Author: Elisha Miranda

YES 2022: Testimonies

Dear Friends:

Last month, we reported on the Kairos Youth Equipped to Stand (YES!) Retreat that was held March 25-27. This month, we get to hear from three of the youth participants.

Some of the youth evaluations are straightforward, like this one from a teen:

“During the YES retreat, the Lord shared a word with me. He said that I am not broken. I feel like at some point in all our lives, we feel empty inside and broken. But God is here to tell us that we are healed and forgiven for our sins. Our sins don’t define who we are. God loves us as we are.”

Some of our youth had been struggling spiritually before the retreat, and experienced a new closeness with the Lord:

“I came to the YES Retreat tired emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, I was coming out of a period of spiritual ‘dryness.’ I was struggling to pray consistently and then beating myself up mentally when I failed. I was getting discouraged because every time I resolved to get up early and pray, I found myself sleeping in. I got to the point that I didn’t really see the point in trying again. I didn’t see people I could relate to in that regard. At the beginning of the retreat, I asked the Lord for peace, joy, and perseverance (especially as I was leaving for a mission trip in Washington D.C. literally the morning after I got home from the retreat).

“Throughout the retreat, the Lord helped me enter worship in a way I had never been able to before. At a Christian summer camp several years ago, I asked for the gift of prophesy and was disappointed when I didn’t feel that I had received it right away. At the retreat, I felt the Lord speaking to me during worship in a new way and giving me not only a word, but also the courage to share it. I was able to share it with my YES small group.
“The talks and testimonies at the retreat were super relatable, and at multiple points I felt like the speakers were speaking directly to me. Overall, the Lord showed up big time and I left feeling joyful, peaceful, refreshed and ready to serve on the mission trip.”

Some of our youth merely wanted more!

“On Saturday night, the talk was about asking the Lord for a double portion. Later in our small groups we were asked what we wanted to receive from the Lord. I decided that I wanted a double portion of His Spirit, the Holy Spirit. I was the first one prayed over in my group, and it was very beautiful. One thing that I had been seeking though this retreat was to get to know Jesus as a living person, and not just as a far-off being.
“Receiving a double portion of His Spirit made His Presence more real to me, and all I did was ask for a gift. After I had been prayed over, I was able to pour out my double portion by praying over my small group members. This really struck me, because I realized the Lord gives us gifts so that we can bring Him to others by using the gifts He gives.”

Watching the Lord touch each one of our young people personally is a highlight of serving at the YES! Retreat. Bringing youth closer to Jesus is an amazing privilege. Thank you so much for your support; I am happy to be on mission with each of you.

Blessings on you and your families as we enter these summer months.

Your Brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

YES 2022: A Double Portion

Dear Friends,

Greetings in our Risen Christ! This month we have the pleasure of reporting on the March 25- 27, Youth Equipped to Stand (YES!) Retreat. Last year we had an in-person but smaller retreat; the year before that, it was only on-line. It was a joy to be back to a full YES! this year. We had 225 youth, and 128 staff – 353 total. The teens were from Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, New Jersey, California, Florida, Texas, Philadelphia, Toronto, and more. Stephen Giles, our YES! Retreat Director, gave us some highlights of this year’s retreat.

“Our theme this year was Double Portion, building the retreat around the story of Elijah and Elisha (II Kings 2:9-10). Many of our teens have been given very good things. We focused on choices our teens are and will be making: choosing for the Lord and choosing the good for themselves, and not just because their parents might be Christians. They need their own relationship with the Lord and they must choose for Him. The ‘double portion’ was unique to Elisha—it was not just ‘Elijah 2.0.’

“There was a cost to following the Lord for Elisha – there were no contingencies. Elisha killedhis yoke of oxen for a sacrifice to the Lord (I Kings 19: 19-21). We asked the teens what ‘oxen’ they might need to kill in their lives; the Lord calls us to a radical response (also a joy – Elisha and the people ate the oxen with celebration). Elisha had a lot of resources to use for the Kingdom and was a blessing to others. We reminded the teens that they also have been given a lot.

