Smooth and Kelly’s hearts were first tied to Uganda when they were 19. While there on a summer mission trip, Smooth proposed to Kelly on the Nile river. They have been returning and doing mission work in Uganda ever since. Partnering with Arise Africa International, one of the things they were involved in was the building of a babies home in Bukaleba. While on a mission trip in October of 2010, they sensed God calling them to adopt a child from the Bukaleba babies home. Two years later, God began stirring in their hearts, and they believed that God may be calling them to a deeper level on involvement with Arise Africa. Their home church, Journey Church, was partnering more and more with Arise Africa, and the growing need for someone “on the ground” in Uganda became increasingly apparent. Smooth and Kelly begin to pray about what it might be like to move to Uganda “in a few years.” Meanwhile, they were running into multiple problems and setbacks in the adoption process. They were awarded guardianship of a little girl named Chloe, but due to complications, they were unable to immigrate her to the US. Refusing to abandon their little girl, they knew God was calling them to uproot their family and move to Uganda. They quickly realized that God was not working on their “timetable.” They also firmly believe that God is using their lives to tell a story, to paint a picture of the gospel. Jesus sacrificed everything to bring us in his family, and when we could not reach God, he came to us. If Jesus did this for us, how could we do any less?
Now they live and work in Uganda, planting churches, training pastors and church leadership, working in the babies home, and calling people to come follow Jesus. Honestly, they consider themselves less missionaries more just a family that is following Jesus wherever he leads. Their adventure in following Jesus has led them to Uganda.