Saturday, May 3, 2014
Later the same day we made a drive of about twenty minutes to the home of the Kelleys’, missionaries from Texas with the Southern Baptists International Missions Board. They come from Texas and have been in this area of Slovenia for eleven years, spending the first seven in Siberia. Now fully settled and mostly integrated into the community they are involved in a variety of mission activities. You can find Joe and Kim on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheGreatXchange/info He describes his invitational sports ministry in the following way, “We facilitate spiritually and physically challenging and eternally rewarding volunteer mission experiences that result in a lifestyle of cross-cultural disciple making and international church planting.”
A more specific explanation can be found at their website http://sloveniagreatexchange.com/
Joe showed us his bicycle shed where he has ten or more first class mountain bikes hanging from the rafter. Then in other places you find evidences of mountain climbing, kyacking, rafting and so forth.
So how does it work?
Joe and Kim do their passion and I am always of the opinion that if we do what we are wired for, we are less likely to burn out. These Texans are avid outdoors people so they invite volunteers who share the same passion to join them in sharing the gospel through acts of service and the printed word as they encounter villagers, and others in camp grounds or along the road. More often teams of seven Christians, primarily from the United States, come to Slovenia to join Joe in a variety of sports activities which includes biking through the Alps, hiking, mountain climbing or shooting the rapids.
They are a lovely couple and because I grew up in their “neck of the woods” we had an immediate affinity. If you have an interest in this sort of experience or mission I suggest you contact them and give this a week of your time. I doubt if you will be disappointed. This is a very beautiful and inspiring corner of the world that desperately needs the gospel.