Saturday, December 22, 2007
Thanks for praying for our Blessed to be a Blessing program, it was fantastic! We provided "cestas basicas" (baskets containing the essential food items for a family of four for one month) for over 180 families. To distribute the cestas we went to local favelas (impoverished neighborhoods where many families reside in small poorly put together shacks) and handed out invitations. We then had a little reception where those who had invites came to the church, had some refreshments, received a short welcoming message and picked up their cestas.
Last night we had our last Bible Study at Yesky (the English school) before a holiday brake, and now it Christmas with our Brazilian side of the family from various cities here. We are going to a small farm about twenty minutes outside of Itu to spend Christmas together and it should be a ton of fun.
We sent out Christmas letters, so if you have not received one please email me your address (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will add you to our very occasional address list, and I will e-mail you this letter. Thanks again to all of you you are praying for us and who care to know what is going on with our lives and service here. It is a blessing to have your support!
Merry Christmas to all of you, we love you and hope that you will take this time to let those you love know it.
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The request came from George, father on one of the owners of the school. He is the man behind me in the photo posted here. He said to us, 'Please pray for me... I have been coming to these studies for a while now, but often even while I am physically present I am completely removed from what is going on here. I want to open my heart, but it is difficult to believe in God.' It was wonderful to hear such an honest heart cry for a spiritual awakening! Please honor this request and pray that the Lord would draw George to Himself and help him believe.
Our opportunity to serve has been in abundance lately as, in addition to leading our nightly small group Bible studies, Ali and I have helped lead the church in the Christmas "Blessed to be a Blessing," program. The church is compiling 200 packs containing one month's supply of rice, beans, oil, and other food items for needy families. This has been a great cause to get our members into action!
For example, in our last youth group we had a short study on what "loving your neighbor," means. It is not a mater of finding what segment of people we need to be nice to, instead it is ours to take the initiative of caring for those who we might or might not naturally interact with. After this talk, the kids took to the streets and we went door to door in the neighborhood to tell families about the "Blessed to be a Blessing" program and to ask them if they would like to contribute.
We have also been taking this opportunity to businesses in our area. Having a cause to share with our surrounding community has been wonderful for us. Companies that have joined us include a veterinary clinic, grocery stores, the gym I attend, a juice place and the town meat market.
Again, thank you for praying for Ali and I. It has been a blessing for us to serve the Lord here and in this fashion. Please continue to pray that He would guide us and keep us focused on what He has for us. Glory be to God, He is doing great things!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
People bring non-perishable food items to church one Sunday, and we spend the following week putting together food packages and distributing them throughout the poor communities in Itu.
Last year our goal was 100, and we made 109 food baskets!
This year our goal is... 200! This is a lofty goal for our congregation. But not for our God.
Sunday, the 9th is when the food will be collected.
Please pray as we encourage the church members to be generous, and as we go into the community and hand out not only food, but the love of Christ.
(**If you are interested in participating, please leave a comment or write us at email@example.com**)
to God be the glory.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
And yes, we miss it - all of it - desperately!
So we put together our buy from the produce store for nostalgia's sake (this tableful plus some ran us about $30), then enjoyed our rice and beans dinner.
We are thinking of you, praying for you, and wishing we could be at your turkey-packed table!
Our Bible studies here in Itu have been terrific. Tuesday we had a great discussion with the young professionals group about how God uses us and the sufferings we endure to pass along the comfort that we receive from Him. Yesterday we led a home group Bible study with a more meditative focus on John 19, with special attention being paid to Jesus' final recorded interaction with his mother and "the disciple that he loved," John. Tonight, we have the youth group over at our house, and tomorrow we have the Bible study at Yeskey, the English school. It is such a blessing to be able to be used here!
Thanks for keeping us in your prayers.
Mark and Ali
Monday, November 12, 2007
modeled by none other than the one and only Kimn Nierman (we love you guys!)
why do we love the quote so much?
Because until the church learns to leave its building, it's useless. we're useless.
