Birthday: May 30
Hometown: Zeeland, Michigan
Favorite Bible Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:58
Musical Influences: Alabama, Keith Urban, Ben Howard, Mike Mains and the Branches
Favorite Book: Follow Me by David Platt
Favorite Movie: All of the Fast and Furious movies
Hobbies: Hunting, longboarding, exploring nature, drinking Folgers coffee
Kim’s dream job is to be a farmer. She loves to bake strawberry pie, but she can also whip up a mean batch of cookies with her mom’s famous recipe. God gave her a passion for guitar while she was in high school and she is glad for the opportunity to use it this year as her team travels and serves various contacts. She’s excited to grow with her team in their knowledge of the Gospel and what it means to be followers of Christ.
Kim’s Blog Posts
One more venue tonight and we officially finish winter tour! It’s been really fun, challenging, and rewarding in ways I didn’t expect. Next week we go home for Easter break, and then it’s one more tour around the eastern Midwest before we’re done traveling as CTI 1421. It’s pretty cool to look back at my journey with CTI, and realize how much I’ve learned and grown. So for this blog I wanted to give you a look into that journey, and how I got started with CTI…
In 2014, my junior year of high school, I was sitting on my couch praying/complaining to God that I was bored and wanted to get out of my town, and see the world, while doing something useful involving ministry. God had been growing a passion for music in me, and so, on a whim, I googled ‘international music ministries’. And that’s where it all began for me. I found CTI that night and immediately felt a burning curiosity. About a month later, I auditioned and applied, and in the next two weeks I was committed to a summer team headed to Singapore!
I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ. -Philemon 6
The first day of training in Willmar, MN, I was absolutely terrified and scared of pretty much everyone in the CTI community. As time went on, I grew a little more comfortable and said maybe like five or six words one day. 😉 But throughout the trip, my view of ministry expanded, and I saw people living out their faith with a confidence and strength that I wanted. Experiencing a summer trip opened my eyes to my need for God grace even more, and encouraged me to seek out ways to serve. God used CTI to disciple me, and equip me with a deeper passion and understanding of faith and ministry.
I went home that summer and during my senior year, I felt this kind of pulling on my heart to continue in music ministry. After lots of praying, I committed to be on another summer team, this time going to Taiwan. That trip was awesome in different ways, a lot of fun and a great team. My leaders were great examples of how to live in God’s grace, and push forward with strength and confidence through patience and love. They might not even know it, but their influence and intentionality in my life is one of the bigger reasons why I’m still involved in CTI.
They preached the gospel in that city and won a large number of disciples. Then they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. -Acts 14:21-22
I went to college that fall, but I knew my time with CTI still wasn’t over. I don’t really know how to explain it, it was just this weird confidence that God wasn’t done using CTI in my life. I didn’t have a good experience with college, so before my first semester was over, I committed to CTI’s fulltime program. I moved home for the summer, and sort of freaked out and didn’t feel ready or good enough to travel around North America, sharing the gospel through music. But God remained faithful, and here we are now, thirteen weeks into our fourth tour!
I don’t know what comes next. I don’t know exactly what will happen after CTI, but if I learned anything from my time here, it’s that you can serve wherever you are. Jesus calls us to go out and make disciples of ALL nations. Not only when you’re on a mission trip, not only when you’re with other Christians, but to have faith that God will use you to make his name known to the people around you right now. So whether you’re out there actively seeking ways to serve, or a steady Sunday morning church goer, I challenge you to step out in faith and just do something. Be reckless. And if you’re considering joining one of the programs at CTI, talk to us! This is one of the coolest ministries I’ve been a part of, and I don’t regret joining one bit. God can use your music for something bigger than you can imagine, and He could be calling you to trust Him to use CTI as a vehicle for that. But wherever you’re at in life, I pray that you would use your influence to encourage believers, and share the truth of the gospel every day.
But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes through the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. -Phil. 3:7-9
Well friends, it’s crazy to believe, but winter tour will soon start to simmer down. We have two weeks and a day until our last venue before heading home to Willmar. I gotta admit, this tour has been one crazy ride, and although I wouldn’t trade it for anything, I’m getting pretty tired. We’ve been on the road for two and half months, and it can wear you out if you’re not careful. That being said, for this blog post I don’t have any crazy brilliant breakthroughs in my faith, or stories about things I’ve been learning this year. Sometimes, you just keep livin’ life, and thank God you get to do what you’re doing, and that’s ok. So I’ll give you a glimpse of tour life through some pictures, because hey, pictures are great.
