Simple Obedience

I loved yesterday’s church service. The whole service was focused on missions, specifically the least reached in the 10/40 window. (see picture)


This is exactly what our Y-base is focused on.
The core of the message was that we need to pray for the unreached outside the States and right where we are. It is a simple message. For me, the hard part is doing it.

When we first joined the mission in Colorado Springs, I learned a lot about the least reached. The 10/40 window is where most of the unreached people groups are. There are still whole groups of people that never heard the gospel and the % of Christians in their group is 0.

I don’t know about you but I want to get up and jump on the first plane and start living among those groups and be Jesus to them.
The one thing our mission does well is training! We don’t just go, we make sure we are equipped and know how that culture receives the gospel best.

In my day to day, that translates into teaching people how to do business and specifically marketing. Often the countries in the 10/40 are closed to the gospel and it is illegal to preach. Business is a door into those countries which isn’t the only benefit. Business creates jobs, boosts the economy and gives the owner direct contact with the locals. Often the businesses we work with have a social bottom-line. We work with businesses that hire survivors of human trafficking; they’re focused on people.

Our pastor, in his sermon, was very practical. He pointed at this app called: Unreached of the Day. It shows you a detailed description of one of the unreached people groups. With the prayer points provided you can intercede for the unreached. I have been using this app and I love it!
It is something I can do before I go myself.

That’s exactly how we look at Joy going back to school. It is a preparation for something bigger we don’t fully understand yet. We are excited though to see what God has up His almighty sleeve!

Thanks for praying!

Bunch ‘o pictures, narrated by the kids

I just forgot what we were supposed to be doing – Adam
We are at Washington DC and we were staying at a house with Naomi, that is our cousin and we are going to a coffee shop-Ellie
We are at the zoo. We were looking at the butterflies, no it was not. We were at the desert. (Ellie insert: Ellie was standing on a AC vent and her skirt flew up) – Adam

What is going on?

This upcoming week our life is going to change! Joy is going back to school.
I am very excited about this and Joy is too, she just has some added anxiety to her excitement. From the very first thoughts about going back to school I knew God was behind it. It seemed very impossible at first, and that is exactly what made me believe it was possible. Believe me, the last thing we need is another bill for school and books and what not. But God provided! Joy did some research and applied for several scholarships and now the first 2 semesters are paid for in full.

The second hoop to jump through was our schedule.
It was very overwhelming to try to figure this out but once we had clarity on what Joy was going for, we nailed down a perfect schedule. Joy will attend classes at our community college on the days Ellie and Adam are both in school and she will take one evening class. In this way she doesn’t miss much time with our kids and I can keep working as I was before.

The part I am most excited about is what the future will hold. Joy will be able to take what she is learning and bring it into practice. After she is done studying if the Lord wills it, we will move overseas and go where God sends us. We appreciate your prayers!

It has been too long

When I saw that our last post was published on October 11th, a short wave of excitement went through my brains. What a blessing that we never mentioned our new years resolution of writing more blogs in 2019!
Nobody will ever know that our last born DNA of being lazy and dependent on mom kicked in hard this time.
Our blog actually fell off the internet for a little while and our dear brother PD graciously picked it back up and restored our and the url’s dignity.

In the meantime we are still doing missions in Colorado Springs and for some of you we are still at the other side of the country/world.

I will be leaving for Thailand and Nepal when this month hits the middle and will stay there till it hits the end.
I will be going there with our Business as Missions team. We will be taking a few local business guys to introduce them to the companies and people we partner with in Asia and hopefully get the local business owners to come alongside the BAM people to do some long distance coaching! We also will be attending a Business As Missions conference where there will be a “shark tank” where new business ideas will be presented and hopefully funded by the sharks.
Two students of our School of Business and Entrepreneurship will present their business plans, which they developed at our school on our campus.
The conference will have several breakout seminars and I will be teaching one of them on Online Marketing.

