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When I first started getting involved in missions, I didn’t have a clue what I was in for. I was a senior in high school and had only just started to embrace the faith that I had grown up in. My relationship with Jesus started to become truly my own, and I recognized that I needed to start actually living out my faith. I was excited to serve Jesus, bless others, and, let’s be honest, experience fun and adventure while traveling. The spring of my senior year, I ended up going to Haiti with my church, which I saw as a great opportunity to plunge into missions and see what serving God was all about. The trip was absolutely life changing. God opened my eyes to the brokenness in the world, but more importantly, He began to open my heart. He began to give me a heart for the lost and broken and started showing me what is truly important in life. I was hungry for more!

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after graduating high school, so I decided to take a year to work full time, save money, and get more involved in missions. That year I went to Haiti again with my church and took a trip with Reign Ministries to Macedonia. I was becoming more and more passionate about missions and ministry, and I knew I wanted it to be a part of my life, but I didn’t have a clue what that might actually look like. Not only was I still unsure about what I wanted to do with my life, but I was beginning to recognize my desperate need for discipleship. My faith was becoming stagnant. I wasn’t moving closer to Jesus anymore. My head was filled with all kinds of knowledge, but it wasn’t all making it to my heart. Through my Macedonia trip leader, I heard about Kairos Discipleship School – Bible teaching, discipleship, and missions! Count me in. It sounded like exactly what I needed, so I signed up.
I learned and experienced a ton during Kairos. Being discipled helped me immensely. I actually started to move closer to Jesus again. The things that I knew in my head were starting to become things that I knew in my heart. I began to actually understand that God loves me deeply and that I don’t have to earn that love. One of the biggest things I recognized was my constant need to surrender everything to Jesus and let Him be on the throne of my heart and life. Honestly though, I still wanted to be in control of my own future, and I wanted to hold on to some of my own values. I had decided that I wanted ministry to be a part of my life, but I thought I could do it my way. I made plans to go to college the year after Kairos, hoping to eventually work in politics or business. I wanted to make missions and ministry a part of my life, but not my career. Those things weren’t wrong in and of themselves, but my motivations behind them were. What I was really valuing was money, success, and comfort.

That’s when God stepped in. I felt Him strongly calling me to put aside my own plans and trust Him with my future. I was presented with the amazing opportunity to intern with Kairos. That meant not only another year to continue learning, but also the opportunity to grow in my leadership abilities through discipling others. This year as an intern, God has done so much in me. Slowly but surely, He has continually brought me back to the basics. He has softened my heart and has given me His eyes to see.

While on the Kairos international mission trip in Kenya this year, I had the privilege of leading a girl named Mary to Christ. It was incredibly powerful to see her accept Jesus as her Savior despite her fears. Her family was Muslim, and she was concerned that they would reject her for making the decision to follow Christ. God didn’t have to let me take part in that, but He chose to bring me into Mary’s story. Through this experience, He spoke to me about the surpassing worth of knowing and following Jesus, whatever the cost may be. He gave me a more eternal perspective and an excitement to take part in what God is doing to reconcile all of creation to Himself. I haven’t been dragged anywhere kicking and screaming. God has changed what I am passionate about and what I truly value. Whatever I do, I want it to glorify God. I want my life to be all about loving Jesus and being like Him. I want a life filled with deep, meaningful relationships and lots of opportunities to bless and love others.

I cannot possibly know all that the future holds for me, but I know that God has His hand in all of it. I can’t say that my life so far has been anything close to what I expected, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m only twenty years old, and God has already taken me to Haiti, Macedonia, Greece, Honduras, and Kenya. I have grown so much through setting aside my own plans and submitting to God. I have learned and done things during my time in Kairos as both a student and an intern that will impact me for life, and the relationships that I have built with people during this time will last into eternity. I am incredibly excited for the future, and I have never regretted saying “yes” to God.

Jack Hansen
Kairos Class of 2018
2018-2019 Kairos Intern


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Devon, our school leader, told me on Saturday night that the church we were going to attend the next day in Nairobi, Kenya had asked for a Kairos student to speak, and he wanted me to give my testimony. Now, I love public speaking, so I was excited to have this opportunity. I planned to rehearse my testimony a thousand times because I wanted to do a good job. I had to make sure I knew what I was going to say, how I was going to say it, and how long it would take me to say everything. I’m confident in my ability to speak, so I was confident that if I practiced enough, like anything else in life, it would be perfect. In my testimony, I wanted to communicate that I had ran far from God, but He was behind me the whole time waiting for me to turn around and tell Him that I needed Him and that I couldn’t do life without Him. I wanted to plan out exactly how I was going to give this talk so that it would be the most impactful for everyone listening.

