A Kairos Story: A Journey of Missional LivingSimply Mobilizing Canada
/Wednesday, August 30, 2023
It's incredible how enlightening, inspiring, and challenging it can be to take the Kairos course, but the excitement quickly fades away after a week or two, and soon we tend to go back to our old daily routine. But there's one couple who, after living a typical Christian life, realized how their lives should be realigned, fitting into the greater scheme of God's mission, and, step by step, followed God's lead, embarking on a journey of missional living that has kept them passionate for years. Through Ludia and Chris' story, we see why the three integration questions of Ch. 9 of the Kairos Course are so important and how God has made such a life possible for this couple.
Tell us about some of the things you've realized and learned through the Kairos Course.
We had trained a lot and served diligently as an elder and a deacon in my church, but we felt something was missing, and the Kairos course helped us discover what that was.
Ludia: When it came to missions, I only knew about the goers and the senders, but when I learned about the practices of welcoming and mobilizing, I thought, "Oh, this is something I can do here and now. As I reached retirement age, I had the hope and joy of knowing that I had something meaningful to give of my life until I stood before God. It's a significant shift in priorities.
Chris: It's still fresh in my mind, seeing what the purpose of the Gentiles Court was in the Temple Devotion and the ministry to the Gentiles during Jesus' public ministry. These challenged me to ask myself, "Is there a Gentiles court in my life?" And it made me realize that so-called laypeople can and should actively participate in God's mission.
How has your thinking or perspective changed as a result of the Kairos course, and how have you taken concrete steps to change your life?
Ludia: After the Kairos course, the next course I took was the "Friendship First" course organized by my church. I started to see the Muslims around me that I didn't think had anything to do with me before, and when I saw Muslim women in hijabs, I thought, 'Oh, these are people who need God's love, too.'
Chris: As I wondered what I could do specifically, I began to pray as I drove around the Muslim townhouse complexes around my home. As I went slowly, I asked God to "let these people hear the gospel through their God-fearing Christian teachers and friends," which I did for several months. After the Kairos course, I organized and took the Friendship First course at my church, and it was during this time that God gave me a mission I couldn't refuse: to pray with a group of people, not just myself. My wife next to me was worried about how we could do that every week since it would be challenging even doing it once a month. But now, for over six years, there hasn't been a week that we don't get together on a Saturday morning and pray for Muslim missions every week.
I've heard that there have been some concrete practices of doing missions through the prayer group. Can you tell us more about that?
Chris: God has given us the wisdom to do some specific ministry through our prayer ministry. For example, one of our prayer group members was serving a family from Nigeria, and the wife was approaching full term when we prayed for her health. We thought giving her a "baby shower" would be great, so we invited them to the meeting room of our prayer group at my church for a surprise party. The husband confessed to us then that we were more like their brothers and sisters than their own.
A missionary we pray for in Pakistan was holding a discipleship program for the locals, and I felt like I needed to go there to learn more about it so we could pray about it better. So, with his help, I went. It was a great experience to see firsthand what precious work is being done in a very challenging environment, and the missionary was also very encouraged and uplifted.
Switching gears a bit, you, Ludia, mentioned mobilization practices, and I'd love it if you could share with us how you are engaging in mobilization practices through the Kairos Course.
Ludia: First of all, mobilizing in the Kairos Course, I shared every chance I got how happy and joyful I am doing the Kairos Course. I shared it with my close friends because when you have something good, you share it with the people closest to you. Most of all, I shared through my own life how my priorities in life had to change, and I was able to show them how valuable it was to work with those who were mobilized.
Chris: We really tried to reach out and mobilize a lot of people for the Kairos course, and we had a lot of rejections and other challenges, but since 2015, we've been able to have the Kairos course at my home church, Yong Nak Presbyterian Church of Toronto, every year except during the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of the church's Discipleship 2 course, our senior pastor encourages the participants to think about how they will live as disciples after the course. Once, Rev. Song, our senior pastor, invited me to use that time to mobilize for the Kairos course. Also, in my job, I provide services through home visits, and while working in a pastor's home, I introduced the Kairos course to him, and thankfully, the Kairos course was held at his church.
The Kairos Course is a structure that trains so-called lay people to become facilitators and head facilitators, and they serve together as a team, mentoring and serving one another. So, I think it's an excellent mobilization program that has allowed us to spread the course quickly in a region while mobilizing God's people into His Mission.
Ludia: Through the Kairos course, I learned and used mobilization in my refugee ministry. We help them with groceries once every two weeks because they don't have a car, but we also open it up so that other people can take turns. One of our small group members does this once a month, and she sacrifices a lot of other things to do it, but she's so happy to do it, which makes me so happy as well.
Chris: As I said, we pray and learn what we need to do, and one of the things that came to my mind was grocery shopping and many other activities to help their children enjoy their life here in Canada. Most of the refugee families we serve are single-mom families, of which the husbands were martyred by ISIS, primarily because of their religion. So, we wanted to give them a chance to experience some of the simple things we have here in Canada. And we try to get volunteers to help whenever we do different activities by providing snacks, supplies, and rides, whether going swimming, canoeing, snow sledding, or looking at the fall colors.
Do you have any final words you'd like to share?
Chris: Through our intercessory prayer meetings for Muslims, which have been going on for six years now, I've been amazed to discover that the three characteristics of Edwin Orr's revival prayers that we saw in the Chapter 5 video of the Kairos Course are happening in these meetings: it's not praying alone, it's coming together and praying in unity; it's not just praying for ourself or our family or our people only, it's a well-rounded prayer that blesses other peoples as well; and it's not just something you do for a while, it's something you do for your whole life. It is a united, concerted, and sustained prayer. I'm so grateful to God for practicing it!
Ludia: I came across the Kairos Course when I thought I was just one the least people, frail and growing old, and that there was no meaningful ministry I could do after retirement. I was convinced that what I had learned through the Kairos Course was something I could walk my entire life on. My priorities changed, and I realized that prayer was the most important thing and what God wanted and liked for us. To friends who need clarification about how to serve before and after retirement, I share that all we can do is to pray. No one will ever say we've prayed enough, so I'm asking my friends to join to keep praying both bottom-line and top-line prayers. Our lives will pass, but I challenge my friends that our children and grandchildren will remember that we were praying moms and praying grandmothers.
Here, I briefly shared a glimpse of Ludia and Chris' precious journey of missional life in their own words. I have been challenged and grateful to witness their sweet dedication and passion as we serve together. The last Kairos course, held in April 2023, was a re-run of the one canceled in February. Although we had to cancel it in February because the number of participants was less than 15, Sister Ludia was not dismayed nor gave up. She prayerfully mobilized the senior pastor, missions pastor, and the prayer group so that they could help us recruit more students for the Kairos course out of her desperation and sense of crisis that we would miss the opportunity to mobilize in the future if we didn't hold the course at YoungNak Church again after the coronavirus pandemic. God sent 16 participants from 4 churches, and we could finally open the course again in April.
Chris and Ludia’s practice of mobilizing, welcoming, and praying, the most strategic activity in mission, continues today. This prayer group has incredibly blessed ministries for Muslims in Pakistan and Turkey, Muslim refugees in New Zealand, and Wycliffe’s Bible translation ministries for Muslims.
We give glory and praise to God for leading Chris and Ludia to take the Kairos course in the spring of 2015, to be trained as facilitators and head facilitators, to take the Friendship First course while serving on the Kairos course, and to continue to take concrete action through it!
We wish all who read this to continue the same joyful steps of their journey of missional life!
For upcoming Kairos Courses, visit: Upcoming Simply Mobilizing Courses in Canada
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