Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Missionary Spotlight Monday: (Sort of...Tuesday Edition)

I'm going to start by saying "you're welcome." Because that's what you will be thinking at the end of this when you recall that I could have combined this post with yesterday's post about the Brockinton's. So, you're welcome! :)

As stated in my post yesterday, I was able to spend time with some of my favorite people this weekend. And I'd like to introduce you to another one of them. Jesus really outdid Himself when He crossed our paths so many years ago. I'm going to do this a bit different. I'm just going to randomly list things about Staci that I remember, things I love about her, and things I've learned from her (serious or funny). I truly would not be the person I am today if it weren't for that trip to Kenya in 2002. Thank you, Jesus for my amazing friend!

Meet: Staci (Wells) Keter
AKA: swells.com

-She's great at writing cards. I still have all of them. Even the first one where she spelled my name wrong.

-During my Senior year, we met every Wednesday for lunch, and she dubbed it "Wacky Shirt Wednesday" just because she had enough shirts that fell in that category.

-Every interaction with Staci, WITHOUT FAIL, leaves me desiring more of Jesus and His Word.

-Once in Kenya, we were staying in a room with three beds but only needed two. It got cold most nights there, and we took turns using the door mat as extra covers until the last night, our friend Allison drew our attention to the clean covers on the third bed.

- When we were in Kenya, we were on a long van trip between ministry locations. I remember the members of our team being in the midst of a pretty serious conversation when suddenly, Staci interrupted by saying, "I love these jeans. They just fit well and I love the color. We only talk about deep things." The joke "We only talk about deep things" has since stuck.

-We used to make pizza together from scratch. And now every time I have pizza from scratch I think of her.

-I cannot empty the dishwasher without thinking of Staci. She once said it was her least favorite chore, so she made it a race. She always tried to see if she could do it faster than she did the last time.

-Staci has been the recipient of NUMEROUS "20 Questions" e-mails from me. And she has responded to every single one.

-Once, when we were in Kenya, as we were visiting a home for street boys, Staci said she wanted me to be the one to share with them if they asked someone to. God used that moment to alter the course of my life forever. I learned that day to "always be prepared...to give the reason for the hope that you have." (1 Peter 3:15)

-She was part of one of the funniest moments of my life, to date. Now, every time I see this picture, I go into the silent laugh almost instantly.

If you don't know the story, please ask. It may change your life. Or at least the way you view this piece of art.

-Staci has taught me a lot through the years about being obedient to Jesus. Regardless of what it costs. Regardless of your situation. No excuses. No holding back. Staci has taught me what it means to choose Jesus daily, every day, in every aspect of the day.

-Always a truth-teller. Even when it was difficult.

- Staci (with her husband Wycliff and two amazing boys) currently minister with the Africa Gospel Church Baby Center in Kenya. Her love for the least, last, and lost has changed me.

-One time, Staci and I planned to meet at a McDonald's on the Southside of Indy during one of her trips back to the states. I ended up at one McDonald's and she was at another. And really, I'm not sure either of us were surprised.

- I vaguely remember her saying that she "loved" the movie "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton" and "Bend it Like Beckham." At the time, I thought no one over the age of 13 and a half enjoyed these movies, but I watched both with Staci in one night. Haven't seen them since, but it still makes me laugh that she enjoyed the movies so much.

-Staci has walked with me through some pretty tough and dark things. And she has always pointed me to Jesus in the midst of them. She encouraged me to find Him in the midst of the darkness, and to cling to Him with all I had. And I would not be where I am today without it.

For those who don't know Staci, perhaps these are just words to you. And perhaps you have stopped reading. But even as I sit here, I feel as though I have only scratched the surface. I thank God for who He has created Staci Wells Keter to be, and for her obedience to be used as an agent of transformation in my life.

Perhaps these last two posts bring someone to your mind. Someone who has stepped into your life and left it forever changed. Someone whose words have been life to you. I would encourage you, if at all possible, to let them know. And as you reflect on the redemption that has come to you through Jesus' work in them, may you have the courage to step into someone else's life and do the same, in Jesus' name.

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