Category: Updates

Kairos in the Summer

Dear Friends:

Summer is upon us and our long-awaited trips are beginning this month. Our new “Kairos Adventure Guides” begins June 13. This program is for college-aged people who wish to serve as staff on Christian adventure trips.

For our first year, CJ and David will be paving the way for our future Guides. In between trips, they will be living in household with other men and receiving training. They will be staffing all four boys’ trips, serving in a “big brother” role for the boys and as models of Christian men. They will be joining our veteran leaders Brian LaLonde and Stan Mathay, along with other adult volunteers.

Another first this year is our “Kairos Summit” in June, being held outside of Atlanta, Georgia. This long weekend retreat/adventure is for juniors & seniors in high school. They will hear presentations from University Christian Outreach and Saint Paul’s Outreach, be given talks about vision for living their lives in fellowship with other Christians, and how to discern what the Lord might want to do with their lives post high school. Another goal is to equip our youth to engage the “world” intellectually by looking at some main “thinkers” throughout history. There will also be day adventures and service projects. We currently have 18 youth signed up for this first-ever event.

From the end of June into July, the 8th grade boys’ “Adirondack Adventure” will happen in upstate New York. This is our second year doing this trip, which took the place of our annual Algonquin canoe trip. It worked really well last year, as Covid restrictions meant we could not travel from the U.S. into Canada. This new trip includes both canoeing and backpacking. We have 20 youth registered from six states, which means we have to split the trip into three groups to respect the wilderness environment.

New this year is our 7th grade girls trip also from the end of June into July. This trip is dubbed “Allegheny Assent.” As of this writing, 14 girls are participating. We will stay at one location for sleeping and hold day hikes. An important goal for the trip is that the girls meet and get to know other Christian middle schoolers. We hope they will form relationships that will help build for their future YES retreats. Elements of the trip will also include prayer together, scripture meditations, and personal sharing. Two GAP alumni are running the trip, along with Kairos staffer Molly Kilpatrick and other staff volunteers from five states.

In the middle of July, we have a canoe adventure for 8th – 9th grade girls; they will travel to Minnesota to canoe the beautiful Boundary Waters. This trip is led by veteran Sandy Buchner. We will also be splitting the group in three to respect the fragile environment of the north country. Currently, 13 girls are going to embrace adventure and Christian fellowship.

 

Concurrently, another trip we have long held in July is the 9th grade boys “Rocky Mountain Jamboree.” This is our most rugged trip, wilderness hiking in the Rocky Mountains. We currently have around 20 guys attending from eight states.

Finally, at the end of July, we have our classic 7th grade boys Virginia trip: Appalachian Rendezvous. On this trip, we are bound to encounter both rain and cool wildlife (including wild ponies). We have many pictures of boys hiking in rain ponchos as well as welcoming ponies into their campsites!

This is the first summer we have nearly 100 youth participating. Next year, we plan to expand further and add a couple of trips; we are especially planning for high school girls. Our 9th & 10th grade girls’ program will begin next year.

The two Kairos vans will see lots of use. Even with two vans, we will be renting more to meet our needs. This is a great problem to have; the Lord has been good to us!

We are very excited to be able to hold youth trips that seemed out of reach a year ago. Thanks so much for your support in our efforts of reaching youth via these high impact trips. Having these “stretching” adventures with other Christian youth and with phenomenal staff is life changing. Young people remember these trips and the impact they had for their whole lives. Thanks again!

Your brother in the Lord’s service,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Thy Kingdom Come

Dear Friends:

Greetings in the Lord! After the great disappointment of needing to cancel the 2020 Youth Equipped to Stand

(YES!) Retreat, our staff was determined to make a “live” event happen this year. Two years in the life of a teen is an eternity. We had a “virtual” retreat in 2020, which was certainly better than nothing, but does not compare to the power of praying together and being together. Stephen Giles, our YES! Re

treat director, filled us in on YES 2021.