“Last year, the kids who were able to come to YES were ‘hungry’ because of not having a live retreat in 2020. They were open to whatever the Lord had for them. We noticed this year that the kids had lost some trust, were a bit more cynical; they had experienced some disappointments and needed to regain their confidence that the Lord had something for them. We could not do that for them; the Lord had to work in them.
“For their personal prayer, we encouraged them to boldly ask like Elisha did – ask big things of the Lord. There will be a greater cost from that but also great joy. We recognized that more talks could not accomplish this, prayer and ministry in the small groups moved things forward for many. Our small-group leaders were fantastic.

“The Lord also encouraged me in my own faith: I saw that God has greater things in mind for our youth than I can imagine. In our small groups, we saw obstacles being torn down and saw the youth give themselves to Him. We saw them grow in choosing for the Lord, even if that meant choosing some things that might be uncomfortable back home.

“For our breakout/workshop times, we had several topics relevant to youth from various situations: discernment and decision-making; friendship—guy-girl, guy-guy, and girl-girl; baptism in the Holy Spirit; using our gifts; personal prayer; ecumenism and what that looks like; embracing the struggle to live for Christ. We had two breakout times, so each teen could hit two different topics they were interested in.

“Our youth are on the threshold of adulthood. They are about to make choices that will affect the rest of their lives and even their children’s lives. We wanted to make them aware of the opportunity and responsibility present there. Our hope was to give them an appreciation (even a wonder) of what they are choosing at this point in their lives.

“A new feature to our YES! Retreats is an international dimension. There also will be YES retreats in Northern Ireland, the Philippines, and Mexico. Internationally, we are doing retreats with the same theme—Double Portion—and taking advantage of the main conference sessions put together for us by our Kairos International team. The breakout sessions will be geared to the location and the needs of the teens there (i.e., teens in Mexico may be dealing with some different stresses and challenges than the teens in Northern Ireland). We are very excited by this international work. The Lord is using YES! Retreats.”

Thank you for your support of outreach to the next generation! We are working in as many ways as we can to help the next generation truly be “equipped to stand.” As the world tips into greater darkness, we know our young people were created for “such a time as this.” It is a privilege to be part of reaching teens for Christ, calling them deeper, and equipping them to be the disciples of the Lord He has created them to be. May the Lord bless you and your service to Him; thanks again for standing with us by your prayers and financial support.

God Bless!

James Munk

Kairos Director

Parent Forum 2022

“It doesn’t have to be a losing battle.”

Dear Friends:,

Kairos hosts on-line “Parenting Forums” for interested parents and others concerned about the children in their lives. We did one this past October, which was focused on dealing with media. Over 200 participants joined us. We shared that the average American and Canadian teen spends a whole lot of time “plugged in” and entertained by screens. Christian families are certainly not immune. So, what is the risk? Is this worth the battle? YES!

Screen time and media affects basic character development, the ability to build and maintain real relationships, and how we can gain wisdom. On top of all this, screens radically affect brain development.

We gave some practical helps for achieving the media goal of “wise, but limited.” For example, “Be Second” – avoid being an early adopter of the newest technology. Wait and see what the effects are. “Evaluate before you implement” – work on delaying your young person’s exposure to screens and limit dependency on them.

How about us adults? Can we try having screens in public areas or in common places in our homes? It is not only a safeguard, but also a great opportunity for parents to model good online practices for our kids. Can we try having conversations with the parents of our kids’ friends to see if we can be in the same ballpark in media use?

More big areas: “Be limited” – have “no media” times like during meals and after 11:00 PM. Take a “Sabbath” where there is no media (including for us), and so on. Also having limited spaces and agreements about them: for example, not at the dinner table, not in the car, not in the bedroom.

“Limited Tech” – no smart phones for young teens (flip phones are still available and work fine for calling Mom for a ride), maybe only one computer for the family if possible. We also encourage parents to do self-assessments in this area. Do we limit our own use or is this just for the kids? (They will notice.) We do not recommend just confiscating the phone or tablet
even if the teen has a problem with overuse or dependency upon it. Rather, we recommend a
family approach—let’s all work towards regaining control of our devices.

