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

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Dominican Republic and New Mexico Missions Update

God truly blessed us during our mission trips to New Mexico and the Dominican Republic! Students were encouraged by witnessing God’s works and learned about ways the can be used by God in serving others.

Dominican Republic

We sent three young men – Micah, Munda and Yolian, – to the Dominican Republic to serve with a team from Georgia.  One of the young men on the Dominican Republic trip said, “Being in the Dominican Republic was an amazing experience, we worked on a house for a pastor while we were there.  Even though we worked in the heat all day it felt good to be able to contribute to the people of the Dominican Republic and spread God’s love.”   All men came back encouraged by the trip and are stepping into other opportunities to serve.

   

New Mexico

We took 7 youth to serve on an Indian Reservation in New Mexico.  Our team helped build a porch on the house where mission teams stay while serving on the Indian Reservation.  The team also assisted the kids camp for Native American children and helped feed the homeless.  Homelessness is widespread on and around the reservation.   Scott had the privileged of sharing in both a Navajo church and at the feeding of the homeless.   This was a growing experience for our team.  They said they loved serving others and enjoyed serving God by bringing smiles to peoples faces.  They look forward to next opportunity to serve.

 

     

Thanks for all your prayers and support!  See more photos on Facebook! (Facebook button on the left)

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.

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.