Category: Updates

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

Kairos International 24 Hour Day of Prayer

Dear Friends in Christ:


We hope you are faring well in this season. We are praying for you and all Christians to “stand firm in your faith…throughout the world.” (I Peter 9)


One important way to help that is by our prayers for one another. On Thursday, July 23, we joined Kairos international for a global, 24-hour prayer chain. The intercessors were mainly our Kairos young people, around ages16-23.


Kairos Europe & Middle East championed this international effort; men and women from all of our Kairos regions have been involved in the planning for several months, soon after the pandemic brought the world to a halt.


The young army of intercessors, united in prayer, also collectively were open to hearing the Lord for our Kairos mission in these unusual days. In particular, they prayed fervently for a renewed outpouring of the Holy Spirit and for the Lord’s protection for our Kairos network and for the wider people of God.


The 24 hours of intercession ended Friday, July 24, 8:00 UTC (coordinated universal time). Later that day Kairos hosted a one-hour digital event at 14:00 UTC (10:00 EDT). We worshiped together, summarised some of the    prophetic senses of the 24 hours of prayer, and heard a few minutes from me, James Munk, in my capacity as chair of Kairos International Coordinating Committee. 


My talk was on  I Thessalonians 5:16-24: Rejoice always, pray  constantly, give thanks in all circumstances. This is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.


I talked about what a person who really lived this passage would look like. What would it be like to know a person who lived with unassailable hope? Brothers and sisters, we are supposed to be that person for the sake of one another and for the sake of the world; that we can be “salt and light.” And, that we can only do that if we are a spiritual people, pointed to heaven.


Now this portrait – a person with unassailable hope – can seem like an issue of a personality, or will, or is not. Notice, it is the will of God  in Christ Jesus.And, I would submit to you, it is not possible to live this way apart from Christ.


It is not willful ignorance; it’s not stoicism; 

it is hope – and a strong version of it. The Lord is with us as we go through this current trial (life   disrupted, school          disrupted, employment concerns, financial concerns, health concerns). But, the Lord’s primary concern is our salvation. If each of us has this as our primary concern as well, we can be confident that the one who called us is faithful, and He will do it. Our job in all this?Fix our eyes on the age to come – be a people of unassailable hope:        rejoicing, praying, and     giving thanks to the One calling us home.


We pray and expect this initiative to bear fruit: not just in removing spiritual obstacles that grace may flow, but also in helping our younger participants to catch a flavour of the international bulwark that is Kairos; that they have brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world. Thank you so much for your support! May the Lord continue to bless and keep you now and always.

Kairos Summer Challenge

Every day, there is a scripture meditation to do and then discuss in the daily small groups. For example, here is Monday’s from the first mission challenge week:


We want to start this week thinking about the sort of decision every person has to make: will I live for God, or will I live for myself?

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” 

(Matthew 6:24)

“Money” in this verse can also be translated “mammon” or riches. The point of this verse is not that money is bad (you need it to eat), but that you can only have one master.

There’s a hard decision here: will our lives be about things (mammon), or about a person (Jesus the Lord).

Only one of these choices will lead you to true freedom; and here’s the good news: there’s a better plan for your life than being a slave to things of this life.

What are the “riches” that you are tempted to make the master of your life?

Have you decided to make Jesus the lord of your life? If so, what does that look like?


We are praying that spending a week with other youth—although remotely—going over mediations like this one, encouraging each other to fully participate in the daily challenges, and building relationships with other young people and staff will be a highlight of a summer where so many things have been cancelled. Thanks so much for your support of Kairos! Knowing we have partners like you in this strange time to be doing youth work helps us immensely. May the Lord be with you and protect you and your family.

Your brother in the Lord, 

James Munk

Kairos Director 

Gap Year Quarantine Edition

Dear Friends:

Special quarantine greetings! Here in Michigan, we are still in “lockdown” as of this writing. The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly changed life for our Stand in the Gap participants. Our “gappers” had all their services in the city (assisting an after-school program, visiting residents of a long-term care facility, helping with a preschool program, serving with youth
groups, being part of and serving the local UCO, and much more)
canceled. So, what did they do?

For some background, our gappers this year came from diverse places: two from Germany, one from Ireland, one from Ohio, one from California, and one from west Michigan. They came to Lansing, Michigan, without really knowing much about what they were getting themselves into.

Yup, they’ve become good friends!