David and Sarah Williamson, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, were among the participants. David went away with these reflections. “It was with this conviction that I walked away from the Kairos Parenting Forum: kids, media, screens, and devices: this stuff matters. On one level I know that, but on another level, I so easily lose sight of what I can do about it. “As a father of four young children, I am regularly intimidated by the rapidly approaching middle and high school years. The Kairos Parenting Forum gave me hope and a strategy for my family. It was helpful to hear from experienced youth workers who regularly engage with young people. They talked from personal experience about the trends they see and the effect it is having on real people and relationships. While they presented sobering facts about tech trends and the effects on youth, they also presented hope: there are things I can do as a parent, even small things, that can make a big difference. “I came away from the night with conviction, as well as tools, for raising my children to be mature, well-functioning human beings. It’s a long road ahead, but I have greater confidence that staying tuned in to Kairos and the resources they offer not only for kids, but also for parents, will be a big help in dealing with the challenges facing my kids. Kairos resources help me know what I can do as a parent to guide them through the challenges and opportunities presented in our tech-focused society.”

Thank you for your continue support in this battle for our youth. We deeply appreciate your prayers, your interest, and your financial support. Thanks for being one of our partners.

God bless you!
James Munk
Kairos Director

PS: Our goal is to have these forums yearly, generally in October. If you or parents you know want
to be part of it next October, contact Kairos web page As we get
closer to October, information about the next online forum will be available.

Legacy Conference 2022

Dear Friends:

In January, the ninth annual “Legacy” conference was held in Detroit. We have also been in East Lansing and Ann Arbor, Michigan; Columbus, Ohio; Newark, New Jersey; St Paul, Minnesota; and Jacksonville, Florida. (Looking over this list, I am thinking more January conferences in warm places would be nice!) We do try to move around so we can enjoy all different sorts of places. While Legacy is not a Kairos event, many past and present Kairos staff and Kairos participants put on this conference and attend it.

We had over 80 folks from across North America come. Attendees ranged in age from early 20’s to early 30’s. The purpose of Legacy is like all our Kairos events: to help people choose for the Lord in every stage of life. Many of the people attending have participated in one or more Kairos event: summer adventure trips, YES! Retreats, service years, and so on. They said “yes” to following Christ and

 being a disciple when they were young teens, older teens, college students, and/or working 20-somethings.

Now they are getting married, starting careers, choosing where to live, trying out celibate life, pursuing advanced degrees, buying homes, and so on. They are trying to find meaning in life at this stage—which turns out to be a struggle in our society.

Legacy is a time for folks to recommit to living the Gospel and being renewed in their commitment to mature, life-long disciple-ship. Mike Shaughnessy talked about what to do when life throws you a “wobbly” (no, we are not sure what that exactly means but it does communicate). Mike talked about how we experience grace when things do not go as we planned or how we had hoped they would.

In the decade of doing Legacy Conferences, over 1,000 folks have attended. Many have found the deeper walk with the Lord they were se

eking, or were encouraged, or made significant decisions, and many have made and strengthened friendships—grown as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Every stage of life brings its own opportunities and struggles. Our speakers tried to give hints, helps, and tools for coming through the current stage successfully.

The sharing with other brothers and sisters in a similar place of life (as well has having fun and fellowship with one another) was encouraging. We aim to make this a time of refreshment as well as growth.

As our Kairos youth grow into adulthood, we still value the opportunity to touch base and encourage them in their desire to follow the Lord. Many, even most, of our youth continue to embrace the call to follow Jesus Christ and organize their adult lives and families around the Christian call to be mature disciples.

Thank you for walking with them all the way through their youth. Your prayers for

 them and your financial support for our Kairos programs are concrete ways you are making a difference in the next generation. We appreciate you more than we can express. May the Lord richly bless you and keep you in His hands.

Your brother in the Lord’s service,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Looking Back: John Michael Hoyt

Dear Friends:

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ! Many young people participate in different Kairos programs:  maybe summer adventure trips, YES! Retreats, or taking time off from “normal life” to serve the Stand in the Gap program or now as a Kairos Intern.

This month we hear from JM Hoyt, who did a Gap year in 2015, and stayed on in Michigan to continue serving and growing in his relationship with the Lord. JM grew up in Tempe, Arizona, in a faithful, church-going Christian family. For some reason, JM (like Onesimus from the book of Philemon) needed to get away to really “find” Jesus Christ. As JM says, “I knew everything about Christianity except Jesus.”

