1-copy

Potter’s Field Kids Kenya: Cedrick

The following was written by IGNITE Class 11 intern, Michael Buduson (Calvary Chapel Webster) on one of our Potter’s Field Kids, Cedrick

3

Cedrick is, most likely, my favorite kid at the Potter’s Field Kids Club here in Kenya! Every time I see him, he has the biggest smile on his face, and he always calls me over to sit down to talk and play with him. There’s a lot about Cedrick that makes him stand out among the other kids. For one, his English is far superior to even some of the older kids. He understands the language very well and can speak in complete sentences with the proper structure. In fact, the only issue he has is a hard time differentiating between “he” and “she.” The masculine and feminine concept doesn’t really translate well here since, in Swahili, the word ‘yeye’ means both he and she, so to him its the same thing. Also, like many here in Kenya, Cedrick is one of those who likes to respond to questions with his eyebrows. If the answer is to a question is yes, he’ll usually slightly tilt his head back and raise his eyebrows high along with a small grin while, if the answer is no, he’ll usually just raise them without the tilting of the head or smile. I have gotten to where I can with about an eighty percent accuracy what his answer is at times like this!

5

Cedrick is one of those kids you can just sit with, talking and laughing for hours. What stands out above all that is special about him, it is the joy, love, and hope that he has – it is just amazing. The reason I say this is Cedrick has a condition where he is unable to walk. He doesn’t know why or the cause, he just knows that he has very little feeling in his legs and is unable to move them or support himself standing. Because of this, he is almost always carried everywhere he goes and usually requires a seat where his back is supported so he can sit upright. But even his condition doesn’t stop him from laughing and playing with the other kids. Even without the use of his legs, he’ll crawl around the ground to play hide and seek or to race or just to explore. I’ve given him the nickname ‘Superman’ because of his heart, strength, and determination that he possess. Plus he also loves Superman. We would play hide and seek together, and when it was my turn to look for him, he would always try and sneak up behind me to scare me. Every time we gather in the sanctuary for kids songs, I always carry Cedrick in and he would have me sit right next to him, or he would ask if he could sit on top of my shoulders to see better.

2

Cedrick has been attending kids club here in Kenya for a few months now. He’s brought by his mom and ever since coming he’s been able to connect with other children and make many new friends and have a great opportunity to learn about God. Cedrick lives with his mom, aunt, and his baby brother. His dad is always working so he only sees him on certain occasions, but he loves to spend time with him. Usually, when he is home, he likes to watch tv or play his racing game on his mom’s phone, but one of his favorite things to do is to cook. He says he loves cooking for his mom and will always make her sausages and chips (french fries). He also loves to listen to music, and when he gets older, he wants to learn how to play the drums and the guitar. When he’s all grown up, he plans on being not just a pilot, but also a doctor, that way he can save people while he’s flying. He has very high hopes for the future. Cedrick is very thankful for everything that God has provided for him, his family, his friends, his ability to cook, and even without the use of his legs he is so thankful for the life he has been given. He fully believes that God will heal his legs and that he will be able to walk and run. I am so thankful for Superman Cedrick and the joy and love he brings every week to Kids Club. Pray for his family and their continual provision, for his legs that he would be healed and have the ability to walk, and for God to continue to bring love and joy into his life.

4

Dear Ministry Friends,

We truly can’t believe we are starting our 25th year of Potter’s Field Ministries! Time surely does fly. Pam & I and the entire team and staff look forward to what God has in store for this milestone year!  We would appreciate your continued prayers.

We would be remiss however if we didn’t share some of the highlights with you from 2016, that through your partnership, you helped make possible.

img_2723

Pastor Michael and Pam Rozell at Potter’s Field Kids Guatemala

We started our first domestic Potter’s Field Kids Club on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, MT. We have deployed seven interns for service there and also hosted two short-term mission trips.  We trained 42 interns in 2016 through the IGNITE Mission Training School at our Headquarters in Antigua, Guatemala where they ministered to thousands of children in our locations on four continents.  (These were our two largest IGNITE classes ever and these young adults represented an equivalent of 21 years of missionary service.)  We also hosted 18 mission teams at our Center in Guatemala where over 250 people from 16 different churches across America joined us to serve.

img_2395

IGNITE interns serving during an overnight outreach in Escuintla, Guatemala

In our three locations in Africa, we have had some of our largest Potter’s Field Kids Clubs ever!  In Uganda, we had 1,000 kids in attendance this past Saturday alone. We also did 17 island outreaches where 3,828 children were reached; in Kenya, 566 children came to PFK Club and our work in The Democratic Republic of the Congo has an average of 600 kids per week.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