“Our theme was Thy Kingdom Come! It turned out to be a very timely theme for 2021. In our staff prayer before the retreat, we sensed that our youth needed to hear the Lord and by touched by Him; that it was time to re-engage after the ‘pause button’ that was the past year. We felt that the youth needed to be moved toward ‘wanting to want’ what the Lord had for them. To move towards being loyal to Christ and not to the world. Only in the Lord is our hope.

“We had 160 youth (about 2/3 of a ‘normal’ YES! Retreat) in person, and about 30 more participating online. Travel was not possible for teens from some states, and not at all for Canadian youth. Michindoh Camp, where we held the retreat, had Covid protocols, and we were able to use those to make as safe a retreat as possible. We could be outside without masks, and when indoors we masked and kept to our ‘pods,’ which were distanced from other ‘pods.’ The pods worked great for housing, meals, worship, talk sessions, discussion groups, and prayer ministry.

“All the kids were repeating how great it was to be there, but the happiest group had to be the sophomores—they missed what was supposed to be their first YES! Retreat last year. They were really ready to engage! The teens were right there, participating in worship, and attentive during the talks and breakout sessions.”

Here are a few of the comments that the youth wrote on their evaluation forms:

“For most of high school, I believed the lie that I was only ‘tolerated’ and not actually loved by anyone. During the prayer session, I asked for prayers to deal with this lie. As soon as my small group started to pray over me, I felt a very strong sense of love and fellowship from God and from my group.”

Before YES, I was having a difficult time worshipping and really seeing the Lord as the King…worship had become foreign to me. With COVID restrictions, it had been so long since I was able to do praise and worship. Coming into YES Retreat 2021, learning the theme was ‘Thy Kingdom Come’, I knew I was in trouble. But during the first praise and worship session, everything just clicked. As I sang, I thought about all the struggle of the past year, and it just hit me. I suddenly saw all the victories the Lord has won in my life; I realized that he has won THE victory; that he is powerful and mighty. And all I wanted to do was lift my hands and praise him and worship him and sing to him. My soul cried out, ‘You are my King and my God.’”

“Although I come from a very faith-based family, where my parents set an amazing example of having Christ on their ‘thrones,’ during my junior year and the beginning of my senior year of high school I had lost a lot of my faith. I didn’t really care about my relationship with the Lord, and I went to church only because my parents made me. I love riding and training horses, but I put horses and school on my ‘throne’ rather than God. During YES 2021, I was able to realize who should be King of my life. I was one of the people who stood to say that I wanted to give my life to Jesus and set Him on my throne. It will be a daily choice, but the retreat gave me exactly the push that I needed to turn my life around in the right direction: toward Je-sus.”

“The YES Retreat in one word: phenomenal. In two words: life changing. In five words: best weekend of my life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so at peace with my life and whatever plan God has for me than during the retreat. I don’t think I can describe the pure fulfillment I felt in the Lord and how many things changed in that moment. And that feeling didn’t just go away when I went home. I intend to carry what I learned at the YES Retreat into the rest of my life and grow upon it.”

Well, that makes all the work worth it! Many thanks to Stephen and his staff for making this retreat happen. Thanks to the Lord for all the answered prayers for the retreat. It is humbling to be used by the Lord to reach his precious young people and see them respond to the call to follow Jesus, for their lives, for the rest of their lives. Thanks so much for being part of this ministry. The Lord is blessing our partnership in reaching young people!

Your brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Kairos Summer Trips

Dear Friends in Christ:

 

Van Fundraiser Update: We did it! Thanks to the generosity of many people, we have surpassed our goal of $40,000 to purchase two vans for our summer programs! In just over three months, our partners have overwhelmed us with abundance. (If you were meaning to donate, still feel free; extra funds will be used for maintenance and a trailer purchase.) We are currently shopping—what a great blessing!

Last month, we started a series talking about how we are working to sharpen our focus in Kairos. This month, I want to tell you about one very important element of this: our summer trips.