To quote the most over-played Christian band -- but for the first 100 times these lyrics are extremely impactful -- "If we are the body, why aren't his hands reaching?"
more on the youth retreat last weekend: it was wonderful. (pics above)
it took place at an orphanage in a small town nearby.
there were over 80 people that participated, including a very dynamic leadership team of adults.
one of my favorite aspects of the retreat: it was the churh outside of its building.
there were people from 8 different cities, all together praising, playing, and spending time with beautiful orphan children who don't experience much love in their lives. It was Christianity being lived instead of being heard or spoken.
So this week it 'all begins'. With my parents being in the US for the next month, we have triple responsibilities.
our schedule will look something like this:
Tuesday - Young Professionals home group
Wednesday - Portal home group
Thursday - Youth group home group
Friday - Yesky home group
Saturday - Young marrieds home group
Sunday - Church (on an average Sunday we're together until 10pm)
Mondays are off. kinda. as off as we can possibly stand it.
As Mark and I prepare for this new ministry schedule (**note: ministry does not require a schedule**), in my mind the defining question of our ministry philosophy is "are we helping the church leave the building?"
have you experienced a church that has left the building?
do you have any tips as we prepare for this revolutionary push?
Sunday, November 4, 2007
After arriving home I found out that shortly before I left my grandmother, Doris Kaiser, had passed on to be with the Lord. The last year has been very hard on her. During a hospital stay in August she told me, 'Don't worry about me, I am ready to go home'. For the first time since then, she is comfortable. Without question she is better off, but is never easy to bid someone you love her final farewell.
I love my Gramma, and am thankful to have been a part of the life she lived. Below is a note I wrote for her funeral, which will be held today.
Life is all about people and relationships, so it is hard to say goodbye to such a great person as gramma, even though the hard loss is mixed with joy. My gramma has spent a full lifetime serving those around her, and serving her Savior. It is hard on my heart to realize that my time on earth with gramma is over, but it's a joy to know that she is living in the reward that she has been looking forward to for so long!
Paying final respects to someone you love is tuff. There are many things I would love to thank her for. She was one of the most servant-hearted people I have ever known, and she shared her faith with genuine concern and regularity where ever she was.
My gramma was a wonderful caretaker. Over the last decade she cared for and blessed grampa until the end of his time with total disregard for her own interests. She exemplified 'dying to self' and 'loving others as Christ loved us' with a beautiful spirit of kindness. Her departure is very impacting because of this love that she shared so freely.
Gramma's nursing home was the last stop I made before the airport when I moved to Brazil in September. I feel lucky to have had that time to say 'Goodbye'. I will miss her. No doubt she is in a better place now and I am happy for her. I also have confidence that she has received her welcome, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant', and to that I pray that Jesus would pass on my "Amen".
Friday, October 26, 2007
We are also enjoying progression in our ministry here as we become more integrated into our new settings as regulars, rather than as the new guys. Right now Ali is off at a national ladies conference. She and Phyllis will be teaching a class to single women. When asked to teach they were provided with a title, "I'm about to do it." They will be discussing many taboos that need to be discussed, and could definitely use your prayers. It is often repeated that our faith should produce righteousness and discretion, in addition they will be communicating the mercy and forgiveness freely provided to those who have made mistakes.
Here in Itu we have the Bible Study at Yesky, the English school (Ali is pictured there from an earlier week). We will be discussing Acts 17. There as Paul is preaching he is kicked out of a town for causing turmoil, and the residents who kicked him out follow him to the next town to stop his ministry there too. In Portuguese the "causing turmoil" phrase is written with a word that means, "turning things upside down." It is interesting to think back on the words of Jesus and to realize how true that should be of us all. With teachings like loving your enemies, laying down your life to receive true life, the first shall be last... may we all be turning the world around us upside down. That is the only way for it to be set right again!
Earlier this week a close friend was relaying some major struggles to Ali. Her words were said in frustration, but I think they are filled with hope. She said, 'I know I need God to make this work, but it is so hard to change when I am 29 and just now hearing about Jesus for the first time.' Thank God for willing hearts to do what is tough! And thank you Jesus your longing to accept the humble in whatever state they may come!
Buckeye is doing great too, and hoping for a National Championship from her boys back home. Go Bucks!
No change in the soccer department, they are still mopping up the floor with this yanky! I am still having fun getting beat though. :)
Thanks for all your prayers!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
well. we are proud to announce the arrival of our brand new little puppy : BUCKEYE!
she is adorable, playful, sleepy, and bilingual! fits right into our small family!
we got her last week, and at 3 months she weighs 30 pounds!
