History and Development

1986  Kelly arrived in the Republic of Transkei to pray and see what God was doing among the Xhosa people. He originally visited Africa with his business partner and three of his clients. As a result of this trip, Kelly returned to Montana and received confirmation from Kathy that they were to move permanently to a remote area in the southern Transkei.

1987  Kelly and Kathy spent over a year preparing to move permanently to Africa. They traveled throughout the western United States, sharing their vision and developing relationships.

1988 The Kosky family (Kelly, Kathy, and five children all under nine years old) arrived in the Republic of Transkei. Initially, they lived in a community called Idutywa, where only Xhosa is spoken. They focused primarily on language acquisition, relationship building, and cultural understanding.

1989 The Koskys moved more deeply into the Transkei, establishing the first mission station in Gatyana, a remote village without electricity, telephone, or adequate water supply. In addition to establishing a mission base, they began to do outreaches to the remote Xhosa villages.

1990  Kathy gave birth to their youngest daughter, Maria. The mission continued to plant churches throughout the Transkei, and Kelly worked part of the year in the Mozambique refugee camps.

1991 The first formal ministry, called Transkei Victory Christian Ministries (TVCM), was established. The basic vision for TVCM is to evangelize the unreached Xhosa and plant churches in remote villages.

1992 Kelly partnered with Campus Crusade to establish the Jesus Film Project in Xhosa. In addition, Kelly established African New Life Ministries (ANLM) to reach the more westernized Xhosa, who live in “townships” (shacktowns).

1993 The Transkei was swallowed up by South Africa and no longer officially called a “republic.” A former Xhosa chief, Nelson Mandela, was released from prison, and apartheid was officially abolished.

1994 Nelson Mandela was elected the first black president of South Africa. The Koskys established a second major mission base near the second-largest black township in South Africa.

1996 The Koskys were notified that the mission station in Gatyana was being taken over by the landowner, and notice was given to vacate the property used by the mission. The government heard of the possibility that the Koskys might close down the mission work and leave. In response, the government offered the Koskys 20 acres of land in order to establish a new mission station in Gatyana. After Kelly’s prayerful hesitation, the government offered to bring water, telephone, and electricity to Gatyana. The Koskys decided to continue the work that the Lord had called them to in the Transkei, and they built a new mission station.

1997 Kelly was in a major vehicle accident, and his shoulder was broken in six places. While Kelly was healing, his apostolic teams continued to evangelize and plant Xhosa churches throughout the Transkei.

1998 Revival broke out among the Xhosa Christians, and the ministries tripled in size. Two missionary couples arrived, but the difficulties of working on the frontlines of the mission field were too great for them, and they soon returned to the United States.

1999 Zach and Jessica, the two oldest Kosky children, obtained full scholarships to attend universities in Colorado.

2000 The Lord used the Koskys to establish the only Xhosa Bible college in Africa (Gatyana Bible College), which is taught in Xhosa. Xhosa-speaking teachers came from many countries to help establish it. With more applicants than the college could accommodate, the leadership and staff selected students—Xhosa men and women, who would become the future Christian leaders of Africa. Despite limited resources, the college continued to maintain high-quality theological instruction.

2001 Rachel, the Kelly and Kathy’s third daughter, was blessed with a full scholarship to study engineering at the University of Denver. Jessica moved to Russia for a semester. The ministry established its first major school in the Transkei.

2002 Gatyana Bible College expanded from a two-year to a three-year program. Kelly ministered nationally and internationally.

2003 Revival once again broke out among the churches and, as a result, many new churches were started. A water well was drilled at the main mission station, providing a source of clean water for the mission and the community.

2004 HIV/AIDS was declared a pandemic in southern Africa. There were more deaths than births as a result of the disease. After much prayer, Southern Cross Ministries (SCM) was founded to be proactive in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

2005 Southern Cross Ministries built an HIV/AIDS hospital in the middle of the largest Xhosa township in South Africa (population of approximately one million). Government officials gave Kelly and Southern Cross Ministries an award for making a huge impact in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

2006 After much prayer, some of the key Xhosa leaders had a vision to reach the children who had become orphaned and vulnerable as a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. All the churches agreed that church families would take in children who were without parents.

2007 Construction was started on a center for children in Msobomvu.

2008 Grace Children’s Center was finally constructed and opened. The entire community of Msobomvu rejoiced at the opening of the facility.

2009 A kitchen facility in Msobomvu was constructed and equipped to feed Grace Children’s Center as well as those in the community who were without food.

2010 Kelly lost his leg in a tragic accident near the black township of Khayamondi. After three surgeries on his leg, Kelly returned to the rural villages to continue to reach the unreached tribal villages.

2011 Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Kelly started meeting on a regular basis. The US State Department gave Kelly and Kathy an achievement award for 25 years of service helping the disadvantaged people of Africa.

2012 Kelly and Kathy had two new grandchildren in the United States, and they were sponsored to travel the 10,000 miles to Colorado to visit them. While in the US, Kelly broke his leg. It was misdiagnosed, and he was encouraged to have major surgery. Kelly elected to forgo the suggested surgery and chose to trust the Lord. Within five months, Kelly’s leg was healed, and Kelly and Kathy returned to Africa.

2013 Kelly turned over all senior leadership to Dr. Sebe and the board. The board asked Kelly to remain serving at the mission under the local national leadership. Kelly became officially “a man under authority.”

2014 With an HIV rate of 48%, the number of children without parents was increasing rapidly. In a struggling culture, such as the Transkei, the little ones are often left to forage for themselves. In response to this overwhelming need, the mission established and implemented programs, such as Grace Children’s Shelter, to minister to these vulnerable children. Other ministries joined the mission’s pilot programs in the quest to reach the abandoned Xhosa children.

2015 Due to its full-time operations, with full-time staff and students, Gatyana Bible College’s ablution building (toilets, showers, washing facilities) started falling down. Instead of openly sharing this need, Kelly and Kathy prayed for the $30,000 needed to rebuild this major building. The Lord answered their prayers, and construction was completed on the new personal hygiene facility.

2016 This was a year of great spiritual attacks. Over the previous 30 years, the Koskys and mission staff members had had many spiritual attacks, but they had never experienced the intensity of the spiritual battles they fought during this year. The Lord was victorious, but at a great cost, as the mission lost a great leader who had been serving the ministry for 30 years. His absence left a huge hole, but the Lord was faithful to fill this void.

2017 Kelly was asked by government and the tribal authorities to be a founding board member of a major social development project. This new foundation was focused on reaching the destitute and the millions of homeless Xhosa children. Kelly was now serving to bring both the Gospel and substance for life (food, clothing, and shelter) to those in abject poverty.

2018 After waiting on the Lord for many years, the five major missions merged into one central ministry called African Christian Ministries (ACM). The board registered all the churches, clinics, schools, Bible college, medical projects, and children’s ministries under one central ministry.

2019 Kelly was requested to assist both the South African government and the US government on international projects.

2020 Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the HIV/AIDS medical project was temporarily converted to a facility to care for those affected with the coronavirus. Out of respect for the government’s efforts to combat COVID-19, and based on scripture, the mission realigned its church planting efforts by “sending them two by two… to every village and place” (Luke 10:1). As a result of this new approach to church planting, the mission began to see a rapid increase in newly planted churches.