so I guess I was a little surprised to see half the hands raised in thinking they wouldn’t be able to live for 3 or 4 years with the same decision making process that we had. I don’t know, I was very comfortable, at least for that short of a time. Over the long term, who knows? That’s where all that personality style/conflict style stuff comes in…oh yeah, haven’t written on that yet.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

puking and pooping

So this next post was supposed to be about our conflict module we did on Friday afternoon/all day Monday. I am sure I will get back to it.
The puking and pooping has continued unfortunately. Cybil had it Thursday night and no one else seemed to get it. We went to the Garden of the Gods, a national park with enormous rock formations on Saturday. We spent almost all day there.
Sunday morning as we were getting ready to leave, Myron threw up all over me. For the rest of that day he continued throwing up and dry heaving (sorry for the graphics!). Sunday night Mariah got it. Monday night, Greta got it, I (KJ) got it, and Brian got a little of it. Thankfully it is a short bug-about a day, but it’s nasty. We’re trying to decide if we should pray Hailey will just get it and be done, or not at all! Joe doesn’t seem to get this kind of stuff-in the two years he has been here, he has never thrown up (other than when he shoves too much food in this mouth).
So we are stuck in our room, being sick. Brian was in here all day Monday with Myron too. Thankfully we can use the baby monitor in the classroom so we can hear the teaching in our room. We heard most of the lesson on spiritual vitality today, but couldn’t keep awake for the beginning of the stress. We will hit that again tomorrow. The only thing worse than being sick is being sick away from home. Basically we are in three adjoining hotel rooms. There is just only so much that you can do! Myron is getting into everything. Oh yeah, after being good yesterday, he decided to throw up at lunch. Since Bri, Greta, and I were up in bed, Cybil and Mariah have been running the show with the other kids. They are doing a fabulous job-it’s hard for them too; there isn’t a lot to do once it gets dark.
So, what are we suppose to learn in all this? Well, we think Cybil & Mariah are learning more about responsibility, that they sometimes have to put their wants on hold, and how to relate well with others.
We are learning about relying on others-in this case, basically strangers we’ve known for a week! I think how grateful I am that we are in this Christian community and not just vacationing at some hotel. Who knows what we would do then!

Friday, November 30, 2007

I (Brian) was supposed to lead my growth group this morning but last night at about 11pm Cybil started throwing up. She did some more this morning. So I had to ask Mark to lead in my place. Mark is a neat guy, 45yrs.old, single, had his own construction business and came to the Lord 6 years ago and for the last 9 months has been a missionary in Guatemala working at overseeing short-term teams and the construction of the children’s homes. There are 10 kids to a home and they have a national couple raise/parent them. He is a guy that has realized that there is so much more to this life than making money and buying the next new toy (he was in corporate America). He’s not sure how long he will be where he is at in Guatemala but he knows he can never go back to the way it was.

I’m a student of people. I love to just watch and listen. There is so much you learn and often it is what they don’t want people to know. A third of the people here are right around our age yet Kel and I feel old around them. I think it is the kid factor and some of them have not been out of school all that long. I am finding that the people here are very genuine. I think it’s neat that the info we sent here (names, pictures) was distributed to all the staff (office, cooks, cleaning ladies) so they could learn who we where, refer to us by name when we saw them. Usually Kelly will go through the lunch line and gets food for everybody (the food is amazing!! It’s like eating in a restaurant for every meal) but the other day I went through and the gal behind the counter said “Brian this is the first time you’ve been through the line, how come?” It may seem simple and insignificant but it really struck me. Or to have the cook come out and say “I had to come out here and meet the one they call Bubba.”

I saw an answer to prayer this morning and I want to share it so you to can praise God with us. Cybil really looked tough this morning, very pale, eyes dark and sunk in. Definitely not my Cybil. In one of the first breaks this morning I went in to check on her. She was sound to sleep. As I was standing there I clearly felt that I was to lay my hands on her and pray over her for healing. That’s what I did; nothing happened, she just kept sleeping. I went back to class, at the next break I went to check on her and it was the Cybil I knew. She was sitting up reading a book (surprise, surprise) and having something to drink. I knew right away and I could see it in her eyes-God had touched her and healed her. PRAISE GOD!!!

Robin, our instructor gave us some not so easy assignments for over the weekend and for next week. For this weekend we have to talk to our spouse, another family member and a close friend and ask them 3 questions:
1) How do you observe me handling conflict?
2) How does that affect or impact you?
3) What could I do differently or better?

Now doesn’t that sound like fun? The other assignment is to speak into the lives of the others in our growth group. To speak some affirmation and also maybe point out whether or not you’re the one who should. This is no small order.

This morning class was about the greatest discipling and evangelism tool. What is it? My life! My marriage! My family! What does that mean? And what does that look like? It means that as important as it is to farm the land, my most valuable ministry will be the example of my life.

This afternoon we started talking about conflict and we will be talking about it all day Monday. Today we began learning who we/I am in conflict and how I deal with it. 70-80% of missionaries will leave the field and not come back due to conflict. A survey of 500 missionaries at various stages said the number one stress was dealing with conflict. We are just getting into whether conflict is just basically destructive and only a little constructive??

