December Newsletter

I love this time of year…first there’s Thanksgiving, then Christmas and finally New Year’s Day! Each holiday is different, but each one helps me turn my thoughts to God; what he has done, is doing and will do in my life.  I hope and pray that as each year passes I am better at recognizing the gifts God has given me and then presenting those gifts back to him.

This year I have approached the holidays with a different perspective than normal.  This new perspective comes from the fact that the next time I will possibly be at home with my family for the holidays is in 2016.  Even that is dependent on how God leads me in the next two years.

As I have pondered this truth it has made me all the more grateful to have this time with my family.  I would encourage you to enjoy your holiday celebrations with the same gratefulness!  Each moment that God has given us is precious and if God has blessed you with family and friends don’t take those relationships for granted.

It’s hard to believe that 2013 will soon give way to a new year.  I hope that throughout this year you have had chances to grow and mature in your walk with God.  I am looking forward to all that God has in store to teach me in the coming year.  There will be so many new things in my life in 2014!  It is exciting, but also a little scary.

Earlier this year one of my partners reminded of God’s command to Joshua to be “strong and courageous.”  He says it four times in chapter one alone. He knows how easy it is for us to lose sight of him and get caught up in our fears, but when we look to him and remember his promises we are given the power we need to be strong and courageous.  Let’s live our lives in His strength this year!

Sharing out of PovertyHe’s only six, but he said, “I have enough to share.”

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One day little Ouseynou told us not to give money to our littlest t boys if they needed help because they happened to be short on their quotas for the day.  Ouseynou said he had it covered.  We asked him what he meant and he said, “I have enough to share and I want to help them.”

What a joy it was to all of us to hear that this little boy, who has nothing but his begging can and flip-flops, cares so much for the littler ones! And this has now become a daily occurrence on Ouseynou’s part.

We are humbled and encouraged by such a selfless act by one of these terribly neglected and mistreated children of Senegal.  That such generosity can come out of such a miserable life could be a wonder, or it could be a testimony to the transforming power of the love of Christ and God’s word.

(Shared with permission from Dave and Denise McCarthy’s 2010 newsletter)

Final Thoughts…

I am so excited to share with you how God has been moving since I last wrote to you!   It has been such an encouragement and blessing to see my support levels continue to rise and to know it is only a result of God’s goodness.

One-time Expenses – 100%

 Monthly Expenses – 66%

In January and February I hope to finish up meeting with friends and churches.  Also, in January I will be attending my final training with World Venture at their headquarters in Littleton, Colorado!  I am excited to see how God will bring all the final pieces of the amazing journey together in the next few months.  If you haven’t gotten to visit with me in person about my plans I would love to get together with you, just give me a call or email me and we can set up a time to get together!

Thank you for your prayers!

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“For such is the Kingdom of God”

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As God has called me to minister to street boys in Senegal, I am reminded of Jesus’ love for little children.  “Jesus said, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom belongs to such as these.” (Matt. 19:14)

For me, love will include serving the boys through tasks that may not always be pleasant.  But no task was too small or beneath Jesus as He served here on earth. In Philippians 2:7, Paul says this about Jesus “He made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.”  I am thankful for these reminders from the Bible about what ministry should look like!  I’m blessed by the chance to serve Him by loving his children in Senegal.

I am continually amazed with how much God loves each and every one of His children…you and me, street boys in Senegal, those living in war torn countries, the rich, the poor and those that may seem unlovable.  I have been reminded of God’s love for me numerous times over the last few months.  As I strive to follow Him and share with others about the ministry He has called me to it is easy to get lost in the daily grind, but each time I start to feel worn down, God brings something into my life to encourage me and remind me that I’m not alone.  He has set me on this path and He will be with me all the way…what a blessing!
Earlier this month my family and I had the chance to go on a road trip to visit extended family.  We had a great time visiting, fellowshipping and reminiscing!  It was really nice to be able to share with my family about the ministry I will be a part of in Dakar…and I have been blessed as God has led many of them to support me in this journey!  Knowing I have their prayers and support means so much to me!

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“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers I pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel.”

