A City Release Movement

DK, Sadie, and Micah's Freedom Quest

No June Gloom

Hello Friends,

As always, we hope this update finds you well!  As for the Kim Klan (one more “K’ and we’re not looking good!), we have just completed a great month of living in Mexico City and adjusting to life as a family of FOUR!  Our children have filled our home with such incredible joy and many surprises at every turn.  Micah is in full potty-training mode which comes with its own set of surprises but that is probably part of what has made our lives such fun. (Probably)

THE WELL

Our entire family and team has been able to interact more with the girls from The Well and it has been such an incredible experience.  The girls are no older than 16 while the youngest is 11 years old.  On one hand, it is heart-breaking to think about the stories of pain that these children carry at such a young age but their vitality and enthusiasm has been an encouragement to us.  What a privilege to share in these moments and witness the slow but sure process of life-transformation through a love that we all share.  Sadie has also returned from “maternity leave” and is providing voice lessons for these music lovers once again.  Please continue to pray for these girls as well as the team of women who care for them daily.

FRIENDSHIP with VEREDA

Vereda is the church that we have been mentioning to you the past couple of months.  The bond between Vereda and Neo (Newsong Mexico) is growing stronger and we believe that God placed us together for such a time as this.  God’s hand on this church is evident and we feel honored and grateful to walk with this community.  We share the same vision and values and we are starting to dream of the future together.  We are joining together twice a month now for joint services and these times have been mutually encouraging and refreshing.

JUSTICE NOW

We are so extremely excited about Justice NOW happening on August 20 in partnership with Vereda!  We believe God will use this night to grab the hearts of the people who will soldier up in our love revolution against trafficking.  Justice NOW is a night of worship that we had started in California to highlight causes that affect our world and break the heart of God.  The end of each night concludes with a challenge and call to respond in practical ways to worship beyond songs and words.  Please pray for this gathering.  Pray that it would be beyond what we expect or prepare for and that God would sweep something beautiful and unstoppable throughout Mexico City and beyond.

THE CAMPAIGN

We’ve been meeting more frequently to continue to develop our ideas for the campaign to end human trafficking in our lifetime.  It has been exciting but lots of hard-work.  We are in need of your prayers with this.  We believe in the vision that we have but we have never been involved in something so huge and audacious.  God has to come through in earth-shattering ways!  Let it be.

Some Pictures:

The NEO and Vereda joint worship band!

David from Vereda and Micah from NEO representing the next generation

so grateful for our friendship with Rodolfo, Andrea and family!

Our baby girl Isla

A recent family photo in our jammies. (we are upside down and i can't edit this to show right!)

Thank you for reading.  Thank you for being our friends and cheerleaders.  Thank you for taking steps in serving with us.  Please keep the prayers coming.  We are always in need of those!

We love you!

DK, Sadie, Micah, Isla

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July 4, 2011 Posted by | Monthly Update | | 1 Comment

Come What May

Greetings Friends,

I write to you today feeling very grateful.  This has been a month of challenges but also of great joy and overwhelming evidence of God’s goodness to our family.

First of all, we gotta give it up to God for our baby girl, Isla Grace Kim.  Great job, God!  Wow.  She has been such a source of extreme happiness and endless smiles.  Despite a rather rough and painful delivery process (the epidural didn’t work!), mom and baby came out healthy and the whole thing went by really fast!

Isla at about 4 weeks!

We are extremely grateful to our community here that have been amazing to us through this whole time.  “Meals on Wheels” came to pass through just 3 families.  Not the army of support we would receive from back home in Irvine but boy have they come through for us in BIG ways!  Rides to the hospital, gifts of diapers and wipes, clothes, food, and possibly everything we would need.  Incredible!

The Yu family even hosted a delayed Baby Shower for us since Isla decided to come earlier than usual and “ruined” our plans for the first Shower.  It was awesome as it was a gathering of our favorite people in Mexico!

The crew playing a baby shower game

A couple stories that have blown us away from this past month:

A 6 year old boy back in California donated his birthday and raised hundreds of dollars for our family.  He believes in our mission and sacrificed his gifts for us.  Wow.  This is a rare generosity that only God can orchestrate!  What was I like at 6 years old?  Thinking of me, myself and I… that’s what.

