David & Mende Kitzman
Serving in Peru
From: United States of America
Who we are:Dave- Despite growing up in a home with a Christian mom, I always struggled with making the decision to actually follow Christ with my own life. In 1991, I finally came to a crossroads where I had to surrender everything to him or reject him and go my own way. The Holy Spirit moved in my life, He chose me and I have been serving Him ever since.
Mende- I grew up in a non-Christian home and started to follow Christ in high school. My faith truly began to change my life when I went to university and had to make tough decisions and depend on God alone. He has proved Himself faithful.
As young people, we both participated in short-term missions and were challenged to go wherever He may call us to go. We both made that commitment and then forgot about them for a few years.
During that time, God continued refining and growing our faith in many ways. We had to learn to rely on him in the good times and also to be our strength through many difficult situations.
As a young married couple, we learned to rely on the Lord when our 2 1/2 year old daughter, Parker, was diagnosed with a congenital heart condition and needed life-saving surgery. We learned more about the Body of Christ and God's love as we became foster parents to seven and eight year old siblings for a year, and then again when we moved from our comfort zone in suburban San Diego, California to a rural setting in North Carolina. Finally in 2004, we stepped out in faith and moved to Peru as missionary teachers.
Within the first year of arriving in Peru, Dave was diagnosed with cancer. Yet God used even this to give us His heart and compassion for those who are sick and physically weak. Only God's grace has sustained our family through it all. We have experienced His healing in Parker and Dave's lives and we are able to share these great testimonies with others, as well as many other miracles God has done in our lives.
What we do:Our family has served in Peru since 2004. It is a country of over 28 million, where many are "cultural Christians" mixing their religion with unbiblical beliefs, witchcraft or animistic rituals. We joined SIM n 2008 to focus on sports and family ministry. As of January 2012, we continue serving with SIM, but will be working with Sports Friends to advance the Gospel of Christ using the platform of sports.
With 50% of the population under the age of 18 and 45% below the poverty line, Peruvians are searching for hope and meaning in their lives. Utilizing sports to reach youth and change lives, a bridge forms with the potential to impact entire families for Christ. This opens the door to community development, Bible studies, and family ministries that help to keep kids off the streets. Ultimately, we want to train, disciple, and equip nationals to be Christian mentors and coaches. This way, we can help strengthen communities and witness true transformation.
We have university-aged children, our daughter (Parker) is attending Biola University in California, and a son (Levi) attending Cal Baptist. We also serve while raising Silas (4), Esther (2), and Brennan & Bryant (both 9 months). We are thankful to be able to share God's love, Word and hope with the young people of Lima and we praise God for the lives that are being changed. Please join us in this vision!
Involved with:Evangelism/Church Growth
Current Funding: 90%