For decades, the Red Bird Christian School motto, “Enter to Learn. Leave to Serve,” has encouraged students to a lifetime of Christian service. Kelsie Couch and Tammy Brock, May graduates of Red Bird Christian School, stepped out in faith on an international mission trip just days after graduation. They spoke at the second chapel of the school year to share their experiences of their first overseas mission trip to Kenya on the continent of Africa.
Tammy had never traveled by plane, but the calm assurance in her voice demonstrated that God’s call carries even faithful teens through the unknown to witness to His love. Kelsie and Tammy, known as KelTam to their colleagues, joined a mission group in Texas to make their first trip from the mountains of Kentucky to the slums and savannah of Kenya. These young women experienced a different kind of poverty, urban poverty, for the first time in the capital city of Nairobi. They saw “houses that were made of a couple of sticks and a tarp” during their walk through the slum named, “Soweto,” and proclaimed that experience was “life changing”.
Tammy said, “As I was walking through I remember being there and saying, ‘Everybody needs to see this, and experience this, and pray for these people because they are just forgotten by the rest of the world.’” Their journey also took them to a rural area where they were told the people had never seen white people. Kelsie was overwhelmed at their arrival saying, “everybody was singing and welcoming us, and they didn’t even know us!”
The people were very responsive to the witnessing by their group. The young women reported that they had the opportunity to share the gospel of God’s love with widows that had been abandoned by their families. They also met and prayed with a leper that had been ostracized, and experienced with her the joy of their acceptance in spite of her condition. Kelsie said, “People were really listening to the gospel, unlike here. We had no idea when we went there that 1,000 people would hear the gospel from our group in 4 days. Many were saved. We worshipped under a tree with about 100 people for 5 hours!”
God also answered Tammy’s prayer to show her someone that she could give her English bible to, and almost immediately a group came up with one boy that spoke English. They witnessed to them, they received Christ, and Tammy gave her bible to him. Little did she know that the group she witnessed to is family of a local chief. They came upon a rural school of about 120 students whose building was made of clay and was no larger than Red Bird School’s chapel. Some classes met out under the trees. Kelsie and Tammy were asked to speak to the students, and related, “We reflected how many times we had spoken here
During their journey they met numerous students that were not in school because they did not have the money to pay school fees. Understanding how important education is for everyone, Kelsie and Tammy have committed to help one student in particular by sending money for her school fees so she can stay in school. Tammy ended by saying, “One of greatest things we learned was how to share the gospel. I learned to take what people give me in regards to rejection of the gospel. We have returned and been going door to door to witness in Manchester, Clay County and Leslie County.” Kelsie celebrated her 18th birthday while on the trip, and added, “I learned to trust the Lord in taking care of me and my family.”
They are making plans for a return trip to Kenya as early as December of this year. Those interested in Kelsie and Tammy’s ministry together can follow them on their Facebook community page, Beautifully Broken – https://www.facebook.com/followersofjesus.keltam/