We’ll see where it goes!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Just a few of the things we are learning about lately-
A little more clarifying on what we are doing here. This is not a place where we are building on our biblically foundation as the main emphasis. That will of course happen some as iron sharpens iron. But that is not the focus of this program. The focus of this program is YOU (me). More foghorns sound in our minds (Hee hee) as we talk about feelings and thoughts, our gut reactions. We do an activity and the question is how do you feel about that? What feelings did it invoke, what thoughts did you have? What you think and feel will tell you where you are at.
We talked a lot about seeing the same event in two different ways, neither necessary being wrong-the paradox thing. We have then talked a lot about the fact that we need to love one another. They didn’t give the statistic, but most missionaries leave the field because of other missionaries and their values clashing with other missionaries, their lifestyle choices, their convictions.
During our worship yesterday morning we mediated on Bartimaeus, the blind man in Mark 10 who was crying out to Christ as He passed by. First everyone tried to shush him, but then when Christ called to the man, the crowd happily pushed him forward. He got up to Jesus, Christ asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Are you thinking “DUH!”? But you see, Christ doesn’t assume for us; He wants us to ASK! Even the obvious-and maybe keep asking? I sometimes struggle with asking for the same things over and over. I ask once and trust that God will take care of it. But maybe He wants me to keep asking-it’s not a lack of faith to keep asking? Maybe I am suppose to do a little more on my side? I need to call and keep calling; not listen to others or even satan try to shush me?
We did a little on culture shock. Brian experienced this in Zambia this summer. We’ve probably had a little bit of it here too.
Today was mostly about expectations. The girls were told a few days about that they were going somewhere today, but weren’t told where. The point was to build expectation in them (unfortunately for them, we often say we are going somewhere and don’t tell them, so the girls weren’t as excitable about it as the staff maybe thought they might be!) We talked about the things in life that can TWANG us when we create expectations (reality, fear, desire to name a few).
We also talked about our lifestyle choices and who we think they will affect, or do affect, or who should be considered when we make them. We have seen this in our journey so far. We have changed the home plans taking more of this into consideration. The choice we have made of sending a sea container over with most of our possessions has affected others. Just the virtue of our going over there affects many people. And the way it affects them is different of course.
Once a week we also have personal coaching. Our gal is someone who was a missionary in Nepal for seven years. She also has an adopted son who is now seven from Eastern Russia who has RAD. We could have talked about adoption forever! Today was mainly introductory and where we are, where we came from; just letting us know we can talk about anything on our path-she’s there to be a support and answer any questions. Our time is right at 1:30, the session is 45 minutes, then we have until 4 pm without the kids!
So the kids had a GREAT time at Focus on the Family. They did three scavenger hunts, went in the imagination station, the Narnia wardrobe, ate at Wit’s End, and even got to do a recording in their studios (I will see if I can figure out how to post that). It was a great time had by them. We were a little bummed, because we of course are planning to take them; I guess they will be our tour guides!
This afternoon after class we went for a walk with a couple of other families. It was a beautiful day here with sunshine and 45 degrees. It would be easier to sit in class if the weather out side would be a lot worse and we weren’t looking at a beautiful mountain all day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 1

Today’s focus included more intro/orientation and a lot on growing a community. We have lots of little communities within this whole community of missionaries-singles, parents with kids here, parents without, different roles, different countries, different races, and different ages of kids, different, different. Yet, we ARE a community. We talked a lot about being vulnerable and sharing your heart. We talked about those things that are below the surface that we don’t always know about before we judge someone’s actions and responses. We had more time today to start talking and connecting and hearing stories from people.
We keep talking about community-we both keep hearing the Duluth fog horn from Joe Sourchey!
My (KJ) growth group is a baby boomer going to Sudan, a nurse going to Uganda, a gal going to Ethiopia (don’t know much about her yet, they had horrible flights getting here, so were late), and a single gal going to China.
Brian’s groups is the husband of the gal to Sudan, the husband of the one going to Ethiopia, the guy going to Mozambique I mentioned yesterday, a guy going to Guatemala and a guy going to Argentina.
Praise! We are not the only ones here “without a seminary education”. We are also not the only ones here doing agriculture related projects. The Ethiopia guy also is doing something related to ag and windmills. Oh-and we aren’t the only ones who hate role playing!!!

PARADOX-two seemingly contradictory statements of which both are true. A word we learned about this morning. A word I’ve heard but never really understood before. The ACTS course I (Brian) have been doing is a paradox. How so? In the material we are studying I see a mold/agenda of how they think missions should be done. I don’t fit that mold-does that mean one of us is wrong in how we view missions? NO! Yet we don’t totally agree; and that’s okay. The difficulty is laying both statements (arguments) side by side without weakening one of the statements-being able to allow yourself to see the validity of the other statement. The hard part, at least for me, is not feeling like someone just attacked you and you have to defend yourself or go on the offensive. Then what do you have-conflict. And that really brings out our (my) most unChristlike behavior and attitude. This is just one of the things we are going to be learning over the next three weeks. Fun, fun, fun.

PRAYER REQUEST-please pray that the kids will adjust to the time change! Pray that Brian will be able to sleep-the bed is not working well for us. We may need to get an air bed from the local Wal-mart. Please pray that the lack of sleep will not lead to a migraine.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Let the Adventure Begin!

We arrived at MTI a little after 1pm.
Answered prayer #1. The trip went extremely well, the kids did an amazing job. We listened to 3 of the Chronicles of Narnia so far. We went about 770 miles in 12 ½ hours. That was with 2 eating and gas stops and 2 gas stops. We only had about 150 miles left today so we took the “scenic” route.
Answered prayer #2. To our surprise we have 3 rooms instead of only 2. So dad and mom get a room to themselves!
#3 There are a few other African nations represented, so we should get a little specific Africa time I hope! There is a single to Mozambique & Malawi and I think a couple to Sudan, Uganda, and Ethopia. We have the most kids of all by 3.
Took a little tour and it a very nice facility. They nurseries are nice, there are books to check out, games to play, even kids movies for when needed.
We are unpacked; we all slept well last night in a nice (and really cheap!) hotel room. Myron crashed at about 6:30 (7:30 our time-still adjusting!).
Bummer #1-the girls are the 4 oldest, and they are alone. There are 11 kids under 3. We were hoping for some other kids to connect with. Oh well-must be God’s plan. They should get lots of individual attention! The teacher was an MK themselves, so they should learn a lot.
18 units of people, 13 agencies, 15 countries represented.
The kids have been running all over, just wired, but super tired.
We have groups/class times from 8:45 to 12, then 1:30 to 4 everyday. I will post more later on some of the things we will be studying.
Pray everyone keeps HEALTHY! They won’t let the kids in the nursery if they are sick, and we won’t learn much if we have to chase kids around. So pray against snotty noses and coughs especially (they are too hard to hide!)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Prayer request

A few praises-too easy to forget to be thankful sometimes-but we are thankful and being blessed!

We found a place that is close, convenient and free to keep our sea container for a few weeks as we pack and go through everything in the house. We are just running out of room in the house for all the different “piles”.

This week is going pretty well!

