My first King’s Kids outreach was with my family in Australia when I was 11 years old. I think the memory that stands out most to me from that outreach is that was the first time I really experienced the Holy Spirit. Even now, I can still go right back to that very moment. At the time I didn’t really understand what it was all about, but I believe that on that outreach God set something into motion in my life.
Fast forward a few years to being a teenager and becoming involved with King’s Kids New Zealand. Almost every school vacation I was in Auckland on the King’s Kids center, I couldn’t get enough of it. I loved the dancing, but now that I look back, I can see what I learned and how God was already preparing me for the future. I learned how to be a leader, and what it meant to be a role model and example for younger kids. I found a new family, I felt like I belonged. But most of all I learned how to hear God’s voice.
I remember one time we went through the steps of intercession before going to do a “performance” and I got a picture of a boy in a blue T-shirt who had some kind of handicap. We went to this kids’ program and he was there! I went to talk to him, and he thought it was really weird, but I knew for sure that God had spoken to me.
But I think the biggest impact that King’s Kids had on my life was when I was a part of a evangelism tour in 2001. It was my first year out of high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, but I did know that I wanted to do this outreach. In those three months, as we went to different countries and experienced different cultures, my eyes were opened to the fact that this world needs Jesus. I learned a lot of lessons on that outreach: leadership, conflict resolution, spiritual warfare. But the biggest moment came in Kazakhstan. We visited an orphanage and I spent some time with one little girl. She didn’t speak English, I didn’t speak Russian, but when it comes to God’s love, sometimes you don’t need words. She put her hand in mine and did not want to let go for the whole afternoon. I don’t know exactly how to express what happened in my heart, but I knew for sure that God was calling me to children’s ministry. I didn’t know where or in what context, but I knew that children and their families was it.
After outreach I went to Bible College in New Zealand, was involved in dance, school ministry, Sunday School and community outreach, but in 2006 I went as an intern to Metro Ministries in New York City, and I have been there ever since.
Now, almost 10 years after that outreach, what God put in my heart in Kazakhstan is still as real as ever. I am fully committed to reaching children and their families in the inner city of New York. And all those things I learned in King’s Kids: being a role model, leadership, the sense of family, working in a team, spiritual warfare – I am still using these principles today.
I loved being a part of King’s Kids, and now that I reflect on my times on outreach, I see what a huge influence it had on me. I had leaders who spoke life into me, who encouraged me, and who pushed me even when I didn’t want to be pushed! Now as a leader, I can have that same influence, I can pass on what I have learned.