Potter’s Field Kids Uganda

We have started a new PFK program & expanded our borders to a second location in a neighboring town in Costa Rica.  I took a team and a potter’s wheel to Cambodia in Phnom Penh and did a presentation at our partnering church, New Life Fellowship.  Our domestic horse camps doubled in size with 98 kids attending our 11 camps in Whitefish, MT from May through December.  We partnered with Child Bridge & CASA ministering to foster kids and Lighthouse Home for disabled adults. We also hosted an annual day camp for 30 underprivileged kids from TurnAround Ministries from Atlanta, GA.  We just completed a three-day Holiday Horse Camp.

img_2399

First Potter’s Field Presentation at New Life Fellowship in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

As we reflect on all The Lord has done this past year, we can say without hesitation, we experienced the God “who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.”  Eph. 3:20.  To Him be the Glory!!  We could not do this without your faithful support & prayers.  Thank each of you, our partners in ministry, for an awesome year!

‘Til the Whole World Hears,

Pastor Michael and Pam Rozell

Founders, Potter’s Field Ministries

img_1922-bonnie

‘Til the Whole World Hears!

img_20160506_202321473-copy

The Shepherded Life

The following was written by J.J. Stark of Kootenai Christian Fellowship. He shares on his year of serving in Browing, MT as a part of IGNITE Class 10. We hope you will be encouraged by the words of this young man as he testifies to the goodness of God to reward a life that forsakes all for His kingdom. The work God accomplishes in and through our interns in the IGNITE program would not be possible apart from the faithful support and prayers of our sponsors. Together we are making disciples in all parts of the world for the One who loved us first.

The Shepherded Life

Ignite: to set ablaze with fire, to initiate a new venture; it rings of expectation, promise, and hope.

IGNITE: that which God does to the life yielded to Him.

My name is J.J. Stark, and this is the account of my IGNITE Class 10 internship. IGNITE, a branch of Potter’s Field Ministries, is a one-year missions and discipleship program. It is broken into four phases: Training, Field Time, Re-Entry, and Home Church service, and designed for young men and women who desire to serve the Lord in a deeper way.  The transformation that takes place in this single year is radical and lays the foundations of faith in Him that cannot be removed.

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

During my time in IGNITE, Psalm 23 became alive and tangible to me. Interestingly, it parallels and accurately describes my transformation starting in IGNITE that continues to take place now. Let this be a testament to God’s supreme mercy, grace, and love displayed.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

  The three-month training period began in Antigua, Guatemala. Being from a small town in Northwest Montana, this was an incredible time for me solely by experiencing the culture. The training center truly has God’s hand on it and turns down the noise of the world so that His voice can be heard. Every morning was a time for each intern to have personal devotions, instilling the importance of setting the Lord above all else.  Most days were spent in a variety of classes with different pastors and instructors, preparing us for the field on which we were to serve. These were anything from Biblical studies on characters like Moses, Nehemiah, and David, to puppeteering and classroom teaching methods. All throughout training we did outreaches into the city such as pancake breakfasts and hospital visits, where we would put the learned methods of sharing the gospel to action. Also, we participated in the weekly Potter’s Field Kids (PFK) Club held at the Center. Getting to minister to and interact with the kids was a delight, and despite the language barrier I still managed to get to know a few children. These were the “green pasture and still water” experiences, as I gleaned and grew tremendously from them. My favorite time in training was our “On the Mount” class. This was designated time occasionally given to take our own time and sit before the Creator: be it reading the Word, praying, or worshiping Him.  It was here that my biggest battles were fought, where I wrestled with the Lord, and where I learned to let go of “me” to let God be God. Now, On the Mount has become vital to my walk with Christ Jesus as I live for Him, as “He restores my soul.

