You’re beboppin’ along, living life, and then all of the sudden a year has gone by. I don’t know why I’m so surprised. It happens every year. But the time has come to get this show on the road. This is what I’ve wanted and worked toward for the last 14 years. The Westmorelands are heading to Cusco!
From the very first time I set foot on Peruvian soil I knew I would be going back. And I did – four times over five years. What I didn’t know is that I’d be returning with a Bible Missions degree, a husband, and a new baby girl, after accepting an invitation to join an outstanding team made up some Gospel spreadin’, Jesus lovin’, Great Commission livin’, friends – and their sweet flock of kiddos!
By the time I enrolled at Freed-Hardeman University I knew I wanted foreign mission work to play a large roll in my life, but it wasn’t until my first class, Bible Basis of Missions, on my first day of school that my heart was so profoundly pricked. Dr. Kevin Moore, fresh off the New Zealand mission field included in that class a verse out of the book of Jeremiah.
“Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him,
Nor speak anymore in His name.”
But His word was in my heart like a burning fire
Shut up in my bones;
I was weary of holding it back,
And I could not.”
Jeremiah 20:9 (NKJV)
Oh, boy, my heart! My bones! I had never read that verse before, but it sparked a passion I am now on the verge of realizing.
Fast forward through college, a couple of short mission campaigns, and nearly three years teaching English in China, and who should walk into the coffee shop I was sitting in, but my future husband and dream sharer, Kevin. I tell you what…I can’t think of a better start to a relationship than two mission minded people meeting on the mission field and being in 100% agreement of the direction their life would head if they committed to each other.
Kevin and I knew we wanted to do mission work, but agreed to wait and see what opportunities God brought our way. Lo and behold, but who should move in next door to us and quickly become our good friends, but Ryan and Sarah (Hi, guys! See you real soon!). Little did we know, but those two were soon-to-be Cusco bound and after spilling the beans invited us along. We had only been married about three months at that time and we talked and prayed, and prayed and talked and felt that Cusco was where God was leading us.
Here we are nearly two years after making that commitment, taking bids from shipping companies, making packing lists, getting three new passports, and beginning the visa application process. In just over one month we’ll hit the road, visit friends, say our see ya laters, and then hit the sky to Peru.
So, yeah. This year…
We went from living in a small town in West Tennessee, to spending the summer training in Dallas, to livin’ in the ‘burbs here in the Kansas City area. Seems like we’ve barely gotten unpacked and we’re packing right back up again.
But this time we’ll be unpacking right smack dab in the middle of our dream…
Inyam Griggs says
Perspective! What an uplifting article. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journey. May God be with you as you do His great work!
Keli Westmoreland says
Thank you, Inyam! I’m looking forward to this outlet as a way to share our life on the mission field with others.
We are so blessed to have our paths cross on your way to fulfilling your dream. Such an inspiration to me. Hugs friend.
Keli Westmoreland says
Thanks, Tracy! We’re sure going to miss your sweet family. Thanks for your support!