Category Archives for "Family & Friends"

Three Great Events

We just finished 3 successful ministry events and are looking forward to a little slow down in the action for the month of July. So what have we been up to? One of our favorite events is seeing just who God is calling to the mission field. The first week of June brought 25 new missionary candidates to Orlando for a week of orientation.

Candidate Orientation Program June 2009

Candidate Orientation Program June 2009

The two young single girls I interviewed mirrored the other 23 candidates with their passion for God and for missions. These two have known they would go into missions since they were 5 years old. One was from Oregon and the other was from Oklahoma. Both of them have already been to “difficult” fields, on more than one short term trip, that lasted up to 2 months long, and loved it. They are sold out to missions and can’t wait to go long term. They were amazing and inspiring.

Our second week found us flying to Colorado to spend a few days with our staff in Denver. We hadn’t been there since last September so it was good to see them all again. The highlight of that trip was the office family picnic, but the weather was wacko and cold. We had rain and hail which forced all of us under the only covered area in the whole park. We enjoyed ourselves in spite of it all.




This past week we had our ACMC team fly into Orlando for their bi-annual team meeting. Now this is a group of mission specialists with diverse giftings that touch on just about every area of missions one could imagine. What a team.

ACMC (Advancing Church Missions Commitment)

ACMC (Advancing Church Missions Commitment)

Next week we are in for a real treat, but that’s a story for another time.

6 Wedding Anniversary and Ossobuco

Fifteen years ago today, Kelly and I were celebrating our 25th silver wedding address with about 100+ Indonesians. We had purchased 100+ individual slices of cake to give to our fellow Indonesian church members at the end of the service. You see, we were following their custom, where the person having a birthday or anniversary throws a celebration party for all their friends. If you go out to dinner with your friends for your birthday, YOU pick up the tab for everyone. We had only been there for 6 months and could barely speak the language, but honoring customs transcends any language. It was one of those memorable moments for us.


So, if that was our 25th anniversary 15 years ago, that makes today our “40th anniversary”. How great is that! The two of us thinks it’s pretty great. If you look at us 40 years ago, you can see that we were “just kids”, and we don’t feel a year over 39 today.

June 7, 1969

June 7, 1969

Today after church, we went to one of our favorite restaurants to celebrate. We ignored our diet for one day and ordered Ossobuco…it is so delicious that it melts in your mouth, and is well worth the splurge.



Have you ever had this meal? It’s a meat, potato and gravy person’s delight. Here is their description:

OSSOBUCO: Marinated Pork Shank Slow Cooked Until Fabulously Tender. Served with Mashed Potatoes & Gravy and Vegetable of the Day

We enjoyed our meal and reminisced over our previous anniversary memories, like the one mentioned above. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be blessed to share another 40 years together…if we live to be 100.

8 Three “F’s:” Family – Friends – Fun

Yes that’s right, our 2 weeks in Tulsa and Arkansas were chocked full of family, friends, fun and more. The more was: attending a mission’s conference and Kelly preaching at a couple of churches. I got this great shot of our little munchkin, Ava, and I’d like to introduce her to you.


Ava is our youngest granddaughter and she is 15 months old. Of course she captured our hearts.


Little Ava went to Grandpa right away, so I had to wait my turn. This is Kelly with Ava and Katie. Katie is our talented soccer player.


I was patient and finally got my chance with Ava.


This is Ava’s dad and mom (Gale & Tamecca).


Here is Katie again with her dad.


Emily is granddaughter number three. She is becoming quite the young lady. Grandma got to help her with her homework.


Gale and Tamecca have a blended family and it never gets boring around their house. Emily is helping Kira color “inside the lines” and Katie is helping Kira’s brother, Aden.


Here’s a great shot of Tamecca’s 2 boys; Gavin and Aden, and Gale’s 2 girls, Emily and Katie.


If we weren’t spending time at Gale & Tamecca’s, we were at Erin & Lisa’s house. Here are 3 generations of McClelland’s; Erin, Kelly and Killian. When I said “Smile please.” this was the response I got.


