Together With You

kayla

Meet Kayla.

If one thing could be said about her, it would be how much of a worldchanger she is. Her heart is huge, and she strives to reflect the love of Christ. When you’re around her you can’t help but feel encouraged. She has a heart to see people cross over from death to life in Jesus. What an amazing human being she is! In just a few short months she will be embarking on an incredible journey to Nepal! Below is a letter I have inserted that she has written. Will you partner with us? Will you give? Will you pray? To find out more, keep reading!

Hey team! 

In this season of my life I am seeing how the timing of God is perfectIn just three months I will be stepping unto South Asian soil, a place where temples of darkness plague the land and thousands of idols and gods are worshipped. According to Joshua Project, in the nation of Nepal there are 343 unreached people groups.This means that there are 343 groups of people that have never had the opportunity to hear the story of hope. There is a famine of Good News in the land but God is sending forth His laborers into the great harvest field of South Asia.

As I have been studying at  a university my passion for Jesus and for souls has grown exponentially. I have been getting some incredible training while studying world religions, how to be an effective communicator across cultures, and … math.  

This February to the end of May I will be living in South Asia learning a new language, culture, and building relationships with the people there.

God has been doing a deep work in my heart over these past 3 years. My heart is burning with the message of Jesus and His love that changes everything. While in America I have been having so much fun getting to share with university students about the joy of living a life surrendered and what it means to be a friend of God. I am so excited that I have the opportunity to take all that God has been teaching me in America to South Asia.

It is really all so simple, I am answering the call to take up my cross and follow Him. There is no greater love, and there is no greater joy than saying yes to Jesus. I believe that in my generation we can see the task of sharing good news completed and hasten the day of the Lord’s return. The fun part is that we do not have to do it alone but that we get to do it together through the aspects of sending or going! Please watch the video below to gain and understanding of the importance of all of this. GOOD NEWS is so POWERFUL and has been transforming individuals, communities and nations for centuries! 

“I will go down but only if you will hold the rope” – William Carey
THE NEED 
Prayer Requests
– For South Asia: victims of the earthquake, the unreached, and
persecuted church (click here for Prayercast Video)
– Financial goal of 3,000 USD to be met by December 26th
– Pray as I am working on writing and recording an album of
songs to catalyze hearts into intimacy with Jesus
– Focus for school as I finish out the semester
– BOLDNESS

Finances

field cost: 2,985 USD (due December 26th)
plane ticket: 1000-1500 USD

tax deductible online giving: click here

Paypal: kkingsley2@liberty.edu
comment: South Asia

For any thoughts, questions or concerns …
Email: kkingsley2@liberty.edu

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A new Journey 

My biggest prayer this past month has been for God to take me deeper. That he would take me out of this place we call “The Comfort Zone.” And boy has he been. Recently I got an internship in NYC for next summer (shocker) and God has been revealing things to me that I never thought would be possible. As soon as I got this internship I felt God say “no.” And I flat out ignored him. I wanted to do my own thing, I had my own plan, and I didn’t want to give up something that I worked so hard for. But when I prayed for God to take me deeper he asked me, “do you really mean that Jenna? Are you really willing to go deeper, outside of your comfort zone, and carry my name to the ends of the Earth?” Whoaaaaaaa. Over the past few weeks God has been burdening my heart for the nations, specifically Nepal. So I took a huge step of faith and obedience and turned down the internship, knowing full of faith, that God was going to put me in such an uncomfortable place, a place that’s in the 10/40 window, a place that has natural disasters all the time, a place that has never even heard the name “Jesus.” We sing the song Oceans without really thinking about its meaning.
“Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the water, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith would be made stronger in the presence of my savior”

Ask yourself, do you really mean that? That’s some heavy lyrics! When you ask God to do something as big as that, you better believe he’s going to do it. He’s done it for me. I’ve been stretched, I’ve been really tested, and I’ve grown so much from that.

So as I enter this new journey, I’m entering it with full faith that God is going to do whatever he wants to with this opportunity to reach the people of Nepal. I have no doubt in my mind that there’s something big that’s going to happen that my eyes can’t even behold. It’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than you. It’s for the kingdom of God. Oh, man am I excited for what lies ahead of me. I’m excited that God is going to use my craft to make his name famous. Although I might not see what that looks like yet, my soul rests in the promises of God. Nothing is wasted in this season.