“In high school, I was constantly in trouble, hanging with the wrong people and serving many school     detentions. I also had issues with academics. During my senior year, this landed me a suspension from the football team, right before big playoff games.

“I worked hard and caught up because I really wanted to play. I had to get several signatures to OK    being reinstated to the team. The last one was my dad; I did not think he would be an issue. However, my dad had a condition: that he would present me several things I could do with the year after my graduation, and I had to pick from his list. I wanted to play so I agreed.

“Later in my senior year, I fell in love with philosophy (Aristotle and especially Stoicism). The Lord used this to start drawing me to a better path than the one I was on. Stoicism teaches that we should not get caught up in the world and things of the world. For most of my growing up, what I wanted was to be a Navy Seal. I knew one of the aspects of special ops is being a man of your word. The philosophers gave me the motivation to be that.

“During the summer, my parents sent me to The Philippines to serve with a priest friend of the    family. I thought that would cover my dad’s conditions, but it did not! While I was gone, my dad talked with Mike Shaughnessy, the one who developed the Kairos ‘youth bridge’ concept that is now the basis of how we shape our Kairos programs. Mike suggested sending me to Michigan to do a Gap year.

“This was not what I wanted to do, but I was trying to be a man of my word. I was not a Christian when I did the interview for the Gap year. However, I knew all the ‘answers’ because of my upbringing.

“One aspect of the Gap year was a Life in the Spirit seminar. During that seminar, I encountered the Lord and gave my life to Him in a real way. I heard the Lord ask me if I wanted Him. As time went on, my question to myself has been: ‘do I want to continue to serve the Lord and be a disciple?’ This question has informed many decisions since that time.


“After my Gap year, I decided to stay in Lansing. I could see that there were many opportunities to serve and grow as a disciple of the Lord here. If I went back to Tempe, it would be harder with my old friends and connections. There, I was the kid always in trouble and barely passing high school. Here, I was creating a reputation of being zealous for the Lord and someone who could be trusted with significant service in the outreaches.

“I began serving in the University Christian Outreach (UCO) here in Lansing and lived in a UCO household for two years. I went to the community college and earned a degree in skilled trades. I helped lead the Gap guys’ household and continued doing staff work with UCO. I even lived with a household of the Servants of the Word—men living single for the Lord. I wanted to be with these holy guys and to discern what the Lord had for me regarding state of life: continuing with the Servants of the Word, becoming a priest, or    married life. After discernment with the brothers, I moved out and took on a UCO household again.

“Now I am doing outreach for a young professions (YP) group in Lansing, called ‘Sycamore Outreach.’ The YP group is what we call the end of the ‘youth bridge.’ We reach out to post-college folks, younger     people in trades, and those working instead of attending college. It takes work to contact non-university folks. In addition, many churches have some sort of YP, which can make this seem like a ’saturated market.’ However, generally these outreaches focus on social events—I’m all for social events—but do not call people to mature discipleship and a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.

“Our goal is to move YPs into an adult, established community of believers by bringing our YP   members fully to Christ, filled with the Holy Spirit. We look at this outreach as an ‘on-ramp’ to a committed life in the Lord. We want people to form Christian relationships that will support them in their adult Christian lives: married, single, older, younger, and when they are raising their own families.”

Isn’t it remarkable what the Lord can do with one reluctant ‘Gapper’? Thank you so much for supporting our youth mission work! The Lord is raising up the next generation of missionaries, disciples and leaders, Christian marriages and families, and celibates “for such a time as this.” We are grateful to be on mission with you.


Your brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Boundary Waters Adventure

Dear Friends:

Happy New Year! May the Lord shower you with many blessings in 2022.

We decided to begin the New Year with thanksgiving for all the Lord has done—known and unknown—in the past year. It is very important that you, our partners and donors, know how the Lord used you to move this mission forward. We could not do our many trips, hold YES! Retreats, have Summer Adventure Guides, or have Kairos interns without your support. Here, in the cold of winter, we want to give you a quick report from one of last summer’s girls trips.

This is a report from Katie, who went on the Boundary Waters Adventure Trip, in northern Minnesota. “I decided to go on the adventure trip because it sounded fun and I wanted to learn some skills. I did have adventure and learned a ton!