We have been offering summer adventure trips for many years, but mostly for boys, grades 7 to 9. Going forward, we are planning trips for junior high girls, and expanding our trips through the end of high school. As a side point, that is why our van fundraiser was so important; to run these new trips, we will need the wheels.

We are making these changes for a few reasons.  First, while something like the YES! Retreat has a big spiritual impact, because it has gotten so big, relationally it becomes harder for youth to get to know young people from other locations. The bigger an event becomes, the more likely people are to hang out with the people they   already know.  We hope that our summer trips will work against this – we will only have about 20 youth per trip, and youth going on trips will be with the same class every    summer – so by the end of High School, they will have some strong, supportive, relational bonds.

As we expand our summer trips, one new adventure we are planning is a special trip for upperclassmen: we are calling this the Kairos Summit. This trip will focus on “what comes next” after high school, with an emphasis on connecting youth to our missions after graduation.

By the time a senior graduates high school, he or she will have had the opportunity to attend four YES! Retreats, five outdoor adventure trips, and a Vision Retreat. So, what happens after high school? Glad you asked!

We are instituting Kairos Adventure Guides. This will be a 3-month summer program of training, living in community with others in Christian household, and serving on the Kairos adventure trips.

There will be two parts to the “Guides” program. The first year will be aimed especially at recent high school grads, but open to all 18–22-year-olds. The second year will be open to veteran staff.

The Guides will receive training as they live in either a men’s or a women’s household while they are doing their training weeks. Training will include camping together, serving together, learning how to be an effective youth leader, and how to be safe in the back country as they lead trips. Then they will spend a lot of time “on the road” staffing various youth trips.

The Adventure Guides will be a summer-only program. However, there will be opportunity for young people who are looking to spend a year away from home. Some of them will want to take a longer time to serve, seek the Lord, and connect to a Christian community. They will serve with Kairos for 5-10 hours a week. Kairos will help them connect with the local University Christian Outreach, the local Christian community, find a job or take classes at a local college, and place them in a good living situation.

There are similarities to the Standing in the Gap Program, with important differences. For example, they will have enough time to have a part-time job or take some college classes. They also will not need to raise their whole support, as they did while in the GAP program. We are hoping to take the best pieces of the GAP adventure and make it more doable for both the young people and for Kairos.

I am very excited about our expanded and sharpened vision for working with youth. I am grateful to the Lord for giving me this adventurous life in Him, and for the opportunity to call young people to a radical life in Jesus Christ. Thank you for being part of this call. Your prayers and financial support mean more than I can express.

In our victorious Lord,

James Munk

Kairos Director

 

 

Kairos Vision, Goal, and Purpose

Dear Friends:

What is the vision, goal, and purpose of our Kairos youth work? Great question! This month we want to explain how we are sharpening our vision and focus to serve youth more effectively.

We have become clearer in recent years that our main mission is to teens, from middle school through high school. This includes helping them “launch” into supportive Christian environments: college or mission or employment. How do we do that?

First off, we work to help awaken an “adventuresome faith.” We want our young people to know that following the Lord can be the greatest adventure of their lives! Kairos sponsors high-impact events that call for a “discipleship response.” These are events that help teens build relationships with other Christian teens; that help them form an identity as a disciple of Christ; where great memories are made; and that offer teens a way to serve in return.

We offer young people a place in Christ’s mission. We help youth workers, parents, and leaders in their local situations to do the same. We are looking for a generous response to the Lord from our young people!

Sounds great, James, but how is this done?

Over the years, we have found that the annual high school YES! Retreat has been hugely effective in calling teens to Christ and moving them forward in their walk with Him. But, starting this summer, we will also be holding “class” trips (from 7 th – 12 th grades) that are much more narrowly focused on the needs of young people in each year of their teenage lives, which includes building relationships with peers.
For our post-high school youth, we will offer them the opportunity to serve as Kairos Adventure Guides on our many adventure trips. This will be an internship that goes for the whole summer, with opportunity to extend it into the fall.

