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The Refuge
PO Box 178
Waleska, GA 30183
(404) 790-7917
www.therefugelife.org
   

TheRefuge

What is Worldview Academy?

Every year we send kids to Worldview Academy.   At Worldview Academy Leadership Camps, junior high and high school students, ages 13 and up, are challenged to think hard about their faith. They are treated like real people who wrestle with real issues—and who need answers that match the real world.  Each camp features 20+ hours of lively classroom sessions and discussions, which guide students to better understand servant leadership, apologetics/evangelism, and comparative worldviews.  Students are taught by inspired teachers, challenged by creative activities, moved by meaningful worship, and welcomed into a community of life-long friends. Students join groups of the same age and gender for the discussion of the big ideas.  The six days are filled with laughter, tough questions, biblical answers, and a deepening hunger for Christ.

Information from http://www.worldview.org/camps/.   http://www.worldview.org/

      

Summer 2017

Dominican Republic Mission – June 4-11.  Yolian, Munda and Micah will join a team of 17 more people in the Dominican Republic.

New Mexico Mission – June 7 – 17.  We are taking a team of 9 to join a team of 12 more in New Mexico to serve the missionaries among the Navajo Indians.

Worldview Academy –  June 25 – 30.  We’ll be sending 9 students to Worldview for a week in June. Worldview is a leadership camp that teaches youth to effectively think about and practice their faith in a world of competing worldviews. http://www.worldview.org/

7th Annual Beach Trip – July 17-21.   This trip rewards youth who live in a community of high crime, gangs and poor performing schools for rising above it behaviorally and doing well in school.

Giving for Summer Missions

70 % of the funds needed for our summer ministry opportunities have been given!!

This Summer Includes:

  • Dominican Republic Mission
  • New Mexico Mission
  • Worldview Academy for Youth
  • Annual Youth Trip
  • Ministry to Refugees

New Mexico Mission

Instilling a heart for missions.  We are taking eight refugee teenagers to New Mexico June 7-17.

The team will serve with Building Christian Ministries on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  They will help run a day camp and build a front porch on the local mission house.

There is much brokenness on the Indian Reservations in America – poverty, unemployment, alcoholism, crime…

Our team will learn more about being a generous Christian, sharing faith in word and deed.  And bring some love and joy to the Navajo people.

Ways you can be involved:

Please pray.  Please pray as our team brings some joy and hope to the Navajo and the long-term missionaries who are there.  Please pray the financial needs for the mission will be met.

Another way you can be involved is to help provide financial support.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.  Giving information is on the side bar on the left and on the “Get Involved” page of this site.

100% of your donation will go to the mission to New Mexico.

Thank you for your prayers and involvement!

Dominican Republic Mission

Instilling a heart for missions.  We are sending three young men to serve in the Dominican Republic from June 4th to 11th.

Micah, Yolian and Munda will  be going with McKendree UMC in Lawrenceville, GA to help build a house for pastor in the Dominican Republic and minister to the people there.  Micah is the son of the founder and director of The Refuge, Scott and Tiffany Kelley.  Munda is a young man from Sierra Leon and Yolian is from Eritrea.  We are sending these guys to allow them to see and experience the heart of God – to renew and restore that which is lost, broken, outcast and un-reached.  The team will be working with national pastors and long-term missionaries so they will not only gain missions experience, their service will have invaluable long-term impact in the Dominican Republic.

Ways you can be involved:

Please pray.  Pray God will prepare the team for the mission and bless their efforts as they minister to the people of the Dominican Republic.   Also please pray the financial needs for the mission will be met.

Another way you can be involved is to help provide financial support.  Your help would be greatly appreciated.  Would you consider supporting they guys with a donation by May 15th?   Giving information is on the side bar on the left and on the “Get Involved” page of this site.

100% of your donation will go to the mission to the Dominican Republic.

Thank you for your prayerful consideration and generous support.

Ladies Retreat

The Ladies Retreat went well in February. Prayers were blessed! A big thanks to North Georgia Christian Camp, Clarkston International Bible Church, Friends of Refugees and our supporters for helping The Refuge make the Ladies’ Retreat happen!!

The lady leader for the retreat wrote:  “We really had a blast. Thank you for making the retreat happen! The girls had so much fun (most of them haven’t done something like that before) and we hit all the things we had hoped we’d be able to talk about. I’m excited for what God is doing in the hearts of the girls and for an opportunity to spend time talking about our identity in Christ and how that plays into being women. We have a lot of good stuff to build on as we look forward. It was sweet to see Sunny share during our Q&A time from a place of maturity and wisdom regarding a couple of different topics we discussed…she has grown so much since I’ve known her. Her leadership and commitment to Christ is evident in how she talks about her relationship with Jesus. The others were delightful as well.” (You may remember Sunny went on the mission trip to Africa with us.) 

The Kingdom – Blessed are those…

Thoughts on The Kingdom in Matthew 5:3-11.

We at times have brokenness and hardship and mourning in our lives, but God does not keep us there.

When we are broken, we will belong to the Kingdom (5:3)

When we mourn, we will be comforted ((5:4)

When we hunger and thirst for righteousness, we will be filled (5:6)

When we have pure hearts, we will see God.  (5:8)

We can live in His Kingdom, be comforted and filled, and see Him.  And when we are broken, mourning and feeling spiritually bankrupt, God will again fill, comfort and heal.  We can live in fullness and comfort and healing.   That is what Jesus wanted – John 10:10.

When I mess up, I get broken.  When I have loss, I mourn.  When I am distant from God and don’t have a pure heart, I eventually get hungry enough to turn back to Him.  And I see Him.

Then there are ongoing qualities we can have – humbleness, mercy and peacemaking.    Micah 6:8 says that the Lord requires us to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.

