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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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After navigating our way around three airports, successfully getting through customs, and a long van ride up mountain switchbacks, our Kairos team arrived at the Mercy International missionary base in beautiful Yamaranguila, Honduras on Wednesday, February 4th.

 

The next morning we spent time getting oriented with the Mercy staff and the “farm,” as their base is often called. Mercy International disciples and equips Hondurans to become missionaries in countries across the world, while also investing in the communities surrounding the town of Yamaranguila and impacting the lives of the locals through their unique ministries, such as supporting coffee farmers and educating impoverished students through their program “Hope and a Future.” After learning more about Mercy and spending time in the Word, our team spent the rest of the day prayer walking through the town and playing soccer with children in the park. It’s amazing how much the kids light up when you play with them, even if you don’t know much Spanish. We learned early on that love really does transcend all language barriers.

 
Kairos in honduras 2015

On Friday we spent most of the day doing work projects around the farm for the Mercy staff, such as plastering bathroom walls, installing a basketball hoop, and digging trenches for dog pens for the farm’s dogs. The Kairos team was also preparing to divide into two teams for much of our stay in Honduras, with one team staying at the farm and the other team heading further into the Opalaca Mountains to do ministry alongside more remote villages. However, the next morning we learned that the roads into the mountains had become too difficult to travel on due to the recent heavy rainfall, and that the mountain team’s trip would have to be canceled as a result. While there was some disappointment with this news, the Lord has opened up many opportunities for the entire team to embark on together in the Yamaranguila area, and we are truly enjoying being with the whole team.

 

On Saturday and Sunday we hung out with the local youth group and shared some of our personal testimonies with them, and got the incredible opportunity to visit a nearby group of squatters known as “the Invasion,” where we held a vacation Bible school (VBS) and spent hours loving on and playing with the kids there. We had just as much as fun as the kids did, and it was really hard to leave after laughing and singing with them, and giving countless piggyback rides. Spending an afternoon with those precious kids is a sweet memory none of us will forget.
God also opened up another door for us on Monday and Tuesday, during which we helped Pastor Ramone construct a bathroom for his church in Yamaranguila and poured a concrete floor for the children’s ministry building there. It’s amazing to think that his church has gone for so long without a bathroom, so it was such a joy to work alongside him to finish that! We then hiked a few miles to the village of El Porvenir where we spent the night and were able to hold a VBS for kindergartners and had the privilege of attending a church service at Pastor Jorge’s one-room church with a congregation of no more than eight people. The members of that church were so gracious and welcomed us so warmly, and we had an incredible time of worship with them before a few of our own Kairos classmates shared their testimonies and a teaching.

 

We have so enjoyed the many times of fellowship that we have shared with the local churches in this area, and are continually encouraged by their deep love for the Lord and their faithfulness to emulate Him in the Yamaranguila community. We look forward to what the Lord has in store for the remainder of the trip and are enjoying hiking through this beautiful area, making homemade tortillas, playing with such sweet kids, and spending time with one another in the meantime. God has been so faithful in providing ministry opportunities every single day and has been revealing more of Himself to each of us during this trip. To Him be all the glory for opening so many doors for sharing the Gospel!


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Kairos has been ministering in Santa Maria, a little village situated high up in the Opalaca Mountains with breathtaking views of the surrounding land. For the past few days, they have been building three homes for local families. Today is their final work day, and they were able to construct the walls for all three homes. Another team will follow in future weeks to finish the roofs. These homes are built of hand-mixed concrete and 80-lbs. mud bricks. Finishing the walls is a huge accomplishment!

Tomorrow, they will hike down the steep mountain to a nearby village–Agua Caliente. That name is slightly ironic because it means “hot water” in Spanish; yet there is no hot water in the town! Spending the next two days here, they will host a VBS program for the children. These kids are so desperate for love and attention. Americans playing games with them, singing crazy songs, and sharing the Gospel is a big treat! Kairos will also conduct a lice clinic for the kids. This lice clinic is mostly a chance to show God’s love in a very practical way. Many–if not all–of these children are never shown the type of personal love it requires to wash and braid someone’s hair or clean their hands and feet with soap.

Along with ministry to the children, Kairos will also host a three-hour discipleship training class for local pastors from surrounding villages. These pastors will hike hours to come and hear teaching on God’s Word. A handful of our students have prepared discipleship teachings based on what they have been learning first semester in class in Minnesota. Speaking with a translator, they will put into practice all that has been taught into them, truly making disciples who will make disciples across the world.

The ministry in Agua Caliente will conclude with a village soccer game–Hondurans vs. Gringos. This game is an excellent chance to build relationships with the men over an activity they love; and afterwards, some of our students will share personal testimonies of God’s work in their lives.

Then early on Sunday, Kairos will hike 2-3 hours out of the mountains and drive another 3 hours back to the missionary base to continue ministry that night with the youth group!


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A Word from Neriah

by pwall
We recently received a blog post from Neriah, a student in the Kairos discipleship school, who is currently in Honduras! It’s great to see her point of view during their first few days in Latin America!

“In the dark early hours of February 6th, our Kairos family headed out to the airport bound for Honduras. After two plane rides, and a four hour van ride with a few stops along the way, we arrived at Mercy International’s farm in Yamaranguila, Honduras! Thus far we’ve met a lot of incredible people, worked hard on different physical labor projects and experienced awesome things.

