Author: Emily Erickson

A Preview of 2019 Kairos Summer Trips

 

We are well underway in planning for our youth summer trips. We have opportunities for mission and service to the poor at the high school level. For the junior high participants, we sponsor adventurous, character-building trips. Our trip leaders share below the plans for summer 2019.

“Our Mexico mission trips feature a house building project through Rancho Feliz, a locally-based American charity. Our dormitory is located just one-half mile south of Douglas, AZ in the Mexican city of Agua Prieta. We are hoping to have a dozen teens on each trip.

Trip Dates: June 16—June 25 (guys trip)  June 30—July 9 (girls trip).

“We will work each day in an impoverished neighborhood where we will be helping a local family transition from a shanty-type shelter to a brick home designed to withstand the worst conditions this high desert can dish out. We will also spend some time with children at a nearby orphanage. It is not all work, though; we will aim to catch some fun at a nearby national park during our downtime.

“On our mission trips we have daily inspirational meditations and times of prayer together. Some things you can pray for and ask the Lord on our behalf:

  • That we be salt and light to one another, to the people who serve with us, and to the people we serve
  • That we fill our rosters with young missionaries
  • That we can meet all of our financial obligations that are incurred during the trips (including necessary funds for the building materials to build the home).”

Mike Kramer

Mission Trip Director

 

“On the Kairos Fellowship side, three boys trips are planned for this summer,” our KF director, Brian LaLonde, reports. “For 9th-grade boys, we are going for two weeks in July to the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming. This is a rugged trip involving mountain hiking and camping (and lots of fun).

“For 8th graders, we will be canoeing for eight days in the Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. Getting the boys out on the northern waters, portaging canoes and supplies, and setting up and taking down camp daily is a wonderful experience for them.

“Then for the 7th graders, we have an eight-day trip to the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia. This trip will be at the end of July to early August. There is plenty of wildlife (including herds of ponies) to see and beautiful mountains to hike.

“For junior high girls, we have a wilderness canoe trip to the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. This trip is held every other year, so we will soon be looking at dates for 2020.

“We see tremendous growth in these young men and women as they become more confident, form new Christian friendships, and go deeper in relying on Jesus Christ. It is a great privilege to watch them grow in the Lord as they experience being out in God’s creation!”

Brian LaLonde

Kairos Fellowship Director

 

Young people are greatly changed through the challenges, comradery, satisfaction, and deeper reliance on the Lord that these trips provide and promote. Many of our youth make their own commitments to follow Christ during the course of our mission and adventure trips. Thanks so much for being part of that through your gifts and prayers!

 

Meet The 2018-2019 Gap Class

 

Meet 5 young disciples setting a year apart in Lansing, Michigan for a lifetime set apart.  

The GAP Program allows young people from all over the world to be on the front lines of the Kairos mission. Gappers take a year off of school or work to move to a new city, live in Christian households, and serve in a variety of ways. If you want to keep up with what this year's GAP class is doing, make sure to like and follow their page Kairos GAP North America!

Becky Jacobs

Hi, Y'all! My name is Becky Jacobs and I am from the dairy-filled (and beautiful!) land of Wisconsin. I love watercolor, breaking out in dance, exploring waterfalls, hiking, and doing anything outdoors with my family; sheep farming (most of the time)! I came on this GAP year to be more open to God's plan for my life because I want to spend the rest of my life serving Him. I also hope to grow in loving those around me! #andnowi'mhere

 

Katherine Kebe

Hello! My name is Katherine Kebe and I am from Columbus, Ohio. I am quite fond of reading, history, reading history, and tickling the ol’ ivories. I also enjoy spending lots of time with my family, listening to big band music, watching quality films, and having a good laugh. I am super stoked to delve deeper into my faith as I grow in my love and service of others this year!

Julian Piezas

Hailing from the great Vancouver, Canada - I am Julian Piezas! Prior to entering my GAP year to serve the Lord on new soils, I studied Sciences at UBC. Some of my passions include music, art (photography and design), food, and the Gospel - which I’m delighted to share with others through my GAP services this year. Talk to me about superheroes, basketball, Canada, and Netflix, among other things!

Kelsey Stone  

Hi all! My name is Kelsey Stone and I hail from beautiful Ypsilanti (Ip-si-lan-ti), Michigan. I can often be found with a mug in my hand and debating my housemates and friends about various topics. I also love reading, pretending I know something about music theory, and baking (I make killer brownies). This year I hope to dive into radical discipleship and learn more about myself and the community in Lansing!

Olivia Harvey

Hello! I am Olivia Harvey, and I grew up in the lakeshore town of Spring Lake, Michigan. I enjoy a good movie or two, dogs, competition, card games, Christmas, Parks and Rec, and just being myself around people I love. I look forward to God's work with me and through me, this year by helping me to grow in love for Him and my neighbor. I trust that by this time next year He will have made me a better and stronger radical soldier for Christ!

2018 OPERACIÓN AGUA PRIETA – BOYS TRIP

Mark Nitkiewicz, a junior from Ypsilanti, Michigan, shares about going on a Kairos Mission Trip to Agua Prieta.