We have been talking with a company in South Dakota that sells solar equipment. The best: they are Christians and feel it is part of their mission as a company to help missionaries with what they need to be on the field. We just need to figure out what we think we will use (appliances, how long, etc.) then they will figure up a system for us. We don’t know the final cost, but it looks like it will be half of what we expected!

Someone is donating a generator to Gospelink. We should be able to get it on our container. It will be situated fairly close to our home so we will be able to use it some-like when I need to use a washing machine. It will also supply power for the clinic they are building next spring, the library when that gets ready, and be a back up for the generator that runs the water cistern.

Here are a few prayer requests for us as we finish up plans for training in Colorado:

Please pray for this week-as many of you know, when you are planning to go and learn more about God, that is when Satan attacks! Please pray against crabby kids, crabby parents, for everything to work well and work right and for all the preparations for the trip. Pray that we won’t all be on edge for the week.

Please pray for us as we travel this-pray for traveling mercies, as we expect it to be about a 15 hour trip over two days.

Pray things will go smoothly at home for the gal staying at our house and with the dog.

Please pray that we will learn and retain as much information as possible.

This is probably silly, but neither Brian nor I like to do “role-playing” activities-and there will be quite a few these next few weeks!

Pray about sleep for the kids-especially Myron. He never sleeps well outside his own crib. We have 2 rooms for the 8 of us, so mom and dad will have to be in the same room as some of the kids.

Thank you for your prayers. We will try to do updates and journal entries on our blog for the next few weeks, so check it out!

We will have email, so feel free to send us a note!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I am really trying to stay up with this information age! HA!
I posted a link to our November Newsletter on the side under "monthly newsletters." I am so computer illiterate it's unbelievable, so someone will have to tell me if it works! It's not as cool looking as the ones you get in the mail; i don't know how to post publisher files, or .pdfs (not sure if you can on blogger).
Anyway, enjoy! Let me know if it doesn't show up or you have any questions!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

After Obedience, comes DEPENDENCE

That was a statement made at our prayer meeting Tuesday night. It really struck both Kelly and I as to that being exactly where we are right now. And frankly it’s not easy. You think obedience was tough, try complete dependence. I’ve learned that we think we depend on God. But really, we don’t. We rely on our own resources our own abilities and connections. The fact is- God provides them- not us! HE is the maker of heaven and earth and to think we can do anything apart from Him is arrogant and foolish. The fact is, most of the time we don’t even realize that we are trying to do it ourselves. That is what has happened to me the last couple of weeks. And I became more and more discouraged with the church (God’s people) and with God Himself. I was so caught up in what was going on that I didn’t see it until I was to the breaking point. God allows us to go there to see our need for total dependence on Him. For me it all came to a head on Thursday night at my men’s Bible study. I really felt like I had been getting beat up lately about going into the mission field. I have had a few people questioning what we are doing (and that is okay, I want people to understand-I want them to ask us questions) but I also have had others that flat out disagree with our approach and tell us that we should be doing it differently (their model for how missions should be done). I was to the point of questioning God’s call. God began to remind me of all of the confirmations that He gave. At the study the facilitator recognized that I was struggling and asked if I would share. I couldn’t, there was so much emotion built up inside that if I opened my mouth I knew I would break down. The analogy that came to mind is that of a soldier. As followers of Christ we are all soldiers and we are in a/many battles whether we acknowledge or recognize it. And there are times when soldiers get beat up and tired and they need a little time to rest and get reenergized to get back into the battle and fight effectively. At the end of the evening he asked the men to gather around me to lay hands on me and pray. The Bible talks about praying in the Spirit. That is what these men did! They did not know what was specifically going on in my life and the battles taking place, yet they prayed specifically to the situations taking place. Sometimes God takes you to that place where you are completely empty just so He can fill you back up; to teach you not only obedience but dependency on Him in ALL things.

Friday, November 2, 2007

First Prayer Team Email

First off, welcome and thank you for partnering with us in our work with Gospelink in Zambia.

I wasn’t sure when I was going to start sending out a prayer email, but God did! So this is nothing eloquent or pithy-just a humble request for prayer.

First a praise to start us out! A WONDERFUL woman took me shopping today to the home store, and got us some of the big items on our list. It was such a blessing! And definitely a God thing on a day like today!

Our prayer cards are in the mail and on the way, so you will be getting them before the end of the month. Just please think of us and pray for us. Today seemed to be discouragement after discouragement. Satan is unfortunately very good at hitting us when we are down, making even a small thing big. Just pray for encouragement for us, for perseverance. God has been so faithful to provide it for us when we have needed it, and we continue to trust Him. Our struggles make us even more resolved that this is where we are suppose to be.

Thank you for your prayers and your commitment to praying for us.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lessons being learned

Thought it was time to write about what God has been teaching me over the last couple of weeks.
First of all I spent 9 days relief milking for a guy. You know, I didn’t mind the work (10-12 hr. days), actually I rather enjoyed it. God created me to enjoy physical labor. What I didn’t enjoy was the fact that I did not have any time for much of anything else. Like doing my Acts Course work, my daily readings, doing anything with the family, I missed the prayer meeting and Bible study. I just plain did not have the time or energy for it. Felt a dryness with in my soul, I got run down and then got I’m sick. LESSON LEARNED: pace myself, set clear priorities, must take time for myself and for Kelly and the kids. The work can and will get done just maybe not all today. I also worked with someone who definitely tried my patience, who did not except instruction well. I pray God wasn’t trying to show me what I was going to be dealing with over there. Maybe He hit me hard here just so I have something to look back on.
Something else I thought about now that it is harvest time. Here we don’t think about the amount of crops (food) we grow. We don’t think about the number of people we potentially feed. Once the school is complete, essentially I will be responsible for the growing of the food for potentially a 1000 people. It becomes rather personal when you put a number to it. It becomes very, very personal when you put faces and names with those numbers. Your sense of responsibility just went sky high! That is what God is calling me to do. To feed His soldiers in training (my brothers and sisters in Christ) to see that they are nourished both spiritually and physically. So that they are prepared to go out into the battle and win souls and train disciples and plant churches for Christ!
Over the last couple of weeks support (financial, prayer, donations) has been slowly coming in. And to tell you the truth, it’s one of the most humbling experiences you can go through. To know that some of these people are really sacrificing to support us and what God is doing in and through us. Saying thank you just never seems like enough. I pray that God will bless each and everyone that supports us. I pray that I am a good steward of what the Lord provides.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

a little update

Finally getting to a little update!

