Tag Archives: WGM

Take the Pledge

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Take the Pledge

In my HMA post, I tried my best to explain what our purpose for being back in the States was. I’m happy to report that I’ve accomplished on more of those goals! The boys started swim lessons on March 24, and they’re loving it!

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Another one of the goals was to build our support team. A support team is made up of people who want to invest in our lives and our ministry at Tenwek Hospital. The most common ways to support any missionary include but are not limited to the following:

1.) Praying regularly for the missionaries and the ministry they do

2.) Maintaining communication with the missionaries no matter where they might be

3.) Helping the missionaries reach their goals

4.) Donating regularly to their ministry

While we enjoyed an awesome support team during our first term in Kenya, we are finding that we need even more support now. We need people who will lift us up in prayer every day. We need people who will call us, send us messages, and check in with us. We need accountability with our goals. And we need financial partners.

This post will focus mainly on how to become one of our financial partners, because we have found that people who invest in our lives financially often do the other 3 things without much effort. They want to see how we’re using their money! Whether you can give $5 each month or $5,000 each year makes no difference. Every penny counts. God delights in the sacrificial gift!

Since the beginning of the new year, we have traveled to many churches and shared our ministry with thousands of people. We are happy to report that our support team is growing each month as we meet with these people and churches. We have seen God move many hearts to join our ministry at Tenwek, and we give God all the glory! Since we can’t meet with each one of you or visit each of your churches, I thought I’d explain what joining our support team means. We call it pledging your support.

Pledging is a commitment a supporter makes to give a certain amount of money to our ministry on a regular basis. It could be $25 each month, $5000 each year, or $500 each quarter. Your pledge can be any amount given in just about any interval you want. It can be $96.35 each week if that’s what God lays on your heart to give! Many of you are already doing this, and we are so thankful! Thank you for being obedient to the call God has laid on your hearts to be a part of our ministry!!

If you are interested in becoming a financial partner, please let us know! Here are the easiest ways to join our team:

1.) Go to www.wgm.org/kelley and fill out the form for a recurring donation.

2.) Request a prayer card from us, fill out the detachable post card, and mail it back to World Gospel Mission.

You can start your donations today, or you can indicate when you would like to begin your contributions. Since our goal is to be back in Kenya by January 2017, you could pledge today to begin your regular support at the beginning of the New Year. Regardless of when you can begin your financial support, the pledge is important! We can not return to Kenya until 100% of our monthly support is pledged.

Please let us know if you have any questions. Either leave a comment or send us an e-mail.

Praises and Prayer Requests:

  1. Praise God for His abundant blessings! Please pray that we continue to trust in HIS perfect provision and timing.
  2. Praise God for a healthy pregnancy thus far! I am 31 weeks and feeling good (better than I expected). Please pray that Baby Boy #5 would be healthy and full-term.IMG_1633
  3. Praise God for all the new people and churches we have met the past few months. It has been a blessing to see the diversity of the Church and the many ways God works in the churches.
  4. Pray for all the traveling we have ahead of us. Pray that our van will remain reliable. Pray that the boys will maintain their adventurous attitudes. Pray that Aaron and I have the stamina to drive all those miles.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:1-6

 

 

 

 

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HMA

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Being married to a doctor has been my reality for quite a few years now. Generally, I don’t think about it much. He goes to work. I stay home with the kids. It doesn’t really matter where his work takes him or what he does. We’re proud of him all the same. However, it’s times when we get together with other medical professionals that I notice a few things…like, the way I can’t participate in any conversations. It’s mostly my fault; I have almost no interest in medical things and therefore make no effort to learn what he does at the hospital or clinic. In my defense, though, doctors use a lot of big, fancy words and acronyms! Who is suppose to keep up with all that?!?

Not me! I just take care of the kids, making sure they have what they need or engaging them in intelligent conversation…I just can’t understand all the tests and prescription names any better than he can understand calculus or why a baby’s diaper needs to be changed when I’m not at home. Which makes me think…do I have just as many weird words in my vocabulary as he does? Probably so.

That list of acronyms and fancy words is growing, and this time it’s happening to us together! As with each profession, there is a lot of new jargon to be learned as a missionary. After spending 2 1/2 years on the field, I thought that I had learned a lot of the ‘Mission-ese’ language. However, with just 4 days of training at WGM HQ, I realized I still had a long way to go. (By the way, WGM HQ stands for World Gospel Mission headquarters.)

Don’t worry. I won’t bore you with all the new lingo I must commit to memory and then figure out how to use in an intelligent fashion. I do, however, plan to explain a few things in the next few months. I hope these informational posts will help you understand what Aaron, the boys, and I are doing while here in the States. And they might help you hold a conversation with us when we get to see you face-to-face!

So…Have you figured out what HMA stands for?

If not, that’s ok. It’s the first acronym that I’ll explain.

