Category #Supporters & Endorsers

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We are so grateful for many things this year and just one is all of you that follow and encourage us. Now that Ankyrios International is a recognized 501(c)(3), we are part of Amazon Smile. I’m sure many of you will be shopping at amazon this week. Please shop through amazon smile and support Ankyrios International. Thank you!! Happy Thanksgiving!

Ministry Statistics

If you were truthful with us, many of you wonder what exactly we’re doing out here floating on the ocean and dropping the anchor in anchorages along the Pacific side of Central America and Mexico. Are those Kellys doing anything besides taking a vacation? Come on, be honest, many of you have thought that. We’ve actually had a few people even ask us about our vacation. Well, to quote Dennis, “If we were on vacation, it would look a whole lot different.” We’ve mentioned the places we’ve been and some of the people we’ve met, but we’ve offered few details over the last couple of years. That’s mostly intentional but living off the grid makes it difficult to constantly stay in touch. AND, the very nature of our ministry is caring for those serving full time in ministry – many places, people and conversations are confidential. We do not share details with anyone, so that makes it hard to let our supporters know exactly what we’ve been up to. However, we think we’ve devised a way to share what we’ve been doing, to prove ourselves and our ministry so to speak. 

Many member care services are offered for a cost, and sometimes a very high cost. Missionaries are already funded by supporters and they just don’t have enough to pay $400 for a 3 hour debriefing or $1500 (or more!) per person for a 3 day retreat. We raise our own financial support so that we can offer our member care services for FREE!

Without further ado, here are our stats!

We divided our numbers up into 5 categories:

  • Missionaries and their families that we have personally spent time with. Most are face to face although some have been through phone/video calls during the months we are off the boat.
  • Pastors and their families
  • Lay leaders and their families
  • Cruisers, ie. boat people. We are part of a tight knit group of sailors. Having 5 kids on a small catamaran makes us stand out too. We have developed some incredible friendships over the last few years. Some are Christians, many are not. 
  • Others personally impacted such as those who attend churches where Dennis has preached and locals we have developed relationships with in places we stopped

We’ve also included how many kids there are in each of these categories. Our children are vital to our ministry and can reach other kids in ways we cannot. We were once told that our kids would get in the way of member care. The number of kids we’ve come into contact with proves that is not true. We also estimate approximately 1000+ people have been indirectly impacted through Facebook groups, in anchorages, etc. Those people who would say, “Ankyrios? Yeah, I’ve heard of them. They’re the missionary family with a lot of kids, right?”

Urgent Need!

We need your help!

Ok, so this is a very hard thing to ask. In the past four years, we have poured our lives and resources into the boat and the ministry to which God has called us. We have just received
the response from the state of California regarding our appeal.

Bottom line up front: we owe California $15,945.15 for something they call “use tax.”

When we started this journey four years ago, we had more than $50,000 in the bank (and a full-time, good-paying job). We had paid off all our debt including cars and turned around our financial world thanks in large part to Financial Peace University and Dave Ramsey. Today, not including our shipyard bill of about $3000, we have a balance in the bank of -$200. We have $4667.45 of ministry expenses on a credit card (Sorry, Dave Ramsey, life happens). The yard bill will go on the card as well.

We are extremely thankful for those of you who have supported us financially. At this point, our financial partners provide $1500 a month ($1100 after this month). This is roughly 25% of our monthly ministry expenses. To this point, the balance has come from our savings and retirement pay. The rule of thumb on boat maintenance expenses is 10% of the boat’s value per year. For us that is about $20,000. That doesn’t include other expenses such as marina fees, fuel, immigration, etc. Our boat payment alone is $1300 a month. These expenses are inherent in getting to missionaries. Once we arrive, there are the expenses of actually coming alongside the missionaries – such as transportation to them from wherever the boat is moored. Having done this for two years, our savings is depleted to $2083.38. (The kids each have about $15,000 in 529 plans thanks to an inheritance from Brandy’s grandfather.) We have nothing additional going into college or retirement savings. My monthly retirement pay is $3665.50. That goes toward food, clothing, shelter and education. We are not getting rich off of this ministry, at least financially. We are living frugally and modestly, seeking to be faithful with that which God has entrusted to us.

. It is basically sales tax for the purchase of our boat. We did due diligence for about a year to find out if we were exempt as non-resident military and had no luck. At the time of purchase, we had set aside the approximate amount, but as we never received a bill or response from the state, we spent that money on maintenance and repairs to the boat.