Coloring Easter eggs during “stay at home”

There were some rough spots at the beginning, especially for the young women. They were all in household together (along with household leaders Marie DeMarais from Minne- sota and Cecilia Harvey from Michigan). None of the gappers had experienced anything like this before. Gab, our sole
guy gapper, lived with the Servants of the Word, in a house- hold of celibate men.

When the COVID-19 stay-at-home
order came in March and all the service opportunities ceased suddenly, the gappers were given the choice to return home or continue a very different Gap year. All of them chose to stay.

The household experience become much more intense than it had been. Cooped up with housemates 24-7 made for new challenges and new blessings. Stephen

Fun with eggs

All the gappers spending time together during lockdown
(that’s the top of Gab’s head on the iPad)

Giles, our Gap director, put together a program for them to do at
home. It called for additional time together in morning prayer, followed by exercising together (if the weather was nice, it was out on the lawn). They also took online courses through Hillsdale College and the “Great Courses” resource.

Maggie Schmidt, Gap director for the women, noted that the gappers were great about initiating service from home. For example, the sisters wrote letters to the resi- dents they had been visiting at the care facility. Gab, our guy gapper, took over all the cooking at his house and sanitized the whole place several times a day. The broth- ers were very blessed by his service.

Usually, there is a closing retreat for the gappers. Ste- phen replaced that with a campfire where they could maintain “social distancing.” The gappers began an im- promptu honoring session for one another and the Gap Directors and household leaders. The leaders also orga- nized a farewell “drive by” for our gappers. People from

Preparing for the “Farewell Drive By”
around the city and the state who knew them from UCO and various services drove by the girls’
house honking and waving signs.

We appreciate your interest in and commitment to our young people. In these changing and uncer- tain times, our Lord is certain and unchanging. He has a good plan for our gappers and all our youth, for us, for our programs, and for you, our partners in mission. May you be blessed and surrounded by the love of Jesus Christ in the summer months ahead!

Your brother in the Lord,

James Munk
Kairos Director

YES Live! 2020

Dear Friends:

As you all are aware, we are in interesting times. As you are also well aware, none of this is catching our Lord by surprise. He is the Victor, the One who has triumphed over death, over sin, over sickness, and over pandemics.

We tried something we have never done before – having a mass online event for our teens across North America (even one tuning in from Munich, Germany). Over 195 teens joined us with YES! Live – Behold to Become!

We will report more on the virtual retreat in upcoming issues. I was able to present a short talk that called all of us to respond to this unique situation. Of course, we  recognize that spending one-and-a-half hours together in no way makes up for a weekend retreat. We will continue to work in the weeks ahead to keep up with our youth and be creative in ministry during this interesting time.

My talk was How Do We Respond? One of the issues we had planned to address at the YES! Retreat was the media youth are often “beholding.” Given that, I told them that we were very aware of the irony of doing the retreat via online media!

The first things I addressed were prudence and courage. “Prudence” is not a term we hear much about nowadays; in fact, it often has a negative connotation (e.g. “prude”). However, it means the right time to act, which is a very important Christian virtue.

“Courage” is clearer, but as a Christian virtue, it means more than just being brave. It means we know that the “good” we are trying to achieve is worth it, regardless of our fears.

For an example of these virtues, I used the story of Peter walking on the water in Matthew 14:25-31. As a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee, Peter had seen many storms and likely had been out in his boat through quite a few. We also know Peter was out on a stormy sea in the story of Jesus calming the wind and the waves earlier in Matthew (chapter 8).

In the story in Matthew 14, Peter climbed out of the boat after the Lord commanded it. This was the right response at the right (prudent) time, even if it seems a bit crazy.

In the time we find ourselves today, it is helpful to look at our situation as an adventure, not an inconvenience. We should reject the temptation to “kill time,” and instead embrace this interesting time as an opportunity. Christians are not about “killing” time – but “redeeming” time!

How about the adventure of service? There is time to serve our parents, our siblings, and our friends. There are plenty of ways to serve in our own homes if we have the redeemed eyes to see and the will to do.

Connecting with others is important during this time of isolation. Writing an actual letter to someone could make their day (or their week)! We can use this time to practice intercessory prayer: for our leaders, our medical personnel, those working on a vaccine, those who are sick, or hungry, or afraid. 

This is a wonderful opportunity to grow closer to the Lord through reading scripture and trying out different methods of prayer. Let’s not look back at this time and say, “I wish I had finished that project; I wish I had used my time better; I wish I had shown more love for my Lord and for my family.”

Finally, for most of us, this will not be the worst trial in our lives; not even close. Let us use this time as training to become the Christian man or woman God is calling us to be! 