A Heartbreaking Story: A woman outside of our usual network heard about our family and made a $500 towards our living costs here.  Turns out that her family is hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt as her husband recently suffered a stroke.  On top of the hospital bills, the woman noticed bills for a BMW among other expensive goods billed to their credit card.  It turns out her husband had been secretly engaged in an affair and had been showering his mistress with costly gifts before this stroke.  Despite the overwhelming circumstances, this woman has made the choice to stand by her husband.  When we think about the magnanimous sacrifice she has made in the midst of all that she is going through right now, we are humbled beyond words, beyond tears.  May we live lives worthy of this kind of sacrifice!

The Well

We are continuously achieving greater levels of communication and cooperation from the Mexican government as we receive a new girl every 15-20 days.  Please pray for care staff at The Well as they are in need of more help as well as wisdom.  There have been some break-throughs in addition to some set-backs so your prayers are constantly needed.

The Cafe

Cafe NEO continues to be a great venue for live music and food with friends.  We are now trying to host free English conversation classes every Saturday afternoon in order to connect with the community.  Please pray for this venture as we are waiting for the word to travel about this service and hope that this will catapult our desire to love the next generation in Mexico City.

NEO

We have just started holding Sunday morning services at the Cafe and it’s been fun to blast some live, rockin’ worship music into a place that would otherwise have no exposure to something like this.  We consider this an experiment of sorts and another opportunity we are creating to meet people where they’re at.  It’s exciting!

We are also continuing to partner with Vereda, the local church that we joined up with for Easter, in order to further our impact in this city.  This is an amazing church that shares so many of our vision and values and their staff have become some of our closest friends.  If anything, it has been exciting and energizing to be doing life with them.

A Campaign

Our team is meeting regularly now to develop the strategic plan for our campaign to end human trafficking in our lifetime.  It is an audacious task and by far the most God-sized thing we have dared to dream.  At this time we have a lot more questions than we do answers and the work ahead is daunting.  Please pray for us.  Pray that God would create the waves and we would simply surf… obediently.

Our Family

Please pray for continued health.  Our biggest scares this past month have been with illnesses to our family whether it be mysterious fevers for Micah, abnormal bloating and trouble breathing for Sadie, or jaundice for Isla.  We are thankful that God has brought us through those episodes, especially with the help of our friends, but it is definitely no fun to be sick in a foreign country!

Thank you for reading!
We love you and are grateful for you.  Please let us know how we can be in prayer for you as well!

DK, Sadie, Micah, and Isla

 

 

June 2, 2011 Posted by | Monthly Update | | Leave a comment

April, Full!

When our time here is over, we may look back at this month and remember it as one of the more (if not most) significant 30 days of the Mexico City experience.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • A New Friendship

We are living out community in new ways by meeting incredible new friends who share a similar vision and heart for loving people.

We joined together with these new friends for our Easter service and believe that a very special partnership has been birthed!

Their church is one that has been around for about 2 years, and it has been reaching a young group of professionals and families in a well-to-do part of town.  Their facility reminds me of Newsong North Orange County (theater, performance hall-type venue) and their make-up reminds me of Newsong Irvine.  Either way, it reminds me of home.

It turns out that we need each other.  As a result, we have agreed to walk together and invite each other into our lives, while praying about the next steps.  Just this past week, the church and their board of directors agreed to allocate a percentage of their monthly offering to The Well!

  • The Well

The Well has quietly been caring for multiple girls who have been rescued from trafficking.  Amazing to think that when we first arrived here, the house was empty and we were working on renovations. The dream to care for victims of this atrocity that began with Benny and Janice Yu is now a reality. . . and we are constantly grateful.

One of the girls attended our joint Easter service.  Seeing her in the crowd singing with a curiosity brought me to tears.  Amazing.

  • A Visit from Dave Gibbons and the Xealot board of directors

It was a very special privilege to have Dave and the team in town for a few days.  We shared meals, prayed together, and received some key words to fuel our team forward.

  • SADIE will give birth ANY week now!

PLEASE pray for a smooth labor and delivery process as well as a healthy child and mother!  The hospital is across town so we hope traffic will not be too great a factor once it is time to go!  Please pray for wisdom, skills, and compassion from the doctor and nurses who will assist in the delivery.  Please pray for no complications with our child.

Some Pictures of this Past Month

The Edge college team from Irvine enjoying Pedro's Tacos!


Dave and the Xealot board. Amazing group of men


This was our joint Easter rehearsal at Cafe NEO! Amazing experience, great people

A group picture of the entire Easter worship crew!