The humble will inherit the earth.  (5:5)

The merciful will be shown mercy (5:7)

The peace makers will see God (5:9)

We can be sure that when we are humble, merciful and peacemaking, God will fulfill His promises of giving us an inheritance and showing us mercy.  And we will see Him.

And when we are the children of God, regardless of how good we are, people won’t like us for our faith.  But we are blessed to be His children.  (5:11-12).

You are blessed…

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make is face shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May He turn His face toward you.  And give you His peace (Numbers 6:24-26)

Jesus First

Many years ago, when we were raising support to church plant in Kazakhstan, we were doing a presentation for a local church when one of the members asked, “Why?  Why go to Kazakhstan?  Why not just stay here and minister here?  There is plenty to do here.”  My response was simply, “Acts 4:12.”

Act 4:12 states, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

I still believe that.  Now more than ever…because His love and grace has been so life changing for me.

I believe Jesus is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus.  Anyone who knows Jesus, knows the Father (John 14:6-7).  Since this is true, then we should share about Jesus has much as we can.

We are commanded to love God and love our neighbor (Matthew 22:37-39).  We are taught that pure religion is caring for those in distress (James 1:27).  Jesus taught and modeled love, compassion, grace, kindness.  We should follow His teaching and example.  But loving only through acts of kindness is not enough.  At some point, we need to share Jesus.

Now in our 22nd year of cross-cultural ministry, I am more convinced….

  • Good deeds are not the Redeemer.
  • Jobs are not the Healer.
  • Food banks are not the Creator.
  • Government is not the Prince of Peace.
  • English classes are not the Messiah.
  • Schools are not the Answer.
  • Kids programs are not the Friend.
  • Church is not the Rock.
  • America, as great as our nation is, is not the Resurrection and Life.

I am not the Savior.

Jesus Is.  And anything we do should point to Him.

Yes, we need to be kind to the needy, serve the vulnerable, and work towards redeeming our culture.  But doing good is not enough.  Our compassionate ministry should point to Jesus.

Refugees need Jesus.  And if bringing them to America gets them closer to the message and reality that Jesus loves them, a lot, then bring them on.  But if bringing them here means we put them in the worst communities in America, which the resettlement process does, and then do some really nice things for them here and there, then refugees will not be entirely better off.  They will be better off, but not entirely.  A lost person with some nicer things than what they had overseas is still lost.

Refugee resettlement and what is best for our nation is complicated.

But God keeps it simple for us.  If people pursue the Father through Jesus…they will have life (John 10:10).  If they seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness…all these things (His care) will be added unto them (Matthew 6:33).  If they trust the Father, He will direct and provide (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The best thing we can do for a refugee?  Acts 4:12.  Jesus.  There is no other name where refugees can be saved.

So here is your action item:  Share Jesus.  Share with invitations and meals and help and compassion.  But also share with words.  Someone around you needs to hear that Jesus loves them, a lot.  And it might even be a Muslim refugee.

Sorting Through Giving Options

Help, Too Many Good Options  

On a regular basis, we receive numerous requests for support from organizations reporting impact of thousands of lives.  You may have received the same.  The need and potential impact with our dollars can sometimes be overwhelming.  You may have felt the same.

To help us decide where to give, there are four things that we consider when deciding to send support:

  • Is what they are doing in line with our heart to see people come to Christ and grow in their relationship with Christ?
  • Do we know them personally? (We believe God puts relationships together).
  • Do they stay in touch besides communicating support needs (including expressing gratitude)? It’s about relationship.
  • Is the Holy Spirit leading us to give? If God is leading us to give, then we give, regardless of other considerations.

If we answer to these questions, then we give.  And we believe giving in such a matter makes a difference.

Impact and Numbers

How much impact does an organization make with our dollars?   It depends on how impact is defined.  I ran a summer camp for 5 years in a refugee community and reported that we impacted hundreds of lives.  But over the years as I kept up with the kids, I saw kids down the road end up as pregnant teens, as prisoners, as gang members, as school dropouts… Yes, there were kids down the road who were thriving, but the difference was not because they came to my summer camp, it was that they had a family and a community that was offering the love and guidance they needed to be well-adjusted.  The difference was family.  The difference was community.  So what impact were we really making?   Asking this question led to the start of The Refuge.  We started The Refuge because we wanted to make a deeper impact through discipleship instead of a broader “impact” through programs that met temporary needs.

Life-change is unmeasurable.  We cannot report that we saw someone have a 20% increase in their walk with Christ, or anything like that.   That would be unrealistic.  Even someone coming to Christ, which we have seen, does not necessarily mean they will thrive in their relationship with God.   A growing relationship with God takes some effort.  All we can say is we have seen the result of life-change:  people finding hope, loving more, forgiving and being forgiven, giving back and going on mission trips.  We are seeing kids from tough home situations making wise choices.   To us, that is impact.  Yes, it is unmeasurable.  But God is real and alive and active and He is working in The Refuge.

So may we simply encourage you to continue to be sensitive to God’s leading in how he would have you be involved with the relationships that have crossed your path.  As you do that, you will help make an impact.  And if you’d like to give to The Refuge, the information is on the left of this page and your gift will be received with grateful hearts.

2016 Highlights

  • 501c3 acquired!
  • Spring Break Youth Retreat – April 2016
  • Tanzania Mission Trip – June 2016
  • Wild at Heart Young Man’s Camp – July 2016
  • Washington DC / Virginia Youth Trip – July 2016
  • We become guardians of a beautiful young lady – August 2016
  • Youth Weekend – October 2016
  • Ladies Retreat – December 2016
  • Ministry to refugee families
  • God graciously continues to provide needed resources confirming calling and leading to glorify Jesus among refugees.

We are Grateful.