Posted: 8/24/15 at 2:00pm. Article by BGAV Staff. This is the first part in a series of three articles taking a look back at this summer.
For ten days in May, ten college-age young adults from churches and campus ministries throughout Virginia and two ministers traveled through Romania as the Kairos Missions Initiative (KMI) visited Romanian Baptist churches and served alongside Romanian brothers and sisters in Christ as they lovingly ministered to their communities.
The Kairos Missions Initiative is an annual short-term mission immersion experience through the Kairos Initiative of the BGAV. Each year, a team of 10-12 college-age young adults travel internationally to serve with BGAV mission partners and to spend time reflecting on their cross-cultural experiences so they can explore the ways God is calling them to live missional lives at home and abroad.
This year’s KMI team represented seven different Virginia colleges and universities. During their ten days in Romania, the team spent time in three different cities hosted by three different churches.
In Bucharest, the team was hosted by Providence Baptist Church and Project Ruth. While in Sibiu, they served and worshiped alongside the ministries of Bethany Baptist Church. Finally, in Cluj, they were hosted by Bethel Baptist Church.
The team readily embraced a variety of mission moments during the trip. They led several after-school programs for elementary school-age children and preschool children. During these programs, they played games, sang songs, crafted, and taught Bible stories.
They made several visits to nursing homes, senior centers, and shut-ins to sing songs and pray. The team led English classes at a Christian high school and did some manual labor by helping a small village church with light projects related to the construction of their new church building.
Equally as important were the many moments of building relationships together with the Romanian brothers and sisters in Christ. The group shared meals, worship, prayer, picnics and travel with many new friends. Each of these moments provided beautiful glimpses of the bigness, graciousness and openness of God’s global Kingdom.
One dominant theme of the trip was hospitality. Everywhere the team traveled and served, they were welcomed with so much warmth and grace, and they experienced rich expressions of hospitality that will last a lifetime.
“In Romania I learned how vastly small the world is and how similar the human experience is, even half-way around the world,” said Will Cumbia, member of Chancellor Baptist Church and William and Mary Baptist Collegiate Ministry student.
“I learned that God’s love and compassion transcends all borders, languages, and cultures. I learned that God is just as present and powerful in something as big as a beautiful mountain range as He is in the smallest of things, like a child’s smile,” he added.
While the trip lasted only a week and a half, the formation of the KMI experience continues through the year. Reflecting on the experiences from the trip, the KMI team will continue to explore how they are called to be servant leaders in their own contexts, as compassionate global citizens, and as loving neighbors.
Read a reflection from the KMI trip to Romania by trip participant Tim Lamm.
The network includes churches, new church starts, young adult ministry groups, campus based BCM ministries, and others. To learn more, visit www.kairosinitiative.org.