Well howdy hey there folks, we made it to San Francisco! We only have one more month of winter tour. It’s hard to believe we’ve been on the road for exactly eight weeks today! As I think about how we started out on this tour, and how far we’ve come as a team, I can clearly see God’s hand in our growth. It’s pretty awesome. Yesterday as we drove through part of California’s Central Valley, I couldn’t take my eyes off the beautiful landscape. Green hills, mountains, pastures, fields and orchards all scattered around each other. I started flipping through my bible, and ended up reading John 4. There was one verse that stuck out to me.
John 4:35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months til harvest’? I tell you, open you eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
Open your eyes, he says. What am I missing? I see crops that are still growing, not ready to be harvested. I can’t find combines combing the fields, or tractors and trucks hauling the finished product. No, what do I SEE. Look closer. What about my teammates sitting 2 feet away? They’re the ones growing right beside me, experiencing the same things I am, but with a different perspective. How can I serve them, and help them keep reaching out to the Life-giver? How can I confide in them, and let them help me too?
Throughout this tour, we’ve seen people commit their lives to following Christ, and just a week and a half ago, we had the privilege of playing at a church and witness someone be baptized. Those are the most rewarding moments of ministry, the ‘harvest’ that makes me forget the hard days when I don’t think I can do this. There are also times when we play a concert and people sit there and blink at us, and I’m tempted to think, ‘well no rewarding harvest here.’ Sometimes it’s really easy for me to wait until we get to a venue to start being intentional, which is part of the reason that verse in John 4 hit me so hard. Jesus says OPEN YOUR EYES. Whether I like it or not, there are people all around me, including my teammates, who need love. In a world fueled by hate and division, we as Christians are called to go out into the world and be willing to get hurt, to serve and love people. And sometimes, it’s super awesome and rewarding. But other times, it’s hard to see how it’s worth it to go the extra mile.
Jesus says there’s a harvest ripe and ready out there. That doesn’t mean if we go out and tell people about Jesus everyone will respond positively to the gospel and become perfect. I think it’s more Jesus telling us there are so many opportunities in everyday life to share his love. The harvest he’s talking about isn’t some physical reward that big shot missionaries get, it’s the chance for ‘every day, normal’ folks like you and me to be part of something way bigger than ourselves. To store up treasures in heaven, to grow in our faith. And one day, God will gather up his children to spend eternity with him. That’s the promise and hope that drives us through this life, because life isn’t about this life. It’s about serving and loving God and people so when we meet God in glory he will say, ‘well done good and faithful servant.’ So, join me in getting out of your comfort zone today! We GET to be part of God incredible plan of love. It ain’t easy, but the fields are ripe for harvest TODAY, not tomorrow or in a month. It’s worth it. Keep trusting God, and scoot your boots out the door.
Howdy! Last week, we made it to California! We had some free time one day, and got to hang out at the beach for a while. As I was walking through the waves on the shore, I kept passing piles of washed up seaweed. Maybe it was the farmer in me, or maybe I’m just crazy, but I picked some up and got super curious about how stuff like that can just grow under water. It’s so weird! I had so many questions, and tried to pick it apart to see inside. Now, for the record, this wasn’t like plain, normal seaweed. I jump-roped with this stuff, it was thick, long, and strong. Apparently, just down the beach from where we were, there are huge kelp forests. FORESTS OF SEAWEED. How cool is that! I couldn’t imagine how they grow under the surface, in constantly-moving water. So, I googled.
Since the sand on the ocean floor is continually being displaced by currents, most types of seaweed don’t have normal roots. The bottom of the plant has things called ‘holdfasts’ that produce a glue-like substance. They attach to hard surfaces, like rocks or big, shelled creatures. Then they can stay in one spot. Pretty neat, right? After that, the seaweed grows kind of like a normal plant by soaking in nutrients and minerals from the water, and getting energy through photosynthesis. The actual leaves do the work of growing. It blows my mind that they can grow so thick and strong without real roots. I mean, it’s just glued to a rock or something.
It got me thinking, how am I growing? I feel like I don’t have strong roots where I am at this point in my life, because I’m living on the road with my teammates. We get to go to so many cool places, and meet incredible people, but at the end of the day, sometimes I feel dried out, all my energy spent. Normal plants grow from the roots, and produce fruit above the surface. If I’m not in one place long enough to grow roots, how can I produce fruit?
