Well, here goes nothing....

So, over the course of the summer I quit my job, and moved down to Kansas City, Kansas.  Two things that are not predictable for me, and really don't make much sense in the order that I did them in.  I feel that God is leading me to live my life in a new direction.  The letter below kind of explains why and where I am headed in the next few months. 

Dear Friends,

These words ring familiar for many of us, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:35). Over the past few months, God has been giving these words new meaning in my life. For many years I have felt that these were God’s commands to me, that it was my job to live these truths out, but since January I have seen them lived out in the lives of other people, people who haven’t even heard The Gospel. Those people are the Bhutanese refugee community living in Kansas City, Kansas.

The plight of the Bhutanese refugees began back in the 1980s when the new ruler of Bhutan discovered that the number of Nepalese living in Bhutan were becoming the majority. To cleanse Bhutan, those who were not originally from Bhutan were exiled to the border of Nepal. The government of Nepal did not want to accept them as citizens, and so they languished in refugee camps on the border between Nepal and Bhutan until the United Nations intervened and started moving the refugees in 2008, many landing right here in Kansas City, Kansas.

The life of a refugee is not an easy one. Refugee camps are dismal places where shelter is of a makeshift nature, and many do not have running water or electricity. Families must apply for resettlement through the United Nations. If resettlement is granted, refugees spend a couple of weeks learning some western customs before boarding a plane to their country of resettlement. Once they arrive in the United States, the refugees are given six to eight months of services to help them acclimate to our society before they are required to obtain employment and become responsible for their own living expenses. They are also required to start paying back the cost to travel the U.S. This transition is completely overwhelming for someone with limited knowledge of English and western customs.

For me, the call to ministry is not new. I knew God wanted me to share His love with others from the time I began to follow him. In high school, I had the opportunity to serve as a youth ministry intern. While at Lipscomb University in Nashville, I was blessed with the chance to learn to do ministry in the classroom, in foreign countries, and at the Northlake Church of Christ in Georgia. During my 3rd summer working at Northlake, I was introduced to the refugee community that was just a few miles from the church. It was hard to believe that there were so many people, from so many places, living just blocks from the building. The refugees there were such joyful people, yet many had lived in conditions that I couldn’t even wrap my mind around. They were in exile, not allowed to return to their homes for many reasons, including wars and ethnic cleansing.

When I returned to Kansas City this past fall, I wanted to continue to work with refugees. In January, I had the chance to begin working with the Bhutanese Outreach Project at Mission ¡Adelante!. During this time, I was welcomed into the homes of many of the Bhutanese families in the community, yet I was a complete stranger to them. I have had the chance to serve on Tuesday nights in the Kids Club program as a group leader and organizer, using all of my past experience and training to teach these kids about God and his Kingdom. Therefore, I am overjoyed to announce that I have been offered and have accepted the position of Director of the Bhutanese Kids Club Outreach at Mission ¡Adelante!.

In accepting this position at Mission ¡Adelante!, I will become responsible for our Tuesday night Kids Club Bible Study program where we are introducing the children from the community to the Gospel from the creation of the Earth through our redemption in Christ. I will also work to develop an afterschool tutoring program to help enhance what our kids are learning in school and encourage them to pursue education after high school. Additionally, I will provide support for the school, assisting the school with communication with the parents, and acting as an advocate for the students.

In August I took a major step in what I feel God is calling me to do, and moved to urban Kansas City, Kansas, to live in the community with my Bhutanese friends. This gives me the chance to serve in a cross-cultural ministry context. In Luke 10:2, Jesus says “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” I feel this to be especially true for the Bhutanese refugees living in KCK. They are ready to hear the Gospel, and are beginning to see the freedom of life in Christ as they begin their new life in America. I am excited to get to become part of their everyday lives, and help them to succeed.

As Director of the Bhutanese Kids Club Outreach I will be responsible for raising funds to cover my salary, pension, payroll expenses, healthcare, and a portion of the ministry budget. Mission ¡Adelante! has set my monthly support amount at $3,600. This is the amount I need to raise in order to begin serving as full-time Director of the Bhutanese Kids Club Outreach!

Would you please pray and thoughtfully consider being a part of my support team? Whether this means supporting God’s plans for me through prayer, monthly financial giving, or occasional contributions, any and all support is equally appreciated.
If you feel led to support me and the Bhutanese Outreach Program, your donation is tax deductible, as Mission ¡Adelante! is a 501(c)(3) organization. 

Checks may be sent to Mission Adelante, Inc. 22 S. 18th St., Kansas City, KS 66102. Please note my name on the Memo line.

Out at the lake with a few friends before school started.