When lost in the desert or a thick forest terrains devoid of landmarks people tend to walk in circles. Blindfolded people show the same tendency; lacking external reference points, they curve around in loops as tight as 66 feet (20 meters) in diameter, all the while believing they are walking in straight lines.
Scientists have put forward many explanations for the circular rambles of lost walkers. Some say that most people have one leg that’s longer or stronger than the other and over time, these differences add up to a curving course. Others say that asymmetries in our very brains set up a tendency to turn in one direction. Without a guiding light or landmark, these small biases would make their presence felt.
There is a lot to take away from this information. First, something that seems insignificant, one leg being shorter than the other, makes a huge difference when we need to walk straight. Second, a guiding light, a landmark is important when we need to get where we’re going.
Some perspective from The Message helps us to walk right so we can lead right.
“So be very careful to act exactly as God commands you. Don’t veer off to the right or the left. Walk straight down the road God commands so that you’ll have a good life and live a long time in the land that you’re about to possess.” Deuteronomy 5:32-33
“in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:6
[ from a David Psalm 101 ] “I can’t stand arrogance. But I have my eye on salt-of-the-earth people— they’re the ones I want working with me; Men and women on the straight and narrow— these are the ones I want at my side.“
“Train me, God, to walk straight; then I’ll follow your true path. Put me together, one heart and mind; then, undivided, I’ll worship in joyful fear. From the bottom of my heart I thank you, dear Lord; I’ve never kept secret what you’re up to. You’ve always been great toward me—what love!” Psalm 86:11-17
The Bible, God’s word, provides the instruction, the perspective we need to do right. To walk straight. To walk in the light, not darkness. If we walk in the light our light will shine. Take a look at this, it’s less than a minute.
Let your light shine!
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Who ever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
David Marshall Kealy
This is third in a three part series by Harold Goerzen
Radio School of Mission
In 2004 the Kealys helped form the regional office in Singapore, making that city their home base. A year later David was instrumental in launching the first Radio School of Mission, inviting partners from across the vast region for a week of training.
That led to the Global Voice Leadership Institute, a radio training course that continues to be held in the Asia Pacific Region nearly every year, gathering promising young radio producers from across Indonesia and beyond.
In 2007 David and Sharon relocated to their present home in California, helping various regions and country offices with a variety of administrative tasks. That fall found David in Ghana presenting a Leadership Development Institute (LDI) for the Bob Neff National Leadership Fund that he directed—yet another first.
“Ghana captured our hearts, and we gladly accepted an official invitation to join the Sub-Saharan Africa team,” David continued. His primary focus was to work with Lee Sonius, the regional director and Rev. Theo Asare, founding director of Theovision. The assignment included project planning, designing and developing property for the partner while Sharon helped in accounting and/bookkeeping, becoming the region’s financial officer.
In 2010 David designed and named the Tree of Life Health Post, Theovison’s medical clinic on the same compound as their radio production studios. Two years later he oversaw construction of the clinic, coordinating a work team from Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs.
In the next three years, David and Sharon continued to support the Sub-Saharan Africa Region in a myriad of ways. David designed four radio stations for Theovision in Ghana and the Media Center for the African Bible College in Yekepa, Liberia. The center includes a radio station and TV and radio production studios. Another design project was a complete radio station building for a partner in South Sudan. He stated, “this building is perhaps the best radio station I ever designed.”
In 2013 the Kealys officially “retired” from Reach Beyond, but this didn’t mean they were any less busy.
“We live in a senior community of over 5,000 people,” Sharon explained. “We’re involved in LifePoint church downtown. I’m chairman of the mission program that has blossomed into an active mission team that supports local and international missions. She and the team plan and host a Missions Conference every two years, a first for the 136 year old church.”
In 2010 at a meeting in Ghana, West Africa with then president Wayne Peterson they discussed forming a ministry called Reaching People Far from God (www.rpffg.org). They volunteer using the website portal as a funding vehicle to raise and provide money for partner ministries they met during their service with Reach Beyond.