Before I practiced even once, I felt God beckoning me to pray, so I began praying that God would clear my heart of anything that would make my talk about me and divert the attention from Him. As I prayed, He began to strip down my heart and speak to me. God told me that if I surrendered myself to Him that He would use me. He told me that I could get behind the pulpit and deliver the best testimonial in history, but it wouldn’t matter if the Holy Spirit wasn’t present. The most I could do is make people smile or make them think, but if there was going to be a move in the hearts of people, it would only come from God. He told me that nothing I could say would make any impact for His glory if I relied on my own ability.
I spent that Saturday night praying for God to empty me out and fill me with His Spirit. I prayed that He would use me as an instrument and to not let any part of myself get in the way of what He wanted to say through me. I didn’t practice a word of my testimony.

Sunday morning, I woke up early and realized that I was about to speak in front of a church without having really practiced, so I went outside to go over what I was planning to say. Again, before I recited a word of my testimony, I felt God pulling me into prayer. As I prayed that morning, God started stripping down my heart and speaking to me even more. He said, “This is not about you. It is your testimony, but you’re not here to talk about yourself. I did not do what I have done in your life so you could talk about who you are and what happened to you. I worked in your life so you can speak about who I am and what I’ve done.” If I were to speak and only talk about my story and fit God into it in a few places, then I would have made a terrible mistake. I was not there to tell my story. I was there to talk about God’s character. My testimony is similar to that of the prodigal son in Luke 15. God reminded me that Jesus did not tell the story of the prodigal son to talk about the son. The story is about the love, kindness, mercy, and grace of the Father.

By the time we got to the church, I had reviewed my testimony exactly zero times. I was called up to the stage to speak, and as I walked toward the front, I was a nervous wreck. I remember saying, “Good morning” into the microphone, but I barely remember the rest of the time I was at the pulpit. God took complete control of my mouth. I felt the Holy Spirit take over, and I wasn’t about to try and stop Him. The next thing I know I’m handing the microphone back to the pastor and walking back to my seat, not entirely sure what I had just said.
Afterwards, many people came up to me and told me things like how great my testimony was and used words like “anointed.” I wasn’t sure how to react because I was very aware that I had absolutely nothing to do with how well it went. All I did was surrender myself to God, and He used me.

Throughout my time in Kenya, God taught me that Kingdom work is always about Him, not about the workers or the people being reached. He also taught me that without His divine intervention, we can make no impact whatsoever for His glory. If we make God’s work about ourselves, it is no longer His work. If we try to do God’s work on our own, it is no longer His work. What makes Kingdom work impactful is when it is centered on bringing glory to God and the presence of the Holy Spirit, not what we do or how we do it. All God asks us to do is surrender ourselves to Him and, if we do, He will use us.

By Jeremiah McCarthy
(Kairos Student – Class of 2019)


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Our Fall 2017 semester has come to an end, and we thought it would be fun to show you what our students have been saying about Kairos during the last few months. These are quotes taken from their social media pages as well as from updates they have sent to family and friends.


“Gotta love the friends.”

“Pursuing God with this bunch has been a blessing. I can’t wait to see how God will use us throughout this year.”

“Through the time I have been at Kairos Discipleship School in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I have experienced growth on tremendous levels. God has truly been doing a work in my life here. I have learned many things such as Spiritual Disciplines, Prayer, Worship, and The Heart of God. Things that I once thought I knew [have been] radically shaped through the process of humbling myself and being teachable. As I continue this year, I will be reading books authored by very influential writers in the Christ-following community. I will be memorizing scriptures and passages because this is what we believe to be beneficial in our Christ-following walk – to disciple others with biblical facts behind our beliefs as well as growing in our relationship with God.”

“God is preparing me for a job that may very well be hard and uncomfortable, but he has been preparing me and equipping me with the ability to spread the gospel no matter where I go.”

“[Having] fun with the staff and other Kairos students. We’ve been learning so much. God is truly doing some great things, being challenged daily!”