We have received about $7000 now for the container and start up costs! PTL!

I updated our needs list, here, with some of the donated items already.

We have started getting monthly and annual partners! I am still thinking about how exactly I will display those, so for now am waiting. Just know they are coming in! It is a very humbling experience to get a letter of support from someone for whom you know it will be a monthly sacrifice. Or to receive a commitment from someone you weren't even sure you should include on your mailing list!

We are hoping to get a newletter out in November before we go to MTI for training.

Thank you for keeping us in your prayers.

Oh yes-a question answered: No, you do not need to wait until you are able to send the money with your response form. We would appreciate the form back so we can know what to plan for.

Prayer Request/Praise: Just this week we sent out letters to area churches to request they consider partnering with us. We have been invited to speak at one of the church's next mission board meetings (actually even before the letter went out!)! A few of the churches whose members had personally already gotten support letters already had us on their agendas for the next meeting! And one churched I spoke to in the afternoon, approved a "container" gift to us that same night! YOU GO GOD!! Please pray for some of these churches to partner monthly with us.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Housing Clarification

Not sure if we made this clear in our letter, so thought i would explain a little more here.

Right now at the Bible College there are over 100 buildings just about ready (not quite finished)-these are the staff houses, bathroom/kitchens, and student cabins.

There is no house for us right now. Brian has picked the spot where he would like to build it and we have plans drawn up for the house.

This is a picture of one of the teams last summer building a cabin. Yes, our house will be made of the same blocks. After the block is done, they plaster it, then paint.

We are planning to ship in the container some supplies needed for finishing the house: paint, steel for the roof, electrical supplies, bathroom/plumbing supplies (toilets, sinks), kitchen supplies (counters, sinks, etc.).
If you know a good place to purchase some of these things, or have a line on a discount somewhere, please let us know!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

questions about our support letter

We have gotten a few questions about our support letters, so thought i would answer here. Hopefully, if you have more, you will email or post it in the comment section, and we will get to it!

1) Is there any amount too small?
NO! We recognize that any gift you can give to us is a sacrifice of love and obedience and we are appreciative beyond what words can say!

2) Why so much? It's Africa after all!
Yes, it is Africa, but things really are not that much cheaper; in fact, some things are more expensive. The shops there cater to the 1% of people who have money. They charge new prices on things that are not so new. When Brian was at the mall in Lusaka, he saw washing machines at a shop that weren't even made in this decade-and those were your only options! Mattresses are generally just made from foam there, but you can get ones we have here in America, but they are super expensive for example.

3) Why all the small stuff on your list? Why not buy it there?
Again, we can, but it will cost the same or more. If someone is willing to donate an item, even with the shipping and taxes, we come out ahead. If we buy something ourselves, and pay taxes and shipping, it may come out to cost a little more, but we would then have a more reliable item.

4) $30,000 for a container!
That is our estimate, yes. It will be around $2,000 for a container, $11-13,000 for shipping, then there is duty. So that is why we are REALLY PRAYING for either our permits to be in before we ship, or Gospelink gets its tax exempt status in Zambia.

We will be able to use our container for storage, maybe even as a building later. We will not be coming back to the States for 2-3 years, so we are bringing extra clothes/supplies too, those will sit there (that also explains all the different sizes for kids clothes!)

We have also decided to go this route just thinking ahead to getting off a plane with 6 kids, and then having to go around and shop for this stuff. There would be a possibility of going over early to get some of these things (just me and Bri, or just Bri), but we like the container route instead. Just the cost of shipping our books, kids' books, bedding (have to have our air bed!)...the cost adds up that way too. Most missionaries in Zambia we have talked with say if you can send a container, do it!

5) Are used items okay?
Yes, we will happily take used items in good condition.

That's all i can think of right now; if you think of more-PLEASE ASK!

Monday, October 8, 2007

papers sent!

Our work permit papers are FINALLY on the way to Zambia!! Please pray that the approval process will go QUICKLY! Pray that they won't have any questions or need more information. Pray the approval will come before the end of the year (ambitious, yes, but GOD IS BIG!) If approval comes before we ship a container, we have been told we can ship in some things duty (tax) free. If not, we are still praying for the next item below.

Pray for Gospelink's tax exempt status to be approved in Zambia. The papers have been there for over a year, they just haven't received any word back on them, and until you have paperwork in hand, you can't claim the status. It would save Gospelink thousands of dollars every year, allowing them to be better stewards of their money. It would also allow us to send our things without taxes as well, saving us thousands too.

Continue to pray for God's hand on people's hearts as He leads those whom He has called to be our monthly financial supporters, out-going gift supporters, and prayer support. We have received some amazing gifts of generousity for our out-going support, and our first monthly supporter!! We are praying that that one was just the beginning of a windfall of monthly supporters committing to partner with us.

Thank you for your prayers and support-it means SOOOO MUCH TO US!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Will you partner with us?

Are you, or have you raised any children? We are right now raising six of them in our home. What a blessing it is to have this responsibility. One of the things that we try to teach them is to obey the first time. Obedience is one of the goals that we all have as parents. Did you know that God also wants us to obey Him as His children? Recently God has asked our family to obey Him with a very challenging request. God has asked us to move to Zambia, Africa and to join Him in a very exciting missions ministry called GOSPELINK. We have said YES!!!

Gospelink is a missions organization that was established for the purpose of advancing the gospel throughout the world. However their means of doing this is different than most. They feel this can best be accomplished by assisting national preachers who are actively involved in evangelism, discipleship and church planting. Through prayer and financial assistance national preachers are empowered, their evangelistic outreach is enhanced and their church planting efforts are accelerated. You can learn more about this ministry by checking out the website at www.gospelink.org.

Our role with Gospelink will be to help further develop one of their newest ministry endeavors. This is the establishment of an international Bible college in Zambia, Africa for over 500 students per year. This college is needed so that more men can be trained to be pastors of the growing church in this land. It is very common for one pastor to be leading three to four churches. This leaves very little time for discipleship and thus many churches in Africa are very shallow spiritually. It is also common to see men leading churches who have had no formal Bible training whatsoever. The goal of this Bible college is to strengthen the church in Africa.