“One of the ways we have been able to spend part of our time here is by going to the local park and hanging out with the kids there. During our time at this park, that we would consider run down and acceptable in the U.S., we have been able to show people of Yamaranguila how He loves.

“A powerful thing we’ve seen on the playground is God’s ability to unify people with His love. Even with the language barrier, it was seen through attitudes and facial expressions that certain groups of the kids didn’t like each other or get along well. Through us inviting all these kids to play frisbee with us, not only did we become unified with them, but God used us to bring them together as well. Even if just for a frisbee game.

“The past few days at the farm have accompanied us with hard work, beautiful scenery, tender experiences and great conversations. This morning as we prepare for our journey to the mountains to do more ministry, I have only imagine how the great things God has done will continue in and through us. God has big things ahead of us and we look forward to the adventures He has planned! Thank you for your prayers and I hope you keep praying for us as we continue this journey!” -Neriah


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As I think about Speaking Blitz thus far and see how God is impacting hearts of students from state-to-state, I recognize daily how awesome He is and what a great opportunity we have to share about missions and what God can do with people who step out in faith. Yet, as our Kairos team spent two hours reading, praying through, and discussing 1 Peter (and we only got through a little more than one chapter!) this afternoon, it struck me that the true reason we do what we do is for the purpose of intimacy with God. Not only is it for ourselves to draw closer to the Father, but also to encourage students to pursue God passionately. That alone is a worthy reason to serve God–growing in intimacy with Him is more important than anything else we could ever do.

We had an awesome time sharing at a small Christian school in Wisconsin this morning. The students’ responses were positive and they were interested in what opportunities are available for doing a missions trip. After the program, I turned to the girl next to me and asked if she had any questions. “How do I get started?” was her question for me. It was fantastic! The excitement in the room was palpable. And through it all, I felt God speaking quietly that knowing Him is the greatest purpose we could ever have–and our real reason for anything we do to reach others is to facilitate and nurture intimacy with God, in ourselves and others. Appropriately, we ended the time praying one-on-one for each of the students. The girl I prayed for looked up at me with pure joy in her eyes when we finished praying. God, and God alone, is worth living for. Without Him, we are nothing! As we continued talking, it was so renewing, spiritually, to share my passion for missions and serving God with her. The more I talk about it, the more excited I get! What we get to do almost everyday on Blitz is share God’s love, His purpose for us, and missions opportunities with students. The cool thing is, it reminds me everyday what excites me and stirs up a passion for God in me. When I’m tired and really don’t feel like doing anything for anybody (quite honestly, including God), talking about missions never fails to bring me back to my original purpose and who God is.

Ministry is not only to reach the students, encouraging them to grow in their faith and pursue missions, but it is also ministry to us as Kairos students. It is a reminding, revitalizing, renewing thing to share your faith. How exciting it was to draw close to God through reaching others. Think God did that on purpose? I do. Now, I know that no matter where I am, sharing Christ and serving God will end up bringing me immeasurable joy in Him. That’s true purpose.


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During our worship morning, Patrick Teesdale found God calling him to share with the Kairos students about communion. What he shared has impacted students’ lives and he would like to share with you what Communion means to him in a different perspective.

This is an account of the crucifixion of Jesus, as taken from a different perspective. It was drawn from an excellent and highly recommended book called “Boy Meets Girl” by Joshua Harris » As you read this excerpt, I encourage you to not let familiarity get in the way of what it’s trying to convey.

—–

The face that Moses had begged to see – was forbidden to see – was slapped bloody. The thorns that God had sent to curse the earth’s rebellion now twisted around his own brow….

“On your back with you!” One raises a mallet to sink in the spike. But the soldier’s heart must continue pumping as he readies the prisoner’s wrist. Someone must sustain the soldier’s life minute by minute, for no man has this power on his own. Who supplies breath to his lungs? Who gives energy to his cells? Who holds his molecules together. Only by the Son do all things hold together. The victim wills that the soldier live on – he grants the warrior’s continued existence. The man swings. As the man swings, the Son recalls how he and the Father first designed the medial nerve of the human forearm – the sensations it would be capable of. The design proves flawless – the nerves perform exquisitely. “Up you go!” They lift the cross. God is on display in his underwear and can scarcely breathe.

But these pains are a mere warm-up to his other and growing dread. He begins to feel a foreign sensation. Somewhere during this day an unearthly foul odor began to waft, not around his nose, but his heart. He feels dirty. Human wickedness starts to crawl upon his spotless being – the living excrement from our souls. The apple of his Father’s eye turns brown with rot. His Father! He must face his Father like this!

“Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, forment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying politicians, practicing extortion, filming pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe these things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?”

Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.

“Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!” But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.

The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.

—–

The one question I want to ask in light of this is if you can see your sins listed against Jesus. I certainly hope that you can. Not because I want to make you feel guilty, but because I want you to understand that, though it was your sins which put Jesus on the cross, he became your sins. And when he was crucified, your sins died.

This is his invitation into communion. The bread represents that body, broken on the cross, made as a sacrifice in our place. The wine, the new covenant, is the blood price which he paid for our salvation. Because of it, we are now welcome to the Lord’s table, to share in freedom.


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