“While serving in Mexico God worked through me in a profound way. Back home I was used to running through a tight schedule getting things done and not building relationships along the way. I felt constantly controlled by a wristwatch. When I arrived in Agua Prieta my internal clock was thrown off and I often didn’t know what time it was, which drove me crazy. However, something that seemed difficult turned out to be a huge blessing. Throughout the next few days, I learned to trust others and experienced the ability to relax without people constantly calling me for work or school and having to schedule events every day. During this time away from my busy life back home I was able to see how God had blessed me with peace and faith in Him. God wasn’t done working in me though, during the rest of the trip I formed valuable friendships with many people, something I had taken for granted back home. Serving with the other guys on my trip and learning new skills at the worksite in place of my fast-paced work back home was an awesome experience and some of the best fun I’ve ever had. Overall God blessed my trip with peace, faith, love, charity, and many great skills and friendships.”

“I came to know and love Him because He loved me first”

Esa Vance reflects on her 2017-2018 GAP year.

“God loves you.” I grew up hearing this all eighteen years of my life, but I had never been convinced that it was true. What faith I did have I wished to preserve during my college years so I applied to the Kairos GAP Program because of the transformation I saw in some of my friends who had interned with Kairos. After being accepted into the GAP Program I had three months to begin raising ten thousand dollars to fund my GAP year and prepare to move to Lansing, Michigan for nine months. “That is a crazy thing to decide” and “aren’t mission years supposed to be in exotic places?” I would repeat these doubts over in my head, but long before applying there was an assurance about the GAP Program set in my heart that would not be shaken even though I tried.

I arrived in August after God pretty much dragged me to Michigan. It was a new place, a new environment, full of new people, and a list of things I had never done before. I quickly discovered that if I tried to do everything set before me by myself I would fall fast and fail. I could not do it all on my own, and not so coincidentally the GAP Program put me in a position where I needed to accept the hand of God. From living in a household with the other female interns to serving the local Lansing community to managing youth retreats, I could not rely solely on myself. I needed to turn to the power of prayer daily to move the mountains before me and through this need, I forged a relationship with the Lord.

One day I was having a really tough go of it. I was riding the city bus my (main mode of transportation) surrounded by strangers that I did not enjoy sitting next to. I was waiting on the Lord to work in my life and in that moment of blinding judgment and ignorance, the Father shone through in His clarity. I was not waiting on Him; He was waiting on me, to open my eyes and see Jesus Christ in every person on that bus. This was Christ’s presence: me sitting on the bus on my way home from services called to be an instrument of love to those around me.

I was called to a city in Michigan, not somewhere exotic. I went to bed every night thinking “God worked today, and I am not who I was yesterday.” It was not a single moment that transformed me but rather each day of those nine months. Every time I would look to the Father to see He was already looking at me. I experienced the Father’s love by the presence of His Son in my life and I was able to be Christ to others by the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Amidst these nine months of adventure, joy, friendship, service, humility, hardship, laughter, risk, trial, and peace, I needed the Lord. Moreover, I came to know and love Him because He loved me first.

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 2:18 ESV

Meet The 2017-2018 Gap Class

 

Meet six young disciples setting a year apart in Lansing, Michigan for a lifetime set apart.  

The GAP Program allows young people from all over the world to be on the front lines of the Kairos mission. Gappers take a year off of school or work to move to a new city, live in Christian households, and serve in a variety of ways. If you want to keep up with what this year's GAP class is doing, make sure to like and follow their page Kairos GAP North America!

 

Marie DeMarais

Hello! My name is Marie DeMarais, and I am from St. Paul, Minnesota. I enjoy runs and good conversation. When not adventuring in the realm of community-building in Lansing, I can be found hiking along mountains with my rapidly-expanding family. From the short time that I have been here, I have already experienced a grace in finding a new “home away from home” and the goodness of ecumenical living. I have been amazed how totally different people from different states and countries can find themselves within a neighborhood block of each other for the sake of the kingdom of God. I am excited to see how the Lord continues to work this year in the GAP program!

Esa Vance

Hey, I am Esa ("ee-suh") Vance and I hail from the cold doldrums of St. Paul, Minnesota which contrary to popular belief does not mean I like or tolerate the cold so just my luck I ended up in the most similar place to Minnesota. I am a summer baby through and through and enjoy many laughs with good company under the quickly fading summer sun or just a good book in hand with a puppy in my lap. I believe this year will increase my capacity for peace, joy, and hope through the people I meet and the experiences I journey through. I never knew how stagnate the life I had built for myself was until I allowed it to be flooded with movement. So thank you Kairos North America GAP Program for moving me!

Cecilia Harvey

Hello, my name is Cecilia Harvey, I am from Spring Lake, Michigan, and I love to watercolor, listen to old jazz music, sing, and play my ukulele. I came on this GAP year because God called me, and opened so many doors for me to have this opportunity. I hope to get to know Christ more this year by imitating Him in the small ways that I can, through serving others as He served us, as well as to grow and push myself, and to take on challenges with a willing heart.

Elizabeth Potter

Hi guys! I’m Lizzie from London, England. I’m super pumped for this year and am especially excited to serve those from different walks of life to my own. My loves in life are snails, drinking herbal tea and spontaneous dance parties!!

Joshua Maslow 

I am from West St. Paul Minnesota, and I love to rock climb, swim, play ultimate frisbee, and play almost any card game. What I hope to get out of this year is really turning my focus in life completely to the Lord and learning how to serve His people better.

Sam Dunsmore 

I spend my winters skiing and my summers fishing. My three favorite movies are, in order, Napoleon Dynamite, The Dark Knight, and another movie. I like to make people laugh, usually, this means I end up making a lot of jokes. Oh, and by the way, my name is Sam.