The Bible college campus is situated in a rural setting on over 300 acres of land. Gospelink has asked our family to join them in spearheading the agricultural development of this campus. Each student that comes to this college will need to earn his way through school by working the land for his own food but also learning how to get the best yield from the land so that some of the produce could be sold to help pay for his tuition. The land at the college has unlimited potential but there is a need to teach irrigation skills, fertilizer techniques and also the importance of rotating crops. The work is challenging as most farming in Zambia is still done completely by hand with very little help from machines. There will be students on the campus year-round, so there will also be a need for food all year long. When farm work is at a slower pace, we will help with ongoing construction, landscaping projects, and equipping of pastors.

What’s most exciting to our family about this ministry opportunity is the relationships that will be built with the hundreds of pastors and their families that will be sent out to be missionaries. They will leave equipped to meet the spiritual needs and the physical needs of local villagers through the biblical skills and agricultural skills learned at the Bible college. We know that thousands will respond to the gospel through the graduates of this school. We are excited to be a part of that.

So where are we at right now? Recently the Elder Board at our home church approved us for their “Transition to Ministry” program. For the next nine months we will be working towards being equipped to superbly serve in our roles at the Bible college. There are three areas we will study: Zambia (such as adjusting to life in a new culture, dealing with isolation, marriage and family issues); the agriculture operation (researching farming in Africa); and equipping 1000 pastors (even though our main focus is agriculture, Brian will be having an impact on hundreds of pastors over the years and wants to have some knowledge in various aspects of a pastors role and ministry to impact them in whatever way he can).

Now we are asking you to pray about joining us in this adventure of obedience. We need people like you to pray for and financially support our ministry with Gospelink. We sold our herd of milking cows in May of 2007 and we are living by faith that God will meet our needs through His church. If you would like to become one of our financial and prayer partners with Gospelink we would greatly appreciate it. To do that all you need to do is fill out the response form and mail it to us. We are in need of monthly support for this transition period and while in Zambia. We will also need funds for our outgoing costs as outlined below. We believe our finances are such that we will not need to begin receiving support until January of 2008. At that point we will use monthly support to pay for living expenses, training materials and programs for our transition plan. Any support not utilized during this time will be saved and used to help cover outgoing costs when we are ready to leave (these costs in moving overseas include: a home, a vehicle, airfare for a family of 8, and other miscellaneous start up costs such as passports, insurance, and work permits).

Enclosed you will also find a needs list. We plan to ship a sea container to Zambia that will have personal items, household items and fixtures, and equipment needed for the Bible college. We have selected a target date of moving to Zambia in May of 2008. In order for this to happen, this sea container needs to leave here in early January 2008. It should arrive in April, which will allow for time to finish building the house before the whole family gets there. We would ask you to please pray about any items you would be willing to donate or any funds to purchase items. The cost of the container, shipping, and taxes will be approximately $30,000. We have already started collecting items and are being blessed by the generosity of God’s people!

We are also in need of a prayer team beginning right now; we are praying for 100 committed partners to pray for us regularly.

If you have any questions that you would like to ask me, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I will look forward to hearing from you! May God bless you as you serve the King of Kings! If you have a bible study group we could share with, we’d love that as well. Perhaps you think this is something your church mission board could get behind. If you can provide us with a name, we will gladly make the contact to see if we can set up a meeting.

We thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and trust that you will prayerfully consider what God may have you do in regards to our ministry with Gospelink.

Serving God in Obedience,

Brian & Kelly Jo Kallevig
Cybil, Mariah, Greta, Hailey, Joseph, Myron

Sunday, September 30, 2007


Just a simple request (ha!)

Things are feeling crazy. We are trying to get our support letters out by the middle of this week. Brian is also milking for a someone for 9 days starting Tuesday. He has his bible study, I have 2 bible studies, the kids have their co-op this week, one doctor's appointment and 3 dentists...
I keep thinking we just need to get through this week-but it's really not going to get that much better after that! Then it will just be the next thing. Please pray that we don't get too busy to remember God, why we are doing this. Also that we don't neglect the kids and school.
You can also pray for a miraculous outpouring of God's people who will be willing to partner with us in prayer and financial support-monthly and upfront costs. Pray that God will do that work and we won't try to do it all on our own.
Brian is also sharing for the next three weeks in a different Sunday school class each week. Pray that they will see his heart in what we will be doing. Two of the missionary couples our church supports are here/have been here. We have already had meetings with one of them and are going to try meet with the other. So missions is really up front and in the face of our church body.
There is so much to do; and for those who know me well-I love that!! But I want to be sure we are doing the right thing; not just anything to get crossed off the list.

I could go on and on; please pray as the Lord leads you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Conformations and answers to Prayers

1) Our worship pastor is in the Congo on a missions trip, which helps our cause by putting Africa on the radar of the leadership of the church.
2) God providing income through various part time jobs, so there is still time to get the other work (the plan) done.
3) The elder board voting unanimously to place us in the Transition to Ministry program. No red Flags from them.
4) The continued sense of peace that we are on Gods path and that He is preparing the way.
5) God continues to show us areas that we need to work on to experience growth.
6) The continued spiritual warfare that has been taking place in our home. Clearly a conformation we are on the right path.

Prayer requests:
1) Our work permit papers are going to be going in, pray that it moves through the proper channels smoothly and quickly.
2) For continued patience with the process, the kids, and the “Plan”.
3) That we do not get caught up with everything and forget where our focus is to be, that is prayer and study of the Word and reaching people here with the love of Christ.
4) We’re preparing to send out our support letters, for people to prayerfully consider how God would have them involved and that they would be obedient to His leading.
5) For continued perseverance in our studies, (Acts course, Daniel and Breaking Free Bible studies).
6) For our extended family as this is a difficult time of processing and acceptance. Pray for Gods’ peace and comfort in this transition time.
7) Logistics! What to plan for, pack for, what to buy here, what to buy there. The planning and preparation of building a house on the college site.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Great Ommission

One part of our plan is to journal each week and answer two questions. What‘s the most important thing I learned this week? How will this make me more effective in Zambia?

