Kids International Ministries (KIM). I mentioned to my mom that I have been getting little reminders of her everywhere. I have also occasionally been getting reminders of my dad, too. When I first arrived in Guatemala to start off the race we passed a bus that had the names Kimberly and Joseph on them with large letters, it reminded me that no matter how far I go, I’m not too far from my parents (kind of like The Runaway Bunny…).
This ministry was started by a man from the states named Jeff Long and his family. Great family of God, it has been a blessing to be around them and to see Christ shining in and through them. We were given an orientation our first day and I took some notes. Here’s what I gathered about the ministry
and the area:
Kids International Ministries has three homes. Recently added an independent living program that is currently housing five female teenagers and three male teenagers. There is also two homes for younger orphans and a nursery for babies and infants
Many of the orphans have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused. They are often counting on us to be their strength.
Never give money to the street kids, it will likely get “pimped” by their uncle or parent
Since September 2009 when Typhoon Andrew hit, thousands were impacted and left without homes, so the government put them a half hour out of town and gave them a tent. Many kids are not in school, are malnurioused, and have worms (this is one of the places we go with the feeding ministry) they are displaced from their homes, have nothing, and have no prospects for work.
Kids here are at “ground zero” – when they get sick here, they die. Takes time for the kids to learn that we love them.
There is a great feeding ministry here, every day at 10am and 4pm teams are sent out to feed the hungry throughout the city.
On Monday nights there is a “street boys” feeding program. These boys don’t want to be in a children’s home, they reject the structure, so instead of forcing them to stay at the orphanage the ministry meets them where they are and feeds and loves them instead
On Thursday nights, we have the opportunity to partner with one of the churches in their drop in center which feeds homeless families. One little boy was wearing a towel that had been safety pinned at the shoulder and had an arm hole cut out
“It takes a little bit of crazy to be able to help kids in great need” – Jeff Long
They have a world class library at K.I.M. with $15,000 donated by schools in Utah
Some of the ministries here:
Tutoring kids in school/teaching them English
Ministry of taking kids to the hospital and staying with them (on an as needed basis)
Playing basketball and partnering with Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Live in at the Independent Living Program
Participate at any time in the daily feeding ministries which go all over every day at 10am and 4pm
24 hour prayer ministry
Construction, painting new houses in the community
Ministry with one pregnant teen (Joy) teaching her how to raise babies, etc.
Art ministry by teaching children art in the school
Free dental clinic – partnering with the local dentist
Traveling medical clinic – partner with the nurse and assist with healthcare needs at the feedings
Work with “Josey’s Angels” (see below)
Working with Jeepney magazine – a magazine that focuses on issues of homeless and is sold by homeless vendors as a form of income for them
Birthing clinics – partner with local doctors to assist with birthing needs
Basically, whatever you’re passionate about, they can find some sort of ministry to focus on that area
The ministry started a school here five years ago with 30 kids, now there are over 250. The school is for the orphans and there is a cafeteria where they feed the children for free
Many kids in the Philippines don’t go to school because it is too far away or they don’t have money
Have to prioritize for helping: neediest children and those without parents
This year they have noticed big changes, not just in the kids, but in the families and the communities as well. Communities are now holding Bible studies, children are learning about the Bible in school, and children area starting to attend Sunday school more and more
Dicky (the director of the school) notices a change in the children once they receive Christ: no longer bully or swear
A program started recently to help women in the community to make jewelry from recycled magazines to help teach them a marketable skill
This ministry also connects with feedings at the prisons, prison ministries, working at the Red Light district with prostitutes and partners with Threads of Hope
Josey (Jeff’s daughter) started a ministry called Josey’s Angels which is ministering to girls in the community. These are girls that if she didn’t mentor them they would likely follow in the same pattern as their parents: get educated until about 6 years of age, get impregnated young, likely struggle with alcohol use
Josey nannied for Russ Ortiz in the states and he is going to come here and be involved in the baseball ministry
Josey also partnered with and trained six women in cosmetology and they run a spa in the area
An Italian architecht came here as a missionary and helped design some of the buildings which add to the “eclectic” look
As a ministry, Jeff commented that they “seldom see people here once” meaning that missionaries and partners with the ministry often come back. Jeff joked that they are not allowed to take World Racers prematurely (before the race has ended) and even joked that he is pretty sure it is biblical that we are called to finish the race… However he mentioned that at least one person from every World Race team that has come here has come back
The building we are staying in was donated by a man named Amos Lyso. He was married to his wife YunJin and after twenty days of marriage they were in a terrible car accident which claimed her life. Amos took the money from the settlement and donated all of it for this building we are staying in and the orphanage and the ministry to honor and remember his wife and allow her legacy to live on. Amos met with us to share this story and is an amazingly humble man of God.
Jeepney Magazine is sold by homeless Filipinos and they are able to keep half of the price of the magazines that they sell. It is a magazine that focuses on issues of homelessness and aspects of the ministry.
There is a Homeless World Cup – a soccer team comprised of boys from the margins: out of school youth, homeless youth, etc. The games are played at a prison and KIM sends a team every year. Four of the youth from the team sent by KIM are getting signed onto professional teams while we are here
As we are here, there is another team of Austrailians and a large group of students from Taylor University and oftentimes our ministries will overlap. There is a lot going on and you have to be proactive to get involved in ministry, but there is always something going on and always someone who needs love
Designed by Tim Sainburg from Brambling DesignDesigned by Tim Sainburg from Brambling Design