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The Dynamic Duo - Kelsey Storm & Breann Schwasinger
by Mary Katherine Tiller
Posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2018
Within the past year, Orphan Outreach has welcomed two new team members to their home offices in Plano, Texas. Kelsey Storm and Breann Schwasinger joined Orphan Outreach in late 2017 and early 2018, respectively, and according to Ronne Rock, “they have quickly become known for their hearts for service and always-gracious attitudes.”

This dynamic duo are the mission coordinators for all short-term mission trips taken by Orphan Outreach teams. Breann focuses on coordinating trips to Guatemala, while Kelsey coordinates trips to the six other countries Orphan Outreach serves. They each oversee around eighteen to twenty trips throughout the year, keeping them very busy, indeed.

We do lots of different things!” Kelsey explains, laughing, “We plan the missions trips from start to finish. From the very beginning, we have conversations with the church groups and different trip leaders about what they want the trip to look like, and what their hopes and dreams are for the trip.”

They cover everything from the big picture down to the nitty-gritty details of deadlines and trip payments. They also provide support to the trip leaders, through training and logistical reminders leading up the to trip.

“We work with our in-country staff, to coordinate transportation, hotels, projects, and food. Once the team is on the ground, we’re their emergency contract and when they return, we do a debriefing.”

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Kelsey is a Plano native and grew up serving on mission trips with her family throughout her high school and college years. She attended the University of Texas, where she studied Psychology and worked for a faith-based, nonprofit called Side by Side Kids. After graduating, she continued to work for the after-school program, eventually leading as their Program Director. She and her husband desired to move back to the Plano area, however, and that is when she found out about the open position with Orphan Outreach.

“I was very excited when I learned about the position,” Kelsey said, “I grew up going on mission trips and have worked with kids a lot, so it just felt like a really good fit.”

Breann and her husband are also recent transplants to the Plano area.  

“We moved to Dallas because my husband had a job here and I found out about Orphan Outreach through a ladies bible study I joined,” said Breann, noting the providential hand of God which led her to the position.

Originally from a small town in Iowa, Breann studied at the Kansas State University, where she emerged in the Spring of 2017 with a degree in Social Work with a minor in Music. Breann recalls being taken aback during her first weeks in her new role, as she learned about the breadth and depth of ministry being done through Orphan Outreach.

“As I learned about what we were doing and everywhere we were doing it, as well as, how well it was being done... it made me very excited to be working here,” Breann said.

Kelsey agreed with Breann adding, “When you’re looking for a new job, you typically look at their website and social media and I could just tell from their online presence what a solid organization it was. And then getting to have conversations with the staff throughout the interview process, it was obvious that everyone really does love Jesus and serves whole-heartedly. It has been a really cool culture and a great family to be a part of.”

The job has not been without its challenges, however. Recent events, such as the devastating eruption of Volcàn de Fuego, have created challenges for Breann; requiring that she coordinate quickly to bring home one team and ground another.

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“It has been challenging, but good.” says Breann, “With so many teams going to Guatemala, many of which have been happening for the ten or eleven years that Orphan Outreach has been around, it was a steep learning curve for me to jump into. But I’ve really enjoyed having the focus on Guatemala and being able to learn from these long-time team leaders about their hearts for the people and country and why they keep going back.”

Breann has developed close relationships with the in-country staff, with whom she speaks with every day. She has enjoyed getting to know them and what’s happening in their lives, as well as how to pray for them. Her favorite part is hearing stories of how God is moving through the teams that are coming to serve.

Coordinating with six different countries, Kelsey has a different set of challenges facing her. “I have to know a lot of different people and cultures and adjust to time zone differences.” said Kelsey, “That’s also been one of the coolest parts of my job: I now have friends in different countries like India and Latvia! It has been really cool to talk to people around the world who love Jesus; to see how everyone is so similar in their heart towards orphans and wanting to serve, excited to be the hands and feet of Jesus in Dallas, in Portland, in Jacksonville, Florida, and Ukraine.”

Another fun perk of their job is the opportunity to travel with teams a few times a year. Kelsey traveled to Honduras in April of this year, and Breann recently returned from a week of ministry in Guatemala. 

“We’re the first people to fill in a gap if there’s not a designated leader for a team.” Kelsey explained, “I’d imagine we’ll go on one or two trips a year.”

When asked what they would say to someone considering a short-term mission trip for the first time, they both responded with an enthusiastic, “Don’t be scared!”

“Orphan Outreach does most of the hard stuff for you, you just need to pray and ready yourself spiritually and emotionally. The organization handles all of the logistics. It's a really great intro to the world of short-term missions.” said Kelsey.

“One of the coolest things about short-term mission trips at Orphan Outreach is that they're part of a bigger picture,” added Breann. “Our mission teams come alongside the work that national leaders are already doing and empower, support, and encourage those leaders, rather than trying to do all the work themselves. Through short-term trips, our teams communicate ‘We've raised funds and traveled a long way to learn from you, build relationships with you, and help you in whatever way we can,’ which speaks volumes to those we partner with and those we serve.”

While only a few months into their new positions, Kelsey and Breann’s passion for the mission of Orphan Outreach is evident, as is their willingness to dive right in and get the job done. Ready to join Orphan Outreach’s short-term mission trip?  Check out the current calendar online, or contact our Plano office - the Dynamic Duo will be waiting for you! 


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