Question one: when I look at the plan it doesn’t look like all that much but combine it with everything else in life and it becomes a lot. Learning to prioritize and plan. Having to say no to some things and remain focused on others. One thing to focus on is this Acts course I’m going through. Be willing to except that I’m not all that smart academically and that’s okay, but to get everything you can out of it and if that’s only 50% that’s better than nothing. That is a hard thing for me to accept, I know but I have to get out of it what God wants to teach me.

I’ve also been reading Steve Saint’s book The Great Omission. As I have been reading I’ve been jotting a few notes on what has been sticking out to me, here it is:

One thought I’ve had that just become clear to me is that if, or when, God calls me/us out of the IBC/Zambia He will have already chosen and raised someone else up to take my place. If the past is any indicator of the future, this is but another step. I must be diligent in my training and teaching and aware of the Spirit’s leading in this area.

Another thing that is going to be difficult is seeing something that needs to be done, having the means, the knowhow, the desire… and knowing that I shouldn’t-knowing that the nationals are the ones to do it. There’s a balance of that. There are probably going to be some things that will have to get done. But they may not get done to my standards. You don’t want dependency-you want interdependency.

Uneducated is not the same as ignorant.
Romans 12:3-5 (NIV) For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

As missionaries our purpose is NOT to change someone’s culture, but to offer people an opportunity to adopt a new life with new values and new attitudes. We all/should change when we become followers of Christ.

Zookeeper Approach-keep outsiders and natives as they are
Cloner’s Approach-if they want to do the things we do, then they will have to be like us.

The technology must be appropriate for the people who are going to use it.
Simpler is better (usable and maintainable, and AFFORDABLE to the nationals)

The Great Commission is not a spectator sport, there or here. It is more a relay race.

Safety is not the ultimate objective as Christians or living a long life. Our objective is to obey God and to fulfill His plan for us.
John 14:15 (NIV) "If you love me, you will obey what I command".

I’ll be learning as much as I’ll be teaching.

The next part of the book is about money and $ issues.
Questions to ask yourself: “Do you work to live or do you live to work” there’s a BIG difference. “How much is enough” is your mindset: that “too little” is what I make, “enough” is more than I make. And “too much” never happens. Money is like medicine—it becomes a poison if it is received in excess.

What can often be a difficult thought: You cannot allow good endeavors {humanitarian efforts} to get in the way of spreading the gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ is believe, repent, and be saved. {John 3:16} These other things can and one could argue should be done along side of the Great Commission. But it should never take its place. Meeting people’s felt needs {hunger} is an effective way of opening doors to the Gospel, but don’t forget the Gospel.

There are three primary areas that a new body of believers has to develop before they can be weaned from the supporting “milk” provided by outsiders. At the point of weaning they should be able:
1) Lead others to Christ {self-propagating} the nationals in Zambia are very good at this.
2) Organize and police their own affairs {self-governing} the need training in this area, I believe this is where discipleship training would greatly help.
3) Support their own ministry {self-supporting} this is the area that is the most difficult, understandably when you’re dealing with a nation where unemployment is from 70 -80%. People feel they don’t have anything ($) to give (tithe), when all they have to do is get more creative.

Questions to periodically ask yourself in missions:
1) Is my mission method working as well as it should?
2) Do I have the right approach?
3) Am I even on the right road?
We must not forget to do God’s will- we must do it His way (follow His pattern).

God has laid out a pattern in the gospel of Acts for us to follow. The forms may vary but the functions should remain the same.

The first and most important (and where everything with God should begin) is PRAYER! Seeking Him in all things and listening and being obedient to the Holy Spirit leading.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I am horrible at putting up photos-just never think to do it. If we didn't have super-slow dial-up, i'd post all 5 pictures in the process...

Here are our cuties in some outfits we got for them at the Acres of Hope Festival of Hope we went to in August.

Saturday, September 8, 2007


(This is a bible one of the gentleman had at the church Brian and the team helped plant when they were in Zambia)

There are three key areas we will be working on to Superbly Serve in Zambia:

1. Zambia-adjusting to life in a new culture, dealing with isolation, marriage and family issues

2. Agriculture Operations-there will be ongoing research for the agriculture operation: irrigation, soil conditions, crops

3. Equipping 1000 Pastors-training (Brian in particular) to have an impact on the equipping of the 1000 pastors that this school will instruct

Each week we will journal:
1) What is the most important thing I learned this week?
2) How will this make me more effective in Zambia?

Here are some of the resources we plan to use:

Systematic Theology- Wayne Grudem
10 Keys to Unlocking the Bible- Colin Smith
Bible Software
BILD-Acts Course, Leaders and the Early Church, Interpreting the Word
First Principles Series
Tough Questions about God, Faith, & Life: Answers to Difficult Questions Teens Ask-C. Colson
Knowing God-J. I. Packer
Elders and Leaders- Gene Getz
African Friends and Money Matters-
Village Medical Manual-Mary Vanderkooi
Knowledge of the Holy by A. W. Tozer
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
Sense and Nonsense about Prayer by Lehman Strauss
The Prayer Life by Andrew Murray
Daring To Draw Near by John White
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard
The Way of the Heart by Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


So now you have read Brian’s story, and mine. Now it is your turn to tell yours. There is freedom found in Christ, and there is freedom in speaking the truth out loud! Boldly! We invite you to use the comment section to share your story with us. We don’t care how boring you think it is, or how where you are from (geographically and spiritually), we don’t care how detailed you go! But we encourage you to shine the Light of Christ!
Now, I know that there are people from 7 different countries and 62 different cities that have read this blog at least once. So we should see at least a few stories! We hope we have encouraged you by sharing our faith journeys, now we humbly ask you to encourage us (that includes all who may read this blog).
If you are uncomfortable sharing your story online, but are willing to share it with us, you can click the “EMAIL THE KALLEVIGS” link and send it to our personal email and it won’t be published.