Rotweiller was the breed of choice for her guard dog qualities - as soon as she is actually awake for 4 or more hours/day.
enjoy the pics!
now with 3,
Monday, October 22, 2007
This picture is of the home group Bible study we've been teaching with Antenor. We have made great connections with the families there (some new Christians, some not there yet) and it has been a great stretching exercise for my Portuguese.
Okay, I know one picture is lame - more to come. Thanks for keeping us in your prayers!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
I have some fun pics to post, but posting pics is crashing my internet connection lately, and I do not have the energy left right now to fight against the machine. So please forgive my blandness for tonight, and come back in about 24 hours. Deal? Thanks.
Thank you for keeping our work here in your prayers!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
one thing is for sure, i do not miss that crazy trip! we were completely overloaded! we both had hicking packs that weighed about 50 pounds, plus "personal items" the size of small cars.
this week there is one thing we witnessed: my parents' ministry here is a national ministry. you can only fully comprehend this once you've lived in their home and realized how many times you have it all to yourself. =)
i.e. my dad left for Belo Horizonte (a large city about 600 miles N from here, where all the TV programs are recorded) last Thursday -- second time in 1 month. he got home yesterday for lunch, repacked and took my mom to Porto Alegre (another large city about 1000 miles S of here) to offer a marriage seminar. They will be back next Wednesday. Mom and I will speak at a National Christian Women's Conference that weekend. Between now and the end of the year (2 months), they will be in 4 different Brazilian states teaching and encouraging churches. It has amazed me how God has blessed their efforts.
As a consequence of their national wide activities, Mark and I have the privilege to lead Dad's Wed and Fri Bible studies (there are some older blogs that talk about these get-togethers).
All of our full time ministries will start in November. We will be hosting the youth group, young married couples and young professionals weekly, as well as the Wed. and Fri. groups.
I have caught myself several times at church on Sundays sitting amongst people and day dreaming about different ministries, and community outreach, and youth activities... it's an inspiring place to be. What a blessing to be part of a church that is thirsty for creative leadership, spontaneous outreach and big - nation wide - vision for the church.
Monday, October 8, 2007
This week our internet has been out here and we are continuing to have problems with it, so I am glad to finally have the opportunity to get this post up. Thanks for waiting!
The class that we taught at Yesky, an English school here, went very well. We were in Acts 15 where some of the established Christians were denying the new gentile converts inclusion because of not having been a part of their tradition. We had a great discussion about the human tendency of imposing our restrictions, and how God has extended such a loving invitation to all men of all traditions to be redeemed through Christ.
Here is a fun cultural fact for you - if you get together with a group of Brazilians at around 7pm or so, don't plan on being done before it is time to go to bed. Around midnight seems to be the expectation. After the class we went out to grab a bite to eat: a guy in the town square with a mobile cart made burgers and hotdogs for our dinner. Then it was back to Yesky, the English school, where George (he is co-owner of the school and a member of our church) sliced up mangos, papayas, and bananas and we hung out, as expected, till midnight. I guess Brazillians just don't require the sleep that we Americans do.
more stories to come...
Friday, October 5, 2007
It was a blessing to be a part of the celebration with the church!
there were over 900 people present, representing 20 congregations scattered throughout the state of Minas Gerais (north of Sao Paulo).
Our lives in Itu continue to be a transition. But one we welcome with open arms! =)
Mark takes about 8 hours of Portuguese classes a week, and has lots of practice time around our friends.
Tonight we will be leading another Bible study at YESKY, an English school in town, and i will not be surprised if he ends up teaching in Portuguese again. I will add in some pictures from the study soon.
There is a song that I have been listening to quite a bit lately, and I want to share it with you.
It is called "Where are you going?"
and i have listened to it as a conversation between God and me.
Where are you going, with your long face pulling down?
Don't hide away, like an ocean
That you can't see but you can smell
And the sound of waves crash down
I am no superman.
I have no reasons for you
I am no hero, Aww that's for sure
But I do know one thing:
Is where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.
Where are you going? Where do you go?
Are you lookin' for answers to questions under the stars?
