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.

 

 

Movie Review

I haven’t written a blog in some time and I had this one in the drafts for awhile so, tasked-oriented as I am, I had to finish it before I could start an other one.  Sorry it’s a little silly.

I took my family and a (38 your old female) friend to the $ theatre.
The movie we saw is based on a book. We had the book at home and especially the children seemed impressed with the book so we decided to pay $1.75 to see it in the theatre.

The movie starts.
Now, comparing the beginning of the movie to the beginning of the book is a quick job. There are very little comparisons. Tim, the main character is not in the book. Not mentioned once. In the movie? Seen in every scene!
The movie doesn’t stop at the beginning; it kinda just keeps on going. All of the sudden we deal with a toddler gang, puppies taking over the world and an angry baby that grew up and wished he didn’t. The funniest part of the movie was when my 38-year-old female friend (I hope she doesn’t read this, and if she does I hope she subscribes to our blog) laughed out loud when nobody else did.

I thought the plot of the movie was effortless, cheesy and full of holes.
That doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy watching the movie, as a matter of fact it was the best movie I watched all day. The concept of a baby in a suit demanding meetings all day long and several at night is quite clever. That proves the director of the movie at least read the book or looked at the cover.
The song “Blackbird” by the Beatles helped the movie to knit some loose ends together and end it in a sweet moment where baby and brother discover they like being siblings and the Boss Baby decided to be a real baby. (spoiler alert)

Although the movie was great the book is better. It’s shorter.

 

Going on an update

I hope you have a moment to sit down and relax.
Just clock out of your busyness and go with us on an update.

Yesterday May 18th it snowed.

I hope you liked our update, sign up to go on more updates.

The Fousert’s

Book review

Since I have children I read a lot more, especially out loud. I easily read 4 to 5 books a day. My favorites are definitely the story books; I’m not so much for the find the yellow cat and lift the flap books.

One of Ellie’s favorites is Farm Yard Tales. It is a collection of stories about the Boot family who live on Apple Tree Farm. On every page there is a little duck hiding so you can imagine the fun we have trying to find it.  Every Barn Yard Tale starts with an introduction of the family:
This is Apple Tree Farm. This is Mrs. Boot, the farmer. She has two children called Poppy and Sam, and a dog called Rusty.

All the stories are similar.  An animal gets lost and they find it. Or an animal is acting up and then it gets better. What I like about the stories is that it is simple and even Adam understands it.
There are about 20 things that I can’t quite get over when reading this book and one of them is the role that the father plays in these sstories. We see the father “figure” in some of the stories but why isn’t he in the introduction? Does the author realize that he is lying every time he introduces the family? This is not the Boot family– this is the Boot family without the provider, the muscles, the man who cuts the meat on Sunday, the head!
I wonder… did dad get the boot?

Why they created Ted, the worker, boggles my mind like it hasn’t boggled before. All Ted does is drive the tractor in the pond and forgets to close the fence. If the father was assigned a tad more authority, Ted would have been fired since day one and it would have saved the Boot family a significant amount of money. With the extra money they could have gone on a vacation and work on their marriage.

There is one particular story where the dad is helping the kids camp out in the yard. When the children lose their tent in the middle of the night because the cow runs away with it, Mr. Boot comes to the rescue, proving that he is part of the family and lives in the same house as them. Of course, this is just a children’s book and I shouldn’t pay attention to the unimportant details. At least it is not a pyramid scheme.

 

 

Packing peanut

It’s about time for us to be responsible and tell you what is up.

We seem busy, and that is an easy thing to do around here. We recently realized that we have been in YWAM for more than a year and we still feel like we are the new people. We are finally getting to the place that we call this place home and it feels that way. One thing that really helped was ripping off our ugly old wallpaper. We got some guy to restructure our walls and I put a beautiful Polar Bear White on the wall. All of the sudden it made sense to put something on the wall and it looked good. Our two hotel rooms became a little less hotel and a little bit more a part of us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things at Kairos are going good; we are breaking sales records like crazy. After having some problems with dying fridges and other things breaking down it is good to see that we are moving forward. Our shift manager has quit her job, so me and Ryan are doing everything. We are praying for someone else from YWAM to join our team and bring some new vision in. We are still training lots of people to run their own coffee business all over the world. We had a pastor from New Mexico come and join us for a little while to teach him how to start a cafe at his church. Right now we have Lisa with us who possibly wants to open a cafe in Nepal where she runs a hair salon. Ryan is going to visit a couple that went through training at Kairos and just opened a coffee house in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In April we will get 3 more interns through the School of Business and Entrepreneurship and train them to open their own coffee shop or cafe.

Joy will be staffing that school and I am so excited about it. It is a great opportunity for her to be more involved and help out our BAM team.

Not too long ago me and Joy went to a marriage conference in CA. We had such a good time working on our marriage and learning some valuable tools. I had been feeling a little bit down when it came to my relationship with God and was praying for breakthrough. We spent a lot of the week during the marriage conference listening to God and praying for other people. God spoke to me in some powerful ways. But the real fun came when we came back home and God kept on speaking to me. On the radio, I won 8 tickets to a worship concert and felt quite clearly who to take with. The current DTS was having giving night and I felt to give a certain amount of money to a boy, but I didn’t even know his name. The next day he came to me saying that his outreach fees increased and the money I gave was the exact amount he had to pay extra.
Those are small little things but they help me so much to know that God cares about us.