As I wrote in the last blog posted on October 11 2018, I (Hj) now have officially left the coffeehouse and stepped into my full time role with Kairos Traders. It has been going really good and I am excited for all the things God is doing in the area of fighting human trafficking. Kairos Traders started off the new year great! We joined a local co-op space in a prime location in downtown Colorado Springs and we started selling at Kairos Coffeehouse.
I am working on our website right now to get it ready to sell wholesale so we can create many more jobs for the businesses that employ survivors!
We are hoping that this year the online store will grow by a lot so if you want to contribute you can go there right now and buy yourself or someone else a beautiful gift for Valentine’s Day or any other day, that builds a community where there is no trafficking of people! Please pray that our work will spread rapidly so we can prevent and work against trafficking. www.kairostraders.com

Committed Necklace

Let me write a little bit about Joy and then I will call it quits.
Joy is still working here locally, reaching out to the women that work in the massage parlors. One of the ladies came to know the Lord not too long ago and that was a direct answer to prayer. Two people joined Joy’s team and in the next week or two they will be doing a Valentine’s Day outreach where they will take 30 of our students from here at our campus and give gifts and prophetic words to the working women. In the past this outreach has been really good. Please pray that the students will hear from God clearly and that the women will receive the gifts.

Thank you for reading.
I am in the process of creating a FB page for our mission work so you can stay up to date a bit better, while writing more blogs! (lol)

Newsletter kind of update

I am writing this blog post on September 30th! (Happy Birthday Sietske) 
Our fall quarter is in full swing and here is little overview of what we are doing. 

Adam is in preschool 2 mornings in the week and Ellie officially started kindergarten. I homeschool Ellie on Mondays and Joy does Fridays and on the other 3 days she goes to school. So far so good. I enjoy having Ellie at home and it is such a blessing to be involved with her school in such a unique way.

The fall quarter is the biggest on our campus. Three weeks ago we gained about 80 students that are doing schools on our campus. The DTS alone has 64 students. The students are divided up in different interests which we call focuses. We have a calling and identity, worship, missions and business as mission focus. I am leading the business as mission focus. We have 5 students: 3 Americans, 1 from the Netherlands and 1 from Brazil. We have been blessed with a lot of Dutch people on our base and right now we total 5!!! (!!) We started to come together on Thursdays to watch Boer Zoekt Vrouw which is such a treat! I also am the Dutch student’s one on one, meaning we have weekly meetings of reflection and working out personal issues if needed.

One of the schools our campus is running is called the Bridge school. It is a transition school that helps the young students find their calling after DTS whether it is on our campus or at home. The Bridge students intern with different departments on our campus. Me and Joy both have interns this quarter. 
Joy is still doing her ministry to the massage parlors with her friend Heather. Right now they are driving back from an International Justice Mission conference with their 3 interns. IJM is all about ending slavery in our lifetime. I love seeing Joy chasing her passions and this is definitely one of them.

As you know I have been working at Kairos Coffee House for the last 2.5 years. I love working at Kairos, it is such an incredible ministry. 
Right now we have a very young team and it is so fun to walk alongside them. Recently I brought a few of our employees to a young adult church. I really wanted breakthrough for one of our employees who was struggling. It was such an honor to walk alongside him to show him God still cared for his life. God showed up for him that night; join me in prayer that his life will be changed.

Even though I love Kairos Coffee so much, Lord willing I will be leaving that team and join the Kairos Traders team at the end of the year. 
As you know we ran a kickstarter not too long ago and with that money I built the online store for Kairos Traders. It is starting a bit slow but with Christmas around the corner we will be a lot more busy! You can order anything you like from our store at www.kairostraders.com

When you buy at Kairos Traders you fight human trafficking! All our products come from social businesses in Asia that either prevent trafficking by providing jobs for the vulnerable, or work directly with the victims of human trafficking.  These businesses invest in their employees by providing health care, a savings account, insurance and dignity. Many of these employees come to Christ because they see Jesus around them.

This blog started in September and ended in October!

Adopt a culture

“The hard part about adopting a culture is to know when to tell it that it’s adopted” 

Hi, Hj here. (I’ll be coming out with some more blogs soon)

Let me take you back to a memory I recently had: 
I was out in a restaurant with 5/6 guys from our base. We were having some good old “bro time.”  We talked about work some but soon the main subject we discussed was football.  American football.  I was lost as they went over the details of teams and different players.  These guys knew a lot about all the players and all the teams.  No matter how hard I tried to talk about the weather or the New Testament, the subject always landed back on football. American football.

This is where my steep learning curve began. With the Carolina Panthers as my mock team I started to be interested in football. American football.
This was the best immigration idea I had so far and it worked! A gentlemen came into Kairos and he said he was from Minnesota. Right away I told him that I thought the Vikings were doing amazing this season and he said something like “they always start off great” and we had a great time talking in this language about a thing that was becoming less and less foreign to me: American football.