“These guys are awesome. Love spending time with Godly men like these.”

“It has been three months since I landed in Minneapolis and started my program at Kairos, I’ve already learned so much. Whether it’s in the classroom or camping out or interning at church, Kairos has taught me a lot about God and what He’s doing in my life.”

“[I have been challenged through] being actively involved in my small group, being discipled one-on-one, and the day-to-day biblical teachings. I have been challenged to live a life fully surrendered to Christ. God has been prompting me to challenge my pre-established beliefs and to seek the Bible for the original content’s meaning. Another thing that God has been teaching me is that I need to be spiritually disciplined. Through silence and solitude with God, making a habit of reading my Bible every day, and being spiritually disciplined in fitness. I have learned to use my time wisely. The question that has come with this is, “Am I using every moment of every day to build God’s Kingdom?” I recognize how great of a calling this is, and I am learning that only by God’s strength and grace can this be fully accomplished.

I cannot think of a better word [than cultivated] to describe this season of life. God is refining me to be more like him and to live in humility, servitude, and grace through this eight month gap year program of intentionally growing and getting to know God intimately as my Father. He is refining me into who he wants me to be, not who I want to be. I have been learning that I cannot just believe what people are telling me, I need to back up my beliefs with facts. Researching the history and context to interpret the original meaning behind a Biblical passage is crucial in correctly understanding God’s Word. What a beautiful place it is when I am in the hands of God as His image bearer.

I have recently learned that the steadfast love of the Lord does not grow weary which has transformed the way I view myself and the people around me. As a Kairos class, we go on bike rides together, tour the city we live in, and we live as a family together. Kairos is fun and an answer to prayer because through this school, God is changing me. I get to experience missions further, intern at a local church and pour into the people there, and I get to be used by God in ways that I never could have imagined. Through the love of the Lord, I am changing to have an eternal mindset that impacts the way I live.”


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At the end of each year, we ask our students which teachings really impacted them. One answer we hear continually is Kevin Rusack’s (founder of Kairos) talk on The Father Heart of God. This year we asked some of our students to briefly tell us what they had learned. Here are their responses.
 
“For me to say that this teaching about the Father Heart of God was good would be an understatement. The truth is that God used it to change my thoughts and beliefs about who God is as my Father. In turn, that has changed my life. I look back to see how I compared my earthly father to my Heavenly Father. Although that’s not always bad, I now realize how false of a picture that can be at times. I now view my Heavenly Father as completely different than my father on earth in many ways. He’s the perfect Father, holy, and always desiring me to draw into intimacy with him. My Father is so personal and relational with me and that is constant. He was highly intentional in choosing me to be His child. Even the simple truth of Him being inclined to me despite my unworthiness and feelings of inadequacy at times, has been a new profound reality to me. I am incredibly thankful for the impact that God made on me through the teaching of the Father Heart of God!”
 
“Before Kairos, the Father Heart of God was never something that I really thought about or understood. After learning about the Father Heart of God, my view of my Heavenly Father is so much richer than before. I understand better now how God sees us. He is inclined to us, He delights in us, He wants to spend time with us, and He likes us. God didn’t begrudgingly save me only to keep me at arm’s length, but He adopted me so that He could call me His own. He delights not because of anything that I do but because of who He is. I feel like these truths have brought me closer to God by helping me to better understand in my heart who God is and how He thinks about me. I never have to feel like I have to work for His love or fight for His attention. He is my perfect father, and He is always there for me.”
 
“The teaching on the Father Heart of God was both eye opening and rewarding As we learn God has ultimately adopted us through the sacrifice of his son Jesus Christ, it paints the foundation of the biblical understanding of God’s first love. When God created Adam and Eve in Genesis, we fell short of the glory of God. We fell into an individualized mentality that subjects God’s divine will in a conniving way. What’s more fascinating about His love is His sacrificial love. He continues to pursue us in adoption. As we were deep in our sin, and we so deserved the crucifixion God said, “No I will send my son because I want you.” The Father Heart of God is the ultimate picture of God’s character. He loves us!”
 
“I realized how much God delights in me. I am fully known by Him, and He likes me! I know that He really cares about me. God will take care of me and provide what I need. Therefore, I can confidently expect the best, and I can seek and delight in Him as well. I know that His love precedes performance: I don’t need to prove anything to Him. Thus, I can choose to do things with God and not for God. The biggest take away for me would be this: ‘I know that I am loved, adopted forgiven and free, and that I have nothing else to prove.”
 