This photo opportunity was too good to ignore. Erin & Lisa are animal lovers and I think their animals…love Kelly. Jack, the Labrador, is patiently waiting his turn.


Did I mention “Friends” in my subject line? This is our friend Pat. She made our whole trip possible by inviting us stay in her home while we were in Tulsa. We enjoyed catching up on each others family news and had a great time.


We also met up with Steve and Margie who are friends we’ve known since Bible school. Was that really 20 some years ago?


I did mention that Kelly preached at a couple of churches. Here he is looking up a Bible verse at our sending church, Word of Life, in Sand Springs, OK. Pastor Emigh was in Poland and Romania on a missions trip, so Kelly filled in for him for this Wednesday night service.


This was a special treat for us, Erin and Lisa came to hear Kelly preach and willingly sat on the front row with me.


When Kelly finished preaching, Erin, Lisa and our friend Pat went with us for a dessert treat at a local restaurant. It was a great way to end the evening.


Our other preaching opportunity was at another one of our supporting churches in Russellville, Arkansas. Before Kelly began his sermon, the two of us shared about our ministry work with PIONEERS.


After sharing, I sat down and Kelly shared from the Word of God.


We always have a good time of fellowship at Russellville Christian Center and they’ve been a great encouragement to us over the years.


After the service, we had dinner with Pastor Tom and his wife Bonnie, and then headed back to Fort Smith to finish off at the missions conference we were attending.


That pretty much covers the way our trip went (including the stay in Branson with our grandson mentioned in an earlier post). So, I thought I’d end this post with this last great shot of Ava…what a munchkin.

1 Could You Pass This Test?

1) Where is the largest church in the world? 2) What continent has the most evangelical Christians? 3) What is the largest mission association in the world? 4) Which country sends out the most missionaries per Christian?

The answers may surprise you because, “The Center of Christianity Has Shifted”. This was the topic of our most recent Church Partner Forum held on PIONEERS campus. Our featured speaker was Scott Moreau; author, Professor of Missions & International Studies at Wheaton College and editor of Evangelical Missions Quarterly.

If you’re interested in this subject you can read: The Changing Face of World Missions and Engaging Contemporary Issues and Trends from a series written by Scott Moreau called, Engaging Missions.

Oh yes, the answers to those questions above are:
1) Korea [830,000 members (2007)]
2) Asia
3) India Missions Association
4) Singapore

The theme for our banquet was “International Market,” so we transformed the recreation hall with a few treasures several us have brought back from our time serving in various countries.


Of course no mission trip is complete without the traditional “trunk” to contain all of your possessions.


And, the best mode of transportation for those narrow streets in Asia is the bicycle rickshaw.


This was our International Market Street which lead on around to the street-side night café shown below.


Candle lights on the tables and strands of hanging lights enhanced the night time street café feel.


Without a doubt, our “food affair” was international all the way.

We added to this international atmosphere by having those who could, dress for the occasion in the cultural dress of a country (or they could go “Hawaiian/Floridian”).  We had a wide range of countries represented:


Of course, Kelly and I dressed in our Indonesian Batik, as did several others.


Africa was represented by several, including Denny and Nancy (above).


We even had the Middle East attire…thank you Art.


But by far, Tom’s dress was the best…Mongolia!


This is what our group looked like in “normal” dress. It was another successful Church Partner Forum.

6 Second Harmonic in Branson, MO

We spent the first weekend of May in Branson, Missouri where my alias was, Connie “XYL of K4UPG”. This is where Kelly, alias K4UPG, introduced his “Second Harmonic” to the world of electronics and Amateur Radios. Are you confused yet? Let me explain.

We took our grandson, Killian, with us to Branson to the OzarkCon09, which is a four-state conference for QRP Amateur Radio operators. They use various code words when talking to one another over their radios. For example:

XYL stands for Ex-Young Lady, which is the code word for “wife”.