Philippians 1:3-5

 

Can you believe that the month of October is almost gone? Before we know it Thanksgiving and Christmas will be upon us.  I’m very thankful to be at home for the holidays this year celebrating with family and friends close by!  But I’m also looking forward to being in Dakar next year for the holidays.  

Final Thoughts…

As 2013 quickly draws to a close my mind turns to all of the things God has been doing in my life this year and all that 2014 will hold.  I am so thankful for all of my friends and family who have been praying for me throughout this journey…I can really feel God’s strength upholding me through each of you!

My hope and prayer is that I will be able to attend World Venture’s pre-departure training in January.  (This is a required training that I must complete before leaving for Senegal.)  To attend I must be at 60% of my monthly expenses.  If I am unable to attend in January I will have to wait until June for the next training.  Please be praying with me that God will allow me to reach my goal!

Also, if you have made a verbal commitment to support me but haven’t yet sent in a commitment to World Venture, please do so.  (Making a commitment doesn’t mean you have to begin sending in support yet…you can wait until I head out for Senegal, if you want.)  If you have questions, call or talk to me…I’ll be glad to help!

 

One-time Expenses – 90%

Monthly Expenses – 40%

 

Thank you for your prayers,

Kim Johnson
 
 

August Newsletter

School children
Back to School…?
Does anyone else feel like the summer has disappeared too quickly?  It seems like each new summer speeds by more quickly than the last.  Along with all my normal summer activities such as a youth mission trip, visiting family, weeding, picking, and processing veggies, I have also had the chance to share with friends about the ministry God is calling me to in Senegal.

It has been such a blessing for me to share with many of you about this journey God has me on.  To  be honest, before I began this process I was a little nervous about sitting down with people, sharing my ministry in detail and talking to them about ways to partner with me.

But God has really blessed and encouraged me through each and every person I have gotten to share with!  It’s so special to sit down with follow brothers and sisters in Christ and explain to them about the ministry of the Day Center to the street boys.  Then I ask them to pray about how they might partner with me to bring the love of God to each of these little boys.

It’s humbling to see others giving of their resources to support me and to ultimately bring the hope of the gospel to street boys half a world away.

studyingAs summer comes to an end my  thoughts have been turning toward the beginning of a new school year.  But sadly, in Africa many children never have the chance to go to school.  The street boys spend much of their day out on the streets of Dakar begging and apart from memorizing parts of the Koran they receive no other schooling.

One of the goals at the day center where I will be serving is to give the boys as much education as possible.  On a weekly basis they are being taught God’s word and the basics of reading and writing.  Although, there is only a small amount of time available for the boys to study weekly any education they receive helps give them the dignity and self-respect they need and want.

I feel so blessed to be a part of reaching out to these precious boys!

Final Thoughts

Earlier this month I had the privilege to be a part of the bi-annual mission conference at Faithbridge Church in Park Rapids, MN (my home church).  Two years ago I was on the planning end of the event and remember working with my team to encourage and lift up our missionaries.  Well, the team this year did a great job of making all of the missionaries that attended feel loved, encouraged, and appreciated!  It’s amazing to me how God leads each of us to serve Him in so many different ways.

In August I was also blessed to help a former missionary to Venezuela with a “Man Junk” sale/yard sale.  Nancy was a missionary for a number of years and wanted to encourage me on my journey, the way she had people encourage her, so she decided to have a sale and donate to money to my one-time expenses!  She has truly been an encouragement and blessing to me!

In September I am hoping to meet with many more friends from church to share with them my heart for sharing God’s love with the street boys of Dakar.  I also hope to have the chance to meet with a few local churches.  The last weekend of September my family and I are headed to New Jersey to visit extended family and friends and share with them about my ministry plans.  It should be a perfect time of year to travel and I am looking forward to a road trip with my family!

 “So where are you at in your support raising?”   Great question!  I know many of you are anxious to hear where I am at in the process of leaving for Senegal, so here’s how far along I am….

13% – Monthly support

51% – One-time Expenses

Thank you to all of you who have already joined me on this journey and I’m looking forward to seeing who else God will call to join me in sharing His love with the  street boys of Dakar!

Thank you for your prayers,

Kim Johnson