Kathy and Glen Shaffer were sitting in a worship service at another local church when they heard about the need for transportation for refugee families. Something stirred in them as they listened, and Kathy says she thought, “Well, we have a van. We can do that.” It didn’t seem like much—picking up some kids, bringing them to church, taking them back home again. Little did Kathy and Glen know what the Lord had in store for them.
As the Shaffers picked up the same kids each week, they got to know them, care about them, care about their families. When the church they had been attending discontinued their refugee ministry and University began to be more involved in the refugee community, Kathy and Glen decided to change churches, too.
As Kathy and Glen faithfully served these children, they also grew close to the entire family unit.
As time went by, the Schaffers got particularly close to three children from one of the families. Sita, Hari, and Krishna Acharya, three siblings from a Nepali refugee family, regularly attended Sunday school and worship with them at University. As Kathy and Glen faithfully served these children, they also grew close to the entire family unit.
The Shaffers made sure that the trio had experiences beyond worship and Sunday school. They took Sita, the oldest of the three, to Camp Peniel, a Christian outdoor adventure camp near Marble Falls. They made sure Hari and Krishna also went to camps as well as retreats and mission trips with our Student Ministry. Their hope was to immerse this family in the love of Christ.
Kathy and Glen have found the Nepali people, a primarily Hindu culture, to be open to talking about Jesus because their religion has many gods—one more is not a problem. Kathy says that consistent conversations about Jesus and church experiences allowed her to talk more and more about what makes Jesus different, what makes God the One True God—not only with the children, but with their parents as well.
The Acharya family has recently moved to another state for work opportunities, but the Shaffers stay in touch by phone and Facebook. When you talk to Kathy, you can hear the affection in her voice as she tells of the strides each child has made and the challenges each still face.
When we are obedient in one small way—“We have a van. We can do that.”—God gives us so much more than we can imagine in that moment.
What I noticed in my conversation with Kathy is that she never once told me about something she and Glen had done. Instead, she talked about what God had done in this particular moment or how He had moved in this child’s life or in her own life. The takeaway? When we are obedient in one small way—“We have a van. We can do that.”—God gives us so much more than we can imagine in that moment.
Kathy and Glen continue to be active in the refugee community. To find out how you can come alongside these families, please contact Kathy,