You’re Teaching me to Dream Again

I believe God is saying something to the students at Liberty University. I believe He is teaching us how to dream again. This has been a recurring theme for me and the group I got to know throughout the whole Worship in the Woods experience. I think as college students, we get so caught up in the routine of classes, hall meeting and prayer groups, convo, and campus community that we forget that God has cast a vision inside of each of us. A vision to further his kingdom with the gifts he has given us. Your gifts are not insignificant. I believe a lot of us has forgotten how to dream. But I also believe God is trying to reignite these dreams. You just need to say yes. That’s all it takes, guys, is a simple yes. Completely surrender your dreams to God, the one who put these desires in you and say, “Here they are. Use them.” Think about what your passion is. It isn’t a coincidence. God wants to use that. God wants to use you. A friend of mine said something that was too good. She said, “At the end of my days, I want to stumble upon the gates of heaven out of breath and say “I used everything you gave me! I used all of my gifts and dreams to make you famous, God! and I want God to say, “Yeah, daughter, come in and rest.”” Now I’m not saying that it’s all about works, because we’re saved by grace through faith. But I am saying don’t give up on your dreams. Keep running the race.

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Dear New York

Tonight I am missing the simplest things in the city.

I miss the area that we invested in for the past six weeks and waking up at the crack of dawn to go to yoga class. I miss getting off of the subway and seeing the smiling old man that was always standing in the same spot. I miss watching the sunset from Brooklyn Bridge Park and how it set right over Manhattan. I miss the subway rides crossing over from Manhattan to Brooklyn and how the view left me speechless each time. I miss the people that I was able to foster relationships with and the different cultures I came across each day.

Although I do miss these things, and I’m longing to go back I’m reminded of this sweet word of encouragement from my sister, “Focus on the time you were able to spend there and what you learned, instead of focusing on why you can’t stay.”

New York,
Thank you for teaching me something new each day. Thank you for your beautiful people, beautiful places, and beautiful culture.

Boasting in Weakness

I’ve been in the city for three weeks and I’ve grown and learned so much through this time. My plan was to write a blog post a week, but it’s been so hard to process everything and put it into words. So here is my attempt of putting this crazy, amazing, beautiful place that has quickly become home to me into a blog post. When I got here I was so nervous that I wouldn’t be used. The one thought that would not leave my mind was “how can you use such a quiet, small, awkward person like me?” I was quickly mistaken. Each person on our team has been gifted with something to bring Glory to our Father in Heaven, whether it be in music, sports, or graphic design, he has used each of us in mighty ways so far and I can’t wait to see what He does through us as we wrap up the last three weeks. One thing that I have been holding on to is that Jesus works in our weaknesses. I’m learning to boast in my weakness and to completely trust that he can work through me, despite my shyness. There have been days that I would get completely discouraged because the conversations I had with people were a huge flop, and there have been days that completely left me speechless. I absolutely have no words to describe some of the experiences I’ve had. I’ve been tested, humbled, and pruned. I may be weak, but he is strong. I have been resting in that truth, and I’m reminded daily that none of what I’ve done here is my doing, but the Father’s. When you’re in a place that’s so uncomfortable, the only thing you can do is sit at His feet and bask in his presence. I did not have high expectations when I arrived in this beautiful chaos of a city, and God has completely blew my expectations out of the water. I have quickly fallen in love with this place, and the people in it, which blows my mind. I love being in a place where I can let my imagination run wild, where my love for photography can be celebrated, and through that I can worship my father. I hope that the photos that I’ve taken can give you a small glimpse of how beautiful this city is. _CSC0007 _DSC0009 _DSC0012 _DSC0018 _DSC0031 _DSC0043 _DSC0085 _DSC0086 _DSC0104 _DSC0110 _DSC0130 _DSC0155 _DSC0183 _DSC0229 _DSC0238 _DSC0249

For the Sake of Who?

I’ve never been out of the country.

I’ve never even been on a plane before.

The biggest question I’ve been getting from people when I tell them about my summer plans is, “So why didn’t you decide to do a global missions trip?”

Here’s my answer…

A lot of people miss the mark when it comes to missions. Missions is not about going to a foreign country. Yes, going across the world is needed. There are many people groups that are in need of the exposure of the gospel. But going across the world is not what it’s about. When I told people I was going to NY they got leery. What people need to understand is, Missions isn’t about where you go, it’s about who you’re going for. Where is your heart? Are you going to simply just mark it off your hipster Christian bucket list, or are you going for the sake of his name? My goal in this blog post is not to be harsh, but if I’m coming across as that, maybe that’s what is needed.

Missions is not for the sake of where you’re going, it’s for the sake of Christ Jesus himself. His name, His renown. I’m not saying I know everything about missions, but I do know who it’s for, and it’s not treated that way anymore. There are many people I know that have been on missions trips and they get it, but there’s a large percentage of North America that go simply because they want to be able to say they went on a missions trip.

