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October-November Ministry Update


Over the past 6 weeks while traveling in the U.S. I’ve regularly experienced opportunities where the Lord has reminded me about being blessed to be a blessing!!

In this season of the year, and actually all throughout the year, I desire to faithfully live out 1 Thessalonians 5:14-18:

“… admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. … always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Blessed to be a Blessing

I’ve had a plethora of opportunities to live out the above verses while crossing paths with ministry partners and others in Missouri, Texas and Florida on this year’s furlough. It’s truly been special to not only share personal updates with people about the refugee ministry in Amsterdam, but also to offer prayer support as well as share truth from God’s Word in many unique situations. In addition, the blessings that have come from enjoying interaction with the children of ministry partners… through playing basketball and games, watching sporting events, teaching scripture songs, etc. etc. are too numerous to mention. I’m filled up, encouraged and blessed through connecting with God’s family in the U.S. !!

Random Cowboy Interaction

On my road trip from Dallas to Wichita Falls, TX, I realized that I was going to be arriving quite early to my appointment. At that moment I saw a sign along the highway for “Picnic Area” and thought it would be nice to stretch my legs and enjoy a few moments in the warmth and sunshine of northern Texas. So I made a split second decision to take the exit ramp. When driving into the picnic area I saw a cowboy standing behind small pickup truck wrapping up a lasso. No doubt, I thought, “now this is really Texas”!

As I was standing near my vehicle enjoying the sun on my back I heard someone call behind me, “ma’am…”. The cowboy approached me and asked if I’d like to buy some tools or a chainsaw that he had in his truck. He said he had run out of gas, only had $2 in his wallet (the Social Security check he went to pick up wasn’t ready), and needed some help.

I simply offered to take him to get gas at the next exit. He brought along a 1-gallon gas can and off we went. During the ride to the gas station I learned the cowboy was called Brian. He was shocked at my kindness and willingness to help at which I shared how God knew his need and I believe I was led to help him. He told me he believed in God, but had gone through a rough period.

He shared that he had been depressed after a divorce and then his father’s death, but he prayed every day that God would help him. One day after about 2 years of battling depression, he had the motivation to go into his backyard and cut down a tree his mother wanted down. With the 6 foot trunk that was left standing he was inspired to carve a bear. From that moment on he became a chainsaw wood carver, which has been a livelihood for him along with being a ranch foreman.

After I shared my testimony and story of being on mission for the Lord, Brian indicated that he always wanted to be on mission. I encouraged him that right where he lives and works he can be a light for Jesus.

After arriving back at the picnic area with the gallon of gas (so he could drive to the gas station) I gave the cowboy $20 to fill his tank to get home. He asked what address he could send money to for reimbursing me. I told him to pay it forward to help the next needy person he comes across.

I was blessed that day to be a blessing. May all of us be aware of moments where we can use a random act of kindness to brighten someone’s day, extend God’s love and potentially have an opportunity to share God’s truth.

Support raising/Transition back to Amsterdam

So far half of my monthly goal has been reached, which leaves $200/month left to raise. Please pray for all of the support to come in and also for a smooth transition back to working with the refugees in Amsterdam. This year I will not be taking a mission trip to Kenya to work with the orphan kids. I’m trusting for God’s guidance on upcoming interactions with the refugees during the celebrative time of the year during Advent and around Christmas.

Special times with family

The first two weeks of October I was with my sister and parents in Arizona. My sister and brother from Indiana joined us to hike the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim. It was a fabulous experience, and yet challenging to cover all 26 miles in one day. We were blessed with amazing weather, though cold at the start (23 degrees F, -5 C) and quite warm in the bottom of the canyon (85 degrees F, 29 C). We managed to finish in 13.5 hours, though clearly exhausted!

Below Left: Night before the hike, on the North Rim - Below Right: Notice my siblings standing by/under the rock (this was no small boulder)

Far right photo: the morning after the hike, on the South Rim. We made it!!! Such an incredibly special Kitchen family time.

In addition, I was able to attend a family birthday party on my sister’s farm in Indiana where all but one niece was present. A few weeks later I was able to see my oldest niece and my great nephew and great niece. Truly a gift to make memories on a beautiful fall weekend with these precious ones.

I am blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with my parents. This will be only the second time in about 15 years to enjoy that holiday with my parents. Please pray for deep quality time with my parents as I finish my furlough. In addition, please pray for their good health to continue and to remain in remission.

Finally, those reading this update…. you bless me! Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.

United with you for God’s Kingdom work