Written by Kristen Allen, Director of Community Development
One of the most exciting things about living in the community is seeing how God is using different people to accomplish His purpose. I love hearing stories from our Bhutanese and Latino ministries and also learning from my friends first hand what it means to follow God and trust in His provision.
I’ve been blessed by a friendship with a local Burmese shop owner. I originally connected with her when I visited the Falam Chin church down the street from my house where another friend serves as the pastor. Our friendship blossomed over the next few months as we shared about our lives and dreams.
My friend had lived in the United States for several years before following God’s call to move her family to Kansas City and open an Asian grocery store. She and her husband borrowed a few thousand dollars from a relative, opened their store in July of 2012, and prayed into the vision God had for them.
There is something special when you visit the store. If you are like me and don’t speak Burmese or Falam Chin, you would still perceive the high level of customer service. Everyone is greeted, everyone receives a smile, and everyone is valued when they are shopping in the store. My friend and her husband see their store as an opportunity to reach the community for Jesus and as business grew, they knew that God was calling them to further expand their ministry.
My friend prayed, she fasted, and she asked God for a store just down the street that had parking, retail space, and the ability to expand to include a children’s outreach program so she could hire teachers to help children in the community improve in school and retain their native language. And God said no to that space. Undeterred, she continued to believe and pray for the dream that God gave their family.
One day I received a text from my friend asking me to come to the store. “Please hurry” it said and I wondered what was going on. When I arrived, I learned she had received a lease for an even better space. We both celebrated and thanked God for moving in amazing ways to make the expansion of their business possible.
At the end of January 2014, their community pitched in and helped move their grocery store to the new location God provided them. This is where their dreams continue. Later this year they will open a restaurant to serve delicious Burmese dishes. Profit from grocery store and restaurant will help fund outreach programs to children in their community. The journey of following God continues and I can’t wait to see where it will take them next.
In other news:
- A group of teens, kids, and volunteers braved the cold last Friday to attend Winter Jam! We had a blast and an amazing time worshiping God together!
- The Bhutanese teens are really stepping up their leadership and have planned an "American Idol" formatted teens club this trimester. It’s going to be very fun, but also a lot for them to pull off. It’s fun to see them learning as they go, and growing in their creativity and vision for their own community.
- Please pray for Bhutanese teenagers as they navigate how to honor their Hindu families while discovering their own personal faith in Jesus.
- Please continue to pray for stable employment for our refugee friends.
- The LIT (Leaders in Training) kids come straight from school each day so we try to have a healthy snack for them. We are looking for a few individuals or a small group to purchase (in bulk) some granola bars, goldfish, nutri-grain bars, or any other healthy snacks to bless the kids. Please contact Megan if interested: firstname.lastname@example.org.