In the hustle and bustle of summer, I realized recently that I never updated this blog with more information about Mission Year. Here is some background about the why I’m doing a volunteer year and what I’ll be doing!
This upcoming year I will be embarking on a new journey. Starting in September I begin a volunteer year with Mission Year. The vision of Mission Year is to see, inspire, and join in with a movement of people committed to loving God and loving people in neighborhoods across the country. Their purpose is to develop lifelong disciples, leaders, and advocates who will transform the church, the city, and the world. Their vision is to see the church unified, cultures reconciled, neighborhoods revitalized, and the world redeemed.
Living in Minneapolis, MN for the past year and a half made me more aware of the disunity in communities and churches. Why was my predominantly white church right in the middle of a neighborhood with very few white households? How do I make sense of situations like Ferguson, MO when I am a suburban white male? Seeing the news and having conversations with coworkers and friends made me realize that wanting to see and invest in change was important to me.
That’s where Mission Year comes in. For one year I will be living with 7 other young adults in Houston, TX. Our lives will look different as we live in an under-resourced neighborhood. We will strive to become part of the community, to understand our neighbors and the neighborhood we live in. Our “jobs” will be volunteering at local organizations that are working towards righting the injustices and coming alongside people in need within our community. We will read and discuss books to help us understand poverty, homelessness, and racial issues. We will see what Jesus says about these issues, and challenge each other to live out His love and justice.
The past several years have taught me that I root for the underdog. My favorite color is orange and at VBS I find the kids in the back to befriend. As I listen, read or watch the news, the brokenness in our nation, communities, and churches becomes more evident to me. The more I read the Bible, the more I want to dive into a more diverse life and community. In Amos it says, “But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” I want to be part of bringing justice, love, hope and righteousness to people and communities. My hope is that Mission Year will be the hands-on learning for a year that will be grow myself and propel me forward, continuing to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
In order for Mission Year to thrive, I am asking you to support the ministry that will happen as I live, love and serve in Houston. My goal for the year is $10,000. Would you consider supporting me with a monthly or one-time gift? You can donate online at http://missionyear.thankyou4caring.org/kevinzimmerman. Additionally, I would love to have you praying for me, my team, and the people and community of Houston, as I prepare to move there in September.