Well if along the way you are growin weary, you can rest with me
Until a brighter day, you're ok.
I am no superman.
I have no answers for you.
I am no hero, aww that's for sure.
But I do know one thing:
Where you are is where I belong.
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be
Where are you going? Where do you go?
Where do you go? Where are you goin? Where do you go?
I am no superman.
I have no answers for you
I am no hero, awww thats for sure.
But I do know one thing:
is where you are is where I belong
I do know, where you go, is where I wanna be.
Where are you goin'? Where do you go?
Tell me where are you going?
Where? Let's go.
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Thank you for your prayers for the Bible study we led Thursday night (mentioned in previous post), it went amazingly well. I did not expect to do this, but I ended up leading the whole thing in Portugese! That seems like a strange thing to do on accident, I know, but... it happens. I guess. We had planned for Ali to translate for me as I spoke in English, but prior to the study I was saying a few things to the group in Portugese, and so as we commenced, I made the transition in Portugese, and just kept on rolling! It was a very odd experience as I was shocked at my own ability! Granted the listeners had to be a little creative as they patched together some of my broken phrases, but they were gracious and willing. So thank you so much for praying that we would be helped along as we begin our ministry here! I certainly have felt His blessing through the success of my language training.
Thank you and please continue to remember us in your prayers, it is truely a crutial support factor in establishing our ministry here. Good night and God bless.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
I had the opportunity to use my Portugese this last Sunday in our church service by reading the scripture for the congregation. This was tough to do! Reading is harder for me than talking as letters in Portuguese make significantly different sounds than they do in English. It was a good streaching opportunity for me for our first week, and great motivation to jumpstart my learning process.
In addition to learning Portugese, I am going to have to work on my soccer skills too! It has not taken long to learn that a guy in Brazil who does not speak Portugese and is a beginner at soccer is going to have a rough go trying to feel like a man. :)
Today Ali and I will be leading a Bible study in Antenor's (Ali's father and the minister of the church here) stead as he will be out of town working with a evangelistic campaign in Rio. We will be speaking to a diverse group in their spiritual background. Two members are Catholic, a few have spiritist roots and others have various Christian affiliattions. The group has been progressing through the book of John. We will be teaching on the first 14 verses in John 14. Of central focus will be his promise to prepare a place and to return for us, and his statement that, "I am th way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." Please pray for us as we share His word in this, and many subsequent gatherings.
Thank you for your prayers for us in this work! It is daunting at times to get settled in here, but we are reaffirmed as we see the Lord's handy work helping us throughout the process.
a request from Ali:
please pray for my friend's mother. Amy, one of my closest friends since sophmore year at ACU (long live the Kojies), just contacted me a couple of days ago sharing the terrible news that her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Amy's husband, Mike, just moved from Dallas to San Diego and will be stationed in Iraq in the beginning of January. Amy stayed behind in Dallas to finish law school.
Needless to say, she is hurting right now.
For all of our prayer warriors, please lift her up - and her family - in your prayers.
We love you! And miss you dearly. =)
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
we landed at 8:30 in the Sao Paulo airport! with the total of 10 hours of sleep over the previous 3 nights, we were dead when we arrived on Brazilian soil! we went straight to bed after we arrived, and naped for 4 hours!
the church planned a welcoming party for us last night, and it was so much fun! we feel so encouraged and supported by the people here!
today we spent several hours trying to unpack our bags and get a little more settled in. unfortunately in the process, Mark twisted his back wrong, and has been in bed-rest for the past few hours. Please pray for his healing, so he can start his portuguese lessons and going to the gym with all the guys!
we miss you, Ohio.
we miss you, Texas (and have for 3 years now)
ali and mark
Sunday, September 16, 2007
One more sleep...
It is 12:30AM now on the day of our departure for Brazil. What a strange and quickly passing segment of time this is! We have sold both our cars, packed our bags (pretty much), and we just completed our final gathering with friends (pictured) before our departure. So now all that's left is to get on the plane.
This last week has given Ali and I tremendous insight into what a loving community we are surrounded by. I think that moving to a far off land for an indefinite amount of time is a little like living through your own funeral, you get to hear everyone pay their final respects to you. I highly recommend it!