The code name, “Second Harmonic” stands for “grandson,” which means our son would be Kelly’s “First Harmonic”. I won’t try to explain how the 2nd harmonic of a wave in a signal, is a multiple of the fundamental frequency, because I’m already confused. So, on to the fun stuff.

We picked Killian up from school and headed for Branson.

We picked Killian up from school and headed for Branson.

Photo below: At the hotel Killian checks out the “tools of the trade” that Grandpa has brought…one set for Grandpa and one set, just for Killian.

He can’t wait to try out the soldering iron.

He can’t wait to try out the soldering iron.

With the voltage meter Killian runs a test on his CD player.

Killian runs a test on his CD player with the voltage meter.

At the conference Kelly & Killian head to the Vendor Fair to check out their wares.

At the conference Kelly & Killian head to the Vendor Fair to check out the various products.

Photo below: Killian is drawn to the LED lights and is eager to buy a LED kit to put together later in the hotel room. Uncle Cy (behind the table) was one of many who were happy to help Killian get involved.

This vendor is known to everyone as, Uncle Cy.

This vendor is known to everyone as, Uncle Cy.

Photo Below: The highlight of the conference was Friday night’s “Hands-on kit building workshop”. The experts, Dar & Darrel, guide everyone through the building of a “signal injector / signal tracer test set” . This tool is used for troubleshooting and testing circuits and amateur radio equipment.

Workshop for learning how to build a kit.

Everyone gets set up for the workshop.

Grandpa gets Killian started with a bag full of parts and a circuit board.

Grandpa gets Killian started with a bag full of parts and a circuit board.

Photo below: Killian got lots of attention from all the guys who wanted to see him succeed and enjoy himself. They were eager to help him.

Darrel helps Killian with expert instructions.

Dar helps Killian with expert instructions.

Killian concentrates as he begins the soldering process.

Killian concentrates as he begins the soldering process.

Photo Below: Then, Doug Hendricks of comes to everyone’s rescue with the PCB-Vice for only $30. The red aluminum vice shown in the photo holds the Printed Circuit Board which is then free to rotate 360 degrees for easy maneuvering.

Killian gets a free PCB-Vice.

Killian gets a free PCB-Vice.

Doug, who teaches & coaches girl’s basketball, gave this PCB-Vice to Killian at no charge “as an encouragement to the young fellow”.

Soldering can be very tedious but Killian was a quick learner.

Soldering can be very tedious but Killian was a quick learner.

Photo Below: Now Killian puts on the headset to test the kit and see if he put it together right. If he hears a tone when he makes contact with the alligator clip…that’s a good sign.

It works!

It works!

The finished project!

The finished project!

Photo Below: The guys were so great with encouraging Killian. During the drawing of prizes, a couple of the winners weren’t present and Killian became the “default” winner of those prizes.

Killian returns with one of his prizes...a book about radios

Killian returns with one of his prizes...a book about radios.

Photo Below: Back in the room Killian puts together the LED light kit he bought earlier from Uncle Cy.

Killian puts another kit together...LED light kit.

This kit is easier than the first one and comes together in no time.

Flip the switch, and the light comes on.

Flip the switch, and the light comes on.

It Works!

It Works!

That smile says it all. We had a great time and wouldn’t trade that weekend for anything. Grandkids really are great!

3 It’s Friday, But Sunday’s Coming.

This Easter weekend I am struck by how great a love our God has for each of us. Our King gave His all for us. The extraordinary suffering, rejection and death that should have been ours…He took it all. In return, we have the joy of Resurrection Sunday and Eternal Life. How incredible is that!    Happy Easter to all of you.

This is one of my favorite Easter Sermons:

“Dr. Tony Campolo tells the story of a little preaching competition that he had with his pastor during services at the church where he attends. Dr. Campolo tells how he preached the perfect sermon, perfect in every way. He had taken the congregation to the heights of glory. And as he sat down beside his pastor, Dr. Campolo patted him on the knee and simply said, “Top that.” The older black pastor looked at him and said, “Boy, watch the master.”

