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On the edge of the river in Derry, there’s a cafe where many of the youth in the area hang out in the evenings. It’s a small place with an open front room and a vault in the back. It’s built in a building that used to be a tax collection agency. The front area has been renovated and filled with games and a pool table and furniture that make it more welcoming. On any night it’s open, the Hope Cafe in Derry is full of young people from out on the streets. The demographic that walks in the doors is wildly diverse. The ages range from as young as 11 to as old as mid 20s. They comes from all different walks of life, but carry one thing in common: they’re searching for hope.

As we began our night there on Saturday, Pete, the manager, mentioned how diverse and broken the students who come in are. He said that, “almost all the kids know someone who has committed suicide.” These people are in pain and in need of hope. We took a half hour before the store opened to pray for the kids that would come, that they would realize God’s love and the hope they have in Him.

When you see the people in the Hope Cafe, it truly breaks your heart to see how they’re hurting. Many of the kids come in after having a smoke outside or after having one drink too many. They come in for a free tea or coffee, and are met with a homey atmosphere and open arms. Our students had the opportunity to meet and serve and love these people where they’re at.

We had the chance to talk to a young girl who was so passionate and beautiful, yet she was insecure and hid behind her makeup. She opened up to Emily about traveling and her family.

There was another little boy that came in from the streets in search of food and shelter. He’s come in several nights and this is one of the only meals he gets consistently.

The people of Derry are lost and in need of a Savior. The Hope Cafe cares so much for these lost sheep. It was an honor to be able to serve and worship beside them on our last day of ministry.

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What are people saying about Kairos this semester? Check out these posts from social media!
My heart is full! Thank you Jesus for the sweet friends you’ve provided and how you are shaping and molding me more and more like you!
God has been showing me this past month that HE is my true source of joy. No worldly activity can bring me as much joy as being in fellowship with Him. Kairos has given me the space and time to connect with God and pursue Him fully.

I have sure loved getting to know these people and Jesus more these past few weeks! God has been so faithful to me and has really reinforced that fact that my identity lies in Christ alone.
God has been moving so tangibly around me. Calling me to dance in the deep and step out in faith. Showing me that He cares too much about me to let me stay in the shallow end of His love. I constantly struggle with believing His plans for me are best. He constantly challenges me to trust in His perfect goodness. Which brings me to Psalm 34:4-5, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant with joy; their faces will never be ashamed.” In all my fears, I choose to believe He is there. I choose to believe His ways are higher than my ways. Even when my eyes can’t see, I will trust the voice that speaks.
Praise God for incredible new friends to love deeply and to laugh loudly with.
My smile keeps getting bigger every day. Thanks Jesus.

“At the foot of the cross, the ground is level.” I heard this saying in class on Tuesday… this means a lot to me. God has the authority and power to use anyone He chooses. Ruth got a whole stinking book in the Bible, and she wasn’t even a Christian until God decided to use her, and He changed her heart. It’s incredible what can be accomplished when we say “yes” to God. There are parts of myself that make me feel “less than” and unlikely to be used by God, but it’s always the unlikely that He uses. The weaker I get, the stronger I become because of Christ. At the foot of the cross, the ground is level – I need to only say “yes” to Jesus when He calls my name.
It blows my mind how different each of us are, and how unique our stories have been, but God did a good thing bringing us together. We might not understand it, but you know, God knows … Thanks for making me laugh harder than I ever thought possible … Thanks for being such amazing friends.
What can I even say? Walking through life with these girls has taught me about the gift of openness and vulnerability. They are each unique and beautiful image bearers of Christ, and they carry with them their own personal stories of God’s goodness in their lives. I am blessed beyond measure by each of them and the life they bring to my life.

We are wrapping up week two of Kairos with a trip to the North Shore to teach on Spiritual Disciplines. Learning, growing, and laughing so much already, and we still have 7 ½ months left together!
And this is why I was brought across the country – to be enfolded in unfailing love and to be given unbridled joy. This is where I’m most myself. This is life with Jesus.
God has done this really cool thing where He’s allowing me to watch and learn from these girls this year as they pursue Him. Each of them wears vulnerability, grace, compassion, and love with immense strength – even as some struggle with anxiety and hard decisions. They rock. I’m so grateful I get to be a part of this small group and learn more and more about Jesus through the ladies He surrounds me with. Gosh, this life is the good life.
Life has changed so drastically, and I couldn’t be more joyful about where God’s taken me … Lives are changing, the kingdom is growing, and God is showing up. What a beautiful way to spend my life.

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Our team is moving. We are active in our mission to make disciples. When someone needs prayer—we stop and pray. Another needs someone to talk to — we listen. The Lord is unifying us for His purposes.

Fears come up every day. Thoughts of rejection, miscommunications, and insecurities… I see the battle going on. We are praying for strength in our innermost parts to keep going.

There’s plenty of laughter to go around. Our team loves solving and sharing riddles, playing hacky sack, and braiding cornrows in their hair. I love them.