We will continue to provide training – in person and virtually – for youth workers. A yearly “Youth Workers Summit” will be an important part of this. We will also help parents negotiate the “bridging points” where youth can most easily lose their Christian faith (e.g., the move from high school to college). We will hold a yearly online Parent Forum specifically to help parents deal with the media challenges their young person may be having.

In the next couple of months, we will explain more fully about these programs and how we are envisioning their blessings for our youth. We are moving ahead with the YES! Retreat this month, despite obvious challenges. We do not want to squander any opportunity to work with, call, and bring youth closer to Christ.

One of the blessings of the COVID-19 “down time” has been the opportunity to pray and plan and reimagine some of our programs. We are excited about the sharper focus and new initiatives. As you can see below, one of the important practical needs is for vans to transport our youth and staff to and from adventure trip locations. We are genuinely excited about the future of Kairos youth work.

Thank you so much for standing with us during this time.
Your brother in Christ,

James Munk
Kairos Director

The Barnabas Buddy Project

Dear Friends:

Greetings in our Lord Jesus Christ! This month we salute youth group leaders    everywhere, and especially those connected with Kairos. We very much appreciate their love, creativity, and devotion to the next generation.

This past year has been a challenging time to work with youth. School closings, lockdowns, mask mandates, gathering size restrictions, as well as trying hard to keep the youth group leaders themselves healthy, have all made serving our young people difficult.

This month we highlight what some youth group leaders in Los Angeles have been trying through their “Barnabas Buddy” program for their youth group.

Christine Miranda is the youth group lead staffer and we asked her how this initiative was going and how the young people were responding.

1) What you have tried and what has worked?

“What we found worked well,” Christine tells us, “was focusing on the characteristics that Barnabas displayed in the book of Acts. For example, in Acts, chapter 11, three traits we see in Barnabas: being someone’s champion, continuously growing in righteousness, and learning to work with others. We used videos and integrated those lessons into real-life situations. We were hoping this would help the youth apply Barnabas’ virtues to their own lives. For example, how can we apply these discussions to our social media use, amount of screen time, and how we approach personal relationships?”

 2) Have you seen some fruit?

“From this activity, our young people’s participations during our Zoom prayer meetings became more involved. They were able to take turns leading the worship and planning the activities for that day. Through this they were able to work on their relationships and encourage one another. 

“When we talked about how they were able to apply all that they leaned, they shared they were more aware and sensitive to the opportunities for them to be encouraging. One of our older boys has taken more responsibility to be a ‘big brother’ to the younger members of the group. He leads the youth ministry in worship. The youth then take an active part in whatever tasks they are assigned to make the meeting successful. Through this experience, they are able to work well with and take more part in the group that they belong to.”

3) What are some challenges you have encountered? 

 “As with all things, there are some of our young people who are still not as engaged as we would like them to be. We have also discovered that some of the concepts we have taught just do not ‘click’ well with our kids. For example, stories that are more geographically centered (like trying to trace the evangelistic journey that Paul and Barnabas did     together) do not resonate with all of them. We learn as we go!”

 4) What response have you had from the kids? 

 “All the kids who are participating have engaged well with each other.  Their discussions together have served as a major encouragement.” 

  This has obviously been a stretching time for our youth and youth group leaders. Youth groups are generally designed to be effective by the young people being together. We send a big “thank you” to all those leaders who are serving our youth at this time and remain dedicated to calling them to Jesus Christ—no matter what the challenges!

KAIROS VAN UPDATE
Here’s an update on our ongoing van fundraiser for Kairos adventure trips; after only one month, we are very encouraged! To contribute, go to our webpage: https://kairos-na.org/van/ OR send a check to Kairos with “van fundraiser” on the memo OR use a smart phone to go to the link

 

 

 


Your brother in Jesus Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Looking for a New Red Justice

Red Van with Guys working on Trailer

Dear Friends:

Greetings in the New Year! I know we are all hoping to see the end of the pandemic and the  beginning of a fruitful 2021.

