Summer Outreach Update:

We’re just over a month away from joining a bunch of other teens to head out for two weeks of amazing outreach! Many of you have been hearing about the escalating trouble in Haiti as her people have been growing more and more frustrated with their government. Reports of riots, blocked roads and violence have increased to the point where the team at Big World Ventures–the organizers of these summer outreaches–have decided that they simply cannot continue with their plans to head to Haiti this summer. This news has been disappointing because we know that there are people in need of the hope-filled message of the Gospel.

Here’s an excerpt from the letter we received notifying us of the change. I share it with you because in addition to announcing that we will now be headed to Costa Rica you can also read why I have had so much confidence in Big World Ventures:

“As always, safety is our top concern! We attentively seek God’s will in each step on our mission ventures. As we have continued in prayer—and kept our eyes on current events in Haiti—we feel it’s now too unsafe to take our students there.
“So, following God’s leading, we are moving our trip to Costa Rica. Each year we plan two trips on the same dates—just in case something like this happens. Always having a Plan B in our back pocket allows us to make a seamless move.”

Our travel dates are the same and costs have also been able to be kept the same, which is another wonderful blessing. It has been particularly challenging this year for us and we are still about $2,500.00 under what is needed for our participation. Would you pray with us that God would bring the remaining funds in the next few weeks?

Thanks, again, for your support. I’m confident that there will soon be many more brothers and sisters in Christ who will be adopted into our family of believers as a result of this year’s outreach and your generous provision.

Eager to get into the field,

Rob, Maggie and Jack

P.S. If you’d like to add a tax-deductible donation to support this year’s outreach to Costa Rica, visit and mention “Kirkpatricks” in the missionary field. Thanks!

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10 Years

Ten years ago, today, my perspective on Heaven changed. Up to then it was conceptual; an idea I believed in where there was no sorrow or suffering. I was blissfully naïve.

But it’s different now. I have walked a path of grief. Heaven is no longer a thought. It’s a place I look forward to. The woman I shared my life with, started a family with and loved with all my heart is there.

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Headed to Ecuador

This gallery contains 5 photos.

I’ve written before that it’s weird when the miraculous becomes the norm. But, that’s what continues to happen, and I’m always amazed. Many of you have played a role in what I’m talking about, too! In one or all of … Continue reading

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Our Story – Installment #1

When we were introduced, neither of us was looking. Her bright blue eyes, cheerful smile and contagious laugh were captivating. My brown eyes and a beard–something not too common in Southern California in the mid 1980’s–caught her attention. Separately, we both knew our lives would never be the same.

It was several weeks before I asked her on a date. I was working the graveyard shift at a radio station for which Sundays were especially tough. Those were the days when I finished work just in time to make it to church before dashing home to catch some sleep during the afternoon before returning to the radio station a few hours later. Sundays were also the only days I could possibly see that girl again (yes, I had forgotten her name). But then came the Sunday I was off, and I quickly developed a plan.

There’s an annual art festival near Laguna Beach that was going on that day. I figured it was a safe bet to ask Lee (once I asked someone for her name) if she’d like to go see it with me. She said, “Yes,” and I honestly had no idea what was about to begin.

We stopped by my apartment to change out of church clothes and headed toward the Sawdust Festival in Laguna canyon. All along, I figured if things didn’t really click, we’d have had a good time and be back in time for the evening service at church.

But, that’s not what happened. We closed the place down.

Lee fell asleep in the car as I drove back from the festival. My mind was spinning. As we got back to my apartment for her to gather her church clothes and then head to her own apartment about 30 miles away I remember thanking her for a wonderful time. Then, as I turned to walk back as she started her car, I saw it. She had accidentally dropped one of her shoes. I grabbed it and ran to get her attention before she drove off. “Lee! You dropped your slipper!”

Yes, that really happened.

During my next shift at the radio station I spent almost the entire time telling my friend, Roger, about this girl I met and how my world was spinning. I told Roger that I had met the woman I wanted to marry. Lee visited a friend of hers and, unbeknownst to me, was telling Lois about her own heart.

We began to date. Although it would be a long time before we told each other about our respective conversations with friends we were falling in love. Time went by and our hearts grew more together. Now, you would think that since things were going so well that it would be natural and easy for me to tell Lee that I was in love with her. That was not the case. There were earlier relationships in my life where I thought I had been in love. My relationship with Lee was entirely different, but I was confused and even afraid. I had been hurt before.

I remember meeting with the pastor of our singles group at church. In rapid fire I asked him: “How do you know when you’re in love? How do you tell the person you’re in love with that you love her? How can I be sure?” In retrospect, Mike’s answer was profoundly simple. “If you’re as in love as you can be today, then you’re in love–and you should tell her.”

“How in the world was I going to do this?” I thought. I had no idea what God had in store…

A short time later, Lee and I were walking during the evening along the canals of Naples, near Long Beach in Southern California. Naples is a beautiful area. There are even gondoliers carrying patrons in their long, pole-propelled boats. My heart was bursting inside. “I want to tell her that I love her so bad, but I have no idea how to start that conversation!” Cue Divine theatrics.