So now comes the move. May the Lord bless and keep you as we go. We will update you soon from our new home in Itu, Brazil.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
today we sold our Jeep! my dream car!
but, it's also a blessing to have it off our hands.
i was telling mark the other day, i feel like we are playing a hot-potato game with our cars -- trying to pass them along asap.
thankfully we got full price for Azul (jeep's pet name)
we still have our honda, so if you are interested let us know. =)
bags to pack,
PS- this photo is from a fun night with our youth group. We packed 10 people in that Jeep! We'll miss you guys!!!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
here it goes:
Texas, 3 different cities;
Brazil, 3 different cities;
Washington state, for my dear Sara;
Washington DC, for our dear Bruno;
Michigan, to and from Canada;
Canada, for a family reunion;
Indiana, Rafa Salerno;
Illinois, for the Harings, consulate, and the Farm Progress Show;
back thru Indiana, for Fares and Maria...
and finally we survived the car ride back to Columbus, OH.
ok. that helped some.
but now i have to get on the ball.
Mark's main responsibilities is to sell both cars, and that should keep him busy for a while. i will spend the next day reorganizing pictures that have gathered in shoe boxes over our last 6 years together. (christmas of 2005 i organized my mother's pics that had gathered in shoe boxes for 20 years... and promised myself i would never let it go that long. so better take advantage of having no rugrats right now =)
here i go. wish me luck. =)
an overwhelmed Ali
Thursday, August 23, 2007
WOW! Summers always seem like the shortest season of the year! Our last three months have been full of packing, fundraising, traveling to say our goodbyes to dear friends and family (5 states in 5 weeks), fundraising, taking our survey trip to Brazil, fundraising, etc. (did I mention fundraising?)… As we prepare for this cross-continental move, our admiration grows exponentially for those who have done this multiple times!
Our departure date, even though we have delayed it slightly, quickly approaches. We purchased one-way airline tickets for September 17th, 2007. This decision was made by faith. Faith that God knows our needs, and will provide the remainder 62% of our monthly budget as He determines.
Each pledge that has come in has made us rejoice! We experience the depths of God’s love and faithfulness through you.
To those who have lived/survived a whirlwind summer and intend to partner with us, but just seem to have lost all available time slots to sit down and budget us in, we still NEED you! As mentioned earlier, we still lack 62% of our monthly budget and 46% of our one-time transition needs.
We are confident that we have made our needs known to the body of Christ, and now we pray to God that those who identify with our mission will become prayer and financial partners (we will keep our blog – www.markandali.blogspot.com -- updated with our status and incoming gray hair count).
And please join us for one last event: there will be a goodbye party at Meadowbrook Church in Dublin, OH, on Sunday, September 16th from 7:00-8:30 pm, and we would love to have you with us!
Thank you for your interest in what God is doing in Brazil. We are very excited to be stepping into a ministry that changes many lives and expands the Kingdom though the grace and love of Jesus Christ. We will keep a bed ready for you.
Mark & Ali
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Preparing to Serve in Brazil
First of all, we want to thank you for taking this journey with us through our letters and home gatherings around the country. It has been a privilege to share with you where our calling has taken us in the past three years together, and what we envision for our future as we live out this passion.
This letter will serve to briefly describe our four initial ministries with the church in Itu.
1. Youth Ministry – The youth group has a record attendance of 60 teenagers and young adults, with no dedicated leadership. Our goal is to establish a group that will have clear adult leaders who will offer themselves as Christian mentors and relevant teachers of the Word of God.
2. Young Couples Ministry – Ali and I will also be leading a weekly Bible Study and Fellowship with the young married members of our church. This will be a place for couples to share common life experiences while encouraging one another in the Faith. To provide them opportunities for ministry, we will be linking this group with the youth program. Married couples will be encouraged to teach spiritual lessons they have learned, and to mentor members of the youth group.
3. Internship/Campaign Program - More than twenty mission trip campaigns have come through Itu in the past ten years. Each of these campaigns has served to close the gap between the Itu church and its surrounding community.