“Our group took the wrong portage on day one and became lost. Our first two portages on that day were longer than the longest we were supposed to do. The total portage distance for our trip was supposed to be 3-5 miles, but our group did around 15 miles!

“While paddling around a big lake looking for the next portage, we went through a marshy area that was, again, wrong. In the marsh, we often were walking the canoes chanting ‘1,2,3 push’ through all this wet land. Then we came to a section of boulders and marsh – we sort of jumped, with the canoes, from boulder to boulder. We made it through the marsh and came to a small lake, which was more like a pond.


“We knew then we had really gone wrong, and our paper map did not help us. We had phone GPS (which should not have worked in the wilderness). We prayed over the phone and got a ‘magic God signal.’ We saw we had to go back through the marsh (which was really my favorite part!).

  Returning to the bigger lake, we found some people who helped us get back on track. We would have to go all the way back and begin again, which meant giving up the scheduled rest day so we could finish the trip. On day two, we made where we were supposed to be on day one – we felt like we were the champions!


“To make up time, we were able to go another way (again a long portage but we knew we could do it because we had already done longer ones). We were a whole lake ahead of schedule by 11:30 AM! That gave us an afternoon of rest and fun that we were not expecting to have.


“Not knowing where we were was the most stressful part for me; I was not in control, which was hard. God let me know that HE was in    control. In the Boundary Waters, there was no second option – we get through or are stuck. The canoe on your back is a physical burden, but that can be easier than the mental burden. I was able to ‘zone out’ on the physical (the heavy canoe) and think about the spiritual. This lesson has helped me deal with other physical burdens – ‘I can do this.’”

As you can see, our Kairos trips allow for a good amount of supervised adventure. While we did not intend for this trip to be as rugged as Katie describes, our trips do “stretch” our youth (and our leaders!).

But why do we do this? To allow for experiences just like Katie had: encountering times when we need to trust in the Lord and experience His provision. Having the youth see concrete and personal answered prayers and experiencing help from the Lord, is difficult to reproduce in regular, comfortable life.

And, the reason we are able to provide this experience is because of your prayer and financial support. We are so grateful to you. Again, many blessings to you and your family in the New Year.

Your brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Standing in the GAP

Dear Friends:

Many young men and women have participated in the Kairos Stand in the Gap program over the years. Some of them discern the Lord’s call to go on doing mission for another year (or even more). Michael Koval is one such young man. He spent last year in London, serving mainly with the college outreach and evangelism there.

Mike came back to the States this past summer and we were able to catch up with him to report on his year. Mike is a certified welder, so he was using the summer to raise funds for another year on mission.

Why did you decide to take a year “Stand in the Gap” in London?

“I simply felt the Lord putting this call on my heart over time, it wasn’t a ‘snap—of—the—fingers’ decision.  I was working in what I thought at the time was going to be my career, but I found myself desiring to serve the Lord more fully. As time went on, several words from the Lord, along with conversations with trusted friends and loved ones lead me to a) believe this truly was a call from God, and b) know I could trust in his plan despite my fear of leaving my roots in Michigan. The latter was one of my greatest motivations and greatest obstacles; I knew I needed to grow In my faith and I also knew that leaving my bonds of comfort was the only way to do it.”

What were a couple of highlights?

There were many highlights, so many in fact I usually tell people the entire year was simply the best year of my life! I was able to watch the Lord tangibly work in my life; in ways I never expected or knew was possible. There were, of course, some very ‘highlighted’ highlights, the first being my experience with an outreach ministry.  We went to an event called Witch Fest, which is the largest gathering of witches and warlocks in the world, numbering in the thousands.

“The day I spent with a handful of fellow Christians ministering to these people was hands down the most powerful experience I have ever had in my entire life. It is going take one heck of another Saturday to beat it! I witnessed miraculous conversions, and I came away with a completely renewed sense of God’s unconditional love for every person, even those that devote their lives in the pursuit of the evil one. God still loves them and wants them to know it. To witness a lifelong Wicken break down, admit she never knew Jesus loved her, and then immediately give her life to Christ, was, to say the least, groundbreaking in my faith.

“Another highlight I want to mention was living with a household of the Servants of the Word, a group of celibate, missionary men. The consistency in prayer and the overall structure living there gave my life was pivotal to the growth in my relationship with God that I needed.”

