Watch out world! The Kelly boys are getting ready to travel!

In our last blog, we shared the big news that we are joining the staff of YWAM North Cascades in Lynden to train and mobilize young adults to spread the hope and love of Jesus to the hardest and darkest places in the earth. That’s the big picture for the long haul, but the next few years hold some exciting out of country excursions. It’s helpful for both spouses of a YWAM family to have completed a Discipleship Training School (DTS), which consists of 3 months of training with 2 months of cross-cultural outreach. I did mine back in 1998 but Kara has yet to have this experience.  With our base directors recommendation and a fair amount of prayer and research, we have decided to attend DTS together as a family in Mexico from April 6-August 31st! The base is in San Antonio Del Mar, 20 minutes south of Tijuana, part of the larger multiple site YWAM community of San Diego Baja. I am officially off staff at North County Christ The King at the turn of the new year and we will be focusing our energies on raising up a team of partners who believe in the mission of YWAM and our role in it.  We will leave the last week of March to drive down the coast, stopping along the way to visit friends and family. We’ll keep you posted about our progress towards getting fully funded and about our experiences in Mexico. If you live on the west coast and would like a visit from the Kellys let us know!

At the end of August, we will return to Lynden to help staff the September DTS and serve where needed for 6 months. In March of 2018 I plan to participate in a 6 month School of Cartooning and Animation for Missions in Taipei, Taiwan! While that may sound random to those who didn’t know, my goal in life before meeting Jesus 20 years ago was to be a professional political cartoonist. I thought about attending animation school to make gospel oriented films but took the more traditional ministry path instead. However I’ve always had this sense that I don’t want to bury the cartooning talent and God has been speaking to me about this increasingly over the last few years. This summer I was asked to lead a team of visual artists to Thailand with YWAM where we connected with a YWAM ministry called Create International. Their vision is to create evangelistic films for unreached people groups. Some of the films have an animation component and it was there that I first heard about the school of cartooning and animation for missions (SOCAM). For three months I’ll learn the components of making animated films, then take a 10 day trip to a people group with little access to the gospel for cultural research, and finally complete an animated film project for that people group. The whole family is looking forward to this cross-cultural immersion experience.

We’ll be back to Lynden in September 2018 to settle in for the long haul of investing in young people both locally and from all over the world to equip them to know God and make Him known.  We intend to give leadership, mentor and teach in the DTS’s our base puts on, to continue reaching out to the campus at WWU, and hope God will eventually let us be a part of establishing a media-minded visual arts community where artists can use their talents to share the hope of Jesus. The possibilities are really quite endless, but we have excitement knowing that God is allowing us to walk out long held dreams.

If you would like to give an end of the year gift or already know that you’d like to be involved partnering with our ministry, go to the donate tab above to learn about how to give whether online or via check. If you’d like to meet with the Kellys to hear more about our vision, heart, plans and ways to partner with us, send me an email at my new email address: Thanks! And Merry Christmas!