Hope you enjoyed this little meditation. We appreciate your ongoing financial support for our ministry to youth. We also greatly appreciate prayer support – that we can be creative in doing what God is asking us to do in reaching young people in this challenging time. God bless you!

Your brother in Christ,

James Munk

Kairos Director


The Youth Bridge

Dear Friends: 

I was invited to speak to a group of international leaders about Kairos’ approach to youth ministry, particularly what we call the Youth Bridge. The conference (the Charismatic Leaders Conference) was in Augusta, Georgia.  Following the conference, I led a one-day retreat for the youth of the host community in Augusta.

Our Kairos vision for the Youth Bridge is that there is a path or ‘bridge’ on which every young person travels in their journey from childhood to adulthood. Our job is to meet them every step of the way. Kairos sponsors programs for 12-14-year-olds (for example, our Kairos Fellowship adventure trips). We very much encourage dads and moms to work alongside staff for retreats and trips.

As young people move into high school, there are many challenges that assault them. Kairos sponsors mission trips, supplies help with local youth groups, and sponsors the annual YES! Retreat. We encourage high school juniors and seniors to seriously consider attending a college or university where there is a vibrant college outreach (like University Christian Outreach or Saint Paul’s Outreach). We also challenge seniors to consider taking a year before beginning college to spend that time “Standing in the Gap.”

 During the first few weeks of university, a staggering number of young people lose their faith. All too often, young students lose their childhood faith to the enticements of the university world. This dynamic is why our college outreach members work so hard to make contact with freshmen and bring them along to evangelistic activities, get them connected with a Bible study, invite them to a party, and form relationships with them. 

We have found that each step along the ‘youth bridge’ must be strong, inspected, continually reinforced and repaired—just like a bridge made of wood or metal. If there are missing sections (say the junior high piece is in good repair but the high school bridge section is weak), it is much more difficult to get our youth successfully to Christian adulthood. If they reach college years unprepared and unsupported, the situation can be dire in terms of them becoming mature disciples of Jesus Christ.

It was enjoyable to address a roomful of teens who were all new to Kairos. I talked with them about great expectations—what the Lord wants for their lives.  I spoke to the whole group and then to the guys alone while the girls had their own session. Mainly, what I wanted to communicate to the teens was the “power of intention.” I told them that when they see an action, they can usually figure out the intention. “Intention” means to stretch for something—using tension and tendon!

I wanted them to understand that the Lord has a full life for them (John 10:10-11: “That you may have life, and life to the full.”) Often, the issue for us (and for our youth) is that we are too easily pleased. We may hear from youth, “Heaven sounds great, but I really just want to be rich.” I read them a quote from C.S. Lewis: “It would seem that our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea.” 

After this, we did the exercise to the left. The students were paired, and each grasped the hand of the person across from them. They then told that person, “this is what I hope for you and your life.” Most of these kids knew each other very well, so it was fruitful for them to hear from each other in this positive way: “I hope you go to a good college” or “I hope you have a happy life” or “I hope you have a good family.” Then we prayed over each other. It turned out very well.

Of course, this was all before the COVID-19 virus caused us to cancel our events. Our challenge right now as a youth ministry is how not to lose touch with all the students in our outreaches. We had to cancel our annual YES! Retreat, after we already had over 200 youth registered. So, we are going to try a new approach called YES! Live where we will live-stream about four hours of talks, testimonies, and songs. We will let you know how this goes.

Please pray for us as we continue our outreach to youth in this current reality; none of this catches the Lord by surprise. Please know that even though we are all working from home, we are still working together to minister Jesus Christ to young people. We very much appreciate our partners in mission; thank you for your spiritual and financial support!

  Your brother in Christ,



  James Munk

  Kairos Director



Jackson College Outreach

Dear Friends:

Each Thursday, three of our Michigan “Gappers” drive 45 minutes south from Lansing to Jackson College to do outreach there. We sat down with Gab, Maria, and Lea to hear some reflections on this outreach adventure they have been doing since the fall.

“We do a Bible study with a small group each week,” our Gap missionaries shared. “Generally, we get around five people a week. Then we do prayer ministry, followed by 30-45 minutes of outreach to other students. Our Jackson students there are happy with our time together and the outreach opportunities.

“We also invite Jackson College students to attend some University Christian Outreach (UCO) events in Lansing. They always enjoy the time with the bigger group and the large ‘Campus Wide’ monthly prayer meetings where there are often over 100 students praying and worshipping together. They also like the ‘community feel’ of UCO Lansing and the environment they experience there.
Gab said, “I have improved in confidence doing this sort of outreach. I have certainly grown in the strength and courage to invite people to events through serving the Jackson outreach.”