Last summer, our faithful Kairos Fellowship van, dubbed “Red Justice,” rolled through its last mile. It  made it through the summer but died at the end of our last 2020 Virginia trip. We have had this workhorse  1998 Ford E350 since 2016. It provided us with over 30,000 miles over five summers, transporting at least  150 boys.

Kairos Fellowship is our outdoor camping program that forms junior high boys, ages 13-15, in strong  Christian character and equips them for a mature walk with the Lord. The program is designed for boys to  encounter and be challenged by the beauty of God’s creation. Boys form lasting experiences and friendships  with each other that are rooted in the Lord.

Over the coming years we will be expanding our trips to include another guys trip, and ultimately four girls trips as well. We’ve had some girls trips in the past, but nothing as consistent as for the guys. We are working to change that. In order for this to be possible, we need to purchase a new van, actually two vans if we can. These vans are essential for all of these trips. We need them to transport youth, staff, and gear. They allow us to offer the trips at a much lower price than if we had to rent vans for each trip. This month, we are launching a van fundraiser so that for next summer, and for many summers to come, we can have the vans we need to run these great adventure trips. “Red Justice” served at least 150 boys over five summers. Five years from now, our goal is to serve that many youth every single summer!

We are inviting you to make a contribution to this van fundraiser, helping us continue our mission for many summers to come. Any contributions you make will go directly towards allowing us to purchase these

vans. As a “thank you” for any gift to the van fundraiser, you will receive a cool bumper sticker from Kairos Fellowship (see right). For a $500 gift, we will send you a Yeti Thermos with the Kairos logo. For a $1,500 gift, you will receive both the thermos and a fleece. For a $5,000 gift, I may even be  able to convince Stan and Brian to take you on a camping trip!

Donate here: https://kairos-na.org/van/

Thank you so much for your support of all our programs for youth. We know by God’s grace, along  with your prayers and financial support, we will have what we need to serve young people and be part of  the process that brings them into Christian adulthood.

May God richly bless you in this New Year!

Your brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

A Look Back

Dear Friends:

Many blessings of the Season to you! We asked Elisha Miranda, one of our Kairos staff members, to look back at her 2015-16 Standing in the Gap (GAP) experience as well as to her college days, to share with us how the Lord used those years to prepare her for her current work with Kairos. Elisha is from Los Angeles and came to Michigan for her GAP year.

“Looking back on my GAP year, there were many life-shaping events right away: moving away from home, learning exactly how unprepared I was to be away from home, and having exposure to different kinds of people. These and many other experiences prepared me to go back home, start college, and serve the LA community and outreach. Two takeaways that truly helped me in my service are these: just because it is hard doesn’t mean it is not worth doing, and being on mission for the Lord does not always look like praying over strangers on the street.

“These feel like common sense in some ways. Many things that are worth doing are difficult, but it was something that stuck with me as I took my flight home coming out of my year of service. As I adjusted to life back home and established new routines and tried to not miss my friends from Michigan so much, I had to do the hard work of reestablishing myself through a transition. There were many moments when I thought I was suffering for no reason, and that life was simply hard.

“When those thoughts came, I remembered my GAP Year. I remembered the equally difficult transition then, the challenges of getting used to my service, and the awkwardness that came with meeting new people when I was so used to keeping to myself. I remembered those personal hardships and the end results of what happened when I persevered and continued to do those hard things. Not only did I grow in my personal relationship with the Lord, but I also grew in relationships with others. I grew in knowing my own character. Those lessons stuck with me as I reached out to the students in my classes, struck up relationships with them, served in my community, and grew in my prayer life.

“I also had to switch my perception of what mission looked like in my situation. During my high school years, it was hard for me to find many practical applications for the talks I heard at the high school YES retreats or in my own youth group. However, in my GAP year, I saw life lived for the Lord in a variety of ways. Sometimes mission does look like going onto campus and stopping people on their lunch breaks and asking to pray with them. But other times it looks like being welcoming when a new face shows up to a prayer meeting. Sometimes it looks like serving your housemates by doing dishes. Sometimes it looks like normal life lived diligently for the Lord.