Sadie, Me, Rodolfo, and Stephen. The 4 Easter worship leaders!

Bruno and Cesar invited us over for dinner! Good times with great brothers!

Micah and friends waiting to enter a Ranch for Liliana's birthday!

Micah swam and attempted to hit a pinata at Isabella's birthday party!

We visited new friend, Pablo's home and studio. He produces some beautiful, rockin' music!

Hope this gives you a good snapshot of our past month!

What has made this month an important one for us is the forming of a new (and much-needed) community of friends!  We are grateful that we are meeting the people that we are and experiencing a taste of heaven on earth in Mexico City!

Please pray for this city and pray that we would be able to recognize and unleash beauty in this place!

DK, on behalf of family!

May 3, 2011 Posted by | Monthly Update | | 2 Comments

Marching Forward

Greetings!

Happy April to you all!

For this update, we would like to share a few key updates and stories.  As always, thank you for reading this blog, for being our friends, and for remembering us in your prayers.

1.  Cafe NEO is now a fully-functioning business – it has been running for about 3 weeks now and the place is amazing!  Word is slowly getting out to the public so it will take some time before the place becomes the #1 destination in Coyoacan but for now, it is a privilege to be in such a key location!  The live music, XBox 360 w/ Kinect, and great food will merely be the tools to connect with the community.  Please pray for wisdom on how we can cultivate an atmosphere that allows for meaningful connections to take place on a weekly basis.

2.  The Well is now housing and caring for 2 girlsplease pray for these young girls who have been rescued from trafficking.  One of them has a 1 year old child who is the custody of a third party.  The healing process begins slowly as the women of The Well work each day to build trust relationships with these girls.

3.  Sadie will be giving birth in around 6 weeks time! All of our monthly doctor visits have gone very smoothly and both mother and child are healthy.  Please pray for a delivery without complications and that the doctors and staff at the hospital would be able to give our family the best care possible!

4.  Micah is doing really well in school! The first few days were a little difficult for him, especially when we would drop him off but now he’s a pro and we couldn’t be prouder.  He surprised us last week when we discovered that he could count to five in Spanish!  “uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco…”

Cafe Stories

On the opening Saturday of our cafe, our team provided the live music for a couple hours and in that set list, we mixed in a few songs of worship along with classics from the Beatles, Eagles, and U2.  During that time, a Mexican couple was passing by the cafe on the sidewalk and suddenly paused in front of our door to listen to the music.  They decided to stay and started singing along to the worship tunes!  Turns out they were praying for a cafe like ours the previous week, a chill place where people could come in and enjoy music.  We were an instant answer to prayer!  Crazy!  They have since decided to join us regularly and bring their friends!

Sadie and I met a great, hard-working waiter at a Korean restaurant we visited in February.  We exchanged information at the time and he hinted that he would be interested in working at our Cafe once we open.  A few weeks later we got in touch with him and after an interview, he was hired.  It turns out that he was fired unfairly days before we got in touch and he was entering a state of depression.  He has thanked us numerous times and has expressed that his experience thus far in our cafe has been a healing process for him.

We will be spending EASTER Sunday in partnership with 2 other local churches who share a similar heart and vision for the city.  What is beautiful is that all of us are being intentional about pursuing a true partnership devoid of preoccupations about who gets credit and money.  I love that all churches mutually agreed to “split” the offering that day equally three ways so that we could give it all away to the respective ministries we support!  This is really exciting!  Sadie and I are excited about being part of the joint worship that Sunday as well.

That’s about it for now.  Hope hearing of these things excite you and motivate you to pray.  Thank you for your love and support!

DK, Sadie and the kiddos…

April 1, 2011 Posted by | Monthly Update | | Leave a comment

FEBRUARY

Greetings from Mexico City!

this was the most action-packed month thus far, with tons of necessary manual labor and Micah’s first days in school!

The most exciting development lately has been the progress of our brand new CAFE in Coyoacan, which is a major destination for locals, tourists, artists, and youth.  We have been working on this place non-stop for the past 4 weeks and we’re gearing up to open within the next few days.  Please look at pictures of our progress!

 

This is a picture of Micah on his very first day of school.  He cried right after I snapped this photo when he realized we were leaving him there.  He still cries whenever we drop him off but according to the teacher, he does really well for the 4 hours he is there!

