In 2012, we had a short term team from Crossway Church in Pittsburgh, PA come visit and serve with us in South Africa. Two of the 12 members of that team were this couple, Pat and Joni Kellar. They told us in 2012 that we'd see them again because they'd be moving to Africa to serve with us. Made no sense then. Barely does to this day. What do you do with this incredibly capable seasoned couple that wants to walk away from career and ministry to serve you?
In December 2014, Pat and Joni moved into our home and lived with us the better part of our final year in South Africa. It took us months to wrap our head around what we did to deserve their love and support...but they poured it out in generous measure.
Many of you know that both of Tricia's biological parents are deceased. God has given her not only a stepmother still in her life, but practically another set of parents in Mama Joni and Papa Pat.
The greatest gift they've given yet (other than moving across the world to join this wild family in the first place) was meeting us here in Arusha 6 weeks ago (18 hours after we arrived) to help us get settled into our life and home here in Tanzania. They nurtured the kids, hung pictures, cooked meals, counseled us, bought special things for the house, and shepherded us through the challenge of transition. And it came at a sacrifice. They paid their flights, left their home, and gave of themselves in the most beautiful way!
Today, we tearfully bid them farewell as they head back to Cape Town. God isn't done with them there yet. But the day is coming where they'll be with us full time here in East Africa. We long for that day. And we thank God for spiritual mothers and fathers in our lives! We won't be shy in giving honor and thanks where it's due. Thank you, Mama & Papa!