Reach the World Next Door
By Kean Jagitsch and Carolina Brooks
Kean: This summer, Miguel and I attended Scripture Immersion Retreat at Miguel’s home church in TN. Pastor Griswold was the main speaker. It was during that weekend that Miguel and I really felt the need to utilize the talents of the students at OA in practical outreach.
I thought briefly of working with refugees after hearing Pastor Griswold talk about it, but ruled out the idea because I didn’t see how it would work. After arriving back at school, I sought out my ministry idea buddies (Michael and Cameron Shurley). Michael suggested using Reach the World Next Door’s online curriculum. I thought, “What a coincidence!”
Carolina: This school year, the senior class has been really excited about sharing Jesus, but we’ve had a hard time finding direction in what we can do. During mission week, we got to work hands-on with the Griswolds as they shared Jesus with the refugees in Houston, TX. It opened our eyes to the incredible need and opportunity that is out there. We found out that 1,000 Afghan refugees are coming to OKC this month. I really believe that God sent us to Reach the World Next Door (Griswold’s ministry) in Houston to give us some direction to our mission enthusiasm. We now know a bit better how we can make a difference and I’m excited to see where God will lead.
Kean: When I went on the Mission Week trip and saw the great need among the refugees, I heard the call for the third time! I now knew for sure that we must act.
So act we did. We talked to Pastor Griswold about the idea of starting refugee outreach through Oklahoma Academy. He gave us some pointers and outlined some of the things we would need to get started. First, of course, we had to find refugees.
This proved to be more challenging than I originally thought. Without working with a resettlement agency, information on the location of refugees is not easy to come by. To make a long story short, God gave us the contact we needed. He put us in contact with a former missionary now working for the state health department in the next town over. Mr. Farley was ecstatic at the idea of mission-minded teens getting involved with refugee work.
The day I talked to Mr. Farley over the phone was significant. Our team had come to a standstill. Then God made the way clear through this phone call. During my conversation, Mr. Farley invited me to go meet a young Afghan refugee about my age who spoke English, THAT NIGHT! So Michael, my father, and I piled into our van after work and took off for Oklahoma City. We spent a wonderful evening getting to know our new friend. Before leaving that night, we exchanged contacts and are planning to meet again.
This experience is teaching me several things about God. I am learning that God’s plans are clear. He showed us who He wanted us to reach and worked everything out so that we could do it. God does not give murky directions. God does not need us to create our own missions and then ask for His blessing. All we must do is follow what He lays out for us.
God has become so real through this experience. In truth, the story above doesn't even scratch the surface of what God has been doing. This is an ongoing project, and with every step, God is literally shocking me with what He can do. Please pray for our team as we move forward in the mission God has given us.