We also transitioned Micah to a big-boy bed (with guard rail of course!) and he’s been doing great.  This allows us to use his former pack-n-play for our new child when he/she arrives!

We have been learning a great deal lately while still struggling with various adjustments to living in the city.  Something that I (DK) have been learning is in taking joy in “normal,” non-glamorous seasons of service.  I blogged about it on my personal site if you would care to read: http://dkdanielkim.com/2011/02/22/my-joy-in-obscurity/

Sadie’s pregnancy is going well but a funny development is that after 2 ultrasounds, the last one being a 4-D one, we are still not completely sure whether or not our child is male or female!  It seems the gender may be a surprise!

Please pray for a healthy baby, free of complications at birth– especially something like jaundice as this was an issue with Micah.  Sadie is due in mid-May!

CAFE NEO will be an amazing place and opportunity for us to love and connect with our Mexico City community.  The area is definitely a hub type of destination for all of Mexico City, especially on the weekends!  Pray that our NEO community would reach another level of impact and unity through this exciting new venture.  This is how we envision “church” to happen for this next phase of our time here!

THE WELL is on the verge of a major break-through and we hope you will pray with us as major government officials will be visiting our trafficking safehouse this week.  If all goes well, this may be a huge open door for us to receive many more girls who are in need of rehabilitation!

We hope this update gives you enough to keep in mind and prayer.  We desperately need your prayers each day and we appreciate all your love and support!

Blessings to you and your family!

dk, sadie, micah, baby #2

February 28, 2011 Posted by | Monthly Update, Pictures | Leave a comment

January 2011

Greetings from Mexico City!

It’s been a wild ride since returning from our 3-week winter visit to Southern California.  That trip was extremely timely for our family and rejuvenating in many ways.  We have been back here in Mexico City since January 11 and it seems like the floodgates of activity and movement have opened up! This has been a good thing as much of what the team here has been hoping for is starting to take form and take off!

The most incredible news is that our safehouse for victims of human trafficking (The Well) will receive their first girl(s) in the next couple weeks! After about a year of non-stop renovations and a few months of training and hiring staff, The Well is finally able to start the healing process with young girls who are in need of restoration and pure love.  This definitely feels like the birth of something, a monumental event, and a dream come true– especially for Benny and Janice Yu.

Stephen cuts metal in one of the bathrooms

we installed a lot of fencing this past month!

we added covering on the fences for added security

we installed dry wall in the kitchen

this is what i looked like after sanding down the drywall!

Benny and Janice Yu are our close friends who have been in Mexico City for 4 years.  They are a family of four that received a calling to do life here in the City around 6 years ago and eventually planted Newsong Mexico City (which is called NEO here) in order to reach out to the community of young artists and world-changers.  It has not been an easy journey for them but they have remained faithful to their calling and have made great impact through non-publicized acts of love and kindness.  To me, they are the “success” story of Newsong Mexico City— they are living out the kind of life that God has asked each of us to live by loving people without strings attached and pursuing justice for the oppressed.  They have housed and taken care of individuals who many may disregard as enemies or non-worthwhile, they have opened up their showers to let poor families feel clean for even a day, and they have served faithfully without recognition or fanfare for as long as they have been here. As the expression goes, “they are the real deal, Holyfield.”

The Well comes out of a dream that Benny and Janice had a couple years ago when they became closely acquainted with the issue of human trafficking and sex slavery.  They hoped for a way to combat this global issue and through many different miraculous circumstances as well as seasons of hard labor, their hope to play a role in bringing justice for the oppressed has become a reality.  My family and I are down here in Mexico City because we share the same dream and passion.

a picture of us with the Yu's in California last year

On the church and community-building aspect of our work here in the City, our team is on the verge of yet another major breakthrough and innovation.  After wrestling with what “church” is supposed to look, smell and taste like in this context, we have decided to open up a fully-operational Cafe in Coyoacan, a bustling old-town neighborhood filled with youth, artists, tourists, and merchants.  We have signed the lease for 1 year and have begun the preparations for the space.  We hope to open for business in late February!

imagine what this place will look like!

