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Missionary Highlight: The Holmertz Family

Today's Missionary Highlight: The Holmertz Family

Serving in Kenya

1. Tell us about your family.

Our family is originally from the Des Moines area. PJ grew up in Johnston and Emily in West Des Moines (attending Valley Church!). We have two children, Sarah (9) and Aiden (7). We have been living in Nairobi, Kenya just over four years.

2. How would you summarize your ministry?

We are involved in many areas of ministry. Each member of the family is a critical piece of the team, and we strive together to be a part of the work God is doing in Africa. PJ’s original role with AIM was in overseeing the Short-Term Program for Kenya and Tanzania. In this role he has facilitated ministry placements for over 250 short-termers. Recently, PJ has been asked to oversee the entire Short-Term Program for AIM. In this role he coordinates the working relationships between all of our short-term offices globally and gives vision, guidance and continuity to the global short-term program to send people into unreached people group locations for up to one year. PJ has also created an exciting new short-term opportunity called “GO” that combines personal spiritual development, methodological foundations and practical application for people who are seriously interested in exploring full-time cross-cultural work. 

Emily has been primarily focused on homeschooling our kids, discipling our short-term ladies, relationship building, and reaching out to women in the community. Next year, it is our hope to have our children attend a local international school, at which point Emily will pursue her passion of working with women that come from unreached people groups and helping those in the local church to do the same.

While our kids are still growing, they are an important part of our ministry. Whether they are helping to host short-termers and guests, giving solid advice on living in Africa to new people, or building relationships with our neighbor kids, they always are looking for ways to share the hope that they have in Jesus Christ and help others to feel comfortable in their surroundings.

3. Favorite non-ministry activity:

We have been blessed with lots of opportunities to travel and see parts of the world we never thought we’d see! We love exploring and learning together! When we have a bit of down time, we really enjoy just spending time together at home, playing in the yard, relishing the Kenyan sunshine, or cuddling on the couch and watching a movie.  We also really enjoy it when we can get up to Kijabe, Kenya to spend time with our good friends serving at RVA.

4. how you have seen God work recently?

Recently we were reminded of the power of short-term ministry by a couple that hosted two of our short-term interns. This couple serves in one of the most remote locations in Kenya. Their ministry is to the unreached, nomadic people group called the Gabbra. These workers have, after four years, just begun to see fruit in their ministry, with people turning to Christ and even churches being planted. However, being so isolated has been a challenge for this family.

Just over a year ago we began to talk with them about sending short-term help to them. Their tears of joy said it all! They were so pleased for the opportunity to share their lives and ministry with these young people, who in turn could help support and strengthen the work happening among the Gabbra. They hosted our short-termers this last summer and everyone was blessed. They were even able to witness two additional Gabbra men give their lives to Christ.

The couple was so grateful for the help, community, and encouragement, and the short-termers were grateful for the exposure to work among the unreached. Both left with a renewed passion for ministry and, we believe that we will see at least one of those short-termers back on the field full-time in the near future. Until then, the couple is begging us to send more short-term workers to come and help them reach the Gabbra for Christ!

5. Praises and prayer requests

We are praising God for the opportunity to give guidance to the International Short-Term Program for AIM. We have had an amazing, fruitful (and always busy) year of ministry. 

Prayer Requests:
We need to raise approximately $1,500 a month before August to continue our ministry in Kenya. Please pray that God will provide what we need to continue our ministry.


Thanks so much to the Holmertz family for sharing this brief look into their life on the mission field. Watch for more missionary highlights!

Posted by Valley Church Communications at 10:19 AM