Can you share some thing or two that were challenges for you?

“In all of this, the hardest challenge was leaving, not my job or even my country, but my friends and family on whom I rely on so much. However, in hindsight, I can say with full certainty it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself, or rather the best thing God has worked in me.  It was necessary for me to leave everything in order to find solace in a new reliance on God and a new trust in his power.”

You are going back to London for another year on mission. Why?

“I felt many times over my first mission/Gap year that God was calling me to give more of my life to him for the sake of mission. After a lengthy discernment process, I truly felt blessed to have found a place where I can help and serve in building the kingdom of God. Through that time of discernment, God wholly changed my heart. I thought the idea of serving for two years was out of the question, but after seeking the Lord in prayer more deeply, and asking for a heart like clay that He can mold to His likeness, God did just that. I haven’t a single regret or doubt that I am where God wants me to be for this time of my life.”

Knowing young men like Mike is an amazing privilege. What a servant of Christ he has  become! Thank you for participating in the mission of reaching young people for Jesus; your prayers and financial support go a very long ways in helping us help them. May the Lord bless and keep you and your loved ones.

Kairos Intern

Dear Friends:

We kicked off new programs this year for young people just out of high school (or a year into college). The summer program is call Kairos Adventure Guides (KAG). During the summer, the KAG participants helped lead our summer adventure trips for young people in grades 7th—12th. It was a full summer; the Guides were only in Lansing for a total of seven days—just enough time for a good night’s sleep and to do laundry!

We also have begun a Kairos Internship Program (KI). This program is similar to our former Stand in the Gap, but allows the participants time to take classes or work a parttime job. Thomas Bielejeski, from Minnesota, shares with us a bit of what he has experienced and done so far as a Kairos Intern.

“I decided to do KI because I wanted to take a year off after high school and do a mission year somewhere. The Kairos Internship Program  offered me a chance to live in Christian community and have Christian support and fellowship as I serve on mission. At the end of this year, I will then spend the summer leading Kairos adventure trips. Both give me the opportunity to grow in my faith and confidence in leading people. 

“A challenge for me was not knowing what my year was going to look like when I moved to Michigan. I didn’t know many people in Michigan, and somehow I didn’t feel like I would fit in very well with them. So, I was a little apprehensive about the year ahead.

 “However, I have discovered that even if you don’t know anyone in Lansing, after a month or so you’ll feel like you’ve known them forever! The people here have been super welcoming and are always willing to do anything with and for me. 

“I am currently working part-time at Chick-fil-a and working part-time for Kairos. I’ve also been participating in the University Christian Outreach (UCO) Formation Program and helping with their outreach to students at Michigan State University and at Lansing Community College. One of my biggest highlights has been having morning prayer at the UCO men’s house and being able to spend a lot of my time with the guys living there.

“For the future, I’m considering staying in Lansing for another year to serve more with UCO and live in UCO household next year.”


Thanks for supporting young people like Thomas who are stepping out of “comfort zones” to grow in the Lord and serve him. We are delighted in the “yeses” young men and women are offering to the Lord. Please keep them in your prayers. Thank you for being a partner in mission!

Boys Summer Trips

Dear Friends:


We had three great boys trips this summer. Our veteran trip leaders, Stan Mathay and Brian LaLonde, were joined by our Kairos Adventure Guides, CJ Peine of Minnesota, and David Ludwig of Michigan. We also had some great dad volunteers who joined us. Brian tells us of some faith adventures, three of which he refers to as answers to “pavilion prayers.”


“Our 8th grade New York canoe trip was very rainy this year,” says Brian. “It was mostly OK, because we are out on the     water most of the time. However, on the final day, we usually do a steep hike and then end with a campfire and honoring of each other.


“It was pouring down rain and quite cold on the last day, so we needed to improvise. We were not going to be able to pull off the hike, so we drove into the nearest town, which was Lake Placid—the site of the 1980 Olympics, where the U.S. beat Russia in hockey! (The adults were a bit more excited about this history than the boys were.) What we needed was some sort of pavilion to have our final dinner, prayer, and honorings to wrap up the week.