Friday, August 31, 2007


Since Brian shared his story, I figured I’d better share mine too. I grew up in a church-going family, went to bible camp each summer, church when we had to…Nothing too exciting. One summer at camp I asked Jesus into my heart. I remember crying a lot, but that’s about it. I told the gals in my cabin who were of course excited for me.
I lived two different lives throughout high school and part of bible school too. I had the “I’m a Christian” summers and retreats, but mostly I lived the very carnal life of sin. I allowed myself to fall into alcohol and some of the weaknesses that come with that. I was a good actress when I needed to be.
But I always wanted MORE. I thought, I knew, there was suppose to be more to my Christian walk, but I had no one to disciple me in it. I was, and unfortunately still am, very selfish. I want things to go my way-this has developed into perfectionism, which I still struggle with to this day. With no one to walk with me and the reputation I was developing, I needed a lot of encouragement to my self-esteem, and I was finding it in the wrong places with the wrong people. I don’t want to elaborate on my past, I am ever so thankful that Christ died to take that away, that God will cast it as far as the east is from the west!
Brian and I met at bible school, we were quite a pair! My actress skills mostly worked there, I was considered one of the good kids. We fell into sin. There is no place where satan can’t find you, attack you. I knew there was MORE then too, I just didn’t know how to obtain it.
I don’t have a big change moment. Life has just gradually brought times, people, and circumstances into my life where I have had to deal with sin. Some I still struggle with, having to make a daily choice to walk in the way of the Lord, to let His life be manifest in me. I got involved in MOPS, found some good friends, finally got in an environment where I could learn to be the wife, woman, mother, servant God wanted me to be. It was an opportunity where I could use the gifts God had given me and find the affirmation that I desperately needed.
Sad to say it, but I was still pretty selfish and near oblivious to what was going on with Brian, at least to what degree it was affecting him. Yes there was a stormy time in our marriage, but I don’t remember thinking it was much more than a bad patch we had to work through.
One huge area that I have had to work through/on is letting Brian be the head of our household. I am somewhat of a controller, to put it mildly! I don’t like not knowing what’s going on and being involved in the going-ons. I have prayed about this a lot, I have read a lot, but mostly I have just had to do it. And God has richly blessed us because of it. I am learning to completely trust in his leadership for our family, and by doing that, am learning to trust more and more in God.
One of my spiritual gifts is the gift of faith. I have always know if God says He’ll do it, He WILL do it. And I know He will do it in His time, in His way. That doesn’t mean I don’t try it my way sometimes though! God has tested me (us) on this many times. Our adoption with Joseph, the struggles with him here, and now going into the mission field. It wasn’t too long ago that I remember feeling I needed, no I WANTED, to have to trust God more. There was that feeling of wanting and knowing there was supposed to be more again! It wasn’t but a few weeks later, and missions was on our radar! Should the lesson be, be careful what you pray for?! No way! Where else could I, would I want to be?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Now to test my memory… Back in ‘02, I was what I would call a carnal Christian, I had my fire insurance and that was it. I had allowed satan to bind me spiritually. He had been selling me lies most of my life and I was buying ever one, thus rendering me inept and ineffective spiritually. I was not the spiritual leader of my family; I had left that to my wife (which is sin). God has called us men to be the spiritual head and we will be held accountable to God for that! I knew I was not living the way I was supposed to. The hole of sin I had dug was huge, I had spent my whole life digging it and I was pretty good at it.
Satan had got a hold of me at the ripe old age of 10 years old. That was the first time I saw a pornographic magazine. To this day I can tell you exactly where I was and what was going on. I remember the exact moment. The only way I can describe it is a switch being flipped or a door being opened that was not to be opened. Satan had me; he showered me with guilt, shame, self hatred, and told me that I could not tell anyone because I was the only one. You can imagine the constant conflict taking place. As I grew and become a young man, I chose the wrong path; I tried to escape my pain in all the usual ways of the world (alcohol, drugs, porn, cutting), when the only way to escape the pain is to be set free from it through the power of Jesus Christ. I grew up in church but I thought I was the only one screwed up (another lie). I believe one of the reasons the church in America is dying is because so many men in the church are living in bondage to sin (like pornography). These things need to be brought to the light.
When I look back, I’m amazed at how involved God was in my life. He never left me. He was constantly trying to draw me back into relationship with Him. I believe He wept over me many times as any father would over his prodigal son. He brought people into my life that to this day continue to pray for me. And he gave me parents who never wrote me off but prayed for me.
After high school, work and money became my god for three years, until I burnt myself out. Some would say God lead me to Bible school. I see it more that He drove me to Bible School.
Remember, I was a guy deep in sin. Bible school was not my first choice, but I wanted a vacation, a place to relax. I clearly remember feeling lead in this direction, and I didn’t particularly like it. But once again God had a plan. One particular weekend home I was talking to a certain prayer warrior. She informed me she was praying that I would meet my wife-to-be at school. Well, in all my worldly wisdom, I informed her that there were a lot more important things to be praying about and for others too. She proceeded to “rip me a new one” and rightfully so! She also informed me that “she will pray for whatever and whomever she wants and God WILL answer her prayer.” Three weeks later, I brought home Kelly. She still reminds me of it from time to time! Boy was I a fool!
A year later Kelly and I were married. Things were pretty stormy early in our marriage. By year three I was wondering if we made a mistake. Kelly had no idea things were that bad. But frankly divorce was not an option. I have to take responsibility for our troubles. By this time my hole was really getting deep. Instead of my addiction to porn getting better, it got worse. It’s strange; there were times that I clearly felt the Lord’s leading even though I wasn’t walking with Him. One of those times came, and I confessed to my wife my sin. I think that was probably the start of the road to healing. I didn’t realize that my wife had been praying for me and had been asking others to pray for me as well.
This was a hard road to go down. I was recognizing sin in my life and I would try not to sin but I would fail and fail miserably. When I would fail it would just drive me deeper into my sin. My wife wasn’t completely oblivious (only partly so she says) to what was going on but she didn’t nag or force me to go where I wasn’t ready to go. God granted her tremendous patience; I can be a slow learner (hardheaded) at times. All this time I had no desire to go to church or be around other believers, for obvious reasons. I was afraid that someone would be able to see my sin. And I had worked very hard to keep it hidden.