The most pivotal point during training for me was the night of team commissioning for Field Time. I was put on a ground-breaking team for a new PFM Location: Browning, Montana, USA. It is located on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation just east of Glacier National Park. As excited as I was for the commissioning, I must admit I was simultaneously shocked and confused to be going there! Like I mentioned before, I am from a small town in Northwest Montana only a few hours from Browning, so it almost felt like I was going home. Little did I know, however, it would teach that “He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me…”

img_20160708_205723884_hdr

The Blackfeet Nation: A once strong and proud people, horse-mounted warriors controlling vast tracts of land throughout Northern Montana up into Canada; a people who have since been used and betrayed over the years, and have sunk into poverty stricken and near hopeless living conditions. Yes, in our very own United States of America there exists a place that feels as though you have entered a whole different country (and a third world country at that). Not only on the material level do they suffer, but spiritually also. Into this setting Team Browning went, and upon arrival, it felt as though a dark cloud was hanging over the town. For the first time in my life, though I couldn’t have defined it then, I felt I was walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.”

Although during training there were frequent sessions for my team on Browning, the information and preparation were somewhat limited due to it being new to PFM Location. Despite knowing it was going to be difficult starting out, I still found it a hard transition. Coming from the structure and activity in Guatemala to a lower activity location and having to formulate our own structure was challenging. Establishing relationships was an interesting process, and there were many!

I cannot say enough about how welcoming the pastor and his family were throughout the entire time, as well as the church body. The community, however, is still to this day one of the most unique I have been in.  The people seem to literally live day to day, with rarely any consist routine. Unemployment is high there, as well as the use of drugs and alcohol; it isn’t uncommon to see people wandering the streets and alleys doing whatever they want.

Shockingly, the children also wander the streets, despite whether they should be in school. Because of this “irregularity” in the town, it was interesting setting up the PFK Club there, and we found very quickly that getting consistent numbers of kids was going to be hard for a while. However, it was through this that relationships with them were planted.  We began walking around and advertising PFK, and soon we could gather a decent core group. Instead of idly roaming around town, the kids randomly started to come to the church more to hang out, outside of Kids Club. Home life for many of them is broken and very strained due to substance abuse, so for them to recognize the church as a safe place was good in one sense, but heartbreaking also. Often the homes lacked a father figure; I remember several different times young boys telling me that they didn’t know where their dads were. This opened a unique opportunity for me to build relationships with them just by spending time with them and taught me to be equally meaningful and intentional in ministering to every child, be it one or thirty. One of these was a little boy named BooBoo, who stole my heart with his sweet but also mischievous spirit. Many an hour did I spend with him, playing soccer, throwing a football, and teaching him how to rope. My prayer is that he saw the love of Christ through these things.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

“…Your rod and staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.”

It was a tough platform to work with at times, to say the least, but looking back now it was nothing compared to the platform of my heart that the Lord had to work with! There was another element to the “valley of the shadow of death.” Despite the ministry that was happening all around me, I let myself become calloused to the very gospel message I was proclaiming. I began closing in and isolating myself from the rest of my team. It led to me going stir crazy with personal struggles because I was not crying out to God, and caused my team a lot of tension due to my self-impatience. Yet, it is most often in the valleys where the richest feed is found. God’s sovereign plan was to heat me to a temperature hot enough to reveal the impurities in me, as with dross in gold purification. During this time, Potter’s Field asked me to come into Whitefish to help remodel the new MUDMAN restaurant they were opening. This was the most pivotal time of the program for me. For the first time, I felt God’s rod and staff correct and comfort me, and then reveal the rich feast that was prepared before me.  It forced me to look at my life, and He showed me how I was not letting Him be supreme in my life. He is teaching me to be His lamb and to let Him be my Good Shepherd, who knows me better than I do, and does what is best for me, whatever it may take. I am learning to know His sweet voice and follow where He leads.

img_20160417_190635952

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

Re-Entry was a wonderful time of reflection, as well as preparation for what lay in the future. Getting to see my classmates after being apart for six months and hear the testimony of what God is doing was rejuvenating. He is on the move throughout the world without a doubt, and lives are coming to Him through the salvation of the gospel. What was even more amazing was the change that had taken place in all of my classmates. Each of us grew dramatically, everyone having met the Lord in ways we never had before. This was only furthered as we began to process our field time and speak of the things we witnessed. Re-Entry prepared us for the return home and the transition back into our home culture. The classes helped us begin formulating the experiences into messages we could clearly relate to our society.

