The Three Month Blogger

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I was thinking about posting an update on our lives so I came to our blog and looked back at the last few entries. Apparently we are every-three-months sort of bloggers :) Well, it may not make for a massive following but it’s still fun to post our updates here for those that are interested and for our general posterity ;) So, here you have it, our lives for the last three-ish months!

1. In January we discovered the Bellingham railway museum. Hours of indoor toddler fun!

train museum

2. My friend & neighbor, Megan, and I happen to have the same birthday in February. So, naturally, we had a twintastic birthday bash. Complete with photo booth.

yes, we both owned these shirts before we even met each other

my favorite twins of the day

3. I have long held the opinion that in Bellingham you always get a really nice week of weather in February that fools you into thinking spring has arrived. When it happens, get out in the sun and enjoy it! Just don’t expect it to last :)

boulevard image

boulevard image(3)

4. Baking. What better way to survive the dreary winter? I’m heading into new territory and learning the art of sourdough.

first bread DSC_3313

And perfecting the less healthy art of cupcakes :)

mocha glory

mocha glory

5. Although we now live near our family we decided we liked our tradition of delaying Christmas until February. So, during another deceptively sunny day we celebrated Christmas with our family tradition of the grab bag.

seesters together!

seesters together!

cousins! too bright for a proper photo :)

cousins! too bright for a proper photo :)

6. February 28 was the nation-wide Collegiate Day of Prayer. Jason helped coordinate the various campus ministries at WWU to come together for 10 hours of prayer on campus followed by an evening gathering of prayer together. It was an encouraging day of unified prayer! Throughout the day as students came and went there were 20-45 students there for every hour of the 10 hours of prayer. Then, in the evening close to 200 students, faculty and community members gathered for a time of repentance, prayer and worship. Leaders and students from each group helped facilitate a time of moving through the Lord’s Prayer with group prayer and short exhortations throughout. It was powerful! And now there are bi-weekly worship nights and daily student-led prayer meetings on campus that have sprung from the event.

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7. In March we took a spontaneous vacay to Winthrop for a long weekend. Good family time!

winthrop DSC_3670

ready for sledding!

JAK porch 11x14 DSC_3544

winthrop DSC_3619

7. On another March weekend we were able to head down to Seattle to visit Jason’s brother & fam. Of course I forgot my camera (gasp!) but I swear we had a great time! (good thing Auntie Lisa has an iphone and shared this photo with me!)

cousins!

cousins!

8. And we wrapped up March with Easter egg hunting fun & more cupcakes!

easter DSC_3830

easter DSC_3846

Now we’re ready for spring! See you all in three months :)

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Talking, Turkey and Travels

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Somehow three months have gone by since we last blogged. Three months? How did that happen? Last time we blogged it was sunny summery August. Now it’s wet, cold, cloudy November! We’ll spare you the blow by blow of our lives the last three months and give you the fun highlights (in list form, of course) :)

1. In September Jason turned 38. We had a fun time celebrating with friends, eating cupcakes, playing games and giving him words of encouragement. And in honor of his birthday he graduated to a smart phone. Only two more years and he can graduate to his 40’s! I’m pretty proud of my cupcake making accomplishments for the party :)

Jason’s favorite new flavor: salted caramel chocolate- this time in cupcake form

2. Fuel School: Jason directed the Light of the World Prayer Center’s first every internship in August/September! It was an intensive three weeks of teaching and experiencing the prayer room. There were 15 interns who completed the program. It was awesome!

the fuel school crew

3. After the fuel school ended we took a little vacay to the Oregon coast and spent some down time with Jason’s dad and bonus mom. It was fabulous!

our little guy LOVES the beach. a boy after his mama’s heart!

4. Every year my family visits an apple farm in the fall. I always look at their pictures with jealousy and wish I could have been there. Well, this year I got to join in the fun! Have I mentioned how much I love living back in Washington yet?

Joshua, his beloved Auntie, and a bunch of pumpkins

5. While Joshua and I were gallivanting at the apple farm Jason was in Washington D.C. A team from the prayer center had the opportunity to represent our lovely state at David’s Tent (40 days of worship leading up to the election). He saw the sights, was encouraged by some wonderful peeps and even got to play the ukelele!

the team leading worship at David’s Tent

6. In October I had the chance to go on two weekend adventures! I went with some wonderful ladies down to Portland for the Women of Faith conference. It was a fun, refreshing time away. Then, Joshua and I traveled to Moscow, Idaho to visit some close girlsfriends (and their kiddos) from our time living there. We all packed into our friend’s uncle’s ranch house- five women and 7 kids under the age of three! It was a crazy, chaotic and glorious time. While it was not physically restful seeing these precious friends was life-giving to my heart.

so fun!

