From Loneliness to Love

Kerns Family

In 2013, Travis Kerns’s love for Utah and yearning to help the lost hit its peak. Travis says, “While in a college class, we studied Mormonism and I began to fall in love with the Mormon people and have a heart for them to hear about the saving grace of the Jesus of The Bible.” Time passed, and Travis and his wife, Staci, felt convicted of some of their idols in life—family and comfort. Travis shares, “We had no idea where or even what type of work we would be doing; we just knew it was time to go.”

In the months following, through seeking God’s direction for their move, Travis received a call from The North American Mission board inquiring his interest in moving to Utah to become a SEND City Missionary. Travis, Staci, and their son, Jeremiah, knew that God had a plan and wholeheartedly committed to what lie ahead.

Travis shares, “I enjoy meeting new people and sharing about what God is doing in Utah. I love hearing from the church planters about the amazing things going on in the church plants.” The Kerns family is aware of spiritual warfare and pray daily for God to equip them with the armor necessary to stand up against Satan. They focus on the loneliness of Utah, and the deep hunger for grace. Unbelievers are reaching for salvation through a works-based system, which leads to struggle and the feeling of defeat. Hope and love are at their fingertips; salvation is a free gift of God.

Reaching the people, living in a works-based system, involves deep, meaningful relationships. The Kerns family intentionally seeks out opportunities to develop such relationships through family outings, spouse dinners, church planter gatherings, and women and men’s events. “Show kindness. Be open and honest, bold and truthful. Learn to see people as Jesus saw them—people who need a Savior—no matter what their circumstances or situations,” shares Travis.

The Kernses’ main focus is to help churches outside of Utah find ways to help new church plants in Utah. When missions trips come to Utah, they make sure the new churches have what is needed for Vacation Bible School, Kids’ Camp, neighborhood cookouts, parties in parks, etc. Jeremiah loves playing a part in his family’s ministry; he finds it “fun and interesting” to meet a lot of new people and travel as a family.

As missions leaders, there is always room to learn. Travis shares, “It is important to make sure you have the correct definitions of God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, and Scripture as outlined in The Bible. We have to make sure people know our faith is in the God of The Bible and nothing else.” The Kernses strive to show the people of Utah that faith in God does not depend on man.

The Bible tells us the people will know we are Jesus’ disciples if we love one another well (John 13:35). We must be in a mind-set where the gospel is intertwined in our every thought. Be kind and love well.

Please join us in praying for the people of Utah and the Kerns family, the new church planters, existing church plants, relationships as a whole, and for more laborers in the field. Let us all be reminded of Travis’s favorite verse, Isaiah 6:8, “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Where is He calling you?

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By Tessa Harvill

Tessa is an intern at national WMU. She is a senior at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, majoring in Communication Studies, with a focus in Public Relations. She enjoys quality time spent with family and friends, loves any and all things Disney, and is excited to be graduating in December! In her spare time, Tessa finds joy in helping others, photography, watching movies, and listening to music.

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