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Take a listen to one of the participants on the Sierra Leone team as they talk about their day at the local orphanage.


The Sierra Leone team has been hard at work putting on VBS programs and showing Christ’s love to the children at the orphanage. It was really hard saying goodbye to these beautiful new friends that we have made at the orphanage.  We also had communion for both the first & last time in country.


Here are some pictures!

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PRESUMMER LETTER 5: Experience More – of the Word


Experience More… Of The Word
By Holly Duke

Those of you who are reading this are getting ready to go overseas to serve others and share Jesus on the mission field. That takes a lot of trust.

I’m curious to know how many times in your faith journey you’ve been given the advice to “trust God”. It’s good advice. It’s what I remind myself to do when I’m tired, feel confused, or frustrated about any number of things. But sometimes I feel like “trusting God” is one of those phrases people use because they don’t know what else to say! Trusting God, however, should not be a trite phrase. As believers in Christ, trusting is an action and something we are called to do.

But in order to trust, we need to be engaged with God and anchored in His Word. The Bible tells us a lot about the Word. It says that the Word was with God in the beginning. The Word actually became flesh and dwelt among the people (Jesus), and the Word, though written by men, was God-breathed. The Word is used by God not only communicate His character, but how He sees us, as well as to teach, correct, train, and convict us when we are wrong. The Word also prepares and equips us to do His good works.

Therefore, understanding God’s Word will help us truly trust God because it helps us to know Him. And the more we know Him the more we will find Him. The more we find Him, the more we will experience Him. And this, friends, will empower us for the task God has called us to do this summer.




Vaccination and Health Form
We’ve received a number of Vaccination Forms and Health Forms missing initials for some of the releases. The Health Form needs initials on the back next to all three statements, and if not getting an exemption – the Vaccination Form needs initials next to all three there as well. Any forms not filled out properly will have to be sent back. If you have questions about any of the forms please email me at

Packing Tips
I’ve had a few questions recently about the pack that participants receive when they get to Training Camp. Just to clarify, the pack we provide is a large duffle bag that is specially made for Royal Servants and is used instead of a suitcase. It’s really helpful for the entire team to have the same bag on travel days, especially when pulling our bags off of the baggage claim belt. You will still need to bring your own back pack; you kind find the dimensions we recommend in the packing list.

Also, there are some items (like shirts) that are listed both in the Training Camp and overseas section of your packing list. Please note that any items listed twice can be used for both, but some people bring clothes for Training Camp that they intend to toss and have slightly nicer items for overseas. Let me know if you have questions about that, or check with your Trip Leader. For some packing tips, check out this Packing Video.

Mission Trip International Airfare Amounts & Deadlines
In your prep packet we let you know that we are required to start booking international tickets the beginning of May. Listed below are the actual dates we will be booking each trip. That means each participant must have enough money in her or his account to cover that cost on that day. If you have enough funds in your account we will automatically book your ticket. However, if you don’t have the funds in your Royal Servants account, you may also give us a credit card to cover the cost.

We won’t charge your credit card—really! We will simply put a hold for that amount and then remove the hold when your account has enough funds to cover the ticket. We would only charge the card if you dropped from the program and didn’t have enough in your account to cover what we paid for the ticket. Reign Ministries is only able to process for holds Visa, MasterCard, and American Express cards (debit cards may be used, but there has to be enough funds in the account and the hold will make those funds inaccessible until released). You can find more information on this in the “Paying for the Trip” section of the Parent or Staff Discipler prep packets.

If you want us to purchase your ticket by putting a hold on a credit card, you will have to call the Reign Ministries’ office before the booking deadline. You are not able to use our online giving to place a hold. You can make a tax-deductible donation for your ticket online, but the amount is immediately charged. You can reach us at 763-535-9555, ask for the Royal Servants Department. We are in the office weekdays between 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM CDT.

Trip Airfare Cost Booking Deadline
Nepal $1540 May 8th
Scotland $920 May 8th
Ireland $1370 May 9th
Nehemiah $1690 May 9th
Sierra Leone $1790 May 9th
China $1370 May 10th
Costa Rica $630 May 10th
Western Europe $1240 May 10th
Greece $1310 May 11th
Uganda $1180 May 11th

Updated Mission Trip Schedule
The Updated Mission Trip Schedule is schedule to be released the last week of April. After receiving that form, you’ll be able to book your domestic travel.

Medical Professionals Needed
We are looking for a few more medical volunteers for Training Camp this summer to help administer medication, conduct basic first aid, and consult on emergency situations. We need physicians, registered nurses, physician assistants, practical nurses, national athletic trainers association certified trainers, any emergency medical technicians or paramedics, persons currently certified as completing the American red cross emergency response course, or persons currently certified as completing the American red cross responding to emergencies course or equivalent. If you are any of the above or know anyone qualified and are willing to volunteer sometime between June 15 – July 3, please contact me at

PreSummer Letters
Missed a PreSummer Letter? No worries, click here to read all the ones you missed.

If you have any questions about Royal Servants please email me at

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