Additionally, last month we got to the bottom of an indebtedness to the US Department of the Treasury regarding an overpayment by the Navy. When I returned from Iraq, they failed to stop my special pays for Imminent Danger, Family Separation and Hazardous Duty. I knew I was overpaid on these and had put aside the overpayment. Before I retired, we had about $3500 deducted from my paycheck the payday before my retirement ceremony. (Ouch!) Since I no longer had access to my LES (pay stubs), I was unable to verify exactly what it was, but, since it was the same amount as my overpayment, logic said that it was my repayment. What we were finally able to discover was that was the federal tax on my untaxed combat zone pay. We hadn’t considered the federal tax. So, we still had additional indebtedness to the government of about $2000.

We know that God could make this disappear with a mere thought, but it appears that he has other plans. Part of that plan is to invite you to participate in serving missionaries in Mexico and Central America.

Here is what we need:

First, prayer for us. This is frightening, discouraging and challenging
to our faith and sense of calling. I’m sure you all know the weight that a financial burden can have. We do not think this is God’s way of telling us to sell the boat to pay off the debt and quit, but it is a storm and Jesus appears to be sleeping in the stern of the boat.

Second, prayer for our finances. Obviously, we cannot pay these debts in our financial situation. I know everyone has challenges, but we know that our God will meet our needs. We also know that he uses his children as stewards of his wealth. Please pray that those on whom God lays a burden to assist would trust and obey. We are first and foremost asking for a one-time, special gift for this specific time. Of course, we are also looking for regular giving parters. If God puts it on your heart to help, you can donate online at: SUPPORT

Finally, prayer for our ministry. We are planning to visit our missionary contacts in Loreto and La Paz as well as assist a new boating missionary family in La Cruz. Around the first of the year we will partner with missionaries in Guatemala, missionaries in Honduras in the spring and missionaries in Panama in the summer. There are many miles of open water between here and there, so we need your prayers.

Ankyrios Amazon Wish list

This is being updated constantly. Let us know if you want to send us something and we can give you an address.

Ministry Needs

Even though ANKYRIOS is in really good condition, there are still lots of things that need to be done before we head around the world. If you are interested in some tangible ways you can help us, here are some suggestions. I will be adding links and prices later.

– Unity
– Peace about our decision to leave Navy and begin missionary work
– Provision / support
– Safety
– Selling vehicles
– Purging excess
– Maintenance
– Sending agency

Repairs / Upgrades
Before October 2016
Sails $3000
– Battery bank $1500-$3000
Trampoline $200 (Completed 05/16 – $1800)
– Watermaker repair – in progress ($850 paid for hoses and new membranes)
Tank sensors – $250
Port head – $500 (Completed – $350)
Taxes (Praise the Lord, no taxes due. We were looking at a $19k bill)
Wind generator repair (Completed 07/16, Brandy’s dad, an electrical engineer, helped troubleshoot)
– Name / Logo – in progress (Name – $164 paid; Greg Key working on logo)
– Lifeboat maintenance / replacement – $2000 (Recertification not possible, must be replaced – $3500)
– Hard top $6000 (In progress, $6000 paid)

After October 2016 (we are considering going to a yard in Ensenada, Mexico for some of the work)
– Running rigging – $700 (In progress – $1200 paid!!!)
Standing rigging inspection – $300 (Completed 09/16 – Full replacement – $10000 by the time we reach Australia)
– Tune mast
– Rewire (what a mess!!!)
– Cabinets (galley)
– Bottom paint $2000
Wax $1000 (Completed 09/16, paid $1100)
– Remodel STBD Aft stateroom (3 bunks)

Required Purchases
EPIRB $600 (Purchased 07/16, + 2 Personal Locator Beacons – $1080)
Mast climber $275 (Purchased 03/16, $249)
Stanchion racks $400 (Purchased one set, $190. Need another.)
Foul weather gear (Purchased 03/16, $542)

“Nice-to-have” Purchases
– Kayaks
– SUP’s
– Surfboards
Brownie electric hookah system VS335X – 3 Diver “X” Package $4,700
Sewing machine $950 (Purchased 03/16, paid $1250)
– GoPro

Training / certifications
– Red Cross – WSI
– Lifeguard cert – Hope, Caleb
– Skipper’s license
– Guitar lessons
– Surfing lessons for kids
– Women’s ministry

– Boat payment – $1300/mo
– Marina fees
– Transportation fees (annual / emergency flights)
– Fuel
– Satphone subscription – $150/mo
– DMin – $375/mo
Lodging @Knox Seminary
– Homeschool curriculum
– Homeschool testing
– Savings – Retirement, college, land
– Storage – $400/mo