“So, as we were driving into Lake Placid, we prayed our first pavilion prayer: ‘Lord, we are going into town and we need a place to spend this day.’ As soon as we pulled into town, we spotted a beautiful band pavilion. We spend part of the day there. Then, we drove to a trail head and took a short hike. We all got soaked and were quite cold.


“We returned to our campsite, knowing the site would be flooded. We drove to another small town and prayed our second pavilion prayer. We drove into town and—boom—there it was! A beautiful pavilion where we could do our whole evening. Many of the boys brought in their sleeping bags to stay warm.


“Our 9th grade trip to Wyoming was the place of the third pavilion prayer. Normally it is very dry and we sleep outside under the stars. However, at our first stop, the wind picked up and there was lightening. We ran everybody back to the van about 11 PM. We did not want to set up tents because there was no grass; it was just turning to mud. We drove two more hours and prayed another pavilion prayer. We drove into a little mountain town, looking for fairgrounds. Once again, a great pavilion was spotted at 3 AM. We all pulled out sleeping bags and slept soundly on the concrete.


“The 7th grade boys trip to Virginia did not include a pavilion prayer but the boys (and us) had faith-building experiences. One happened on the last day. We hiked two miles to a river swimming hole. It is a favorite spot for us to swim and get a bit cleaner for the ride home. On the hike back, one of the boys realized that he had left his knife at the swimming hole; he was crushed. He wanted us to let him walk back the two miles to get it. Well, that was out of the question, but we all prayed that the knife would be there the next day when we hiked back by that spot on our way out. The young man was really shaken and just could not believe it would be there. He said he wouldn’t be able to sleep that night. Turns out none of us got much sleep because it was a windy night (the kind where the gusts of wind blow the tent down in your face).


“The next morning, the boy hiked ahead with me. When we arrived, the knife was right there. This was a miracle to the young man. He was joyful and encouraged, even jumping around with joy. The rest of us were a bit dragging from the sleepless night!”


We hope that many of the 7th grade boys will return to do the 8th grade trip next year. Brian is sure the “knife story” will be one that the boys will use to increase their faith when the going gets hard. Thanks for being a partner with us in bringing youth at all stages of life closer to Christ. We very much appreciate your prayers and financial support!

Allegheny Ascent

Dear Friends:


What a summer we are having! Over 100 young people participated in our Kairos trips this year: a new record. This month we are reporting on our 7th grade girls trip to the Allegheny Mountains. This trip was the first with just the 7th grade girls. Instead of setting up camp each evening, they stayed in one place and did hikes during the day.

As a special bonus, two former “gappers,” Katherine Kebe and Olivia Harvey, helped staff the trip. It was really fun to have them both back serving in Kairos together. Here are a few of their comments and observations from the trip.

“The trip was so good and very, very blessed,” says Katherine. “This   mission was dear to my heart because I can attribute the foundations of my own faith to a trip just like this. The goal of this trip was to set and build those faith foundations, and to plant seeds in the hearts of these girls of what being in community with other Christians can look like. We wanted to foster relational foundations for these girls with each other, but most importantly with their Lord. I sometimes forget the way that the Holy Spirit works in our daily life, but this trip was living proof of the impact He makes in our lives! There is no other way that thirteen 7th grade girls from all over the country would be so tightly bonded within a matter of a few days except by the Holy Spirit.

“I am convinced more and more of the value of being together with other Christians; that the work the Lord is about in our world will be moved forward by Christians together. It was truly an honor to serve and love these young women and I certainly pray that they will continue to draw near to the Lord and the life He has for them! What a gift to be a part of such a mission.”

“The trip was great,” Olivia says. “The girls had a lot of fun, and they bonded really well together. Of course, there were some unforeseen challenges, but the Lord was definitely guiding me and the other leaders through them, and it was such a grace-filled trip!”

We are hoping to expand to more trips next year, especially on the girls side.  We are planning for an 8th girls grade trip, along with having trips and events for each high school grade. The goal is for the youth to form strong bonds of friendship and support (as well as having lots of fun), that will sustain them through their college days.

We owe you, our faithful partners, many thanks for being supporters of this mission to young people. God is calling a new generation to know, love, and serve Him. This summer has been a fruitful season in this work. May the Holy Spirit be withyou, ever drawing you nearer to the One who saves!



Your brother in mission,

James Munk

Kairos Director