We are beyond thrilled to announce our new Peace to the Ground, Africa Liaisons are Kelsey and Weston Pope!
For those of you not familiar with our Peace to the Ground program- it is an opportunity to serve with bfr partners while working to implement our programs on the mission field, long term.
We were blessed to have Kelsey on our mission team to Uganda this past March. In speaking with Kelsey in the days leading up to the trip, we knew God placed something special on her and her husband's heart. Unable to decipher what that was we were pretty excited to see her feet hit the mission ground. Kelsey has been in love with Africa for quite some time and had her heart set on visiting. She and her husband already had friends involved in different ministries in Uganda and support a young man named Boaz who just turned 16, so their hearts were already tied to this continent!
When Kelsey arrived at Smile Africa in Uganda, we could see God working through her gentleness as she played and held the children, her patience as she taught them proper hygiene and her grace as she taught them to respect and love one another. Me and Britney knew instantly she was called and we continued to pray through what that meant.
A little background on these two: Kelsey was born and raised in Memphis, TN and currently lives in the rural town in Columbia, KY where she is received her Masters Degree in Counseling and Human Development this month.
Weston was born in Louisville, KY, raised in Southern Indiana and currently lives with Kelsey in Columbia, KY, where he is in graduate school to get his Masters Degree in Counseling and Human Development. Did we mention he is a professional BMX racer??!?!? Pretty awesome stuff.
Kelsey told us about her husband, Weston, their love for service, the Lord, bikes and adventure. We just KNEW this was the ideal couple for our Peace to the Ground Missionaries. But we know God's timing is not always our timing so we continued to pray for patience.
When we arrived in Uganda in March, we made the trek from Kampala to Tororo by car. While driving, Kelsey mentioned her and Weston often think of moving to third world countries to put their counseling into action. I almost fell out of my seat as this was what me and Britney had been praying for. We felt God definitely showing us signs His hand was on this.
After talking and serving with Kelsey in Uganda, we felt confident in extending to her the opportunity to join our Peace to the Ground, long term mission program. After much discernment and prayer, her AND Weston took a leap of faith in deciding to venture to Africa for 3 months! We were thrilled! Weston has not had the opportunity to serve with us on mission yet, so this was a huge leap of faith for him as well. After seeing the change in his wife he felt certain God called him to serve with her in this particular way! He is excited to jump right in with the kids, help facilitate the growth of boys to men, utilize his counseling gifts and maybe even teach them a thing or two on their bikes ;)
Kelsey sets out this week to Uganda where she will serve at Smile Africa Ministries till Weston joins her with our mission team June 5. Kelsey and Weston will not only be helping with the everyday needs at Smile, but they will be implementing our counseling and mentorship program with our bfr kids. They will serve as the hands and feet of our organization on the mission fields.
They will then head to Kenya to meet up with our mission team arriving July 10. There they will work with our bfr partners in Kibera, Pehucci, and Spring Valley overseeing our bfr kids sponsorship program, counseling and managing the bfr empowerment program. They will return to us in mid August.
We often talk about how bfr is in a stage of movement and we can feel God moving and threading strengths within our ministry and this is the perfect example. We are humbled and thankful for this astounding couple to represent us with our partners on the ground. After sitting down with both of them, preparing them, and training them for this transition we could not be more excited for them to hit the ground running. This couple is going to do amazing things and have an incredible adventure together because God's hand is on this. We know without a doubt He hand selected these two.
Jesus states, " You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit- fruit that will last,"-John 15:16.
Please join us in praying for them as they make their journey across the globe on this selfless mission of serving. Kelsey and Weston will be blogging here once a week to keep you updated on their travels and mission in Uganda and Kenya.
We say all the time how God calls us to a life of action, love and a desire to live intentionally and these two are prime examples of saying Yes to that call.
Matthew 9: 37 states, "the harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few."
We are blessed that Weston and Kelsey are among the few.