7. We started up a weekly service at the Light of the World Prayer Center called New Song Fellowship. It is a weekly gathering on Sunday nights, serving as an equipping arm of the prayer center, helping articulate the vision and values behind establishing night and day worship and prayer in Whatcom County, training believers from various local churches on how to have a more intimate and effective prayer life.

Jason has been directing the weekly service and teaching a couple times a month. If you want to hear some of what he and others have shared you can listen in from the website: http://www.lowpc.org/archives

8. Joshua has been asking for a beard every since we started reading the Jesus Storybook Bible together. Well, this halloween his dream came true. He transformed into Joshua the pirate! Stubbly beard and all. He was pretty darn cute and seemed to instinctively know how to use a sword.

arrr matey!

9. November 15 marked our 9 year wedding anniversary. We celebrated with a shmancy dinner and a movie (Argo). Here’s to entering our tenth year of marriage!

anniversary dinner date

10. Over the past three months Joshua has become quite the talker-head. He’s moved on from a word here and there to lots of cute little sentences pretty much all day long. He also makes up songs, which I find especially precious. My favorite song is “grandma movie” Although his words are mostly distinguishable he has quite a few that take translation. In fact, many words start with the letter P and become extra beguiling. He says “pup-pakes” for cupcakes, asks for the “pie-pod” (which is my ipod) and just this week started to declare “pissmas lights!” all the time (Christmas lights). And, as you’ll see in the video below, pickle is actually pronounced “pipple.” (Yes, he loves pickles. Why? Because daddy loves pickles, that’s why.)

11. As a fundraiser for our adoption Katrina and I opened an etsy shop! We’d been talking about designing typography prints that people could buy and etsy seemed like the perfect format. So, if you’re looking for some holiday cheer for your walls, an inspirational quote to frame, a gift for a baby shower, or anything custom we could design for you, go check out our etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/DreamsvilleCreations (and tell your friends!)

a snapshot of what our store looks like

12. Another great part of living near family? We got to have thanksgiving together! It was super fun to host turkey day at our house on our big ol’ table. We had a Japanese exchange student stay with us for the weekend and experience his first Thanksgiving meal. So fun! We even got to have a second “pizza thanksgiving” with Jason’s brother & fam. Good times. Good food. Yay!

aunties + cousins = fun!

The Kellys are Moving!

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Yes, you read that right. After almost four years of serving the Lord at the International House of Prayer, we are moving back to Bellingham, Washington at the end of April to help build a house of prayer there called the Light of the World Prayer Center! We always felt that our season at IHOP in Kansas City was a time of preparation for being sent out to help establish a similar community elsewhere. A series of events and factors have led us to feel that the time is now and the place is Bellingham.

Many of you receive our newsletter, so rather than repeat what we’ve already told you, we thought this would be a good place to answer some anticipated questions. (If you don’t receive our newsletter and would like to, shoot us an email at jason.kara.ihop@gmail.com and we’ll send you this most recent one as well as add you to our list!) (Also, you can read our latest newsletter just by clicking on the “newsletter” tab at the top of this page.)

1. What will you be doing there?

Light of the World Prayer Center is seeking to establish a 24/7 resting place for the Lord where believers in Whatcom County can come encounter God’s presence and pray for the church to come into maturity and fullness, bringing transformation to every sphere of society and glory to the name of Jesus. We will help oversee the intercessory missionaries, pastoring them and equipping them to be effective in their calling. We will also be seeking to recruit worship leaders, engaging young adults in the area, strengthening the prayer room while seeking to equip churches and ministries in the area to effectively establish a culture of prayer in their communities. Check out their website for more information on the ministry: www.lowpc.org.

The Light of the World Prayer Center

2. What about your adoption? 

We are moving forward and plan to continue with the adoption process. We are just about done with our homestudy and beginning to focus on fundraising and waiting to be matched with a birthmother. When we move we will have to get a “homestudy addendum” to update our new living situation. Other than that, we can proceed as normal! And in case you didn’t see our sweet tshirts for sale, you should definitely check them out! Click on the “super shirts” tab at the top of this page.