Holdfasts allow seaweed to drift, yet impact the current, while being grounded to something solid. The water is always moving through and around them, yet they don’t get swept away with the changing tides. As I was reading about seaweed, I realized I could kind of relate to it (funny the things you do when you live on the road). Just like the underwater plants are grounded with no roots, I am grounded in Christ in constantly changing circumstances. It’s a lot easier said than done, I’m no pro at keeping my life fixed on the foundation of my faith, but at this point in our tour, I’m use to moving along with the tide of traveling ministry that I’m no longer being swept away by the waves that come with responsibility, ministry opportunities, and just plain exhaustion. Now that could change in a heartbeat if something happens and my day goes down the gutter, but even so, I have the choice of holding fast to God. Jesus is the rock, I am the seaweed, and grace through faith is what will hold me to his word. If you’re like me with a life that’s constantly on the move, or if you’re in the never ending process of growing roots, we all have a choice to respond to the love that God gave us through Christ.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Howdy folks! Our time in Colorado is coming to an end for now. We’ve been all over the state and saw some beautiful sights! A while back, we got the chance to go hiking. As we got further down on the trail, a couple of us couldn’t resist running ahead and climbing some of the rocks. It was just too tempting to stretch our limits and get higher, for the promise of a better view. We made it to the top of a pretty big cliff, and it was crazy gorgeous! As I looked out across the rocks, I felt so strong and alive. But then, I saw a bigger cliff…I just had to climb that one too. So we ran until we thought our lungs would explode, but by golly, we found a way to the top. The view was better than before, but once again, we saw another great big pile of rocks, waiting to be conquered. In that moment, I realized that no matter how many mountains I climbed, I would never find one that would satisfy my thirst for adventure. I was reminded that this world was never meant to satisfy us at all.
A couple years back, I heard a friend explain F.A.I.T.H. as ‘Forsake All I Trust Him.’ To have faith in Jesus is to forsake the world. To believe in a God so loving that He would send His son to pay the price of a broken world, is to reject the culture of our existence. In Matthew 21:21, Jesus told his disciples that if they had faith and did not doubt, they could say to a mountain, ‘go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it would happen just like that. Crazy, right?
Well, I don’t have much need for God to throw a literal mountain into a sea, but I do desperately need God to demolish my mountains of pride, unbelief, and frustration. Sometimes, we get so caught up in proving that we can climb to the highest peaks and take care of our own problems that we forget that even if we do make it to the top, there will always be a higher one, calling to us, just begging to be climbed. Will there ever be true satisfaction in reaching the highest point? I mean, there’s adventure, excitement, and strength in pushing our limits, but honestly, will it ever be enough to calm our thirsty souls?
That’s where the F.A.I.T.H. thing comes in. I might be addicted to the adventure of climbing higher, but in the end, I know that I’ll never be able to conquer this world. But…the awesome part is…JESUS HAS ALREADY CONQUERED THE WORLD. Whaaat? Crazy, I know. I forget it all too often. God created us to crave something out of this world, our souls long to be filled. And only salvation through Jesus Christ can quench our thirst. But what about seasons of doubt? If we already have a restored relationship with God, why do we feel broken sometimes? Ya know, I don’t have a nice, fancy answer for this one. I feel it too, some days I just don’t know what this life is all about anyway. Those are the times when I find myself reaching for my own strength, trying to own my own problems. And God is just sitting there, like, dude, hello I’m right here…
Forsaking the world is not an easy task. Trusting God is not an easy task. But when we put those two together, we cultivate a stronger faith. And a stronger faith grows a stronger relationship with our creator, who is offering clouds ready to rain down grace and love and peace and everything we long for. It’s worth rejecting the promises of the world. It’s worth climbing down the mountains and asking God to throw them in the sea. Forsaking all and trusting God is what faith is all about.
1 Cor. 13:2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and can fathom all mysteries and knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
There’s another key element that goes with faith: LOVE. If we cultivate a rock solid faith, and become rockstars at trusting God, but stink at loving people, then our talk ain’t followed by our walk. It takes a ton of work to ‘get good’ at loving people, and even if it comes more naturally to some of us, we’ll never be able to show perfect love like God does. Learning to love is a process, and we never stop learning. So I pray that you will continue to seek God with me, and walk away from the mountains calling our names, to find rest and understanding in the valleys that God has prepared for us. Keep learning to love, and trust our Father.
Here’s some rad pictures of those mountains: