The Power of Connections

Posted by Kaylee K on Thursday, September 21, 2017 Under: Unaccompanied Refugee Youth

As I reflect on our visits with many individuals and ministries across Europe this summer, I am truly grateful for the connections we have made. I recognize that God has designed John and I both as connectors and He uses this in our ministry work almost daily. Again and again this summer, we were able to see how God wove together new relationships to help build out support programs for refugees...some having nothing to do with our own ministry but for the furthering of other work (which is awesome!). I want to share a quick story that demonstrates the exciting ways the network God inspired us to launch, Mobilised for Minors (MUM), helps connect the dots and shows that as a community we can do so much more together to help refugee youth than any of us can do alone.

For me, the following was a point of celebration at the end of our recent 3-month travels in Europe. At times it was difficult to assess the impact we have and where this journey is leading. After getting the email newsletter from the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), however, we could see that the MUM network is being used by God to engage His church in caring for unaccompanied refugee youth.

This email from CAFO announced a focus on unaccompanied refugee minors this Orphan Sunday (November 12th) for European churches. This is a huge opportunity to raise awareness and engage the church. I am humbled and honored that I was asked to work with this organization this summer to help launch this campaign and to develop the materials and the programs for it. To see this launch and to know that it is a demonstration of the impact of this network is so exciting.

Here are the pieces that came together through the network to bring this to fruition:
  • This focus for Orphan Sunday on unaccompanied minors was inspired by someone in our network who then introduced me to the director at CAFO
  • Through the Refugee Highway Partnership's Task Force for Children and Youth, I was able to kick-off a prayer initiative that has been on a colleague's heart for a year now
  • Two other network members collaborated on a paper that included a wonderful bible study they allowed us to share as a resource for this campaign
  • We are promoting participation in the campaign through the European Evangelical Alliance, the Refugee Highway Partnership, World Without Orphans, and the MUM Network
Please take a moment to read this blog that the newsletter links to as it beautifully speaks to God's call on the church on behalf of these kids. It also links to the resources we provided to support this campaign -- so you can get a lil' feel for the work that is happening here.

Our goals this summer were to build out the network, raise awareness, and get some clarity on next steps and our long-term ministry location. We definitely feel all of those boxes were checked because of the connections God has made and the relationships we have been honored to develop in this journey.

In : Unaccompanied Refugee Youth 

Tags: refugee children  awareness  network  asylum-seekers 

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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