“This was so important for me to realize as I got home and started to do more ‘regular’ service for my home community. At first, I was restless and bored because I wanted to do more. I wanted to do the exciting and fun and high impact events that were still so fresh in my mind. I had to constantly remind myself that ordinary life can be lived well and can be used for mission. My GAP year helped me realize that while serving can look exciting, most of the time it just looks normal.

“Back in LA during my college years, I mainly served with high school youth as a small group leader. This included giving talks to the girls, helping them establish a prayer life, and supporting them in their many life events. I also served the wider Christian community by leading a testimony writing seminar. I was able to use a lot of the materials given to me by University Christian Outreach (UCO), along with my experience of writing my own testimony during my GAP year.

“As I was reaching the end of my bachelor’s degree program, I was looking to the future and what kind of job I could find which best served the Lord while also being a viable career. Initially, I was thinking about becoming a full-time missionary for UCO. As part of my discernment process, I contacted James Munk, my former Gap Director, who had also done work with UCO missionaries, and asked for his advice. During my talk with him, I explained briefly what I was looking for in a career and my discernment about being a missionary. After we talked, James offered me the opportunity to work for Kairos. He did not know it at the time but working for Kairos was something that I had wanted to do since high school. I took the next month to pray and discern this offer.

“I made the decision to move across the country to work for Kairos. Working remotely has its benefits, but there is nothing that can compare with working alongside people who have a similar vision and who are working on the same projects. I love the office camaraderie and being able to brainstorm in person with my colleagues.

“So, here I am back in Michigan. I work as the Kairos Assistant Director of Information. This includes event administration for our retreats, conferences, and programs. I also connect with youth group leaders in North America with the resources Kairos has to offer, and I am on the executive team for YES Retreats.

“Right now, the Lord is teaching me the same takeaway that I received on my GAP Year: that serving and being on mission is also in the ordinary days of life. It is in the emails I send; it is in organizing information so that others are able access it; it is in the day-to-day tasks. He’s showing me that the events I loved going to as a high schooler took a lot of diligent work, and that this kind of nitty gritty work matters. Working for Kairos now has been an incredible blessing and being able to look at how the Lord created a lot of building blocks for me to get to this point is something I am constantly grateful for.“

Thank you for your partnership with Elisha and all the other missionaries serving our youth! May the Lord greatly bless and protect you in this Season of Expectation and in the year ahead. We very much value your friendship and support in mission. God bless you.

 

In the Peace of Christ,

 

James Munk

Kairos Director

Michael Koval on Mission

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.

Yours in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Kairos Fellowship Trips

Dear Friends:

This past summer we were able to run several junior high boys Kairos Fellowship trips. We did have to make adjustments due to Covid19 (like changing the 8th grade trip to the Adirondacks     instead of Algonquin in Canada), but the trips were still a great blessing to the boys and the staff. Our two 7th grade trips to the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia went as planned. The chance to sleep under the stars, hang out next to a waterfall, experience a “big sky” while in a canoe out on the water, gaining the satisfaction of reaching a peak after a challenging hike, and worshipping the Lord with other teens in the midst of God’s creation, will be experiences that stick with these boys for many years.

Our Kairos Fellowship staff, along with our terrific volunteer staff, make these trips way more than merely a wilderness     adventure. These godly men set the example of loving and serving the Lord as men, faithfully praying, and consistently joyful, no matter the circumstance.

The boys cook (and often catch) their dinners. They press on through rain, bugs, heat, and wind; they carry canoes over portages and their packs through mountains; they celebrate every successful climb and every fish caught.

They also pray together. Kairos Fellowship staff prepares scripture mediations and sets apart time for group and individual prayer. They have spiritual themes for the day to think and share about as they tackle each new part of the trip.