RPFFG has supported the drilling of water wells and water systems in Ghana, Liberia, Nepal and Indonesia, the establishment of media outreaches in closed countries, relief work in Nepal and Indonesia following devastating earthquakes, a Christian radio station in Liberia, and orphanages in Haiti—to name a few,
The first INTERN program provided support for a fourth year college student from LifePoint Church in Banning, CA to attend the University of Ghana. During his year he volunteered at Theovision’s Tree of Life Health Post and worked with youth at the Christian Life Mission Church.
“All these efforts help our global partner ministries share God’s love in culturally relevant ways that we could never do in a lifetime do,” David concluded. “We feel God led us to meet them; each and every one and are blessed to have met them over the past 30 years and continue to have a small part in their ministries. They are reaching out to people living in spiritual darkness. They need God’s mercy and through various outreach ministries, lives are being changed for all eternity. This is God’s heartbeat.”
Second in a series by Harold Goerzen
In a Winter article of the Alumni CONNECTION of Reach Beyond where the Kealys served for 25 years the Kealys were highlighted by veteran writer Harold Goerzen.
We share the second of this three part series not for glory because that all goes to God. We are humbled by the recognition; yet we continue to go where God leads.
You know this if you follow our ministry.
“We likened the development of Christian radio programming and listener follow-up to church planting,” David explained. “One similarity is targeting a needy area and conducting audience research to help meet real and felt needs of the listening audience. One difference is the absence of a single denomination inspiring the effort. Christian radio had been done historically as a single mission or ministry endeavor. We began changing that perception—we believe in partnership.”
The Kealys soon discovered that partnership was a foreign concept to believers in the Soviet Union who had been oppressed under communism for 73 years. “They said, ‘Tell us how to do it (be the czar and tell us exactly what to do and you have total ownership because that is what we understand and know) or give us the money and get out of our way,’” David related.
Overcoming numerous challenges, David came alongside local believers, training them to produce radio programs and later helping them obtain government permits for FM radio stations in countries that had never allowed private radio stations or Christian broadcasts.
One of his many memorable experiences was a providential meeting with South African Pastor John Thomas when they crossed paths in an elevator in Florida. David and Pastor Thomas were both attending a Missions Conference at a local church during the time when David was helping the mission prepare for the move to Colorado Springs, Colo.
Thomas was facing a tight deadline after unexpectedly receiving a license to put South Africa’s first Christian radio station on the air, but he knew nothing about radio.
David responded, “We can help you - it's what we do!” With technical help from SonSet Solutions and training in radio program production, the station was on the air within 30 days. CCFM became one of the city’s most-listened-to stations, and the ministry has started a network of radio stations across countries in Africa called Radio Africa Network (RAN). Thomas has also served on Reach Beyond’s board of trustees for many years.
In May 1994 the Reach Beyond board of trustees approved Euro-Asia as a region for extended ministry across the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). David was named director, initiating the mission’s regionalization efforts.
In the next four years, David and Sharon had the opportunity to develop dozens of ministry partnerships in the region.
In 1999 David developed a tool to bring interested people from the same country or area together to encourage cooperation in the development of local radio stations. “We had the opportunity to conduct the first radio forums as we visited Hungary, Bulgaria, Croatia, Albania and Macedonia along with Bob and Miriam Neff,” David noted.
City by City
Later that year David shared his vision of reaching the world’s major cities with Christian radio. The City by City initiative was launched and he was asked to develop the project.
“Through this initiative we planned to proactively go to the cities where we felt God wanted us to go. This meant we needed to seek His face, His will and His direction, going to the cities where He wanted us,” David declared. At part of the City by City project, David visited government officials in New Delhi, India, in 2001. “They were very open to discussion and assistance as they considered privatization of radio in India,” David said.
Check in next month for the final part three of this series.
In a recent article of the Alumni CONNECTION of Reach Beyond where the Kealys served for 25 years the Kealys were highlighted by veteran writer Harold Goerzen.