Now I hear you think, (your thinking is so loud) you shouldn’t conform to the people who chase vain things. The thing is though that back in Holland I can always connect with people because we will have at least 5,000 things in common including a heritage. Here, I am a foreigner. I play football without the American part. I dont speaka yo language. I am not loud. I don’t have a lot of connection points. So for me to connect with some guys over American football is a dream come true. When the Panthers played the Vikings, me and my friend went and watched the game together. When another team was playing, me and my family were invited to watch it. The game was on but the fellowship was happening with each other. We had a lovely night, I don’t remember who won or who played. I do remember that some friendships started that night, and they still exist today. 

Something I have been working on

Next to Kairos Coffee House I also work with Kairos Traders.
Kairos Traders exists to promote social enterprises by telling their stories and selling their products and services. We serve these businesses by being a sales platform for them here in the States. The more products we sell, the more people can come out of exploitation and work for these enterprises.  From our profits we will offer 0% interest loans to new social enterprise startups and soon we will offer our first loan to a catering business in Nepal.

To step it up a notch we are now launching an online store. With the online store we can reach a lot more people and make them aware of the good work these businesses do.
To start the store we need inventory. We are launching a Kickstarter campaign where you can buy single products or bundles from these businesses and we will use the money to buy inventory for our online store.

One of our new partners is a business called Sak Saum. The owner used to be part of our base and now started a business in Cambodia. I love Sak Saum because they start at the beginning with preventing and providing a safe place.
Because people with backgrounds of exploitation have often shut down the creative areas in their brains, the freedom to be creative is transformative.
Sak Saum uses overstock & second-hand fabric to buttons made from coconut shells, and wallets & purses made of repurposed tire & cement bags. They take something discarded and make it beautiful. When the designers teach the employees how to make a wallet out of an old tire they remind them that there is nothing God can’t redeem.
He takes the very things we thought disqualified us and uses them to display His love, power, and redemption to the world.

It has been quite a journey trying to launch the campaign but it is finally here.
The first 5 days are going to be a “soft” start and then we will bring it to the public and promote it!

You can help us by going to our kickstarter page and pledge in those first 5 days so we have some momentum. (click on last sentence)  Different pledges will give you different rewards so shop freely! (see the photos in this post)

The cake of culinary hope

If you know me for any amount of time you will know the reason why I am somewhat short and definitely chubby; I love cookies and candy. I embrace the culture I moved into (eat as much as you like) and move out of the culture I grew up in (one is plenty).

Recently I have gone through a baked good frenzy. The bakery that delivers our baked goods at Kairos sent us a week’s notice that they are going to quit being a bakery. I had to find someone else in 7 days. After tasting at least 5 different kinds of free baked goods I decided to go with Andy; for this story let’s call him Bob. Bob was a jolly guy with 2 coffee shops and a bakery downtown. His baked goods were…good. His timing not so much. He couldn’t deliver on Monday so I had to do something for Monday, as that was the first day the old bakery wouldn’t deliver the goods.

While surfing on the interweb I read a blog by Melissa about her delicious cake. I had that cake before and I remember it was very good. I decided I could make it and serve it on Monday then Wednesday Bob would start delivering.
Like a real wanna-be baker I got up before the crack and started my adventure to bake the cake of culinary hope. Normally I wouldn’t stay very close to the recipe but this time it couldn’t fail so I stuck to the recipe very closely, even mixing the dry ingredients before mixing it all together. I was nervous. The convection oven was so hot. Colorado Springs is so dry but the recipe said the cake of culinary hope couldn’t fail. That sounded like a recipe for failure. I pulled the culinary hope from the oven and looked at it. It didn’t look bad, but it didn’t look super great either. Nothing a little bit of frosting couldn’t fix. I decided to let it cool and go on with my day. When the time came for my cake to shine and be sold to coffee-loving cake eaters, I heard a crash.

My culinary hope on the floor.

You will never believe what happens next: the old baker comes walking in with a load of baked goods. Today was the last day they would deliver. “But it is Monday, why would you end something at the beginning of the week, I got up earlier then you!” My thoughts never formulated into a spoken word for it was too late. I had 3 boxes full of culinary hope and that’s all I needed.

Updating

Isn’t amazing? You blink your eyes and 3 months have gone by.
Since joining YWAM we very much live in quarters. This fall quarter has been the busiest yet. We had about 100 people join our base to attend or staff schools. It feels like a small village of young people joined our “club.” The DTS alone has 51 students. Because the DTS is so big they divide them up in interests or as we call them “focuses”. We have a mission, sports, worship, identity and calling, and business focus. Joy is heading up the business focus. We have 5 students that come every Friday to learn how you can use business in missions. It has been fun and challenging at the same time.
Joy flew out to Washington DC to join many people on the mall to pray for our nation with “Awaken the Dawn”. The vision she has to go back to the Supreme Court steps every year just keeps coming back. Join us in prayer as we pray about going back on Mother’s Day.