We are imagining this cafe to be a place where people from all walks of life enter and experience a unique warmth in addition to the good food and atmosphere we provide. We will dedicate a side of the room to instruments and a sound system so that live music, poetry, and different types of art can be shared and displayed.  We are going to feature an XBOX 36o Kinect so that the customers can try something new after enjoying the signature wraps that we will offer.  We want to explore what it will be like to hold our NEO gatherings in this space on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings as the general public walk by and choose to give in to their curiosity.  Imagine what it would be like to also try a business model where a plate of food at a slightly higher price would mean a plate of food for a person in need?  Not only will this Cafe be a business and community center but also a launching pad to promote new ways of living and giving, regardless of what beliefs a person may hold.  We are the “church” and will be the church as we place ourselves into this public venue where we can share the love of Jesus in real and practical ways.

Finally, our team also just filed papers to register a non-profit that we hope would play a major role in mobilizing, resourcing, and unleashing the many different anti-human trafficking efforts around the world. We are dreaming really big and are working really hard to take a huge bite out of the injustice of modern-day slavery.  We are excited because we are involved in very specific work with rehabilitating victims through The Well but we are also going for “the kill” with our latest idea and venture.  I can’t share more right now but hope to do so as things develop.  If you are a web/marketing specialist, a social marketing expert, graphic artist, musician, mobilizer, go-getter or just a person of passion– we need you!  Please contact us.  Please also be praying!

The Yu family has been here for 4 years and our family has been here for just about 6 months but it feels like the adventure is now starting anew.

If you would like to know more about how you can be involved, please go ahead and fill out the form below and submit!

Until next time!

January 31, 2011 Posted by | Inspiration, Monthly Update, Pictures | Leave a comment

A Glimpse into the Slave Trade

for security reasons, i did not take any pictures yesterday but found these available on the web

**DISCLAIMER** – This post is not meant to paint Mexico or the people of this country in a bad light.  This is purely a commentary on the unfortunate and heinous nature of sex trafficking and those subjected to the pandemic.  Please take note that injustice such as what I am about to describe occurs the world over and is not exclusive to Mexico.  Please love and pray for Mexico and its people.

La Merced is the center of prostitution in Mexico City. On my family’s first visit to this city last December, my friend Benny took a wrong turn on our way to a tourist spot and accidentally gave us a drive-by tour of the area. What I saw that day drew some uncanny parallels to the story I heard behind Drew Brees’ recruitment by the New Orleans Saints football team a few years ago.

In his first tour of the city, Drew Brees accidentally bore witness to the destruction of Hurricane Katrina when coach Sean Payton took a wrong turn. Payton’s intention was to show Brees all the best and attractive areas of New Orleans. (Oops!) I’m sure at that point, the coach thought he screwed up his chances of landing the coveted free agent quarterback but as the story goes, Drew and his wife could not deny a sense of calling they had to move to New Orleans. After witnessing the destruction, Drew Brees knew that a move to New Orleans would be about more than just football. This transition was about being a part of rebuilding a city.

My accidental tour of La Merced last year is part of what drove my family and I to make the move to Mexico City 6 months ago in what may turn out to be a 2 year commitment. We witnessed the destruction from a car and felt a calling to help “rebuild” a city with our hands and feet on the ground. What did we see that day? A street full of prostitutes scattered along every few feet or so in the bright light of day.

For the first time since moving to Mexico City, I was able to take a very intentional tour of La Merced yesterday with Benny on foot. To say that my eyes were opened would be an understatement.

Though the area is just 30 minutes away by subway from where we live, La Merced felt like an entirely different country. Each nook and cranny of the street was packed with merchants selling every kind of gadget, trinket, and snack and the congestion of foot traffic makes for a very typical big city experience. One clear distinction however is that this street is home to over 1,000 prostitutes, many of whom are forced to stand and parade out in plain view of everyone in the middle of the day.

I don’t know if it was the street suadero tacos I just ate with Benny but I was on the verge of nausea the entire time. I don’t know if it was the smoke emitted by the cars driving by but I couldn’t help but feel a heaviness and fatigue as we walked by each prostitute. I never thought that such a place was possible and it’s hard to think that anyone could ever imagine a scenario such as what one sees in La Merced.

The place had a rather heavy police presence, which would normally mean that the law of the land is being carried out and the rights of people are being protected. I felt sick to my stomach as I learned that these cops work harder to regulate on street merchants peddling wooden bookmarks rather than the pimps who parade the bodies of countless women against their will. These law officials are paid off and turn a complete blind eye to the obvious evil in front of their eyes.

