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July Beats by Mark

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Student Mission Trip to Refuge Louisville

This past June we took a group of our students to Louisville, KY to partner with Jonathan Braden, Founder of Refuge Louisville. The mission of Refuge Louisville is to “mobilize the Church to bring wholistic change to bless the nations.” One of the ways they do this is through allowing short-term teams to come and build relationships with international refugees that have been placed in Louisville.

There were so many moments where our team felt like we were in another country as we are surrounded by people from all over the world and playing soccer in the hot sun. One of the students who has been on mission to Belize said there were moments where he felt like he was back in Belize. It’s hard to believe that our students got this type of experience just two hours away!!

Our students had the opportunity to experience a lot of different ethnic foods. The first night Jonathan took us to Little Jerusalem which served Pakistani food. Food was one of the big fears many students had, so it was amazing to see them try new things, overcome fears, and find out that they had worried for nothing (in most cases :) We also got to try multiple types of Indian and Cuban food!!

One of the most important learning experiences for our students was getting to eat in the home of one of the Nepali families that Refuge has partnered with. Our students got to taste and see what an actual Nepali dinner would be like...pickled mangos, goat meat and all! (See above) It was so cool for them to listen to these people’s stories and get to be an encouragement to them.

Each day we would spend time at an apartment complex that was home to refugees from all over the world. We had the tremendous honor of making friends with people from Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, the Congo, and Iraq. Kylie and Sydnie built a great relationship with Najma, Nasteho, and Bora (pictured at above). It was beautiful to watch our students play soccer and jump rope with them, and then to listen to their stories and talk to some of them about the Love of Jesus Christ.

I’m eager to partner with Jonathan and Refuge Louisville again very soon. The first year is set up so that groups primarily observe and learn a lot about other cultures and how to share the Gospel across different cultures. As we continue to work with Jonathan and Refuge, our group will have the opportunity to build more intentional relationships with one particular people group and invest more deeply into one particular area of the city. A huge thank you to everyone who helped us go on mission!!!

Much Love - Mark