December 2014 / January 2015 - Vol. 77
    Kairos mission trip
                          Kenya 2014

Training for Mission - Summer 2014

by Paul Jordan

“As we lose our lives, we gain our lives.” 

This is the Gospel truth most on my mind these days.

Only a work of God would see young men and women taking joy in their ‘loss’. Leaving comfort zones, serving the need, setting aside our phones, stripping away our material comforts in order to hear God, ‘tired and worn but with a light in our eyes…’ 

I find myself called on by their words and deeply encouraged to see God’s action in their lives through the giving of their lives.

This past summer Kairos in Europe and the MiddleEast sent out 30 young people from 10 different nationalities on mission. With another 30 at Bible Week, 30 at our senior training for pastoral work and another 40 following the Student Worker conference it was a busy summer. The soil of Europe remains hard ground but things are continuing to steadily grow.

Please join in praying that the labors of the past summer may continue to bear fruit, and that our God may capture the hearts and minds of the students and young people we are meeting these days.

Paul Jordan is the Director for Kairos-EME


Culture Shock
John Mamonluk | London, England

I initially signed up for the mission trip to Mumbai because of a desire to deliberately separate myself from first-world comforts that have cradled me my whole life. Heading into India for two weeks with nine other young adults from Europe and Australia, I knew that my standards for comfort, convenience and safety would all be tested. However, no amount of mental preparation would even come close to the level of poverty I witnessed.

Th e first time I walked through the slums of Mankurd, everything felt surreal. Th e experience can sort of be likened to walking through a movie set. I seriously couldn’t register the idea: what I was experiencing was real life for people. As the trip continued, I came to terms that this was the horrific reality for the kids we met at the center. After our sessions, they would be returning to their tight buildings among the filth, flies, rats and rank stenches. These sessions in the slums really developed an appreciation for blessings I possess.

                        mission 2014 mumbai

A significant amount of our work was serving kids. Time with them helped me see that much of what we designate as a need is actually a want. Despite the language barrier, you could fill a child with joy merely by being with them. They longed to be played with, to be picked up, to sit on your lap, to simply be loved. These basic actions came at no cost to us yet made their day. This made me re-evaluate the amount of weight and attention I give to my relationships. I really should be investing more in my relationships with people and developing a deeper appreciation for the love and service they show me.

kairos mission 2014 mumbai

Through Christ Who Strengthens Me
Christine Doyle | Dublin, Ireland

This summer I was blessed to have spent two incredible God- centered weeks in the city of Mumbai, India. My team and I were so abundantly blessed during our time in India through all the people we met, the places we visited and the tasks we faced.

My first experience of India was the distinct smell and the humidity. However, it was the poverty that struck me the most. The population of Mumbai is 11.9 million people, more than half of whom live in highly-crowded slums. We served in an area called Mankurd, the second largest slum in Asia, where we focused on reaching out to the children by putting on a sports day, a medical camp, workshops, dancing, singing and just generally having fun with them.

Kairos mission 2014 Mumbai

We were also fortunate to work closely with a local youth group called Gensys. We wanted to share a hunger for the Lord that would encourage Gensys to reach out to more and more young people in Mumbai. We put on a retreat for them which gave us the opportunity to grow in fellowship, discipleship, worship, prayer and praise. We were able to share our own experiences on how the Lord touched and changed our lives.

A big highlight for me was our very last night in Mumbai. The team all went down to the seafront for our last team meeting, and we sat on the wall facing out over the city. We had successfully completed our journey. It was such an overwhelming moment, something that I will never forget: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).

I experienced so many blessings while I was on the trip. The Lord spoke to us individually and as a team, which is what made our time together so special. One of the biggest life lessons that I picked up from being there was how poor one can be on the outside but how rich on the inside simply because of the joy in our hearts for the Lord. It seems like such a simple lesson, but it stood out for me, and I brought it back home.

The wonderful thing about mission is that I come home to it; mission didn’t end when I got home from India. I have a constant mission to not only follow the Lord but bring more people to him, and that is something to celebrate.

Building Across Culture
Bronagh McGlinchey | Belfast, Northern Ireland

When I first was told that I’d gotten a place on the Kenya mission trip, I was delighted. When I arrived on 6 August with seven other young people, it definitely was not what I was expecting!

Having been on a previous mission trip to South Africa, I thought I’d fully experienced doing mission work: feeding the hungry, handing out blankets, being shocked and horrified at the conditions people lived in. This time round, however, we weren’t handing out the food or looking on; we were experiencing it with them. We used a drop hole for a toilet, had no running water, washed from a bucket, and ate the same food day in and day out, things that we wouldn’t dare dream of doing at home. Instead of handing out blankets and food, our main goal for the trip was reaching across the language and culture barriers to build relationships with the Voice of the Gospel Community.

For all of us, this was a struggle and at times frustrating. We weren’t sure if we were making a difference. However, it was these experiences which made us grow in a deeper faith. With materialism stripped away, we could fully embrace God and hear him more clearly. For the first time since becoming a Christian, I was able to take a brave step and open myself up to God, allowing him to work and heal me in an amazing way.

We were presented with great opportunities for building relationships across cultural differences. The women on our team were able to have a small group time with the women of Voice of the Gospel Community. Another gem was staying at the Little Angels Orphanage and playing with the children.Every day we were inspired by the grace and love the children showed each other and by how they worked together as a family, with their faith at the center.

This experience to Kenya changed me and allowed me to grow in so many ways, increasing my passion for mission. It was a truly fantastic experience!

kairos mission 2014 glasgow
Wherever We’re Willing to Serve

Clare Holmes | Glasgow, Scotland

Th e Glasgow Commonwealth Games mission trip seemed like a unique opportunity to serve in my own city, to get to know a range of people from across Europe and beyond and to be open to challenging myself right at the center of a place I would usually call my comfort zone.

For the two weeks during the games, our team of fourteen worked, served, lived and prayed in Glasgow. It was a time when God worked not only in our team and the people we came into contact with but also very personally with each one of us. I never expected to learn so much about myself while in my own city!

One of the most striking things I received from the trip was how God uses our weaknesses over our strengths. One of the ways he did this was by making us vulnerable as we openly witnessed about
difficult times in our lives during street dramas. The drama was focused on finding hope when we feel stuck. The result was incredible: we had strangers writing down times they also felt stuck on pieces of paper and how they found hope. We had people stopping to talk with us and even get prayed with.

Something else God revealed to me is that he works wherever we are willing to serve. He transformed my view of Glasgow from being a place of familiar streets and buildings to a city filled with people he wanted to reach out to. He showed us that even in a place that you call your ‘comfort zone’, He can make you uncomfortable in order that you might be open to how he wants to use you. He also made it clear that some of the most incredible stories and witnesses can happen during a normal, mid-week bus ride or an average lunch hour on a busy main street. I can truly say I see my city very differently now and I know it is because I was open to God working in it. As became our team motto, ‘Praise the Lord!’

 (c) copyright 2014  The Sword of the Spirit
publishing address: Park Royal Business Centre, 9-17 Park Royal Road, Suite 108, London NW10 7LQ, United Kingdom