Within minutes of walking through La Merced, I couldn’t help but think about the United States pre-MLK when something as wrong as segregation and blatant discrimination was commonplace and “normal.” It took a revolution to turn the tide on this norm and though the problem is far from solved, at least the average American now knows that discrimination is unacceptable, un-cool, and definitely not normal.

I realized that if we are going to be a part of the solution here, we need to get people to a place where they are enraged by this injustice and this type of thing should feel incredibly abnormal and outrageous. It was shocking when it hit me that these prostitutes of mid-day were so commonplace that most people would simply walk by these women as if they were trees or street lights—normal fixtures.

Benny led me down an alley where there was another form of sale for men looking for sex. I saw this scene in the movie “Trade” (starring Kevin Kline) where women walk around in a circle as a massive crowd of potential clients gather to view and select their “merchandise.” To see this in real life was a shock and once again, the nonchalant and commonplace nature of this scene was appalling. A female janitor pulled her trash bin right through the crowd of men and ring of women as she needed to access the dump. There was no shock or anger in her voice as she said “con permiso” (excuse me) and walked straight through. Once again, the normality of the scene in front of me was hard to digest. Nausea.

a very accurate picture what i witnessed yesterday

Many of the women on the street were clearly mothers who have probably been forced into this trade in order to provide for their sons and daughters. It is not uncommon to see women in skin-tight jeans, stilettos and cleavage-bearing blouses who also happen to be several months pregnant. Of course there are many young girls on this street. These girls are prostitutes but they are also someone’s daughter, sister, mother, wife, and child. I did not observe a single genuine smile and most wore faces of deep pain and hopelessness.

My heart breaks and my mind is overwhelmed. I told Benny that after this experience I am realizing that the issue is even bigger than I had originally thought… and I already knew that this was big. Not only must we consider the girls, their pimps and their clients, but we must consider the fact that the government and law enforcement is in on this. When we think about the prospect of rescue and intervention, we must think about how we can change culture to think differently about the issue. The issue isn’t just apathy and corruption. There is a real need to empower the general public to take the power we naturally have as human beings in order to stand for those who have had their dignity stripped from them. “Power to the people.”

What can we do? Are we wasting our time by thinking that our little chisels on this great mountain of injustice will provide any sort of real, lasting change? Perhaps that is what Evil wants us to believe so that we simply give up and hope the problem just goes away somehow. It takes audacity to believe that a whole system of wickedness can be overturned. It takes a great deal of faith and a measure of insanity to think that a Goliath of slavery can be killed once more through measly stones launched from the hopeful slingshots of young activists.

I would much rather do something than nothing. I think that’s what it will take. If each person did something rather than nothing, I know we can bring global freedom once more. It’s happened before. We do what we can and then let God finish the work.

So what is the part we’re playing right now? In addition to our rehabilitation safe house, we are in talks to start a women’s center right in the heart of La Merced. Women who want to get out of the slave trade can simply walk in and start receiving the aide and information they need to live life as free people. Benny and I are dreaming about and laying the groundwork for a global campaign we hope to launch some time next year. We are engaged in the small as our sights are set on the big and grand.

Thank you for reading. There is a part each of us can play in this battle. What will it be for you? What questions do you have?

December 9, 2010 Posted by | Inspiration, Prayer Requests, Reflection | , , , | Leave a comment

The Past 60 Days

Hello Everyone

We thank you for sticking by us and remembering us in your prayers, even when you don’t hear from us for nearly 2 months.  With the time passing by as quickly as it does, 2 months can seem like a month anyhow so I think we’re ok. :oP

The events of the past 2 months will prove to be completely life-altering as you will soon realize.  Let’s start with the good news.

GOOD NEWS

Life-altering news #1 is that Sadie is with child once again and we are expecting the little one sometime mid-May, 2011!  We are extremely thrilled and can’t wait to meet this little guy or gal!  The other bit of good news is that Sadie seems to be over the worst part of her morning sickness (which was REALLY bad) and can finally eat without throwing up.  Good to have my wife and Micah’s mommy back!

a first look at our new bean of joy

GOOD NEWS #2

Micah turned 2 on November 23.  It was a memorable one for him as he got to spend his birthday with some of his favorite aunties, uncles, and friends and he received many toys that have become instant favorites!  Life is good for this boy.

Look at the cake mommy baked!