Singing starts. Yes, this really happened, too.

A gondolier with a beautiful baritone voice was serenading a couple in his boat. His song? “Some Enchanted Evening” from the musical South Pacific. Lee and I stopped under a light post near the bridge. The gondola passed by as the pilot was finishing his song. Do you know how that song ends?

“Once you have found her, never let her go.
Once you have found her, never let her go.
Once you have found her…Never…Let…Her…Go.”

Could I have asked for a more beautiful setting? No! It was as if God was saying to me, “Rob, I’ve set the stage for you. It’s time for you to speak.” And, I did. Right under the lamppost pictured on the right side of this old post card.


There’s much more. We did marry. God blessed us with four beautiful children. This is from Easter in 2002. The children have grown. Rob, our oldest is married and just about to finish college. Ben is studying to be a youth pastor. Maggie is a sophomore in high school. Jack is in 8th grade.

After fifteen years of marriage, Lee died from colon cancer in December 2005. Now, I’m a widower and a single parent. But, as a wise mentor and friend told me when I was lamenting that I wouldn’t have a 25th wedding anniversary–or a 50th, she said, “Rob, it’s so apparent that, in the 15 years you had with Lee, you had more than many who will have those anniversaries.”

She was right.

I am a blessed man.

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Ecuador 2011


Two years ago, I wrote a blog that began like this:

“Have you ever experienced God at work right in front of you? I mean, literally, right where you are and as a part of what you’re doing?  For those of you who have, you know it’s an event that solidifies your faith and becomes a mile marker in your life because you know that God did something and nobody can convince you otherwise.”

I wrote about the excitement I had as I anticipated being a part of the leadership team for what was then called the Brio Mission Trip; an annual summer outreach that brought hundreds of teens together to present the message of Jesus Christ to as many people as possible.  My expectations were high because of what I experienced the year before, 2008, when I first joined the team as they went to Lima, Peru.

On that trip there were 13 teams in all that spent 10 days in Lima venturing into some of the most poverty-ridden areas surrounding the city.  Each team had multiple opportunities to perform a drama that told the story of creation, man’s separation from God as a result of sin, and the possibility of a restored relationship through the atoning work of Jesus Christ.  And, how did God show up? There were nearly 7,000 men, women and children who professed a desire to become Christians.  And, on top of that, each of the teens that God returned to their homes with mile markers of God’s reality that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

That experience repeated itself when the outreach, renamed “Never The Same” went to Guatemala in both 2009 and 2010.  As one of the adult team leaders, I saw the lives of hundreds of Guatemalans changed as God used the teens on my team to reach out to them with the good news of Jesus Christ.

This year the “Never The Same” Mission trip goes to Quito, Ecuador, and I’m hoping to be able to be a part of it all, as are my two oldest sons, Rob and Ben. Would you consider joining with the others we’re contacting to become a part of our support team? Yes, there’s always the financial part of such a request; the cost is about $2,500.00 each. But, regardless of whether you can contribute monetarily, an equally important need we have is for people
to be praying for us as we prepare to go, and while we’re there.

If you’re interested in becoming a part of this outreach and you’re not already in the Ecuador 2011 Facebook group I created, please request to join our Facebook group by visiting my Facebook page and requesting to join via the link on the left side of the page.

And if you can help financially, there are two ways you can send along your tax-deductible donation to Big World Ventures, the non-profit organization that organizes the mission:

– Online by clicking the “Sponsor Me” button on the righ side of the page or by visiting:

– You can also send a check to us.  Our address is 3425 Inspiration Drive, Colorado Springs, CO, 80917.  Please make out your Check to “Big World Ventures”.

Big World is asking that we have all our support in place by April 1st, so we’d be most grateful if you would let us know as soon as you can.

Rob and Ben are both excited about this opportunity God has placed before them, as well. I’ll post their comments soon.

For more information about the “Never The Same” outreach, go to

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This past week I was overwhelmed with emotion as I listened to my eldest son recount the pain he experienced when Lee, my wife and his mother, died.  His response was to shut down and let no-one into what he called “his box”–especially God.  He lived that way for more than two years.  Holding the door shut from the inside became exhausting and the time came when he could no longer keep the door closed.

That was just over two years ago and I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  All the pain, shame, anger and guilt he had been trying to suppress reached a point where they could no longer be kept inside.  Thankfully, he was willing to confide in me.  Pain and anger were understandable.  Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one can relate; I certainly could.  But, for a young boy who had his mother taken away the pain was intense and the anger at God for allowing her to die…there was a special intensity.

But, why the shame and guilt?  Place yourself where he was.  He hated that his mom was sick and sometimes found his anger expressing itself in ways that he regretted.  But when Lee died he was stuck with no way to apologize to her for how he treated her.  As I talked with him I learned the source of the shame and guilt and how it had jaundiced his memories.  Every memory he had of Lee was followed with the accusation, “…And you were a jerk to her!”

My heart broke.  As we talked I learned that he had asked God for forgiveness, but it didn’t seem to be enough.  I asked him if he had forgiven himself.  He had not.

