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May 2017
 
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
“Her children will rise up and bless her”. This month we want to just do that! Mothers everywhere have a difficult job, but in our eyes, our mom, Debbi Kennedy exceeds them all.
Mom is a beautiful, exciting and energetic burst of energy to anyone she meets. She began her life in ministry with Dad in 1992 and has never looked back. Mom gave her all as she and Dad chose to raise 13 children, several of whom she brought in to her home from all different situations and backgrounds and loved them as her own.
When I think about our childhood I think of big beautiful gardens and dinners that were picked right out of those fields of gardens. Huge pots of corn on the cob with collard greens, mashed potatoes and my great granddad’s recipe of skillet corn bread sizzling in the oven. I think of long summer days running through the fields barefoot, climbing enormous oak trees, endless loads of laundry hanging on the clothes line, fresh eggs every morning, rides in the back of Dad’s truck (everyone always fought over the tailgate seats), and bunkbeds full of tired happy children at night. Through all the details of the childhood our parents gave us it seems almost magical! But there were hardships too, although I never knew it at the time, money was always tight of course and there were many other hardships that would be expected in bringing together children from numerous different broken families and backgrounds and raising them together as siblings under one roof.
As if this weren’t enough, Mom encouraged Dad in following God’s leading to move our family to Haiti to live as full time field missionaries in 1995. Although everything changed for us children during that time it was also a beautiful time through which God taught us so much. Talk about tough. Mom gave up so many common American comforts to live the life of an in-field missionary. Washing all of those loads of laundry now had to be done by hand. Shopping for groceries now had to be done in open markets. Driving anywhere (which my Mom did with such bravery and skill) was complete madness and chaos as the narrow roads (if you could call them roads) were filled with huge trucks and packed out tap taps (taxi buses/or open trucks) overflowing with people, and many times, goats or chickens hanging off the sides. Mom was a pro; she continued caring for all of us but also spent a lot of time driving sick people to hospitals, helping host mission teams and tirelessly supporting and encouraging Dad in all of their endeavors.
After living in Haiti for several years God called our family to Texas, where before long, Dad and Mom began serving in Mexico along with continuing work in Haiti. Mom spent all of her waking time loving and training her children and serving people on mission teams where we were building houses. Mom was always running errands for the teams, helping her daughters prepare and serve food for hundreds. One thing she trained us to do young was cook for a crowd! In high school, Mom was a cheerleader and that attitude has never left her!
A few things that come to mind when I think of Mom – servant, loyal, and having a stubborn faith. Yes, these are the first three words that come to mind when I think of my mother.
Servant ~ Her servant’s heart has been a shining example of love and inspired so many. Mom has not only served countless people in need, she has served her family at every turn. Service in the mission field is one thing, but being a servant in your own family is where it truly counts. She has time and time again counted others as more important than herself and sacrificed without a word. No job is below her. No person out of her league. In this way, I see Jesus, “the Humble Servant”, in my Mom.
Loyal ~ Loyal to Christ, loyal to the love of her life, Dad, and loyal to our family. She knows who she has believed in and is persuaded that He is able. The world could try to convince her otherwise, but one thing I’ve seen in my mom, she will be loyal to Christ, and loyal to Dad, and will follow till the end.
Faith ~ In a way, at times, you could call this stubborn faith. Mom’s faith to hold on to what she believes in has pulled her through countless devastating times in our lives. Mom has been an anchor, holding fast to Christ in our family. She has persevered through countless trials; the worst of course being the loss of her firstborn, Shelby. Her heart has been pierced, broken, and even shattered numerous times. But, she has truly held steadfast to what she believes in.
We’re so grateful for Mom and her tireless, amazing example of Christ’s love to all of us! Thank you for indulging us and letting us share this with you. And thank you for your wonderful prayers and support that keep this beautiful ministry alive and active, sharing God’s Word and continuing to touch the hearts and lives of sweet friends and families in Haiti and Mexico.
"For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
who says to you, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'"

~ Isaiah 41:13 ~