If you get anything out of this post at all, I want you to understand that you don’t have to go to Africa, or Europe or India to spread the gospel. The mission field is where you are now. North America is a mission field too. Before you can effectively lead others to Jesus in a global context, you need to first know how to lead others to Jesus here. Your home is a mission field, your work is a mission field, heck, even your church is a mission field. Missions does not start in another country – it starts at home.

So are you going for the sake of you? Or are you going for the sake of Him?

Home

IMG_1362I remember being little and my mom just staring at me one day as I looked at a globe. “What is it, Momma?” I asked concerned. “I just know one day you’re going to leave this place and it’s gonna be hard to get you to come back.”
At the time, I had no idea how right she would be.
As I grew up, I instantly realized my train of thought was on a completely different track than everyone else’s. I heard everyone planning for their future’s and careers, talking about how much money they couldn’t wait to make; how famous they wanted to be. I, on the other hand, had an extremely early case of wanderlust. I saw pictures of Ireland and wished I could see that much green with my own eyes. I saw the Holi festival in India, and how there wasn’t one person without a smile on their face. And I saw the plains of Africa, the sunset setting elephant silhouettes on the horizon. I realized that it almost didn’t matter to me how much money I made or where I ended up- I needed to be all over this world. And the catch? I wasn’t even a Christian yet.

Not growing up in a Christian household, my knowledge of the Christian world was very very limited. Once I opened my heart to Him, all I knew was God and Bible. So, I prayed and read. All the time. Being 15 at the time, I had questions for days. Oddly enough, I never seemed to fit in with my age group when it came to my relationship with God. I wanted deeper knowledge and wisdom, and so I assumed spending time with Godly adults would help me grow. I told myself at the very beginning, it was all or nothing. I wasn’t going to put in half my effort and get mad if God didn’t show up 100%; I knew it just didn’t work that way. So, you can imagine my excitement when my new youth group is having spring break camp (my first), and this insanely fun-loving guy named Nathan Smith happens to be the guest speaker. This man was the coolest Christian I had ever met, hands down. He was so carefree, that people had to worry for him, or they felt nothing would be done. But he was just that faithful that God would show up- no doubt. He easily became my favorite person I had ever met. So, when he spoke, I laughed, cried, and always listened carefully. One night, he began to speak about his ministry called Love Africa. Immediately, as he spoke, my heart jumped. I tried to stay from fiddling in my chair, but something was going on with me and I just had absolutely no idea how to handle it. After the message was over, Nathan was at a table selling products for LA which I ran to as fast as I could. I realized soon that I actually had no money to even buy anything, so when he asked me what I wanted, I just looked up at him and quietly stepped to the side. He smiled at me, and handed me a bracelet that read “Free people, free people”. I could’ve cried of happiness. He asked me,”What do you think about going to Africa?” I stood speechless. I finally bursted out and yelled “that would be awesome!!” Of course, he chuckled and said, “When you’re old enough, apply for one of my teams, and I’ll make sure you go.”

As promised, my senior year rolled around, I was accepted to a Love africa team, and I began fundraising like crazy to get there.

As summer neared, it began to become all too real that I was traveling 9,000 miles away. I had raised all of my money, and the night before I fell asleep, everything was moving too slow. For what seemed like days, I got off my plane, met the team, and we were on our way to Nairobi, Kenya.
Before I knew it, we were landing, and every ounce of me was struggling to stay in my seat. I will never forget the feeling as I looked out of the window as we descended and I looked over the plains of Africa. A very foreign feeling came over me.. It was if my heart whispered “Welcome home.” I remember looking around at everyone else to see what their reactions were to this whispering noise, but there were none.
I was Home. And although it made no sense to anyone else, I knew this was where I belonged.

