Little Steps of Faith
Many of us have dreamed of selling most of our earthly possessions and moving to another country to live for a while.
One family in the High Country, Mike and Karen Kimbro and their children, stopped dreaming and actually did it. Earlier this year, the Kimbros became missionaries through their church, Alliance Bible Fellowship in Boone, and moved to the coastal town of Trujillo in Peru. There the Kimbros are working to build a children's home that will eventually house 72 underprivileged and orphaned children.
The Kimbros married a year after Mike completed medical school and have lived and worked in various places in the United States. Both are originally from North Carolina, however, and call the High Country home.
"We lived in Boone," Mike Kimbro said. "Karen grew up in Boone. Her parents are Bennie and Carole Robinson. Bennie grew up in Blowing Rock."
After working as a family physician for the Washoe Indian Tribe in Nevada and in Damascas, Va., Mike moved his family to the High Country in 2001 to work in Mountain City, Tenn. During the family's stay here, Mike began a series of short-term mission trips that took advantage of his medical skills and also contributed to the Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution efforts.
Those short-term mission trips led to the family's desire for something bigger.
"We knew the first time we visited Trujillo God was calling us there," Kimbro said.
Trujillo, located on the Pacific coast of Peru next to the Andes Mountains, is the third largest city in a country with a population of more than 800,000. It is also home to some of South America's poorest people.
Currently, the Kimbros are coordinating the construction of their new children's home, as well as working with a daycare center that is run by a ministry called Inca Link. The daycare center serves 150 children and provides a place where they can receive nutritious meals and tutoring while their parents work in a giant local garbage dump.
"The name of the new children's home is Pasitos de Fe," Kimbro said. "In English that means 'little steps of faith.'"
Some of those little steps for the Kimbros include getting to know their way around Trujillo and learning to speak the local dialect.
"Presently, we are spending our days learning Spanish," Kimbro said. "We have a language helper who meets with us for 90 minutes each day."
The Kimbros are also working on logistical procedures for opening the children's home, such as gaining permits from local authorities.
"At this time, Mike is working on getting his medical license here in Peru," Karen Kimbro said. "This is a timely process. Once that is done, he will be free to provide medical care for the children who will live in the children's home, as well as do some mobile clinics in the poor communities, specifically in and around the garbage dump where these families live.
"On Saturday afternoons, we visit the garbage dump and have a time of games, worship and Bible study with the local children. This time is the highlight of our week."
If the Kimbros' plans play out, the new children's home will take in "the poorest of the poor" from Trujillo.
"Some of the children will be true orphans," Mike Kimbro said. "Some will be from homes where there is abuse, or where the parents can no longer afford to care for their children. If the children come from families that need help, the parents are able to come visit their children once a week."
Alliance Bible Fellowship is the "sending" church for the Kimbros' mission, but the family is hoping they can get additional support to expedite the construction of the children's home.
"Our greatest need is prayer," Kimbro said. "We believe prayer is a vital part of our ministry. We also love it when people come to visit. There are opportunities to come on short-term mission trips through Inca Link. We also have an internship program for college age students.
"We are totally supported by monthly and one-time contributions. Any assistance financially will help us to be able to live here. Financial assistance is also needed for ongoing construction for the children's home, as well as sponsorship of the children who will live in the children's home."
For more information, or to contact the Kimbros, visit http://www.kimbrooutreach.org.
Folks interested in sponsoring children in the daycare program can find out more at http://www.incalink.net.