About a month ago we welcomed the Kleyns, a family of 6, to our YWAM Mazatlan family. Michael is currently serving in the kitchen, working with the Remnant Skate ministry, and leading the evangelism team for this year's Carnaval. Heather is busy home-schooling their 4 children. I sat down with Heather and Michael for an interview, and asked them about their journey to Mazatlan.
Lily: Can you introduce yourself and tell me where you guys are from?
The Kleyns: We are Michael and Heather Kleyn, and we’re from Port Alberni, which is a city on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
L: Where did you do your DTS?
K: (Heather) We both did our DTS in Honolulu, Hawaii. I did mine in ’93 and then went to India for my outreach. I also did an LTS (Leadership Training School) in Colorado, in ’95, then led a team to Egypt.
(Michael) I did my DTS in 97/98, also in Honolulu... and then went to Fiji and Tonga for my outreach. After which I went to bible school in Abbotsford, BC.
L: So why did you come to YWAM Mazatlan?
K: Well, we were really stirred up to get back to missions. We had been talking about it for years, and we really wanted to be in a Christian community again, and a place that values family. Port Alberni has a very heavy spiritual atmosphere and we found it a difficult place to grow and minister... but it’s where the Lord called us and where we were planted for this last season of our walk. We learned a lot there and had some amazing opportunities for ministry.
L: It seems to me that Canada is more secular than the U.S. Is that true, and is that how it was in your city?
K: In our town, it’s more than just secular. I found my work environment to actually be hostile toward Christianity, and the church for the most part was stagnating there. Raising children as Christians in Port was difficult as the youth movement or Christian youth presence there was so small. It’s a tough place to be if you’re a Christian child or youth. So we really wanted to get back to YWAM...to a place where the kids could grow in Christian community with positive Godly friends and family. We felt Mexico would be a good place, because of the value placed on family, and because we really wanted to get out of western culture and give the children an opportunity to see how other cultures live and live without. So, I just googled “YWAM in Mexico” and Mazatlan came up.
L: I heard that your kids participate in prayer and intercession. Can you tell me about that? Also, how old are your kids?
K: The oldest Kye is 10, Elijah is 9, Gideon is 7 and the youngest, Selah is 6. We really want our kids to be a part of what we’re doing, we want them to be on board with it all. So, for our move to Mazatlan, we gave each of them something to pray for. We needed a vehicle, that would get all of us here. So we had one of them pray for a vehicle. We needed tenants for our home and that was assigned to one of them as their specific pray assignment. Each of them had their thing to pray for, and they did. As the Lord answered each need the kids were able to see first hand how prayer functions and the heart of God and how he answers the most basic of needs. We got tenants, then we got our truck and were able to make the drive from Canada.
L: That’s awesome that you’ve involved your kids in the whole thing, and that they’re learning about things like intercession.
K: Yeah, and we’re just really happy to be here in this community, where people are so passionate for Jesus. We’ve seen a difference in our kids, just in the few weeks we’ve been here. So it’s a real blessing to be in a place where they can learn about God, and be around Christians. It’s so different than where we lived before, and it feels like heaven to be here.
L: What is your vision?
K: (Heather) We are desperate for more of God. So we just want God to use our giftings, and we want to step into Him again, and into our calling. We want to partner with God in ministry, and be used for His glory.
L: What advice would you give to other families out there who are considering getting into full-time missions?
K: (Michael) I would say it’s an incredible opportunity to raise your kids, in a setting like this, where you’re around people who are passionate for God. And I would say to incorporate your whole family, and be a ministry team as a unit. I think that it’s the greatest inheritance that I can give my kids.