Just Show Up

Posted by Kaylee K on Wednesday, February 3, 2016 Under: Faith
It has been an interesting journey these last eight months. In June, we moved out of our apartment in Jersey City and in with my father in Maryland for the summer as we sensed God was confirming our call to Italy that we heard 8 years ago. We applied with International Association for Refugees and were accepted as full-time missionaries in August. And then we launched into a three-month road trip that took us to training in Minneapolis with our organization, visiting our sons at their colleges, visiting both of our families in various cities, and reconnecting with churches and friends in Austin – including several who had supported us when we launched Refugee Connect in 2008. We also recruited two teams for the Ride for Refuge in early October to kick off our support raising. And we prayed… a lot. 

We prayed for direction. We prayed for discernment. We prayed for provision and protection. And we prayed that God would build our team and show us our tribe. Basically, we recognized that we can’t respond to God’s call on our lives without His direction and provision, and without a community of people who are like-minded, like-spirited and like-hearted. For these last eight months we have lived day by day, week by week and at most month-by-month not knowing whose house we’d stay at next, where the income would come from to pay next month’s bills, if we would truly get to Italy to serve, etc. And what we discovered is that God revealed one step at a time, one person at a time, and, literally for a while there, one month at a time. 

So, now as I sit in a home in Austin that a friend of a friend graciously allowed us to move into a few weeks ago and live in for the foreseeable future while she is working in Germany and I finish packing for our next three weeks in Italy with churches and ministries that serve refugees, I am truly amazed at what this journey of prayer and waiting is revealing. It reveals a God who is in control and loves us and, although He can do it all Himself, chooses to use us to fulfill His “Heaven on earth” plans to show this love to those we encounter. He has provided for us as needs arose; He has brought us unexpected healing; He has deepened many relationships and developed new ones; He has encouraged us and challenged us and grown us; and John and I have seen our relationship with each other grow and deepen. 

Even given all of this, I have to admit that there has been fear and resistance at times on this journey. There are days when I feel almost immobilized by the unknown and the “what if’s”. And at times, I’m just not sure how to “do this”. But, honestly, John’s and my continual sense that God has been in this from the beginning keeps us going on those days. In fact, earlier this week as I was struggling with fears of traveling, being away from the familiar for three weeks in a country whose language I am only just beginning to learn, and on a trip that is not yet fully funded, and the resistance to “going” was pretty palpable within me, John spoke some really convicting words of wisdom. He reminded me that the refugees we are going to serve have been through so much tragedy and then he said, “We just have to show up.” 

The wisdom in that phrase, “we just have to show up,” resonates with me and emboldens me to push past the fears. On the one hand, John was saying that it is the refugees I need to focus on because their journey has been tremendously more challenging than anything we’re experiencing. On the other hand, he was also speaking a really powerful truth that has been evident to us on our journey…All we have to do when God calls us is to show up. God truly does the rest. 

So, we’ll be heading out the door in a few hours and “showing up” in Italy tomorrow afternoon. My prayer is that God use us according to His will and that we see Him move, yet again, in ways unexpected and glorious. May that be the case for all of us, wherever God calls us to "show up."

In : Faith 

Tags: faith  italy  refugees  support  prayer 

Blog Authors

John and Kaylee Kolditz Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.

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