We will help in the long preparation for our yearly campaigners. This includes extensive amounts of marketing and public relations, preparing the church members to host the event, and caring for the technicalities (food, transport, lodging, etc). The other side of our role will be to screen, supervise and disciple the college and high school grads who desire to come as interns for the church. We will be helping our interns seek and serve God, so that they may taste the joy of serving in His kingdom. This aspect of our ministry is designed to create opportunities for you! We will eagerly look forward to hosting and utilizing young men, women and families from the US who would like to experience serving God on the mission field.
4. Maos a Obra (Hand’s to Work) - As a means of reaching underprivileged individuals of the community, the Itu church has had the vision to launch a new ministry called “Maos a Obra,” or ‘Hands to Work’. This pioneering program for Brazil is largely inspired by and based on the successful Faith Works program in Abilene, TX, a faith based personal and career development program that prepares students to choose, find and keep a job that matches their goals, talents and desires.
These are a few of the ministries we were specifically requested to come for, but given the growing nature of the Itu church, this will surely not be all. Ali and I feel blessed to be invited into the mission field under the mentorship of Antenor and Phyllis and we are excited to grow in His service in such an environment.
To those of you who have already let us know that you would like to support us in this mission, thank you! Receiving your pledges has been a humbling and faith inspiring experience. Currently, we have about 18% of our monthly goal met. We also appreciate your patience as we have been putting together our method for receiving support that will be tax deductible for you. The Highland Church of Christ Missions Committee (a long time supporter of the ministry in Brazil) has joined with us and will help administrate this process.
We would love to know that we have your support in this ministry. Would you join with us as we go? Be it by paying for one meal at 5 bucks a month, or by covering all the groceries at 250 monthly, we would be honored to see your name on the list of those who are standing with us in His service.
Three methods are available for financial support, bulleted below. Any checks may be made out to Highland Church of Christ. Please list "Mark and Ali" on the memo line. Their mailing address is 425 Highland Avenue, Abilene, Texas 79605.
*One time contributions – to help us with the initial start up cost of moving to Brazil such as plane tickets, visa expenses, shipping, home furnishings, etc.
*Monthly support by check – our “bread and butter,” this will be sent in monthly and will keep us in action.
*Monthly by automatic debit – to make things easy, we can also provide for electronic payment on a fixed day of the month, a form will be provided for this
With or without the finances we know that “unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor in vain” (Pslm 127). So would you please remember us often in prayer? We need His wisdom, and guidance to know how to best serve the Kingdom. If you are willing to make a commitment to regularly intercede for us, please indicate this on the attached card.
If we have not had a chance to visit with you personally, we would love to do so! Please contact us through this blogspot, – http://www.markandali.blogspot.com/ – or via an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org . We love receiving feedback and life news from your end also.
Thanks and God Bless!
Mark and Ali Kaiser
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Recently you heard from Mark and read about his journey in our move to
In my time here in the US I have lived through an incredible array and depth of experiences: I have encountered a church family that adopted me fresh off the Brazil boat and fell in love with my country; I have studied at an amazing University and earned a degree under professors who exemplified to me a life of Godly wisdom and charisma; at school I formed friendships with wonderful men and women of God whom have many times been His presence and comfort in my life; I have had the chance to travel and study in Europe and fall in love with the cultures and people of far lands; I have met and married my favorite person; I have moved cross country to – hands down – the coldest place I will ever settle, and here have fallen in love with my Kaiser side, who carried me through my first depressing northern winter; I have also fallen in love with Buckeye football and fans; I have watched as Mark and I minister together to a youth group who has forever changed my life.
And after living through seven full American years, I have occasionally hesitantly stripped down to blunt honesty and asked myself “is
For those of you who have been to
And how humbling to be invited back by my very own home church! These friends, whom have become family, have seen me through most of my journey to this point (the good, the bad and the ugly) and have recognized in me a God given passion to minister and serve. Either that or I have been redeemed since they met Mark.
So please know that moving home does not mean choosing the path of least resistance in my life. It means following a passion and calling that I will not choose to ignore.
We are very excited about taking up the ministries we have been invited to lead! These include leading the youth group, directing a ministry for young married couples, establishing an internship program, and a social work ministry that the church would like us to launch to help the unemployed in the community.
I have always loved working with youth. The years in which kids establish their own identities are incredibly crucial for developing a relationship with Christ. This importance is heightened in the Itu church where many of the high school members are the first Christians in their families. Many times it is through their faith that their families are reached.