Home Ministry Assignment (HMA) is what WGM calls furlough. Furlough is the time when missionaries (or military personnel) leave their field of ministry and return to their homelands. Every time we leave Kenya and return to the States, we are on HMA or furlough.

You may be thinking OK, that makes sense, but what is the purpose of HMA? 

I suppose that question could be answered in several ways. And the answers might vary based on a missionaries’ agency, family situation, ministry needs, etc. I’ll do my best to explain what WE are doing on this, our first HMA.

Before leaving Kenya, Aaron and I had an unofficial list of goals for our time back in the States. Some of those goals have already been realized, but others are still a work in progress. Some of the goals were big; others were rather small and unnecessary. Regardless, we had an idea of what we wanted to accomplish here in the States. Below is at least part of that list in no particular order:

  1. Transfer to a long-term sending agency.
  2. Spend time with friends and family.
  3. Get the boys swimming lessons.
  4. Make new friends in Lynchburg, VA.
  5. Raise a support team to enable us to return to Kenya.
  6. Save as much money as possible.
  7. Enjoy America!

How are we doing on this list?? No too badly. Here is an update with prayer requests in bold.

On #1, we’re good! This goal was quickly realized. We landed in the States in June, and by the end of July we had interviewed with WGM and were excepted as long-term missionaries! However, we just did our first training with them in January, so we are feeling like our HMA time has just begun…Now that we know what we’re supposed to be doing!

#2: Spending time with friends and family (most of whom live in Pennsylvania) has been harder than we expected. It takes us at least 5 hours to drive from our home to anyone we know in PA. That’s not a day trip. While I intended to attend all the holiday celebrations and birthday parties that we were invited to, I quickly realized that wasn’t going to happen. We’re either traveling (I’ll get to why in a minute) or we are recuperating from traveling. We did have a great Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas with family, but we have missed every single birthday party…I wish I could say that I’ll do better with this for the remainder of our furlough, but I know that having a newborn won’t make the traveling any easier.

Please pray for us and our friends and family. Pray that we will take comfort in knowing that we have eternity together. Pray that we will be gracious with each other, that we can communicate openly with each other, and that we will enjoy every second we do get to spend with each other.

#3: Swimming lessons haven’t happened yet…I’m determined to make it happen, but I haven’t been successful quite yet.

#4 has proven to be more difficult than I expected too. Moving to Lynchburg, Virginia wasn’t our first choice, but it was where God was leading us. We knew we would need to make new friends, and we weren’t thrilled about it. (Being introverts has its drawbacks.) However, it’s happening! Yay! God has led us to a great church with wonderful people. We are feeling plugged in (finally), and we are encouraged.

Praise God for his people! We are thankful for the people who have reached out to us and are making Lynchburg feel more and more like home. 

We are diligently working on #5, which is the cause of a lot of our travels. As you probably know, being a missionary isn’t a profitable occupation. We are supported by churches, friends, family, and some people that we’ve never met. When we aren’t attending conferences (missionary or medical or a combination of both), we are speaking at churches, telling our story, and sharing what God is doing at Tenwek. We are asking churches and individuals to join our support team.

When people leave their careers and move to a foreign mission field, they need to have a large support base back in their home country. We are no different. We need a lot of prayer.We need people who will commit to praying for us daily, and we have been blessed beyond measure in this area so far. However, we can never have too many people praying for us, so if you feel God leading you to support us in this way, please do! Additionally, we need financial support. Monetary support comes in two goals: 1.) one-time gifts and 2.) monthly support. For us, we have reached our one-time gift goal. Now, all we need to do is reach our monthly pledge support.

A monthly pledge can come from churches or individuals. It’s as easy as informing WGM that you (or your church) would like to contribute a set amount of money to our ministry each month. Ideally, you would continue these contributions for the entirety of our time in Kenya starting as early as now or as late as January 2017 (when we intend to go back to Kenya). If you have received our prayer card, the pledge card is the part you can tear off and mail back to WGM HQ. These are tax deductible gifts, which is why they must go through WGM and not us personally. We will not be released to go to Tenwek until we have reached 100% of this goal. Right now, we’re about a third of the way there. If you have questions about this, please read the support page or just contact me.

Please pray that God will raise up a support base for us. We are trusting that our monthly support goals will be reached by December 2016 so that we can return to Tenwek in January 2017. 

#6 just isn’t happening thanks to our Allentown house. Despite Aaron working full-time, we haven’t been able to save like we wanted.

Please pray that God will provide the perfect buyer for our house! And quickly!!

That leaves us with #7: Enjoy America. Well, we have enjoyed parts of America. I’m loving the library, the pizza drive-thru on Friday nights, the consistency of electricity and clean tap water, and Target. The boys are enjoying the traveling more than I expected. Noah, Jacob, and Levi all have spirits of adventure, which makes the long car rides and new beds every other weekend so much more bearable. (If only Joshua had the same excitement!) If it were up to Noah, we would visit each of the 50 states while on HMA. That might be more fun – and more doable – if Aaron wasn’t working full-time and if we didn’t have a 1-year-old and a baby on the way!

