The start of summer has definitely been a time to trust God. Everything changes this time of year—students whom we’ve worked with for years graduate and move away, while new students move in early for the school year, we shift gears and locations for our small groups and prepare for summer mission trips and big events in August, and we have quite a few special events in both the Unite ministry and in our dojo outreach. Additionally, this summer I am getting married in August, so my fiancé and I are going through marriage counseling, planning a wedding, and trying to figure out where to live when August rolls around! It is a time when finances dip super low, surge high, and then cycle again; it is a time when basic things (such as where I will live in August) come into uncertainty, and it is a time of great potential for outreach ministry!
One such exciting potential is that the United Methodist Student Center, where we usually host our Friday Night Unite Game Night ministry, is closed this summer for renovations. (Unite Game Night is an alternative to the bars and a chance to experience community—it is a game night with board games, tabletop games, video games, card games, a non-profit coffeehouse serving coffee drinks, and more). As such, we have had to find an alternate location for it—at least for this summer.
At the same time, I had begun selling some board and card game merchandise at the dojo (since many who practice Aikido go to the game nights and want to purchase board and card games). It was just an experiment to see if I could earn a little extra money for the ministry without putting much time or effort into it (since I already had the appropriate zoning and licenses to sell things at the dojo), but it quickly showed me that it was opening a whole new venue for outreach ministry. By just spending literally a couple extra hours each week, I was meeting a variety of junior high and high school students who play card games, as well as some people from Judge’s Bar and other venues who also play games. They come in and buy products after Aikido classes and chat—on several occasions we have talked about very real life issues, and we are starting to experience a new community there. It became clear to me that this was an outreach ministry that I hadn’t even been looking for, and to my excitement it literally only cost me a couple extra hours of my week to accomplish it—AND to open it up for others to come in and use for ministry! As such, I named the other half of our dojo rented space ‘The Gamers Guild’, and I made it an official part of our contract.
As it so happened, this was all right before we found out that Unite Game Night had no home for the summer. Well, you can quickly see how a place selling board and card games that is right near college sector (200 E 8th Street in Hays, KS) was an EXCELLENT fit for Unite Game Night for the summer! As such, amid a lot of hustle and bustle and work, we have set up Unite Game Night and Common Grounds Coffee House at The Gamers Guild to run every Friday night for the summer (a photo of our first Unite Game Night at the Gamers Guild is below). So far, it seems to be going well—my baristas and I (and others) have A TON of ideas about how to use the much
larger space to make Game Night even better, and I am super excited to see what all God may do with it and through it! It also opens up a number of other outreach ministry potentials that have temporarily been dormant—including a few projects we had considered in the community at large with some of the local churches, although I don’t plan to look into those too much for the immediate future; right now keeping improving what we have happening and prepping for a summer of transition (including our exciting upcoming mission trip and getting married afterwards in August) is more than a full enough plate! Nonetheless, even thinking about some of the new opportunities The Gamers Guild opens up while I type this has me excited to see what may be on the horizon!
As I close the newsletter for this month, I want to thank you for your continued prayers for me and for the ministry. I am sincerely convinced that God does answer such prayers, and that He and such prayers are BEYOND critical for ministry to happen as it should. PLEASE keep praying for us—it really makes the difference out here! I also want to report that my monthly financial support has slightly increased—by about $150! I am hopeful that this is the start of things to come, and I am thankful that this is a direct answer to prayer. I am very grateful to those who financially assist in the ministry work here, for those who pray with us, and for those who work directly with us in the field! I am also SINCERELY grateful to God, who provides the basic needs for those who seek first His Kingdom. May He help me—and all of us—seek first His Kingdom, for the sakes of others and for our own sakes, too!
Please pray that more people join us on the Unite Mission Trip this year; we have several interested, and more who have requested applications. At this time, we don’t know how many are going, but I believe that we need more people to join us to be an effective group. Please keep the trip in your prayers!
Please pray for Unite Game Night and the opportunities there. May more volunteers join us to assist in it, and may we have good conversations and may the Kingdom advance there!
Please pray that my personal missionary support continues to rise; it greatly enables ministry.
Please pray that God help the small group communities come back together for the summer and grow in strength. May we have even more small groups next year.
Please pray that all of us in the field listen to and follow the Holy Spirit as we seek to serve.
Please pray for the Kingdom work in general and seek to follow God in your own lives (in the places and ways that you can love people). The harvest is plentiful, but the workers ARE few; may the Lord of the Harvest send more workers! Thank you again for your prayers!