“Kevin Rusack spoke on the Father Heart of God. I took his teaching to heart. Seeing God as the Father is not my common mindset. I used to think of God as being the condescending judge that will scrutinize every action. This is a horrible representation of how the Father sees His children. When He looks at us, He doesn’t see a criminal awaiting conviction. Instead, God sees His perfect son Jesus when He gazes upon us even though we are impure. Not only does the Father love us, He likes us and enjoys us as His children. All we must do is accept His love.”


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Meet Amy-Jo!

by Nichole Anderson

Kairos’ Student Highlight of the Month is Amy-Jo (Minneapolis)!

image1
 
How did you initially hear about Kairos?
 
“I was originally a student on a Royal Servants trip and my small group leader, Hannah, was from Kairos. She was one of the first people that I met who … just this peace about her and this total trust in God, and it really inspired me [and made me think], ‘Wow I really like that. How do I get that?’ Then Kairos ended up being an option for me. God was just like, go and do Kairos.”
 
What has been the most challenging thing about Kairos this year?
 
“Throughout all of Kairos, you’re growing drastically. It’s like you are on a graph, and you are just going straight up, but then you go home [during a break], and nobody was there with you when you were growing. You go back home, and people are putting you in box because they have an idea of who you are, but you’ve changed because God has changed you, and you’ve learned more about who God is, and that has totally changed your whole outlook on life. [My challenge has been] going home and maintaining the disciplines that I’ve created here at Kairos and the relationship that I have with God and maintaining how that affects my life with others.”
 
Is Kairos worth having those challenges?
 
“Definitely worth it! I don’t want to be my old self. I want to be who God intended me to be and know more about God.”
 
What is the most important thing that you are taking away from Kairos?
 
“To constantly be in relation with God. That’s the one thing that I’m just going to hold on to for the rest of my life because without reading my Bible every day, without praying, without consulting with God, and without living life with Him, my life would be totally different, and it would not be for the better. The disciplines that are practiced and instilled in us here at Kairos are also things I want to carry with me throughout the rest of life. I’m going to keep those because I want to constantly know where God is and know where I am.”
 
What would you say to someone who is considering Kairos?
 
“Jump! Leap! Come! It doesn’t really matter if there is a fire in your way. You should just jump over the fire because if you come to Kairos you WILL grow, and you’re going to change. It’s going to be scary, and there may be people or things that will try to prevent you from coming, but your relationship with God is going to grow. Your priority is to grow in Christ. We’re called to be in relation with God, and Kairos definitely helps you figure out how to do that. And so, Come! Jump! Leap!”


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Meet Faith

by Nichole Anderson

Kairos’ Student Highlight of the Month is Faith (Minneapolis)!

faith
 
What has been the most beneficial part of Kairos this school year?
 
“Figuring out who I am. Talking about identity and who I am in Christ has been very impactful for me. I would say that the speakers coming made a huge impact for that. They all talked about different things like my destiny, the Father Heart of God, or just figuring out your strengths and your spiritual gifts. It all ties in to who you are in Christ. I think that’s been the most beneficial part so far for me.”
 
Where do you feel God leading you next?
 
“Right now I am pretty sure that He has been telling me that I need to go to Oak Hills Christian College in Bemidji, Minnesota for the next 3 years and major in who knows what right now. I have pretty good peace about that, but I am open to change. Where ever He wants me to go, I’ll go. Whatever He wants me to do, I’ll do. Ultimately, my future is depending on me listening to God’s call for where I’m supposed to go.”
 
What do you want to tell those considering Kairos?
 
“Do it. Without any hesitation, go for it. Just apply. If you get accepted, go. Unless God is telling you specifically no, just do it because I was one of those kids that didn’t want to go. I went because my parents wanted me to go and because I could feel God calling me there, but I still was uneasy about it. After spending almost 5-6 months here, however, it has been the most influential thing in my entire life and figuring out my faith with God and my spiritual walk with Him. I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t come to Kairos. Why wouldn’t you want to spend a year just growing in who you are in the Lord and your relationship with Him? It’s time that you just get to spend with our Father who is our best friend, our Lord, and our Savior – our everything. Why wouldn’t you want that? I’d say just go for it. It’s worth every single second being here.”


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