Tag Archives for " Orlando "

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.

Have You Ever Seen A Blessing? Meet Stella!

Stella proves that it’s never too late in life to do something that will make a difference in eternity. She is just one of some 20 snow birds – retirees – Saints of the Lord – a true angel in disguise, who is storing up treasures in Heaven doing volunteer work at PIONEERS. She is freely giving of her time, giftings, and talent to see the Kingdom expanded.

Meet Stella our Volunteer

Meet Stella our Volunteer

For the past 11 years Stella and her husband, John, have been spending the winter months of their “golden years,” serving the Lord through volunteer work at PIONEERS. John is a retired business man and his wife is retired from 30 years of corporate work. But they aren’t sitting back in a rocking chair…no sir!

They drive their 5th wheel down from Michigan and camp in our KOA campgrounds. Orlando S.E. / Lake Whippoorwill KOA has over 120 sites for campers and RV’s of all types, and also cabins and cabanas that can be rented. Visit the website link above to see all the amenities and activities that are provided. Below is an example of what you might see at the KOA site.

Sites for all size RV's

Sites for all size RV's are Available, Like this Super Sized Lot

Cabanas to Rent

Cabanas to Rent

Stella Helps Kelly & Connie

Stella has been a real trooper, working in a different department each day. One day she helps at the receptionist desk, another day in the finance department and on Thursdays she has been helping Kelly. She has organized all his files, inventoried my web-store resource materials and helped update our database by making data entries for us. She’s saved us a ton of time and work.

Stella gets Kelly Organized

Stella gets Kelly Organized

Kelly's Office and My Computer & Desk in Background

Kelly's Office & You Can See Connie's Computer & Desk in Background

A Bushel of Blessings

There are many other volunteers working in areas where they can use their own special talents and gifting. Some help in the area of maintenance: building repairs, carpentry, plumbing, painting, & grounds upkeep. Some enter computer data for various departments, do filing, help in the mailroom, housekeeping for our guest rooms, kitchen help for meals, making airport runs to pick up guests and visitors. They all have true servants heart, willing to do whatever the need is.

But it’s not all work for them. They have their share of fun in our rejuvenating Florida sun. They go to the beach, visit tourists sites, fish in our lake, gather for grill outs and picnics and often meet in the Rec hall for games and planned activities.

Fishing, Canoeing, Biking, Swimming, Hot Tub & More

Fishing, Canoeing, Biking, Swimming, Hot Tub & More

Swimming Pool in Walking Distance

Swimming Pool in Walking Distance

Showing Appreciation

This will be Stella & Johns last year as volunteers. After 11 years I think they deserve a break. But, they aren’t leaving us; they will still come down next winter with their 5th wheel and just enjoy themselves.

Thursday night we had a special “Volunteer Appreciation Dinner” for all of them. But truly, there is no way of repaying them for all they do for us. Those rewards will come later in the form of a crown with many jewels.

3 QST: HamCation, HamCation

QST is amateur radio talk for: Attention – Bulletin; It is a Ham radio Q signal that is “calling all Radio Amateur’s” attention to a “bulletin”. Thus, my title QST: HamCation…

If you did not attend the Orlando HamCation held at the Central Florida Fairgrounds last weekend, then you missed a perfect opportunity to become submerged in the world of Ham Radio and electronics. It was a first for me and I was blown away. There were easily over 5000 people there, possibly more since they had 10,000 last year. These ham-ventions are held all over the US and this one is the largest in the Southeast.

Yellow hat...Is Kelly Smiling? You Bet!

Yellow hat...Is Kelly Smiling? You Bet!


There were over a hundred commercial vendors inside 3 large buildings enticing “hams” with the latest and greatest electronic devices. But that paled to where the real action was taking place. Outside there was one of the largest fairground tailgate areas around. There were rows & rows of RV’s, trucks, and cars with their tailgates or awnings opened, and swap tables filled with amateur radios, parts, computer hardware, software and more. It was like the biggest ham & electronic flea market ever, with prize drawings & food hawkers! Kelly was in 7th heaven and we soaked it all in.

NOTE: You can find Kelly in all the photos by the bright yellow ball cap he is wearing.

"Let me see, what do I get first?" he said rubbing his hands together with anticipation.

"Let me see, what do I get first?" he said, rubbing his hands together with anticipation.

Something Has Caught Kelly's Attention

Something Has Caught Kelly's Attention, "Hmmm, do I need that?

There Was Something For All Ages

There Was Something For All Ages

The Tailgate Vendors Went On For Blocks

Outside: The Tailgate Vendors Went On For Blocks (Kelly on right)

The Tailgate Flee Market: "This is just what I want at a great Price."

The Tailgate Flee Market: "This is just what I want at a great Price."


One of the highlights of the weekend for Kelly was when we attended a Sat. morning forum presented by  Buddipole Antennas. Kelly had just bought one the week before and the presenter was the designer himself, Budd Drummond. Kelly would not only get the inside scoop on its use, but also get to meet the designer. And, it was better than that. When Budd heard Kelly had just bought one, he brought him up front, explained all the intricacies to him and had Kelly assist him with setting up his products.

Kelly Meets Budd Drummond, Designer of "Buddipoles"

Kelly Meets Budd Drummond, Designer of "Buddipoles"

Budd Drummond has Kelly Assist Him In Set-up

Budd Drummond has Kelly Assist Him In Set-up

The Buddipole goes Segway Mobile

The Buddistick goes Segway Mobile

What’s a Buddipole? It’s an antenna system designed to be lightweight and compact for portable operations, easily fitting in a travel bag, and still not compromise on performance. Perfect for what Kelly needs.