            Since being home, God has continued to mold me more into His image as I walk nearer to Him. I have had the privilege of getting to work alongside my pastor, not only through the church but also in his construction business. Being discipled in this way has been invaluable, as he selflessly pours into me in daily life. The Lord has called me through this time of Home Service to help lead and teach in my church’s youth group and Sunday school. Why He would use me in such a way is beyond my comprehension, but His ways are higher than mine. It has been an honor to be able to serve in this capacity, as the youth continually challenge me to draw near to Christ and seek His face.  Thankfulness to God continues to grow in me for each day He gives.  “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

IGNITE has taught me to glorify Him in every fleeting moment, and to shine His light into a dying world. But most importantly, God Almighty has taught me to say: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

‘Til the Whole World Hears

J.J. Stark // IGNITE Class 10 // Team Browning

img_3848-copy

Life on Mission

My name is Kait McMahon, I am 25 years old, and I was an intern in IGNITE class 9. The IGNITE program is a year-long commitment that gives young people the opportunity to come together and live out the purposes of Christ, and to love like He did. I joined the Potter’s Field IGNITE program because I wanted to grow in my relationship with Jesus. I knew that God had an incredible year in store for me, but what I didn’t know was that He would use this year to transform me, for the rest of my life.

The first phase of the IGNITE program was the training in Guatemala. Training was a crucial time where I was able to get rooted in God’s Word and become prepared in my heart and mind for the upcoming time out on the mission field. For three months I was able to attend classes geared toward missions, learn from pastors from all over the country, and participate in PFM’s Kids Club in Antigua. Not only was training a time of great personal spiritual growth but growth together as a class. God took 11 people from 11 different places and backgrounds and knit our hearts together. We found strength in the unity of our bond in Christ and ultimately our common purpose of wanting to know the Lord, and make Him known. By the time we were assigned our country teams and had our commissioning night, we were all ready and excited to see what the Lord was going to do!

img_3845

Kait serving at Potter’s Field Kids Club in Guatemala during IGNITE training

I was sent to Kenya for my six months of field time, which turned out to be a blessing beyond anything I have ever experienced. My team and I had a full schedule of teaching both from the Bible and academics. We spent most of our time teaching at the Potter’s Field Christian Academy in Rongai, but we were also able to teach at a special unit, a children’s home, at tutoring sessions, at Sunday school, and at schools in the surrounding communities. Every Saturday we helped to run a Kids Club where there were upwards of 300 kids in attendance! Every week as these awesome numbers of children came to Kids Cub to be fed a meal and hear the gospel, I was reminded of how powerful our God really is. Seeing His Holy Spirit at work often left me in awe.

Being in Kenya for six months allowed me the time to form real friendships with the Kenyan teens, and I found great joy in ministering to and discipling some of the teen girls. It was such a blessing to learn all about their lives, hear their prayer requests and praise reports, and to help them through struggles and celebrate with them in their victories. It was a beautiful thing to see these young people begin to put their hope in God and grow in their faith.

img_3847

“The children were my favorite part of my field time in Kenya.”

It was truly a privilege to be among the Kenyan people. The children were my favorite part of my field time in Kenya. The love God grew in me for the children of Rongai gave me glimpses of how our Heavenly Father loves us. The Bible talks about this love that is “long and wide and high and deep,” and being with these children allowed me to experience this four-dimensional love. I had my own set of trials on the mission field, but it was this love, and the joy that it brought me, that was my constant source of strength. My field time taught me so much, but above all, God used my time in Kenya to teach me about His love. The love of God knows no bounds. It pushes us far beyond what we ever thought possible. In Christ, I am confronted with the beautiful truth that I can always go deeper into love, and in Kenya, I learned that I want to spend my life chasing its depths; I want to learn of it, live in it, and share it with the world.

After the six months of field time in Kenya, our class was reunited in Montana at the Potter’s Field headquarters for our re-entry phase. Re-entry was a time of re-connection with our classmates, reflection of our field time, and rest in the Lord. We also had the unique opportunity to serve at the first Potter’s Field Kids Club at PFM’s newest location in Browning, Montana on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Throughout our time in re-entry, we were able to share our experiences serving in the country we were assigned to and again had the opportunity to be taught by Spirit-filled pastors like we had been in training. After pouring out and giving my field time everything I had in me, the re-entry phase of IGNITE filled me back up and l felt refreshed, renewed, and ready to go into the final phase of the IGNITE program of serving at my home church.

img_3844

Kait serving at her home church, Calvary Chapel North Shore, in Danvers, MA

            My final two months of the IGNITE program were spent at my home church, Calvary Chapel North Shore in Danvers, Massachusetts. Being able to come home and immediately begin to serve at my home church was a blessing, and it gave me the opportunity to be a blessing to the church that sent me out. Serving those two months at my home church also helped to give me direction in where I believe the Lord would have me serve long term. Since finishing my two months I have begun to help with the administration in media, in ladies’ discipleship, and I am now a Sunday school teacher for the 5-11 year-olds at my church.