TOUGH NEWS

Nearly a month ago I (DK) was apprehended by the police at the Mexican International Airport while I was waiting in the arrival zone for my sister in law.  It was a miserable 5 hour affair as I was without cell phone reception and my sister in law was wandering the airport alone for the entire time.  The reason for my detainment was because I did not have my passport with me and although I tried my best to explain that I currently live in Mexico City, the officials insisted on seeing the physical passport. I eventually made it out and everything was fine but some internal (soul) damage had been done.

To make a long story short, this episode really shook us up in a very negative way and as a result, really made us question our stay in and commitment to Mexico City.  I will admit to you that the days and weeks following this event were some of the hardest for me personally as I had lost all desire to stay in Mexico City and was ready to jump on the next plane out.  My heart had grown so cold and bitter from that afternoon that I really wasn’t able to function at the capacity I normally would have liked to. I told my friends that although Satan will never win the war, it seems he had won this battle as I sit defeated and deflated.

BETTER NEWS

I wanted to wait to write a blog update until I was in a better place and that’s why you are reading this today.

We don’t know why but we are getting this sense more than ever that we are supposed to stay here in Mexico and ride this thing out.  Our prayers are changing from “God, WHY?!?” and “Get me out of here!” to “Give us an even greater love for this city and its people” and “Show us the next steps… soon!”

I received an email from a dear Mexican friend while I was going through my dark nights of the soul.  She was one of the few locals who reached out to me without an air of judgment and with great empathy.  She could relate to me through her experiences in another country overseas.  When she was going through difficult, frustrating times and she wanted to return to her home country she felt God telling her one day that it would be “ok” for her to return and God would bless it.  However, these hardships were only presented to her as another opportunity to grow in love.  It was almost a take-it or leave-it proposition.  Her letter reminded me that these things happen to us not to destroy us but to make us stronger (hit “play” on Kanye West’s “Stronger” right now).

So I write to you today that although we have been slapped around a little bit, we are choosing strength and growth.  We are choosing to try love and understanding once more.  Though it’s easier (and ok) to call it quits for this season, we are choosing perseverance.  We don’t say this to sound all strong, mighty, holy, and spiritual… because we are not.  We’re actually pretty lame, petty, ordinary, and whiny at times.

I’m not all the way “there” yet but I think my soul is finally coming around, ready to take another stab at this thing.

The best part in all of this for me has been the person that’s been keeping me centered and pumped up the most since the ordeal and that person is Sadie, my wife.  Yes, Sadie, the one who has been very up front about her fears and hesitations.  Sadie, the one who is coming out of 12 weeks of extreme morning sickness hell… Sadie is the one that is reminding me that we can’t go out like this.  She is the one that has reminded me that if everything was rosy, peachy, and easy all the time, what good does it do for our souls?

She is right.  For the first time since the incident, I can say that I’m somewhat thankful for what has come to pass.  There is upside to every debacle.

If you think we can do this without your prayers, you’re dead wrong.  We need them now more than ever!

To be continued… always.

Thank you and we love you,

DK, Sadie, Micah and #2!

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Inspiration, Monthly Update, Pictures, Prayer Requests | | 6 Comments

September has passed. Already?

Believe it or not, 2010 is entering it’s final quarter already and we are blazing through month 3 of our time here in Mexico City.

Spanish Lessons

A highlight for us has been our Spanish class.  Sadie takes hers in the mornings from 9 AM to 12 PM and I attend the afternoon session from 4 PM to 7 PM.  We’ve been progressing in our speaking and comprehension from week to week and it’s actually been very gratifying to sense our improvement.  We can somewhat carry on conversations with the locals here (although not perfectly) and our confidence grows with each one.

We have been getting to know our classmates as we learn and spend time outside of the classroom together.  It’s a beautiful mosaic of students and business people from places like Korea, China, Japan, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, and Germany.  We have even invited many of them to join us in our renovations of The Well and they have gladly obliged.  Some of them are “regulars” with us as they really believe in the cause of ending Human Trafficking.  It has been an amazing thing to see strangers come together for something they believe in.

Neighbors

We are loving meeting and building relationships with our neighbors and people we see along our street on a near daily basis.  I mentioned Juan, Luis and Mari in my last post and I ask that you keep them in your prayers as well.  Pray that they would sense a pure love from people like us as we interact with them.