Compact Case With Buddipole

Compact Case With Buddipole

The Compact Antenna Fully Expanded - Ready to Go

The Compact Antenna Fully Expanded - Ready to Go

It was a great weekend and we truly enjoyed ourselves. We didn’t win any of the drawings, but hey, there is always next year.


Young and old lined the street with anticipation; some were standing while others had come early to stake out a choice spot with their lawn chairs. What was the attraction?

Pioneer Days - Let The Parade Begin
Pioneer Days – Let The Parade Begin

A parade was about to start to kick off the 35th annual 2 day event put on by our church Pine Castle United Methodist Church (PCUMC)and it is called – ”Pioneer Days Family Festival”. The mission’s department at our church organizes this event every year as a community service and outreach.

People came "dressed in costume" for the parade
People came dressed in costumes to watch the parade.
Everyone wants to be in a parade!
Everyone wants to be in a parade!

Last weekend, Kelly and I were a small part of our church’s large volunteer group who help with making it all come together.On Saturday, he and I worked the main entrance gate handling money and placing admission wrist bands on everyone wanting to take part in the festivities. I made change and handed out free gift bags while Kelly gave out the wrist bands.

Kelly passes out admission braclets.
Kelly passes out admission braclets.

Pioneer Days is a Family Event and kids love it!
Pioneer Days is a Family Event and kids love it!
Kelly helps a vendor carry her props & supplies to her booth.
Kelly helps a vendor carry her props & supplies to her booth.

Even our ministry organization (PIONEERS), had a float and booth at the event to advertise our upcoming missions conference called “Story 08” that will be held at PCUMC. Click on the link to learn more about “Story 08” being held Dec 28-30, 2008.

Our Mission Agency's float advertising "Story 08"
Our Mission Agency Advertises “Story 08” Mission Conference

What’s Pioneer Days Family Festival About?

“The festival offers an education about our American heritage through arts and traditions with exhibitions of traditional pioneer crafts and skills such as: Basketry – Blacksmithing – Cane Cooking – Civil War Encampments – Indian Village – Pottery – Quilting – Spinning – Storytelling – Weaving – Wood Carving – and more… like live music, and local vendors providing food and souvenirs.”

Indian Dance Demonstration
Indian Dance Demonstration
Tractor Display for Pioneer Days
Tractor Display for Pioneer Days


The Pioneer Days Family Festival was created by the Pine Castle Center of the Arts in 1973 to bring the community together in a celebration of the rich heritage of our forefathers. When the Pine Castle Center of the Arts disbanded in 1993, Pine Castle United Methodist Church carried on the mission that our heritage must be remembered and shared with today’s generation. Therefore, the annual festival has continued.


Answer: Attend our Church Partner Forum (CPF)

Group Photo

The week after Easter, our Church Partnerships team hosted this event on our Orlando campus. We were at maximum capacity with 40 participants. We had churches represented from 13 different states (TX, MN, NY, IN, NH, CO, AR, IL, FL, CA, KS, CT, & SC).

We hold this event twice a year to strengthen the relationship between sending churches and our agency. Our intent is to help mission-minded church leaders explore how partnership and networking can help them sharpen their missions focus, mobilize members for missions ministry, and maximize their mission impact. (Link to our webpage.)

Our guest speaker was Dr. Tom A. Steffen, Director of Missiology and professor of Intercultural Studies at Biola University. (He is Kelly’s D.Mis.advisor.) He spoke on the hot topic; Business as Missions…is it a fad or something unique God is doing and how will your church respond?

Great discussions

Great discussions and interaction take place during the sessions.

over lunch

These discussions continue over lunch.


The banquet is a time for good fellowship.

There’s always down time in-between activities for networking.

Next month (May 15th) we are holding our first ever, “off-site” forum in Albuquerque, NM. Stay tuned for a report on how it goes.

What Makes This Missions Conference Different?

It is being held at our Orlando home church, Pine Castle United Methodist Church (PCUMC) Feb 7-10. www.pinecastleumc.org Global Impact Celebration is sponsored by our church missions team, Acts 1:8. PCUMC supports 45 missionaries and that includes the McClellands.

  • Feb. 7th—Celebration Kick-off; A spectacular music-drama by the “K.I.D.S. Zone” wowed us all and set the stage for an inspirational field report from the Guest Speaker. Afterwards, Kelly and I stood by our display table in the Fellowship Hall as church members checked out each of the missionary displays and asked each of us questions about our ministries.
  • Feb 8th—Missions Comedy Family Night; A featured film and pizza night out under the stars with added surprises by the Youth Group.
  • Feb 10th—Special speaker Dr. Wes Griffin,

Kelly and I joined as active members at Pine Castle 2 years ago and are very blessed to have found such a great church. Knowing the importance of giving back to our church by being involved, we both accepted positions to serve: Kelly is on the Church Council and I am on the Finance Committee. Wednesday nights we participate in the small group Bible Studies.


A Couple of Highlights:

New Worship Center featuring a 1,250 seat sanctuary is nearing completion. In the photo above, our current sanctuary is the small building in the left hand corner of the picture. The new sanctuary is the almost completed building across the street.

Pine Castle Christian Academy for grades Pre-K to 12th grade, with over 700 students, includes an excellent sports dept, boasting a 2007 State Championship title for both the boys and girls Varsity basketball teams and 2-time championship titles for the girls softball team.

Family Life Center, gymnasium to serve both the school and the church

So, that is our introduction to you about our church and what is happening this week.

PCUMC front