Kelly had been making new friends at MOPS. Little did I know this was all a part of the Lord’s plan. There was one particular gal Kel became friends with. I didn’t know (neither did Kelly) that this gal’s husband was just coming out of a lot of the same sin I was stuck in. About a year later we were invited to a bible study at their house. I did not want to go but Kelly did and frankly if I knew what was good for me I’d suck it up and go. It wasn’t what I expected-not sure what I expected. I found that this couple genuinely cared about people, and that he and I had a lot of common interests. Then he shared with the whole group that Jesus Christ had set him free from an addiction to pornography. Needless to say I became very attentive. I started thinking that if Christ can do that for him, He can do it for me. The study was on being set free from spiritual bondage, something I had never heard about. It fascinated me and it sort of made sense but I wasn’t completely sold on it. The last night was for “ministry.” I’m like, okay, what’s that? Well we broke up into smaller groups to pray (to confess out loud and repent of sin) and to command that any hold that satan had on our lives to be broken in the name of Jesus Christ! I was scared to say the least but I figured I had nothing to lose and I wanted to know if this was real, if it was truth. It was! Praise God it was! As I was praying I literally felt a weight lift from my shoulders. I felt 20 lbs. lighter. It was amazing. I didn’t tell Kel what happened; I was afraid to, that it might nullify it. The wall that satan and myself had built now had a major opening in it.
Over the next year God and I worked through some junk. You see, the more light you let in, the more garbage (sin) you see. The end of that year Kelly came to me and asked me to pray about whether or not we should have more kids. I told her I would; but I didn’t. In fact I TOLD God how it was going to be: we were going to have more kids because I wanted a son. My arrogance still amazes me. Well, Kelly got pregnant and at about 12 weeks Kelly became ill and wound up in the hospital for a few days. At that point the baby was fine, two weeks later she had a checkup. She called me from the doctor’s office and told me she needed an ultra-sound to check on the baby. When I hung up the phone with her I already knew, don’t ask me how I just did. And I knew why! Now this is where a lot of people will strongly disagree. The fact is I lost my son because of my sin. I had chosen to take God’s place. God shares His throne with no one! There is nothing God won’t do to maintain a relationship with His children. In Hebrews 12 (a quote from Proverbs 3) it says that our Father disciplines those He loves. God is love, yes but He is also just! If He would not have disciplined me I would not be where I am today. Did He enjoy it, NO. I believe it broke His heart, and that He wept over me. He loved me too much to let me go. We say God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. In the Old Testament God showed great love, grace, and mercy towards His people but He also at times disciplined them for their sin. For instance, King David’s son died because of his sin. That was the price of David’s sin. Yes, he confessed and repented but there were still consequences to his sin as well as to ours. During that time of grieving I felt God’s arms around me like I never have. I confessed my sin to God face down on the basement floor. And He forgave me. I also had to confess to my wife, and ask for her forgiveness. She did.
After that time, I began going to prayer and worship at church on Wednesday nights. This trial turned my focus even more to prayer. I remember one night at prayer I finally, completely surrendered to God. I was convicted of my sin, yet again. God sent His Son to die for me, and all my life I had asked things from God, but I had never offered him anything. So I told Him, whatever it is you want me to do, the answer is YES.
Months passed, I continued in seeking Him, praying, developing the relationship I never had with Him before. I forgot my “offer” to Him. But He didn’t! A few months later, God worked on my life again, convicting me of sin in my life. See a pattern yet? This time it was a sin of prejudice; not extending grace to people. During the sermon Sunday morning in church, I clearly, audibly, heard God tell me Kelly and I weren’t to have any more kids of our own, we were to adopt. Not exactly a thought on my own radar. I wrestled, and cried, and struggled with God all day long. Later that afternoon working in the barn, God clearly impressed on me that I was to go to prayer at church that night. I got there, and eventually the story spilled out. My friend told me the story of Abraham and Isaac. I knew the story of course, but this time it had special meaning to me. In the barn that afternoon I had asked God, why? Why adopt? He didn’t tell me, He told me to go to prayer. This story was His answer to me. God was asking me if I was willing to give up my desire for a son, for His son, for the son He would have for me. It was then that I remembered my offer that was still on the table, and that I had already said yes.
Hours later the prayer meeting ended, and I still had to milk cows… and talk to Kelly. I hadn’t told her ANYTHING yet. I called and asked her to join me in the barn so we can talk. Not necessarily the right words to say to a woman, she was thinking the worst I’m sure! At this point, there was still a pretty big wall between us. I felt inferior to her in so many ways, not the least of which was on the spiritual side. There was this huge wall I felt I couldn’t get over to even talk to her about spiritual matters. I began to share the events of the day. I wasn’t sure how she would respond, I asked what she thought of all this. I will never forget the words she said to me, “it doesn’t matter what I think or feel-God is talking to you, and I am not going to get in the way.” That huge wall just crumpled in the 3 seconds it took her to say those words.
Needless to say, we (Kelly) began the process of researching adoption. A month or so later we had a referral for some boys in Sierra Leone. The process was long, as adoptions are, and we were preparing to go to SL to fight to bring those boys home, even jokingly saying we’d go do missions for six months there to meet the residency qualifications for adopting. It was during the preparations that we found out our boys weren’t even at the orphanage or with our agency. Our agency was unknowingly being fleeced by a few gentlemen. It was good to be involved in stopping that fraud, we knew God’s hand had been in this process, but we still felt hurt and frustrated.
Through conversations and connections, we ended up with our new agency, Acres of Hope. When we accepted Joseph’s referral and began the final preparations for him to come home, Kelly found out she was pregnant. Originally we had planned to adopt two boys, even had the referrals for two. The week Kelly got the positive test, one of our boys had to leave the orphanage. We look back now and know that that too was God’s work. As we were obedient to Him, he gave me the desire of my heart-and not just one son, but two! About three months later, Joseph came home, and six months later he was joined by our other son Myron.
Joe’s adoption was another stepping stone in our faith journey. I foolishly thought that my offer to God was paid in full! But it was an open-ended deal. It’s been amazing for us to see the many, many other people God has put in our path whose adoptions have been steps in their journeys as well, many ending up in missions too. It has not been an easy path (definitely not boring either!), but we can travel it in full assurance that we are on the path God has called us to.
And this brings us to where we began:
a beginning point.