It was a simple sermon, starting softly, building in volume and intensity until the entire congregation was completely involved, repeating the phrases in unison. The sermon went something like this. (Below is a brief excerpt, click here to read more, including the ending that begins with; “And now it’s Sunday…”)

It’s Friday. Jesus is arrested in the garden where He was praying. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. The disciples are hiding and Peter’s denying that he knows the Lord. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is standing before the high priest of Israel, silent as a lamb before the slaughter. But Sunday’s coming.

It’s Friday. Jesus is beaten, mocked, and spit upon. But Sunday’s coming.”

To hear a short recording & get the whole effect of the sermon click here for a 3 minute 41 second recording. It’s really good!

Promised Results & Photos Of Walkathon

The PIONEERS’ “Walk for the World” event last Saturday, was a great success. Thanks for your prayers and support. Through our family, friends—and God’s grace—Kelly & I raised $1,170. The total raised by all participants from our office staff (Orlando & Denver) will be around $30,000, once it’s all collected. With the matching grant we will have nearly $60,000 to help us in mobilizing missionaries into the least reached parts of the world. Praise the Lord!

Kelly and I each walked 5 miles, which means we made our goal of 10 miles between the two of us. The weather was great with just enough of an overcast to keep it cool. The breeze was nice, but it added some challenges to Kelly’s radio antenna, whipping the backpack frame around a lot.

Kelly, aka the Radioman, was able to hear transmissions from 18 countries on four different continents with his 10 watt radio, including hearing a ham operator from Macedonia.

The pictures speak for themselves:


Connie and Kelly Ready to Meet the Challenge

Connie and Kelly Ready to Meet the Challenge

Connie Picks Up Prayer Request From The Prayer Station

Connie Picks Up Prayer Request From The Prayer Station

Kelly Tunes The Radio As We Prepare to Start

Kelly Tunes The Radio As We Prepare to Start

Back View Of Back Pack Frame With Antenna Mount, Battery Is At The Base On His Waist

Back View Of Back Pack Frame With Antenna Mount, Battery Is At The Base On His Waist

The Walk-a-thon Starts With Prayer

The Walk For The World Starts With Prayer

And They Are Off On Their First Lap

And They Are Off On Their First Lap

Drink Station On One Side - Lap Counters On The Other Side

Drink Station On One Side - Lap Counters On The Other Side

Even The Pets Joined The Walk

Even The Pets Joined The Walk

Not Only Pets, But Lots of Kids TOO!

Not Only Pets, But Lots of Kids Too

PIONEER'S President, Steve, Comes Up Behind Kelly. Watch Out For The Antenna!

PIONEER'S President, Steve, Comes Up Behind Kelly. Watch Out For The Antenna!

The Last Lap! We Did IT!

The Last Lap! We Did IT!

Matt (a co-worker) is Kelly's "Ham Buddie". After The Walk Kelly Helps Matt Set Up His New Radio

Matt (a co-worker) is Kelly's "Ham Buddie". After The Walk, Kelly Helps Matt Set Up His New Radio

Walk Is Over. One Last Transmission On The Way Back To The Car!

Walk Is Over. One Last Transmission On The Way Back To The Car!

It Was A Good Day!

It Was A Good Day!

4 Tomorrow is our Walk 4 The World

Kelly & His Pedestrian Mobile Radio

Tomorrow is it! The big day of our Walk For the World walkathon. We went to the beach this past weekend for a trial run of Kelly being “mobile” with his ham radio. The photos show you the set up he has designed for himself to be able to walk with the radio & antenna and talk with other states and countries. We were working out the bugs and did find a few things that will need to be tweaked.

Tall Antenna and Bicycle Flag

Tall Antenna and Bicycle Flag

The antenna is pretty tall, as you can see in the photos, and the bicycle flag did what it was suppose to do, but the wind gave us a challenge. We sure attracted a lot of attention from the other beach goers, as you might imagine.