3. What about your house? Where will you live?

The Light of the World Prayer Center rents a sanctuary on the campus of Hope in Christ church. We will be living in a house that is owned by the church and is on the church property. Talk about a convenient commute to work! We will be renting our house out here in KC. (Anyone looking for a house to rent starting May 1st? Give us a shout out!)

4. When are you moving?

We will be moving at the end of April and start working with LOWPC by May 1st.

Joshua enjoying Whatcom Falls park in Bellingham.

5. Are you excited to live near family?

Ok, I don’t know if anyone is actually unsure of our response to this question, but just in case, Yes! We are SUPER excited to live near family. We have family in the Bellingham area as well as a short drive away in Seattle and Lake Stevens. We are thrilled that Joshua will get to know his cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents better. Oh, and we like them too.

6. Will you miss ihop and kc?

Of course. We have built some great friendships here and will miss the amazing community, teaching and prayer room. We will not miss tornado season, however.

7. What about the campus ministry you were doing?

This last season has been one of setting foot back on college campuses, seeking to inspire young adults to seek God in worship, envisioning them with the power of prayer.  Jason ended up giving leadership on two campuses: Park University and the University of Kansas. With a team of two others, they pioneered a Luke 18 Project student ministry at Park University that both equipped believers to pray more effectively through a weekly bible study and prayer time and established a conversation program with international students. Sharing our lives and the gospel with students from Saudi Arabia, Russia, Brazil and many other countries was exciting! Jason’s music performance major friend from Russia has read the entire bible in seeking to understand what motivated people like Bach and Beethoven. Pray that the many seeds planted through their conversations would bear fruit in this young man whose heart is so wide open!

At KU, an existing ministry started four years earlier was in need of leadership during a pivotal time of many of the old guard graduating. Going out twice a week we sought to pour into key leaders and give vision and leadership to a weekly bible study with worship and prayer. We saw several new students get plugged in, one a gal named Alex who is in the process of discovering who Jesus really is and what it means to follow him. Pray for her and the thirty other students at KU who are contending for a powerful move of God in Lawrence, Kansas.

IHOP has great leaders who are carrying on the work on both campuses.

Back on Campus

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As you may or may not have heard, we are starting a new adventure! Jason has transitioned his focus here at IHOP and is no longer serving with the onething internship. He is now working with an IHOP department called the Luke18 Project. To quote their mission statement, “Luke18 Project is a missional movement that exists to train 10,000 young pioneering leaders to plant prayer furnaces in the hardest and darkest places of the earth.” (A prayer furnace is just lingo for a group of people committed to praying for their region.) One of Luke18’s focuses is college campuses- to see students trained in prayer, develop a heart for the nations, and sent out to reach the ends of the earth. Historically it is college age young adults that God has used to bring revival and change nations. We want to see that happen again!

So, here we go. As full-time IHOP staff Jason spends 24 hours a week in the prayer room and 24 hours a week serving a department. As of this past week he is spending his service hours up on a local university campus, Park University. Park is a small university with a beautiful campus in a cute little Missouri town called Parkville, about 30 minutes from where we live. Of the 2,500 students, 650 of them are international students! His goal is to find a core group of students who have a passion for Jesus, to train & inspire them in the place of prayer and to reach out to the rest of the campus with the love of Jesus.

This beautiful campus is Park University!

As anyone who has ever pioneered anything knows, it is a slow-going process. We could sure use your prayers! Our first need is to become a recognized student group so that we can have meetings on campus and advertise legally :) To become a student group you need 5 committed students to appear to the student senate and explain why this group is a benefit to their campus. Then you need the senate to agree. We are close to having five students, but meeting more students is a bit tricky when you are not yet official. Please pray for favor, divine appointments and encouragement.

Jason has a lot of great ideas up his sleeve once the group is official including: serving the campus by being conversation partners to international students, working with the other campus ministries to host a showing of the Nefarious documentary, taking students for saturday excursions to IHOP to experience the prayer room, weekly Bible studies and prayer & worship gatherings, etc etc etc.

He is up on campus right now at an activities fair. He’s all ready with materials to promote our group and soda to give away but needs a little help from Jesus to get an official table going since all his committed students have schedule conflicts. If you read this sometime today, please send up a quick prayer for him to meet some peeps. Thanks! We’ll keep you posted as the school year gets underway.

Jason at a Park event earlier this week, winning the hearts of students with his goofball ways and mad ping pong skills. (photo stolen from the Park U facebook page)