Neighbors of MN
Kysa and Chris
“We go to the Veterinary Clinic next door to Arrive Ministries in Richfield. Because of COVID they had you stay in the entryway before they come and get your dog. So I’m waiting in the entry way and I see a sign for Arrive Ministries, and I wondered ‘What is Arrive Ministries? I’ve never heard of them.’ I’m always interested in what other ministries are doing. I looked it up on my phone while I was waiting there. I was vetting it. I saw that I knew someone on staff through our family’s adoptions.
I’m waiting in the entry way and I see a sign for Arrive Ministries, and I wondered ‘What is Arrive Ministries? I’ve never heard of them.’
Our family came together through birth and adoption. All of those verses about adoption and how God cares for the orphan are always paired with caring for foreigners, widows and the poor. I had recently been praying and inquiring about how I could get involved in the lives of refugees or immigrants. So, I signed up for Arrive Ministries’ newsletter.
A few days later I got a newsletter update from Arrive Ministries. I wasn’t expecting there to be actual needs listed in the email. It was for a volunteer to pair up with a single Karen mom in St. Paul. I noticed it and disregarded it.
The next five nights I could not sleep. I kept thinking about that email and specifically about the single Karen mom and son. But this was not a good time for our family. We are doing a home addition and we are in the middle of an international adoption.
The next five nights I could not sleep. I kept thinking about that email and specifically about the single Karen mom and son.
God kept putting that family on my heart. So I said, ‘Okay, I will email and inquire.’
We found out that the mom actually has four kids. They have been in Minnesota for a few years and were struggling to make connections.
A common thread of who God has put on our family’s heart is for people who may feel isolated or alone; anyone who may not have someone in their court. My husband, Chris and I strive to live life unafraid in areas where we feel God is calling us. As an RN and having previously worked in a psych ward, I have experience working with addiction issues, trauma and in mental health.
Chris and I took time to pray and we felt like this Karen family was a family that God put on our heart. We didn’t know what to expect, but we signed up to volunteer with Arrive to walk alongside this family.
The first day we met the family, we stayed for 3.5 hours hanging out and talking to them. Our 7-year-old daughter clicked with their 7-year-old daughter. An uncle stopped by and connected with Chris over a passion for working in construction. The whole family was just so excited to have us over. They treat us like we’re the most important people, and it inspires me to do better.
They treat us like we’re the most important people, and it inspires me to do better.
We have been trying to grow in our understanding of biblical hospitality as a family; and this Karen family is putting us to shame.
We have been trying to grow in our understanding of biblical hospitality as a family; and this Karen family is putting us to shame. The 16-year-old son wanted to make sure that my husband Chris had a Karen shirt, so he gave him one of his two. He was willing to give us the shirt off his back.
We are just trying our best to fill their lives with good things and invite them on good experiences. When we found out they’d never been on a boat, we said, ‘let’s go on one!’
When the 13-year-old told us they don’t really cook in their family. We said, ‘let’s make Thai chicken curry together,’ and we all sat down and had a meal together. We are just trying to be good friends, and trying to make good memories.
This is not hard. We are just friends.
Many friends from our church have asked how we are doing this ministry in such a busy season of life. My answer to them? This is not hard. We are just friends. It doesn’t feel like we’re giving of ourselves or our time. Sometimes we think of ministry as ‘What do I have to offer?’ I think God is showing me when it comes to these relationships, it’s more about how my heart can grow more like God’s heart.”