The IGNITE program lives up to its name. It has ignited a fire in my heart to live for the Lord Jesus Christ. Potter’s Field Ministries gave me the opportunity to live for a year as a missionary, but this year has given me the desire to live a life of mission, and I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of this program. I am thankful for Pastor Mike, and his continual encouragement to “stay busy about our Father’s business.” I am thankful for the PFM staff in Montana and around the world who persevere in selflessly serving the Lord. I am thankful for the PFM sponsors, whose finances the Lord uses not only to feed and teach thousands of children but also to reach far beyond our human eyes’ scope. And ultimately this past year in the IGNITE program has made me eternally thankful that we have a loving God who truly can do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever ask or imagine.

Processed with VSCO with s3 preset

Kait during her six months serving on the field in Kenya

monyruth8dsc_1498

Planting Seeds of Hope in Phnom Penh

There is power in a story, and there is great power in a testimony. Today, I want to give you a glimpse into the story of Monyruth Pin, a four-year-old preschool student at New Life School.

My name is Emily Kreger, and I am an IGNITE Class 11 intern serving in Cambodia. I have the privilege and honor to witness the beautiful partnership between Potter’s Field Ministries and New Life Fellowship. NLF is the church that Potter’s Field serves alongside in Cambodia, and one of the areas of their partnership is in New Life School. New Life School is a Christian school in the city of Phnom Penh that God is using not only to educate children but to reach hearts and souls with the name of Jesus. Potter’s Field IGNITE interns have the privilege to teach English to the children at New Life School while building relationships that last to eternity.

I am living my dream teaching the sweetest class of 20 preschoolers. I know that I am doing so much more than teaching them English; I am loving them with the love of Christ and testifying of His Gospel. I firmly believe that they are men and women who God will use mightily for His kingdom. One of the girls in my class who I know God’s hand is upon is Monyruth.

monyruth3dsc_1463

Monyruth quickly gravitated towards me, and we formed a special bond. Even though we can’t really communicate with words yet, the Spirit of God knit our hearts together. Monyruth is bright, creative, and endearing. My teacher’s assistant told me a little about her story, and my heart went out to her even more. Monyruth doesn’t have a mother in her life, as her parents were divorced. She is being raised by her grandma. One day in class as we were playing with playdough, she ran over and hung on my neck. At that moment, God ministered to my heart about the impact we can have in others’ lives. Monyruth doesn’t know the love of a mother and you can see that is was hungry for love.

What an amazing opportunity I have been given to love this beautiful child of God. Every day God teaches me so much as I teach my class of preschoolers. Through this class and through Monyruth, He has really taught me that life is all about loving Him with my heart, soul, mind, and strength and loving whoever is in front of me. And, on those special occasions where the person in front of me is a girl from a broken home who lacks a mother’s love, I am even more overwhelmed and thankful for the opportunity to love.

monyruth7dsc_1495

Through Monyruth, God showed me that what I am doing doesn’t create significance, but how I do it. God showed me that I can teach a letter sound, play with playdough with the children, and sing child songs to glorify myself or to glorify Him. I glorify myself when I seek my gain in the situation. But when I surrender every act to Him and love the person in front of me for their gain; that gives glory to God.

I wouldn’t have this opportunity without the partnership of New Life School and Potter’s Field Ministries. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to love children like Monyruth. Thank you, Potter’s Field Sponsors for not only investing in my life but in Monyruth’s life as well. Your faithfulness in giving through finances and prayer is reaching hearts and souls all the way to the end of the earth.

13938194_1138276062860254_1196829637244992811_o

Even to Eternity

The following was written by IGNITE Class 11 intern, Alisha Espinal of CC Agape, reflecting on her time in the training portion of the IGNITE program before heading to Browning, MT to serve alongside Glacier View Baptist Chapel on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation for the next six months.

Dear Sponsors of Potter’s Field Ministries,

            My name is Alisha Espinal and I am 24 years old. Before coming to IGNITE, I was attending Calvary Chapel Agape in the Bronx, New York. I am a part of Class 11 and currently in the training process of the program. It has been a great time for studying the Bible, discipleship, and serving in Kids Club and outreaches. I joined IGNITE to seek the Lord without the distractions of the world; I truly wanted to seek His will for my life rather than following the pattern the world has set. As you may know, after training we will be serving on the mission field for six months. I didn’t have an idea of where the Lord would send me, nor a desire in my heart to serve in any specific location. When we received our field assignments I was told I was going to Browning, Montana to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation located in the Northwest United States. I am looking forward to serving there, as I have always been interested in the plight of the Native Americans. I am looking forward to serving and truly becoming a part of the community as best as I can over the upcoming six months.