Kelly Talking to California

Kelly Talking to California

The important thing is that the radio worked! He talked with California, Michigan, Chicago, Ontario and even heard from Spain. (For a more technical explanation go to Kelly’s blog

Kelly Tuning His Radio

Kelly Tuning His Radio

We’re Ready for the Walk!  walkfor-the-world

Now Kelly is making last minute adjustments for the radio setup and all our other gear is ready to go. We have been blessed with responses from several of you to sponsor us, and others have committed to pray for us and for a successful event.

Can we hold up for the 10 mile walk?

The weather is suppose to reach a high of 90 degrees and the humidity will be up, according to the weatherman. We will start early to beat the heat, around 7:00 am … we are suppose to finish just before noon.

Not all funds have been collected yet, so a final tally announcement on how much was brought in will come later.  So, stay tuned for a report and photos of how it all goes! (And, pray for us!)

Set up on the Pier with Ocean in the Background

Set up on the Pier with Ocean in the Background

And by the way, we had a great weekend and visited with the Missions Chair Person at a church in Tarpon Springs on Sunday. We counted the whole tripl…a big success. (Except for the sand flea bites I got on my ankles.)

Walk for the World

The countdown has started, and March 28th is “D” Day for our big walkathon event – one week away. Are we ready for our 10 mile challenge (40 laps)? Wait until you see how ingenious Kelly has been in preparing his “Radioman” setup.  See Kelly’s Blog for photos of our weekend at Honeymoon Island. (More about this below.)

The Cause:

Our PIONEERS staff is walking to raise $100,000 to send missionaries to 6,500-plus unreached people groups around the world. (Click here to see a brief description how the funds will be used to accomplish our goal.)


Multiplying the Blessing:

A foundation has established a matching grant enabling us to double what we raise, dollar for dollar, for up to $250,000.

The Radioman:

Kelly is taking his ham radio with him to help pass the time as we walk. He has designed a creative way to talk to various countries, states and cities on his amateur radio while walking. Wait until you see!

Pray As We Walk:

We have asked sponsors to give us their prayer requests so our staff can pray for them as we walk. There will be a manned “prayer station” along our route that will be passing out these prayer requests to the walkers as they pass the booth. Kelly will report to the prayer station the countries/states/cities he has contacted, and they will pass that info on to the rest of us so we can pray for those places also.


hfpack_man_tm Pedestrian Mobile

The Design Challenge:

Radioman calls this type of radio transmitting being “pedestrian mobile,” in Ham Radio talk.

  • Challenge #1: He had to figure out how to “wear” the radio while still being able to reach the controls.
  • Challenge #2: He will also have to carry the rather large battery that powers the radio.
  • Challenge #3: He plans to mount his “Buddistick Antenna” onto an Alice Pack Army backpack (instead of on the extended stationary mount, as seen in the photo below).
Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddipole antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Kelly mobile with his radio, and his Buddistick antenna in a ground mount with 3 guy lines for stability

Stay Tuned For Results:

Many thanks to those of you who have agreed to either pray for our event or to sponsor the two of us. We will post results of how well we do in funds raised, how many laps we actually walk, the names of places Radioman contacts, and of course, some fun photos of the event and of Kelly’s pedestrian mobile design.

2 Biggest Loser’s Winner Announced!

Connie has won…

the ladies’ Biggest Loser’s contest held at the PIONEERS office. Today, during a staff meeting the announcements was made and prizes awarded. The winner was not determined by the “amount of pounds lost” but by the greatest percentage of body weight lost. Connie squeaked into first place losing 12.8% of her body weight. Now Connie and Kelly are planning how they are going to best use the $190 that she won.

Kelly came in 3rd place

…in the men’s division, but he considers himself the real winner – health wise. He lost a total of 8 inches and has only 3 more pounds to lose to make his personal goal. Both of us are now caffeine free and feeling great! We feel ready for our upcoming walkathon…more about that in my next post.


Combined Weight Loss…

The total weight loss among the 32 particpants was a whopping 311pounds. So there are several of us walking around a few pounds lighter and feeling healthier.

Executive VP, Ted Esler gives Connie Cash Prize for Biggest Loser Contest

Executive VP, Ted Esler gives Connie Cash Prize for Biggest Loser Contest