“It is great to see how students grow in the Lord,” Lea shared. “It is also amazing to witness God answering prayers for them and for us!”
Some other blessings of the relationships made in Jackson included being able to “delve deeper with personal connections,” as one Gapper shared. “Because it is a smaller group, it has allowed for more personal sharing and friendship building.”

“We are also learning that even when we don’t see direct fruit from our service there, God is definitely working. Lives are being changed!”

A man who has worked for outreach at Jackson College for many years shared more with us about the impact of the January UCO Fan Into Flame retreat on some of the Jackson students. “The Fan Into Flame was a big event in the lives of the young men and women from Jackson College. The atmosphere at the camp where the retreat was held was something they expressed they had never felt before. The retreat allowed them to see how a big community of Christians live, and a testament of the Lord they serve. Some expressed that it felt like ‘a glimpse of heaven.’
“Carson, one of the guys, asked, ‘why is it that since I came to this place I am feeling like my worries have all gone away?’ Sierra said it been a life-changing experience for her (she was prayed for and received the gift of tongues). Conrad said he experienced a very deep connection with the Lord.

“Everyone felt like this was something that exceeded their expectations. Since most of them are new to the Christian faith, with small groups after every talk, they were able to talk about following Jesus Christ, experiencing the Holy Spirit, and personal faith struggles. Every one of our students received prayer. From my perspective, the desire in our students to live for the Lord was at an all-time high as a result of the retreat.”

Our Stand in the Gap program “stretches” our participants in service, prayer, outreach, and learning more about Jesus Christ. Having 18 and 19-year-olds do the kind of “gutsy” outreach that our gappers do (and many adults would fear to do) at Jackson College is part of that stretching. Thank you for supporting them; their service not only changes them but has a real impact on those they are reaching out to. Our desire for our gappers is for them to live their whole lives, for the rest of their lives, for Jesus Christ. We very much appreciate your partnership in this mission by your prayers and financial support. God bless you!

Your brother in the Lord,

James Munk
Kairos Director

Legacy Conference 2020

We had a wonderful Legacy Conference last month in Jacksonville, Florida. This was the first year we ventured into the warmth of Florida instead of enjoying January in Minnesota or Michigan! We had 86 participants at this year’s Conference. Post-university/young professionals came from Michigan, Ohio, New Jersey, Florida, Texas, Seattle, Mexico, Costa Rica, and more (we lost some of our Minnesotans to a winter storm that shut down the airports, although a few others had already left to catch flights in Michigan and they made it).

Kairos Director James Munk was there. He says, “The weather in Florida was beautiful (75 degrees on Saturday), especially for us northerners. We enjoyed great times of fellowship: lots of friends re-connecting and many opportunities to form new friendships.

“On Sunday, we had ‘Professional Huddles,’ where we divided into various related professions to talk about being a disciple in today’s work world. We had talks on vision for lifelong discipleship, building a Christian culture, reaching out to and connecting with other young professionals, and taking risks for mission.”
Maggie, one of the participants originally from Minnesota, says, “It was very evident at the Legacy conference that the people attending were hungry for community, and we came there knowing that we are living in a culture that is starving for community. The retreat was both a place where we ourselves were fed (on fellowship and worship) as well as a place where we were equipped to bring something to our peers back home, who are eager for the life we have been given. Also, the beach outing was fun!”
“The first thought that immediately stood out was that there was a lot of practical things I was able to take away from the conference,” says Jason, from Michigan. “I feel I’ve been better equipped to be Jesus’ eyes and feet in my workplace. Also, The calling of being ‘salt and light’ was prevalent during the worship time for me. Sometimes during our work weeks, we get caught up in our jobs and lose sight of the mission and call of disciples. This was a good weekend to learn to combat that feeling and hit the ‘reset’ button on my outlook in my workplace. There was also a general feeling of excitement hovering over the whole weekend. (Might just been the 75-degree weather though!)
“All in all, it was a good weekend of worship, learning, and fellowship. I have renewed zeal for Lansing’s YPO (young professional outreach) and am eagerly looking forward to seeing how God uses me to grow his kingdom in Lansing!”

