Update from John and Kaylee

Posted by Kaylee K on Sunday, August 12, 2012 Under: Italy
Wanted to share a quick update. It has been 10 months since John and I traveled to Rome and other refugee hubs in Italy last fall.We came home with a sense to pray for direction regarding:

1.     Are refugees the people we are called to? (We had sensed confirmation that they indeed are)
2.     Is Italy the stop on the Refugee Highway we are to work? (We continue to learn and seek discernment and opportunities to explore further)
3.     How soon do we go? (It is tough not to just dive in...but we seek God's timing (and try to practice patience)
4.     What needs to happen in the meantime? (please see below for the steps we are taking)
We would appreciate prayers from our friends and family as we prepare for those next steps in our journey. We continue to do much to prepare for our ministry work.... 
  • John has volunteered with Street Youth Ministry of Austin and International Students Inc. These ministries have given us both opportunities to reach out to people with very different experiences to our own.
  • Kaylee is working toward certification in TEFL to teach English abroad. We believe this will be valuable to serve refugees and potentially find work in Southern Europe.
  • We will begin to study foreign language (Kaylee studying French -- as this is a language many African refugees speak, and John studying Italian as we feel that is the country God is ultimately calling us to).
We would appreciate your prayers in a couple areas in particular:
  1. In the meantime: We have sensed we are to plug into a church or church-plant in the UT campus area that will encourage us to build on relationships we have built here. We would like discernment on what church we are to be a part of and how we are to be involved.
  2. How soon: We recently learned of a potential center to welcome and assist refugees in Malta, an island south of Sicily. Its location geographically makes it a strategic port for travelers seeking asylum from wars on the African continent to the south. We are praying about visiting Malta as a next step in seeking God's will about serving travelers along the refugee highway searching for peace. If we are called here, we are praying for clarity and provision.
  3. For the refugees: Over 80,000 people have dared to cross the Mediterranean in small boats in recent months, not knowing what lies ahead. Please keep these asylum seekers in your prayers. 
Please pray with us and encourage us as we pursue God's will in our lives. We hope you will keep in touch and let us know how we can be praying for you as well.

In : Italy 

Tags: refugees  faith  italy  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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