Thanks so much for your continual support for our youth and our programs for young people. This is a challenging time to be doing youth work. However, our God is faithful and none of this catches Him by surprise. We will move forward as the Lord leads us. The prayers and financial support of you, our partners in mission, is more important than ever. God bless you!

 

Your brother in mission,

James Munk

Kairos Director

Kairos Fellowship Virginia Trip

Dear Friends:

 

We had to cancel many of our events this summer because of Covid-19 restrictions. However, our junior high boys outdoor Kairos Fellowship trips were able to proceed; praise the Lord! We hear this month from one of the dads who served as staff for a Virginia trip, Joseph Fountain.

 

“On the first day hitting the trail we, a group of dads, Kairos staff, and junior high boys, headed up the mountain in a downpour,” Joseph reports. “After just a few steps everyone could tell this was the start of something epic! The rain came down and the trail became a river of running water over our boots, but the great attitudes of the boys and staff were a glimpse at a group of guys who came prepared for an adventure.

 

“The rain let up when we arrived several miles later at our first camp (the rain stopping or starting just in time would be a sign of the Lord’s favor and grace on us for the rest of the week). We were greeted right away by the friendly wild ponies at our camp, and several were quickly adopted and given names, depending on their attitude or varied coats of hair. ‘Cinnamon’ was a light brownish pony that seemed to always be smiling, and ‘Killer Bangs’ had a bit of a mullet and an attitude to match. The boys found a couple pregnant ponies and began naming the future babies; one lucky mare even had her mane braided!

 

“We made our way further into the mountains, climbing boulders and navigating the scree (a mass of small loose stones that cover a slope on a mountain) that seemed to be just about everywhere on the trail. The views of the mountains on the Appalachian trail are breathtaking; the peaks are covered in a mix of evergreen trees, birch, and other lush, green summer plants. Along the trails we were able to find blueberries and blackberries in abundance and we even found some chanterelle mushrooms to add to our camp dinners.

 

“We came to a camp that was full of ponies and longhorn cattle and had to be on the watch, since the ponies were mischievous and inquisitive about our gear and food. We continued to our third camp that was deeper in the mountains and was a more forested site. The rain came again just in time for a mid-afternoon nap, and we enjoyed our time around the campfire listening to stories and sharing about the day. We had an epic prayer time on gigantic, ancient boulders that were right in camp.

 

“In the morning before lunch, we set out from camp to have   silent meditations for the few-miles hike. I felt led to meditate on patience and living in the Holy Spirit, both great meditations for me as I dealt with the aches and pains of hiking in the mountains with a large backpack! I experienced the Lord being present in this time in a special way. I found extra energy and joy. I had a few moments of amusement while watching some of the boys as they hiked along, each in his own way: some running ahead and passing all of their brothers, others taking longer and struggling with the climb, but with good attitudes and keeping silent as we reflected together on Romans, chapter 8.

 

“We hiked to a huge grassy field on a mountainside with panoramic views of mountain vistas and valleys. From that camp we were able to take a refreshing swim in a mountain stream. Then the men watched the sunset while the boys struggled to make a 10-man pyramid. We believed they must have been successful if the whoops and hollers were any indication.

 

“There were many, many other great views, stories, and experiences, and through it all the Lord was clearly with us. I saw the Lord’s presence in our staff, in our health and relating, in our transportation, and in our short stays at the 4h camp before and after the trip.

 

“As a dad, I was proud of my son and the other boys that were on the trip; they were resilient and joyful through it all. I was grateful for the other dads that came along, and I grew closer to them and the Kairos staff after sharing stories of our vocations and testimonies of coming to Christ. The men of the Kairos Fellowship staff were great servants and leaders, and we could not have made it without them.”

 

We are incredibly grateful to Joseph and the other dads and volunteers that serve on staff and make these trips possible. Thanks also to you, our supporters, who by your prayers and financial gifts make it possible for us to offer these great adventures for our young teens. May our Lord greatly bless you in the months ahead.

 

Your brother in Jesus Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director