We share the opening here not for glory because that all goes to God. We are humbled by the recognition; yet we continue to go where God leads.
You know this if you follow our ministry.
David and Sharon were both 44 years old when they sensed the Lord prompting them to serve 2with Reach Beyond and both leave successful careers in finance, mass media, architectural design, health care administration and church leadership.
They were listening to former president Ron Cline speak at their church in the U.S. when “we raised our hands and said we would go,” David explained. “When we came to candidate orientation, I said we would do whatever was needed. We were called by God to serve, and there’s no reason why we would stop serving. The call is so important. I would always ask new candidates about their call to ministry. It needs to be as strong as what I experienced. My passion is no less now than the day we were first called.”
After being accepted as appointees in 1987 and raising their support, the Kealys were initially assigned to the international headquarters in Miami, Fla., then Quito before returning to Miami in August 1988 to serve as director of stewardship. David became the first full-time missionary to work in donor development.
It was around this time that Cline launched the “World by 2000” challenge, a cooperative effort with other broadcast ministries to add gospel radio programs in all the world’s major languages by the year 2000. The Kealys were on board with the initiative, raising funds and helping where needed to put unreached languages on the air.
In 1990 David took two trips to the Soviet Union, documenting the changed lives of listeners who came to Christ via broadcasts from Radio Station HCJB. He also met with speakers of Georgian, Chuvash, Bashkir, Tatar, Uzbek and Turkmen—all World by 2000 languages. He later helped set up a recording studio for mission’s new partner in the Republic of Georgia—one of many firsts involving the Kealys—providing training in radio program production.
After the breakup of the U.S.S.R. in 1991, Sharon joined David on a return trip to see the region where she too got a firsthand look at the needs and opportunities to spread the gospel via radio.
After the mission moved its international headquarters to Colorado Springs, Colo., in 1992, David and Sharon spent six weeks in Ukraine during which David helped develop a one-year radio production course.at Donetsk Bible College. He also taught 15 first-year students and spoke at the graduation of the first graduating class in 1993. This was the beginning of an ongoing Christian radio training outreach with courses that continue to take place across Europe and Eurasia.
Looking back at this photo we reflect on the wonderful radio ministry many of these students had in the following years across Russia. David
That same year, David broadened his perspective to include India, encouraging the production of radio programs in Bhojpuri—another World by 2000 language.
In 1993 the Kealys prepared to move to the region to be closer to the mission’s new radio partners. “Landing in Moscow and hearing HCJB broadcast from a local partner station was the first of many ways we saw the Lord’s hand at work,” David said.
My precious wife Sharon mentioned late last year she became aware for the first time that all around us we seemed to go from Halloween to Christmas without regard to Thanksgiving. What a modern day tragedy.
Let’s not pack away for another year the stuff about our “Christ centered” celebration. Let’s ponder the true meaning of Christmas, let it linger in our hearts.
So, with time fleeting by I must share a personal note with you that was hand written on a Christmas card we received this past Christmas. The note is attributed to Max Lucado and it might help us hold on to the beauty of Christmas a bit longer.
The paraphrase on our favorite
card this year reads as follows
The personal note from our dear friend continues;
“rejoice in the birth of our Lord and Savior. May the blessings of Christ
be upon you both. We thank God for both of you! You bless us so much.”
By this note we are impacted by the grace and power of that lowly birth so many centuries ago. And the touching conclusion of that note in the card is an encouragement to us to concentrate on being the people God wants us to be. Encourage someone today.
Make it a point to encourage someone every day this year. Make it a habit. My father told me years ago that doing something 30 times is enough to create a habit. Try it, see for yourself if it works; the year will be a whole new blessing to you and of course to others as well.
Let me remind you of a thought I shared with you in November, just a few months ago;
"I am thankful for what I have, and for what I do not have;
I am thankful for who I am, and for who I am not.”
Strive to be the person God wants you to be!
Verses to help you
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. Romans 12:1-2
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31
David M. Kealy
1 Timothy 1:12 is a life verse that led to our creating Reaching People far from God