Opportunities for a New Generation of Leaders
It is my joy each month to share short testimonies with you about what God is doing through the mission of Open Arms Worldwide. This month I get the extra joy of letting a young person who has just recently been serving short-term in Brazil share with you instead.
Kat Goetz, a college student getting ready to start her senior year, took six weeks of her summer break to serve with Open Arms Worldwide missionaries in Brazil. The following are some of her thoughts now that she is home.
“Hey guys! My name is Kat Goetz and I have had the opportunity to live with Eduardo’s (Du) family and shadow the Open Arms “Agents of Hope” in Brazil for the past month. It has been an amazing time and God has been faithful throughout my entire trip, as He always is. Mr. Meyers asked if I could share a little bit about what I have been doing and learning, so here is a quick recap!
- getting a taste of the work that the missionaries do,
- running a basketball camp,
- and helping in the Welcome Home children’s shelter.
1. Getting a taste of daily missions work: This has been amazing. I have been able to spend time with all of the missionaries and see them in action, either by going to their bible studies for their volunteers, going on home visits with them, or joining in the chaos of the Saturday projects. Each missionary has been blessed with gifts to love people well, and it truly is a blessing to be able to see them all work together to serve the Lord.
2. Running a basketball camp: I love basketball and coaching, so this was an opportunity to combine a lot of the things that I am passionate about. It has been chaotic, but such an amazing experience. I don’t know if the kids are more excited to hear an American speak English or to play basketball, as both are things that they do not get an opportunity to experience often. It is slow progress in skill work, but the laughter and excitement is abounding.
3. Visiting the “Welcome Home Children’s Shelter”: This is probably my favorite part of the missions that I have been a part of, but also the hardest. It is also where most of my time has been spent. We have been renovating the building, which means lots of construction, painting, and organizing. However, I have to admit, I have not been extremely helpful in these areas. Instead, while the others are working hard, I can often be found with the kids (pretending that I don’t understand if Du asks for help – this is a joke, Du actually encourages me to go be with the kids most of the time). This house is full of kids who are craving attention, love, and stability, and our presence there is something that they look forward to. It is extremely humbling and breaks my heart when I walk in and kids from 5 to 16 light up and rush to give me a hug. Whether it is talking to the teens, chasing around the kids, or simply holding a baby, I am reminded of Psalm 127 when the Lord talks about the gift of children. And when I hear them laugh, I know this to be true.
I am truly so grateful for the opportunity to get to know the Open Arms team and ministry better over this past month. I have one more week here before heading to Aquidauana to meet up with a team from the United States. We would appreciate the prayers for safe travel and for God’s presence to be felt around us and overflow from within us. Thank you for your constant support, God truly is using this ministry to further His kingdom and to love His children. May God be before you and behind you and all around you, guiding you further into his abounding love.
Watch Kat share about her experience with Open Arms Worldwide
How sweet it is to see another generation passionate about reaching and teaching children for Jesus! Do you know a student who is looking to explore what God is doing in another culture, and what God may have for their own future? Have them reach out to us at email@example.com
Michael J. Meyers
President & Founder