June Newsletter

Imagine after arriving in the city the man, your teacher, tells you that you have to go out and beg every day. You soon find out that your teacher is not a very forgiving man, when you fail to beg enough he beats you. Life is hard and lonely. being five years old and being sent to the city with a man you have never met before. Your father and mother tell you to be good and study hard. Little do you know that it may be another ten years before you see your parents again.

This scenario is a reality for thousands of little boys in Senegal. Much of their day is spent on the street begging and hope is in short supply.

But at the __________________ Day Center, ___________________ Dave and Denise __________ are working to bring hope to the street boys of Dakar. At the center, boys come for a meal and leave with the love of Jesus shining in their eyes.

God has blessed me with a family that loves me and a place to belong. I have felt God calling me to serve him as a missionary for many years and as I’ve been waiting on his timing, he has been growing and preparing me for ministry. I am so excited to be heading to Senegal to work with the Dave and Denise. The boys that come to the center need the love and hope that only comes through a relationship with Jesus.

What I’ll be doing:

  • Learning Wolof (tribal dialect) spoken by many people including the boys.
  • Shopping for food.
  • Playing with the boys.
  • Encouraging the Senegalese Christians that work at the center in their walk with God.
Final Thoughts

I’m really looking forward to what God has to teach me in this newest part of my journey with Him. I know that it will be hard at times, but He never said it would be easy. I’ve had concerned friends ask me if it’s really safe to go work in Africa with street boys…yes and no. Are we really safe anywhere? Not really. But I love a statement my pastor shared years ago that has stuck with me. “The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will.” I’m trusting that God will be with me through every step of this journey and that he will protect me!

Would you be praying about how God could use you to be a part of my team as I minister in Senegal? I look forward to sharing more with you in person!

 Thank you for your prayers,

 

    Kim Johnson

Steps

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Have you ever felt stuck? Like you weren’t moving forward? Or, maybe you felt like you were sliding backwards.

To be honest I think we all feel this way at some point in our lives or maybe many times. But the good news is that that even if you are feeling stuck today, God is still at work in your life. Isn’t that great! Whether or not you have asked Jesus to lead you through life, God still loves you and is directing your steps. He is drawing each of us closer to Himself. One step at a time.

I made the choice many years ago to give Jesus control of my life, by asking forgiveness for my sins and asking Jesus to be a part of my life in a real way.

It’s amazing for me to look back on my life and see how God has always been directing my steps. I haven’t always felt like I was making progress and I haven’t always trusted God’s direction in my life like I should. It’s easy to get discouraged or to think that we know what our lives should look like. But thankfully when we follow God’s leading he doesn’t let us down.

Recently, I returned from Appointee Orientation at World Venture, a big step on my journey as a missionary. One of the things I really enjoyed about this training was the chance to meet other men and women who God has lead into missions work. Hearing pieces of their stories and how God has been directing their steps was truly a blessing! Sometimes it helps to be reminded that we are each on a journey with God and although our journeys may look very different we each have our ups and downs or moments of uncertainty. But the key to being faithful is allowing God to uses us to bring Him glory…no matter what the journey looks like!

The Journey

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I want to share with you about the journey God has me on.

To start let me take you back to when God first began to open my eyes and heart to other cultures…
I grew upon a Christian home and at the age of 12 had the chance to go on my first mission trip…which really opened my eyes to the world of missions. But this was just the first step on a journey I didn’t yet know I was on.

Throughout high school and college God used many different experiences to affirm my interest in missions. After college I got involved in serving in my home church and even though I was still looking ahead to mission work, I began to wonder if I could stay here and serve. (I am truly a homebody at heart.) But I knew that God had placed in my heart a passion for missions and I needed to pursue that!

So last spring I began working with World Venture, a missions organization. They helped me work thru my giftings and interests to find the perfect ministry for me.

That ministry is working with street boys in Western Africa. I will be working with the boys at a day center, helping meet their physical and spiritual needs. The boys that come to the day center aren’t orphans, but most of them have little to no contact with their families. Traditionally parents send their sons into the city to study and live with a teacher. But sadly, many of the teachers are just looking to live an easy life at the expense of the boys. Many are not fed or cared for and as part of their training they are forced to beg and if they fail to beg enough, many times they are beat.
The day center provides a place for the boys to call “home” by providing them with a meal, education, games, and most importantly the love and hope of Jesus!

I am very excited that God has called me to minister to these boys and amazed how he has worked out the details of my life to lead me to this point! I can’t wait to share more of my journey with you in the future!

The Birth of Jesus Christ

The birth of Jesus Christ came about this way: After His mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, it was discovered before they came together that she was pregnant by the Holy Spirit. So her husband Joseph, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace her publicly, decided to divorce her secretly.
But after he had considered these things, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what has been conceived in her is by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins. Matthew 1:18-21

It’s so amazing when stop and consider the details that God orchestrated when He sent His son to earth.  Can you imagine what it would have been like to be in Mary or Joseph’s shoes sandals?  I’m sure that very few people, if anyone, truly believed that the baby born to Mary was of the Holy Spirit and not Joseph.  I know I would have a hard time if most of my friends and family didn’t believe me.

This Christmas make some time to look again at the story of Christ’s birth.  Consider the faith of those involved and think about how God used their willingness to be used by Him to change the course of history! Then ask yourself, “How strong is my faith in God and am I willing to be used by Him in any way”?  I hope that in a year from now you can look back and see ways that your faith in God has grown.