Monday, June 17, 2013

Packing, Shipping, Moving, Homeless, Traveling...Our 50 Day Journey to Kenya

Monday, June 3rd marked the first day of our very REAL journey to Kenya!   

We packed up pretty much our entire household (minus all that was sold in rummage sales, to friends, on craigslist, consignment shops plus the things given away, thrown out and contributed to thrift stores) beginning the journey towards our new adventure, new life, new calling.

Its hard to describe how it feels to see all that you worked hard for, saved for, lived with, either be sold or given away!!  Often times, for pennies on the dollars. Much of what we sold, were things we didn’t necessarily have emotional attachments to, yet at the same time, still very bittersweet at realizing that letting go is sometimes hard to do.   

It did help our kids knowing that some of their special things, are able to go with them.  Some of those comforts that will help with our families transition and change.  Its not realistic nor healthy to give it all up.  Easier to say than actually having to do.

We didn’t really think how much it would affect our kids to see their belongings moved out or even when we moved out of our home of 5 years two days later. Some seemingly unemotional with the goings on, but as our house began to empty, we began to see the hearts of our children exposed and the tears in their eyes as we said goodbye to our home of five years and many of our possessions! A heart wrenching thing as a parent to see!   

As much as we have jokingly referred to temporarily being homeless, we are never truely without a home. "Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

So, as we begin our journey, we are feeling the pangs of saying goodbyes, to what we had, to family and friends, to those things we hold so very dear and even that that was not so dear. We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus an press forward!   

Bloomington, Minnesota (Nairobi, only 8,181 miles away)

Wimbledon, North Dakota

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

Somewhere in Wyoming

Missoula, Montana

Saturday, June 1, 2013

No gold, nor silver, nor copper...

A recent post from our good friend Mike.  A very good read!!

"No gold, nor silver, nor copper...

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

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

In verses 9 and 10 Jesus instructs the disciples to go without making additional preparations for their journey. I believe this instruction serves two purposes. 

The first purpose is to have the disciples rely completely upon God for their provision. God provides for the disciples through his children - the church. Learning to depend completely on God is essential for all who would be His disciple and providing physical, emotional and financial support to His disciples provides all of us with an opportunity to receive the blessing of spreading the good news of the gospel. 

I believe the second purpose of this instruction is to get busy now. We can prepare, wait, hope for better timing, etc. but there will likely never be a better time, we probably won't be more prepared and the only thing you are guaranteed to get by waiting is older. When God calls us to go and do something He wants us to go and do it as Elisha did - right now with no looking back.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Mike at 6:02 PM

Thanks Mike! We appreciate all you have done to help us go! We love you!!