I still run Kairos and we just keep growing and growing! We recently got nominated for fastest growing business in the Springs; we are rejoicing in the success that God gives us.  I have committed to Kairos for another year and hope to make some changes in the areas of our environmental and social bottom line.

Personally I have taken on a intern and a one-on-one for this quarter. I teach the intern how to cook and run the food at Kairos and the one-on-one is one of our business students. I love to invest in relationships one on one and doing this is giving me so much life! Along that note, I have decided that I will staff the FCM part time (counseling school). The school starts in January and has a focus on refugees. I will still be involved at Kairos part time and after the school is over go back full time.

God has also given me some great opportunities to chase my dreams!
I recently started to manage the social media for a couple of social businesses in the 10/40 window. I have discovered that you can reach so many people through Facebook or Instagram that normally would never hear the stories behind these amazing businesses.
I use my new camera to take good photos and I love doing that.
Last weekend I helped film my first wedding and it was so much fun! I felt this was a good step in the right direction. Hopefully I will post a short video of the wedding soon.

With all the time going by so fast my kids won’t stop growing! Adam is totally potty trained and such a wild little gentleman. Ellie goes to dance class every Saturday and goes to pre-school three days in the week. She loves going to school and play with her friends. This stage in life is so much fun and we enjoy every second of it! So when Adam asks to go to the zoo we go, when Ellie wants to go swim we dive right in! Life is too short to stay dry.

Do More

So when I started driving for Uber, I saved that money and me and Joy went to the Bahamas. Then 2017 started and I did not want my Uber money to disappear before my very own eyes. I looked up a plan on the internet to save $5.000 in one year. Every week I go out, I have to make a certain amount of money. I then put that money in a savings account.

One day I was watching some videos on Youtube and I found some really good Dutch Youtube channels. Vloggers and You-tubers alike have risen in the Netherlands and having your own Youtube channel is what you need to be cool. Then I discovered Casey Neistat and I was sold.

I have always loved making videos; I just never had the equipment. I started dreaming: I could do this. If only I had some money to buy a new computer and a camera. Then I remembered I had money. All my Uber money sitting in that dusty bank account. I was hesitant. We recently started budgeting and it has helped us a lot more to steward the money we got. I asked some people if they could lend me their opinion if it was wise to spend that money on myself.

My question was: I have $—- in a savings account here in the states. I was gonna invest it, but now I would like to buy a new computer and a nice camera so I can make videos, which I love doing. What would you advise? 

The common answer was something like: Do the things you love now so you won’t regret that you didn’t later. 

I loved hearing other peoples’ opinions and it helped me a great bunch. One friend asked me some good questions about my life and the future. Because of his questions I now have life insurance and a Costco membership.

After lots of research I decided which computer and camera I wanted. First I bought the camera, secondhand. Then I bought the computer, brand new.
Here comes the crazy part. The day the computer arrived in the mail we got a donation for almost the exact amount I had just spent on the camera and computer.
I honestly didn’t know what to think or what that even meant. What is God trying to say?

Still I am not totally sure. I had to think back to the last week of my DTS lecture phase. Our teacher created this image of a little kid in a ice cream shop and God tells the little kid to get what ever flavor he wants. Pick what you like. I love to see myself in that ice cream shop and I picked “media” as the flavor I like and because God loves to see me happy with the things He created for me, He blesses it. I am sure it sounds like some kind of easy prosperity gospel. But it is quite the opposite, to follow your passion, you often have to take many steps in faith. Go out on a limb take lots of risk, be fearless. I have been cooking all my life and it has been good.  I thank God that he took me that direction. I just know that that is not my calling. Cooking is something I keep doing because I know how.
If I keep cooking, the people around me will never know what I could have been. If I always stay in my comfort zone and never take any risks I will not grow, I will not enjoy my daily life and I will not live in God’s full potential for my life. Lord, help me to do more!

Again, I am still asking God many questions about this and maybe one day I can be confident. For now, I am taking one step at the time.

I am super happy with my camera and I recently played around with it a little bit, click here to watch it.

Thanks for re(w)a(t)d(ch)ing.