Also we will be establishing an internship program for high school graduates and college students to come and work for the church. We will also host short term mission campaigns, an opportunity for your family. Mark’s life was changed forever when he took a year off before college and served the Lord in
You have heard our stories now. However, do not just read our letters! We are holding many home gathering where we will be sharing our hearts, ministry opportunities, and transition needs more intimately. We will need the help of those who would like to partner with us in prayer and finances to make this all happen. Please call us for directions to any of the gatherings, or to set one up that works for you. We look forward to seeing you soon.
Mark & Ali Kaiser
Bill & Janine Ganger
David & Kelly Kaiser
Jim & Kim Haring
Mike & Marcie Gauch
Dave & Sue Rule
David & Mitzi Adams
Ed & Marcia Alred
Shane & Karen Smith
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Mark & Ali Kaiser
Preparing to Serve in
Recently Ali and I offered an introduction to the life changing move that we are preparing for. We want you to know why we are moving to
I remember my first experience of working in a ministry setting. It was at a summer camp - I was more there for fun than for the ministry. But the experience I had in that camp changed me to the core. As a camp counselor one of my duties was to lead nightly devotionals with my kids. I had never done this, so I prayed about it and tried to find the best way to share the Faith with my kids. But here is what I didn’t expect:
~When I stepped out in faith to share the good news of Jesus, God used me! ~
Powerful statement! Let me explain: I often didn’t know quite what to share, but God spoke through me and drew my campers to Him! Interacting in such an intimate way with the Almighty blew me away! Now let me add, I am not unique. He wants to use us all to bring those around us back to Him. But be aware, this interaction with God is addictive.
From this point forward all other ventures paled in comparison to the wonder of being used by God to help others reconnect with Him. As I have served in various ministries since then I have found myself in this dependency; I cannot find fulfillment any other way. When serving God, I love life! When I hold back, I am empty.
My relationship with the church in
With all of their growth, they have found themselves in this blessed position: the growth of the body has surpassed what the leadership can cultivate. Ali and I are presented with two blessings here. First, we get to jump into a life of ministry in a setting that has God’s finger prints all over it. We are going to be joining Him in the work He is already doing! And second, we will be under the mentorship of Antenor and Phyllis, who have been faithful servants of God’s work in Itu for many years. In time we may raise up leaders in Itu to take our place of leadership as we move on to plant another church or ministry, but I am convinced that the wisdom and experience we will gain in Itu will serve us forever.
We hope and pray that those of you who identify with our calling will desire to team with us and help bring this mission about. Raising our support team is a big process, and we cannot live out our calling independent from help of the Body.
Below is a list of some small group gatherings being scheduled on our calendar referenced by the hosts. We want to share our mission with you personally and we pray that through this process, God might snag your heart as he did ours and our mission will become your mission. Thanks to those of you who have already volunteered to host one of these gatherings! If you would like to host a group with your friends, send an email or give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you further; please feel free to contact us with any thoughts.
Mark & Ali Kaiser
Bill & Janine Ganger
Jim & Kim Haring
Mike & Marcie Gauch
David & Mitzi Adams
Shane & Karen Smith
Dave & Sue Rule
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
On your screen is the effect of a big life change. We have never written a letter like this before… Ali and I are starting a major new venture in our lives and hope you will allow us to share our plans and our passion with you.
In this past year the elders of the church in
We are presently transitioning the leadership of our church youth group into the hands of another couple, and we hope funding will be in place for us to move to
Next week you should receive a schedule for some of these initial gatherings. We would love for you to join us in one of these informal sessions and learn more about our vision. We hope to develop a support team of individuals who, once familiar with our mission, would desire an ongoing partnership with our work through prayer, long and short term finances, and mission trips.
The schedule will be preliminary. We are interested in holding these meetings with many families. If you are interested in hosting a gathering in your home, please let us know. We look forward to traveling to meet with some of you as well.
In the following weeks you will be receiving letters with further information regarding our plans. We hope that you will keep us in mind and in your prayers as we initiate our fundraising process. The letters we are going to send out will detail topics such as the church in Itu, our ministries and our transition.
This work is our passion, and we are excited to be sharing our passion with you. Thank you and God bless.
Mark & Ali Kaiser