Kenya was full of beautiful, humble people. Ready to share their stories and knowledge with you wherever you went. The children there left handprints on your heart you could never forget, and their voices singing joyful praises was music from Heaven. Their dreams went beyond the stars and right into the hands of God, where they knew everything would be taken care of. Some of these children, you would spend all day playing and laughing with, to find out that they will walk home to take care of their younger siblings and how some of them have been staying with elderly grandparents because they have lost their parents to HIV. Most of these children had gone through things in 7 years of life that I had never come close to experiencing. And yet, they still set their eyes above everyday they wake up.
I couldn’t get any of the stories, faces, laughter out of my head as I came back to America. I never wanted to. So, I immediately texted Nathan, and told him I had to return, I didn’t care how or when- but I had to go back.
And I did.
Zambia, Africa was a brand new trial for Love Africa. Nathan would be on this trip, and we would meet with two missionary families in Lusaka, Zambia. Like I mentioned earlier, Nathan is a very carefree guy, so we really didn’t have anything planned at all. So, on the first day there, our team of 12 rolled up to a school in Mazabuka with 1200 little faces staring at us from the windows in our bus. Holy moly. I did the math quickly, and if we divided this up, it was about 100 per team member, all of us being college students. As soon as we walked off the bus, we were mobbed by tiny little hands caressing our skin as though the white could be removed. As each of us stood in our own mini mobs, the children looked up at us, with this sincere gazing in their eyes, like they were looking at something sent straight from Heaven. It was the most humbling moment for me to see those kids understand that we were there to love them. We didn’t have an agenda hardly, but we did have two soccer balls, some frisbees, a guitar, and hearts full of love. And I mean really, what else could you ask for? The kid’s camp we kind of, sort of set up for them didn’t ever go as we planned for it to, but all we cared about at the end of the day was letting them know that God loved them sincerely. And they did. By the last day, when they found out we were leaving, we all got on the bus, and began to drive off… Very slowly. The kids started to run along side the bus to see us off and to make sure they could wave until we couldn’t see them any longer. Some kids ran such a long distance with the bus, the tears began to break out in the van. They had our hearts, and we had theirs. Leaving Zambia was just as hard as leaving Kenya, but every time the plane takes off, I whisper “see you soon”, because Heaven knows I’ll be back.

There is this sort of absence you’ll see out of people who fall in love during their mission trips. They come home, unpack, and realize they left their heart back there. People will always ask me,”Devin, how’d the trip go? Did you take pictures?!”
And my reply will be,” it was great!” And I almost never have pictures for anyone. And I’m aware people are very dissatisfied by this. “Great” is the word that just comes out of my mouth when I open it to try to explain everything that happened. How can you explain seeing the Headsmen of a village turn from witchcraft and be healed right before your eyes in God’s name? How came you describe what it’s like to hear 1200 tiny voices rise up and praise God in their native language? I can’t simply put what it’s like to bring a child clothes, and what it does to your heart when she tries to offer you the ones on her back in return. And no, I don’t have many pictures. Pictures would be a disgrace to the things I’ve beheld with my eyes. The finest camera could not capture the joy in a moment when you hand a child some shoes, his first new ones in years, and he thinks they’re the most expensive thing ever. They’re his new favorite thing in the world. Or the exact moment God’s presence jumps from each heart and brings peace to those plains that is indescribable. I refuse to be caught behind a camera in moments like this, and I’m sorry if I get tongue tied when you want to hear all of this- but it is completely and absolutely indescribable. There is no feeling to compare it to, and no matter what walk you are in with God, you will leave a place like that changed. You will have eyes to see. Ears to hear. Those things will mean so much more than you can imagine. Try to Imagine with me for a moment, being in a place that makes “beautiful” sound like an insult. If you were to take a black piece of paper, and poke little holes in it all over the entire thing, and hold it up to a light, that is what the night sky looks like in Zambia. From east to west, north to south, stars. Everywhere. It literally takes your breath away and makes you incapable of looking away. And how much more beautiful are we, as His children? Think about that.

You know, I didn’t know missions would be my calling. I didn’t ask for it directly. Once I began to see the world, I had to have more and more of it. I wanted to help everyone. I told God,”I want to change the world.” And He said,”Let’s do it.” But it wasn’t because I made it happen. He began planting visions for the world and a longing to travel (a real longing, not the huge hipster movement where everyone talks about traveling but never goes) before I even knew who He was. Did you get that? Before I knew who God was, he was putting desires and love for people in my heart. I realize more and more every day that being a missionary is unlike anything else. You can have no “oh in case God doesn’t show up, I have this plan” kind of thing as we do in America. Being a missionary is complete and total dependence on God. Knowing, without a doubt that He will show and will exceed our expectations. It is ultimate obedience and trust in Him. It is being at the edge of a cliff, but taking another step because you know God laid His life down for you to have a way. It is, and will grow to be my life, just as all of you who are called to missions.
This is an encouragement, missionary or not, to pray constantly. We always want to hear God and try to throw a fleece at Him by giving him ultimatums. If you get nothing out of this whole blog, hear these two things and really, really think about them.
1. God is either good all of the time, or none of the time. There is no wavering with situation and emotion. You decide.
2. God is in every. single. thing. Stop asking God to talk to you audibly. *If you are close enough to someone, you only need to whisper.* listen for his still small voice, and look for Him in everything throughout your day. Recognize that it’s him changing all the lights green so you can make it to work, or that he is the random flower you see on a horrible day. If you let anything take over your sight of God, you have switched focus. Keep your eyes on Him, and you will never miss out on what He has for you- big or small.

Love, Dev ❤️