We talked further about the power of forgiveness, that Lee was surely not looking down from heaven echoing the accusations he was hearing whenever she came to mind.  God had forgiven him.  We were confident that Lee would have, as well.  What remained was for Rob to give grace to the twelve year-old boy he was when Lee died and forgive himself for the things he had done.

I know now that it was after that conversation that Rob found the strength to open himself to God and reach out to Him for the strength to remove his self-applied shackles.  Within two days that his countenance had lifted.  When I asked him why, he told me, “I realized I didn’t need to be carrying that anymore.”

It was that simple.

Here’s a link to the video I recorded of him sharing his testimony.  Ben, my second eldest son, provided the intrduction.

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Support Jumps Ahead. We’re Headed Back to Guatemala!

Last week we received news that thrilled our hearts. Support was raised enough to cover the cost of our participation in this year’s outreach. All that remains is the funding to cover our travel to and from Miami. We’re pretty excited!

This will be my third time as a group leader for this amazing venture. Please pray for the people we’ll meet in Guatemala as we show up for more “Divine appointments”. I’d appreciate it if you’d also pray for the teens who will be a part of this trip. God’s got something in store for them, as well. This year there will be more

than 250 of us coming together in late June.

Now that our participation is definite, I’ll post more updates as the date draws near.

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We’re hoping to return to Guatemala this summer. If you’d like to learn more, or are interested in supporting this outreach, we’d love to hear from you. Send me a message or post a reply.

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A post from Ben

From Ben:

Last year I went on an incredible mission trip to Guatemala where I really got a chance to be a part of God’s work. I also stepped up in my own faith. I really saw God at work in a very different way than I have ever seen. For example, God drew more than a thousand people to Himself as a result of the service projects and drama performances we did. It was an amazine experience and I’m excited to share with you that I think God is calling me to go back again this year.

During last summer’s trip God showed me how awesome and alive He could be both in me through me. Working with the others on our team and learning from the powerful speakers we heard each night changed my life. From the first day in Guatemala which was my team’s service day, I knew I was in for something that was a lot more than I expected.

Our job was to clean out a school that had been flooded when the nearby river overflowed. The flood had washed a layer of mud about six inches deep on to the concrete floors of three classrooms and the bathroom. Equipped with brooms and one hose we began to work, soaking the ground then pushing out the excess soil. After hours of tedious work we were all ready to head back to the hotel and collapse. We were tired, but it felt good because we were able to help.

The next couple of days we performed a drama that we had learned in Miami before flying down to Central America. The drama explains the gospel; how we are fallen and in need of savior and how God sent Christ to save us. The characters in the drama are toys, who represent us as people, and the Toymaker who represents our Heavenly Father, God. In the drama the Toymaker sends his son to restore the broken relationship with the toys. Sound familiar?

One of the days we were scheduled to perform the drama in a park. When we got there, the local police could not find any paperwork and, as a result, did not allow us to perform. So we moved to another park where at least four other teams had already been. We were a litte discouraged thinking that nobody would want to see yet another team present the same performances, but we went ahead and did the drama. At the end, when we asked if anyone watching would like to pray to become a Christian, almost no one raised their hand. But, when we invited people to give us their contact information so a local church could get in touch with them, we had so many come to us that we both ran out of paper slips and we ran out of Bibles! It was clear that God had plans for us to be there.

I’m looking forward to returning to Guatemala this summer and would appreciate your prayers and any support you can send to help cover our expenses.


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So, it’s time to begin making plans…

OK, it’s actually about 4 months later than would be ideal.  But, we’re hoping to return to Guatemala this summer.

Here’s a note from my son, Rob II, that spells out some of the details.
I believe we have been called to return to Guatemala this summer.  God’s opened to door for us and I’m really excited to get back. My dad, my brother and I have been accepted to this year’s “Never the Same” outreach from June 28 through July 11.

Over the past several summers God has been working in my life as He’s giving me a greater heart of compassion for His people around the world.  As I experienced last year and in prior years, this 2-week excursion provides amazing opportunities to reach out to help people in need and, in doing so, have the privilege of sharing the Gospel with the Guatemalans through a story we get to “perform” as a drama.

And here’s the exciting part: you can be a part of this outreach, too! First, you can help pray.  This is truly the most important thing you can do!  Please pray that God will prepare us for our outreach and bless our efforts as we minister to the people of Guatemala. Pray also that the finances will be provided to afford the expenses associated with an event like this. At this time we need to raise about $2,700.00 each.

Perhaps God’s given you the means to also be a part of accomplishing that second request. Would you consider supporting us with a small donation? We’ll need to raise all the funds by April 1st in order to pay for airline tickets and other items.  Very soon there will be a link on this Facebook page that you can use to help raise the funds.  In the mean time, you can send a tax-deductible check made out to “Big World Ventures” to our home.

That address is: 3425 Inspiration Dr.Colorado Springs, CO  80917

Whether you feel led to pray for us, contribute financially, or both, all of your support is appreciated.  I look forward to being used by God’s in Guatemala and letting you know all about how God has worked through this trip when I return in July.

Rob Kirkpatrick II

Can you believe it?

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