Bienvenido a Mexico!

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After 2.5 weeks of road-tripping down the west coast we have finally arrived at the YWAM base in San Antonio del Mar! Today was the first full day of our Discipleship Training School (DTS). The facility is beautiful, the beach is gorgeous, the people are friendly and the food is delicious. So far so good! Of course, transition is a mixed bag and we’ve had our fair share of grumpy attitudes, upset tummies and nerves. There are a ton of kids here and our kids are having fun playing with them. We are confident this will be a life changing experience for us all. We’d sure love your prayers for our kids as they navigate all the changes and new things and for us as we try to parent them through it!

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our awesome nanny, Sadie, and the boys

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the view from our apartment on the YWAM base

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the inside of our apartment. and Buzz Lightyear.

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a view of the campus

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Two weeks till departure!

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We are about to hit the road in just 2 weeks! Destination: Mexico! Here’s our latest newsletter update, full of praise reports, prayer requests and our upcoming itinerary.

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If you’d like more info on how to give and help us get fully-funded, go to http://www.thekellyjournal.com/donate. Thanks!

Happy 3rd Birthday Sammy!

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making waffles- your favorite breakfast

Happy Birthday Sammy Nash! You are getting so big! It is so fun to watch you grow into your personality and to discover what makes you uniquely you.

You’ve turned into quite the talker. The way you express your thoughts and feelings is precious. I wish I could capture all the cute things you say and the inflections in your voice. I know I won’t remember it all so I try and soak it up in the moment.

You’re hilarious. You’re a ham. You love to be silly and to make people laugh.

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our sweet goofball

You’re a snuggler. You melt into a hug with your whole self. You love to be held and carried and tickled.

You’re enthusiastic. And loud. You have a great big belly laugh that we just adore. You love big. And sometimes a little violently. You give great big bear hugs. You have great big feelings. We like to kid that you have two volumes: loud and off.

You LOVE your big brother. You love to be “matchy matchy” with Joshua. It is a crime whenever Joshua goes off to do some big kid thing that you cannot be included in. Your face lights up when you get to join him on an adventure. You want to match him in every way, down to the color of your underwear.

You love to help me cook. And to eat “Joes Ohs” with daddy early in the morning. And you love being outside and going on walks.

You love superheroes. And wearing costumes. And you seem to even kind of like bad guys. Your imagination is growing and it’s fun to watch. Sometimes you convince yourself that the Grinch or the Gorg or some other villian is in the other room and you run to us for safety. Or you pretend you are a “minja” and you go to fight the bad guy yourself.

You have been talking about having a Paw Patrol birthday party since Joshua’s birthday in July. I’m excited to finally have this epic party this weekend. I love the way your entire face lights up and you squeal when anything related to your birthday is mentioned.

So happy 3rd birthday big kid! We love you lots and lots and hope you feel thoroughly celebrated today.

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Captain Spider Robin

Our latest newsletter!

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Check out our newsletter for more information on what we’ll be doing with YWAM and an exciting update on our support raising (and of course a cute family photo). Click on the image below to download a pdf version with working hyperlinks.

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One week into our new season!

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An update on our progress raising up a team of partners

As of January 1, we are officially full-time staff here at YWAM North Cascades! Our focus for the next three months is on raising up a team of financial and prayer partners who believe in the ministry of YWAM and our role in it. We will periodically post updates on our progress here on the blog. We are encouraged by the momentum and enthusiastic support that is already surrounding us. 20% of our monthly budget goal has already been raised! We’re so grateful for those who want to invest in the expansion of God’s kingdom and we know that the Lord will amply reward such generosity (Matthew 10:41,42; Philippians 4:10-19; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15). If you’d like to meet with us to learn more about what we are up to and how to partner with us, email me at jason@ywamnorthcascades.com or check out the tab above on how to donate to the Kellys’ ministry.

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YWAM North Cascades DTS students on outreach now

Recently our local Discipleship Training School sent out three teams on outreach. One group went to Africa, another group went to Southeast Asia and another went to Europe. Below is a picture of the team reaching out in Europe.  I led several of these students on evangelistic outreaches to our local college campus (WWU) during the lecture phase of their program. Pray for favor, protection, boldness, impact, unity, salvation, miracles and for Christ to be glorified in all they do while on outreach.

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And some inspiration by YWAM’s founder…

Finally, I leave you with a 4 minute video narrated by Loren Cunningham, the founder of YWAM on what it means to be a missionary and why the call is so important. Enjoy!

 

From here to there and back again…

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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: jason@ywamnorthcascades.com. Thanks! And Merry Christmas!

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Adventure Awaits…

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“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

We have some big news! As of January 1, after a lot of prayer,  we have decided that we will be stepping off staff of the church where I have been pastoring. We are excited to be joining the staff of a new local Youth With A Mission campus in our area called YWAM North Cascades. This will combine our long-held passion for mentoring young adults with our hearts for missions, having local impact with a global reach, all while being rooted in the northwest in close proximity to our family. Investing in the lives of young people who want to change the world and sharing the hope of Jesus with those who’ve never heard makes our hearts come alive, and this transition is in response to passions that have persisted over decades as we have been serving Jesus.

YWAM laid a huge foundation for me (Jason) early on in my Christian life after college, and so I  am excited to help others have this life-changing experience. For those unfamiliar, YWAM, founded in 1960, is the largest missions organization in the world now in over 180 nations. Before getting hired at North County Christ The King, we were a part of a group of people praying for God to bring a YWAM base to our area. We began to see many of our weekly prayers get answered: from the amazing facility given in downtown Lynden, to the widespread community support, to the amazing set of experienced and gifted directors God brought (Jeremy and Jen Dorrough). The new base has started with a banner kick-off Discipleship Training School (DTS) this September with 34 students from 9 different nations!  As the new YWAM campus began to take shape downtown, we began to ponder what our involvement would look like. I led a trip to Thailand and Cambodia through YWAM this summer, and have been leading weekly evangelism outreaches to Western’s campus with the current DTS students in my free time this fall. These experiences have confirmed this passion and sense of calling.

As we step off the staff of the church and join staff with YWAM our family is headed for some international adventures! Stay tuned for exciting details…

Until then, you can learn more about YWAM North Cascades at ywamnorthcascades.com or by watching this video:

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