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.
Kairos Class of 2018
2018-2019 Kairos Intern