Travis, also from Michigan, tells us: “At the Legacy Conference this year I joined 80+ young professionals who came together to hear talks on building a culture, responding to the times, being on mission, and receiving the Holy Spirit to live out the faith more effectively. By the end of the time, the Lord had moved powerfully in stirring up a missional zeal for reaching other young professionals. The Holy Spirit came into the lives of many of the people attending, giving all of us much more power to live out our discipleship to Christ.”he Legacy Conference is one of the ministries of Kairos. We work to reach young people for Christ—from late elementary, through the middle and high-school years, into college, and in the years following university to full adulthood. We refer to each of these stages as points on the “youth bridge.”The move into each new stage of life are times many young people fall away from Christ. The goal of Kairos is that they remain disciples of Christ. You are a very important part of this mission; thank you so much for your prayers and financial support!


Your brother in the Lord,

James Munk
Kairos Director

2019 YES! Retreat


Here are some highlights from the 2019 YES! Retreat (To Whom Shall You Go?). The “stats” are significant: over 400 in attendance—240 teens and 170 staff. The main thing, of course, is “how were teens impacted?”


So, here are a few comments from some of our teen participants:

“Before I came to the YES retreat, I was super nervous, and I did not feel confident at all. After the women’s talk about confidence in the Lord, I felt so extremely confident; it has impacted me in many ways; I continue to feel that same confidence in the Lord a week after the retreat.”

“The Lord helped me to become a more faithful person. After going to YES, I became much closer to Him and more open to others.”

“During the small-group prayer time, when I was being prayed over, I heard the Lord through my small group saying that I needed to put Jesus at the center of my life and put Him first in front of everything else. Then He will give me courage and strength.”

“This was my second YES retreat. All throughout my freshman and sophomore years of high school, I have been working hard and praying a lot to overcome insecurities. Time and time again I have given this over to Jesus. So, I was very discouraged when the old fears and doubts kept coming back. On Saturday night, my small group prayed over me. I really felt like God spoke to me in the exact words I needed to hear through this verse my small-group leader read while they were praying: “HE rescued us from such great danger of death, and HE will continue to rescue us; in HIM we have put our hope that HE will rescue us again” (2 Corinthians 1:10). So, I have hope and I know that no matter how many times I’m faced with the same doubts about my worth, I can       always turn to Jesus and He will be there for me and never let me down.”


For some of the teens, it is straightforward:I was able to pray at the YES Retreat without worrying what everyone thought.”


Other times our teens are dealing with some major issues in their lives: “The past two years have been very difficult for me because my family moved and then this past December, my parents got a divorce. Because of my family situation, I have been struggling with anxiety, depression, trusting God, and feeling as though I am not lovable by God or by anyone else. At the YES Retreat, during the Saturday night small group, I asked for prayers that I would be able to trust God again and stop feeling that I was unlovable. God answered my prayers; as my small group started to pray over me, I felt God’s love through them. For the first time in a long time, I was able to trust that I am loved and that Jesus is going to make sure everything is okay.”


Finally, from a New Jersey high school senior:I got involved this year in a high school youth group. When the time for the YES Retreat came along, I was very excited to get away from New Jersey for a bit. I had just recently had a very bad falling out with one of my best friends. I felt betrayed, disrespected, and very angry. The 12-hour bus ride to Michigan was fun and the first couple hours of the retreat were amazing. But suddenly, while we were playing an icebreaker game, I saw my former friend out of the corner of my eye. Why was she there? How did she even get there? So many questions ran through my mind, but I knew this was part of God’s plan.

“The next day, we had a women’s session and part of it involved smashing boxes with a baseball bat (symbolizing smashing our insecurities). Smashing the boxes was freeing because it felt as though I was breaking through all the pain she had put me through. The next thing that really touched me was being prayed over by my small group. I asked prayers for forgiveness, and in that moment, I heard God say ‘It’s me; you need to let me forgive her for you because you can’t do it on your own strength.’ After that small group, I felt a lot better and I felt myself abandon all that anger at the foot of the cross.

“In the last talk, given by Miriam Holmes, she said that ‘Christ suffered and died on the cross for our enemies too.’ That struck me because I didn’t want to accept the fact that God loves us equally. But day by day since the retreat, I’ve been able to let go of the situation and the burden feels lifted off my shoulders. I know for a fact that this is God’s work because I couldn’t have done it on my own.”


The YES! Retreat is a huge undertaking, both for our staff and for the families of our high school participants. Many of the teens flew to Michigan from Canada, California, Florida, and other far-away places in order to attend. We are grateful for the parents willing to sacrifice to get their kids to this life-giving retreat. We are also very grateful for all our donors who support us with prayer and financial help so that we can sponsor high-impact events like the YES! Retreat. You are an important partner in this mission to youth; thanks so much.

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!