While we are enjoying HMA, our hearts – at least parts of them – are still in Kenya. We look forward to returning to our home in Tenwek and serving God there. The traveling is fun and adventurous, but it’s also exhausting. Our bucket list is still long. There are so many people we want to see and so many places we want to visit in the next 11 months. If you would like us to visit you and we haven’t made plans for such a visit yet, please contact us (again if necessary). While our plates are full, we will do our best to put you (and/or your church) on our calendar!

Please pray for stamina during our travels and for great family memories to be made along the way.

More Praises and Prayer Requests:

Please pray for a healthy baby and momma during the remainder of this pregnancy. Pray for a full-term baby and a safe delivery. (I’m looking forward to the American hospital this time around!)

 

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It’s a boy!

Praise God for the 100th day of school! I’m thankful that He has brought us this far! Please keep our homeschooling endeavors in your prayers.

Please keep this little guy in your prayers. While he thinks he’s big enough for school, he is in rough shape right now. He has a bad cold and is recovering from a circumcision!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes! It was a great weekend of celebrating me! Aaron and I went out for dinner. The boys spoiled me with presents. My parents visited. It was a wonderful birthday!

Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported us along the way. We so appreciate you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Move

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Yesterday marked one month since our re-entry into our home country. In many ways it seems like it’s been much longer than that. So much has happened. Too much to wait until the end of the month to write about!

After living with another family for the first weeks, we moved back into our townhouse. The big boys are sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags, while Joshua is in a pack-n-play in another room. We’re eating either around the kitchen island or outside on the deck since we don’t have a dining room table. Camping chairs and a card table furnish the living room. Boxes and piles of stuff are in every room. The smallish pile in the living room goes to Virginia, and the large pile in the dining room will be packed for Kenya. This living arrangement isn’t ideal, but it’s been our lives for the last few weeks as we sort, purge, and pack.

We're considering getting one of these for the basement in our Tenwek house!

We’re considering getting one of these for the basement in our Tenwek house!

Last week, we took 6 different planes and about as many cars to get from here to Colorado Springs and then from Colorado Springs to Indiana and then from Indiana back to Pennsylvania. We spent a week in Colorado to attend DAR (Debriefing and Renewal) at a little retreat center in the Black Forest. Each of the boys were in class from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. They had fun playing outside, meeting new friends, and learning how to process being a missionary living in the U.S. While they were occupied, Aaron and I processed our lives too. We didn’t get to go on field trips, but we did take time to pray, talk through life, visit with friends, and remember how big God is. It was beautiful, fun, and relaxing. So worth our time and money!

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In order to attend our World Gospel Mission interviews on Saturday, we left Colorado Springs a little early to fly to Indianapolis. Then, we had to drive almost 2 hours to Marion where the WGM headquarters are located. We reached our destination around 10 p.m. and we tried to crash. The big 3 boys did sleep right away. Unfortunately, though, Joshua had enough of the traveling and refused to sleep. Between all the attempts at getting him to sleep, Aaron and I got around 2 or 3 hours of sleep that night. While we missed the Friday evening events, we were able to attend all the meetings and interviews on Saturday despite our exhaustion. Things went really well. In fact, we felt at home at the headquarters even though we had never been there before. God was gracious to us in our sleep-deprived state. Just a few hours ago, we received confirmation that we will be going back to Tenwek with WGM! We are very excited to officially be a part of the WGM family!!

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This week is occupied with more packing as we anticipate our move to Virginia. With less than a week to go, we have a lot to do to get ourselves ready for the 6-hours of driving and the unpacking that will follow.

Today, as I was reading my devotional, God took me to Acts 20:24, “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus.” What a good reminder that it’s not about me, for my life is about serving God. All the logistics, all the traveling, all the preparing and moving. It’s all for God’s glory!

Praises and Prayer Requests:  

  1. Praise God for being so big and yet so interested in every detail of our lives!
  2. Praise God for his faithfulness and trustworthiness. While we don’t know how everything will fall into place, God does. Please pray that we remember this truth in every moment of the next weeks.
  3. Praise God for the many blessings we’ve seen along the way thus far. From dinners with friends to unexpected provisions, we are so blessed. Please pray for us and the work crews helping us both here and in Virginia. Pray that all the packing and unpacking will be done safely and timely.
  4. Please pray for the boys as we move. Pray for a safe and smooth drive to Virginia. Pray for a great week of unpacking and settling into our new house.
  5. Pray for Aaron and I as we prepare for another trip at the end of July. This time we will go south and have only Joshua with us. While this will make our travels easier, it means the big 3 must sleep in yet another place. Surely, they are growing weary of the constant change! So far, they are doing so, so well in the midst of all this transition. (Even the DAR experts thought so!) However, I don’t want to push them too far! Please pray for their perseverance.