IMG_0246.JPG

Alisha and teammates during a market outreach presenting the Gospel in Antigua, Guatemala

           IGNITE has truly impacted my life in more ways than I could have ever dreamt possible. I have truly seen how the Lord wants to guide me step by step. Living in His way requires steps of faith and the decision to put our own desires and will to the side in order to follow Him. It has truly helped me evolve. I do not have many Christian friends my age back home, and it is amazing to see how discipleship, accountability, and fellowship aid in walking closely with Christ. Various outreaches and serving opportunities have shown me the joy I can have in my life through serving Him. IGNITE has given me the tools and boldness to share the Gospel. One of the most impactful moments was going to Escuintla, a city located on a trash dump. I met a beautiful little girl named Dulce. Her intelligence and eagerness to learn inspired me. As I taught her some English words and saw how quickly she learned, I saw how bright she was, but I also saw the difficult circumstances she would have to face to overcome her surroundings. I felt led by the Spirit to tell her that all her power comes from Christ and with Him she could achieve anything. I will be praying for Dulce, and who knows what the Lord will do with the words I shared with her, but I know that the Lord used Dulce to show me just how amazing He is. The Lord softened my heart to care for others and to share the one true hope in a living God and His word.

dsc_0703

Alisha with child at Potter’s Field Kids Club

            I just want to truly thank you for your support. Without your generosity this would not be possible. I see how many hearts are not only being transformed in IGNITE but during Kids Club, outreaches, and serving in the community. I know this experience will not only impact my life here on earth but for eternity. “Thank you” does not suffice for the opportunity provided to me through your support and prayers. I intend on carrying the tools taught to me to be a light to my family and friends and to be a better daughter and sister. If I can leave you with anything, I want to give you the assurance that you are making a difference and playing an important role in changing lives, even to eternity.

Thank you!

abc_0569

A Word of Thanks

Written by Kazden Colpitts of IGNITE Class 10, from Crossroads Community Church:

Dear Sponsors of Potter’s Field Ministries,

My name is Kazden Colpitts, and I am in IGNITE Class 10. I am from Vancouver, Washington, just north of Portland, Oregon. My home church is Crossroads Community Church which I have been attending since I was three years old. Growing up going to church, I never thought I would get a chance to travel the world and spread the name of Jesus, especially at the age of nineteen. Right now I am in the field time phase of IGNITE, serving in the country of Cambodia. It has been the opportunity of a lifetime to be in the IGNITE program.

kazden-friend

Kazden in Guatemala during IGNITE training

Being in IGNITE is an experience that I will glean from for the rest of my life. This program has made an impact on my life that has changed me deeply. These last few months I’ve gotten to live among Cambodians in a village and be a part of their lives. Getting to eat meals, play soccer, and just hang out with them has helped me to understand and love people so much more deeply. Before coming to Cambodia, it was so easy for me to look at people and define them by their circumstances. Now I am able to see past people’s conditions and into their lives. I am able to get to know them for who they are, without preconceived ideas based on the appearance of their lives. Cambodians and Americans alike, both need Jesus. All Cambodians share a dark history because of the genocide that happened in their country about forty years ago. Many people have no hope in the future, but the Christians here are passionate in their faith. It has been very encouraging to see life from the perspective of a Cambodian, as they are zealous for what God is going to do in their country through them.

abc_0709

Kazden at Kids Club with PFM Staff in Samrong Young, Cambodia

I am looking forward to taking that zealous faith back to home with me. America needs it. The direction I was going before coming to the IGNITE program was lacking God’s control. There was a grip on my life before IGNITE that I’ve learned to give to God. I have a sense now that God is in control of my life and has a plan that He wants to accomplish in my life. When I finish this program, I know God has a life in store for me that I would never have known had I said “no” to this opportunity He gave me in the form of the IGNITE program. As so many youth in our country are living without the presence of God in their lives, I would encourage anyone to take the opportunity I had, if God calls them.

I thank the sponsors of Potter’s Field Ministries for the work they enable to happen around the world. Without your support it wouldn’t be possible.