NEO

On the church side of things, NEO (aka Newsong Mexico City) is right where God wants us to be.  We are in a place of utter dependence on Him as we try to see where and in what manner he is leading us.  It has been a time of much experimenting and where numbers and attendance is concerned, there has been a lot of fluctuation.  Sometimes, the chaos can seem a bit much but I know that God works in the midst of the haze and all we have to do is stay close and look out for the breakthrough.

Speaking of which, I am constantly thankful for Benny and Janice Yu and their faithfulness over the past 3 years till now.  If there is a “success story” to be told from Mexico City, it is Benny and Janice.  They are the heroes and it will be because of their unrelenting devotion to the calling here as well as God’s timing that there will be breakthrough here in Mexico City.  They are leading the way in terms of living a life of radical love for the city in which they have been placed.  I’ve seen them love their enemies in ways that 99% of the world couldn’t.  As an example, let’s say that there is someone that you know that suddenly attacked your very character, qualifications, and style as leader.  This person even told you that you shouldn’t be pastor (leader) and that someone else should take their place.  Would you be able to love this person?  Could you feed them and house them during a time of need?  This actually happened and I believe this is a story that needs to be told.

THE WELL

The Well is nearing completion and with the arrival with the house mother in mid-October, we will actually start moving towards a fully functioning rehabilitation house for trafficking victims.  Please keep this in prayer and if you would like to donate towards the many needs we have for the operation of this home, please contact us.

US

Our family is doing well but we ask for your constant prayers.

Please pray that Micah would be able to befriend more kids his age.  We are sensing his loneliness through his daily restlessness in the house and at the park.

Please pray for our overall health and protection from any harm that may come our way.

Pray for unity amongst our team/family here and that we could do everything with one heart and passion

Slideshow

We end this update now with a slideshow of the past month.  Just a few snapshots to whet your appetite for all things Mexico City.

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Please be reminded that we cannot do this without your friendship, as well as financial and prayer support.  Thank you for walking with us!

October 6, 2010 Posted by | Monthly Update, Pictures | , | 3 Comments

Agosto

Hello Friends, Family and Supporters,

It’s been another very eventful month here in Mexico City.  We are learning a lot, being stretched in many different directions and overall we are doing very well.

A major lesson that we are learning (again) is that we have NOTHING to fear with God as our protector.  Please read Sadie’s post on this.

We started language lessons this week and it’s actually been a lot of fun for all of us!  Sadie and Stephen attend the morning session and I attend the afternoon one at the local university.  We all took multiple years of Spanish in High School but forgot everything so it’s good to get some intentional learning in as part of our daily schedule, Monday through Friday!

We are also slowly building friendships with our neighbors here.  We have a front desk/maintenance guy at our apartment named Juan and it’s been great to chat with him here and there with our limited Spanish.

There’s also Luis, who actually sleeps in his car right in front of our apartment.  He’s a fixture on the street corner as a helium balloon salesmen and he’s taken a liking to our son Micah.  Every so often he will give Micah a balloon and refuse any money we try to give him.  We’re looking for ways that we can help him as he is living and working on this corner to send money back to his family who live an hour and a half away.  For now, it’s been a joy to greet him every time we see each other and share a box of juice or ice cream. 

Mari is a friend of Luis and she always greets us with some sort of nickname like “hola juanito” (I think that’s what she’s saying).  She washes parked cars for a living– as people park on our street, she asks them if they’d like a wash and proceeds to wipe down the cars while the people tend to their business.

Juan, Luis, and Mari are all good people and it’s been a joy to be around them (no matter how limited our communication or interaction is).  Please pray that our friendships would grow and that we could love them and serve them without being weird or patronizing.

I have posted a few photos of the past month in a slideshow below.  Please take a look.

As you do, please pray for:

  • Continued safety and protection for the team and our family here.
  • Our hearts to grow for this country and its people.  For eyes to see the wreckage as well as the beauty.
  • For continued provision in all of our daily needs.
  • For spiritual strongholds to be shattered.  We are experiencing some major spiritual activity down here and for security reasons, we will not share too specifically but we need your dedicated prayers toward this.  Please simply pray that God’s light, His love, and His truth will shine through all the darkness.
  • For a reform in Mexican government and a shift in the systemic issues that prevent change from taking place in issues of poverty and in particular, drug and human trafficking.  This is major.

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Thank you for partnering with us.  Once again, we cannot do this without YOU.  We love you.

DK, Sadie, Micah

September 3, 2010 Posted by | Inspiration, Monthly Update, Pictures | , , , | 1 Comment