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The Importance of Rest

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
- Psalms 23:1-3

We hope 2017 is off to a great start for you! We finished 2016 and started 2017 doing something we have never been intentional about before. We rested! Alex and Maggie were able to come home for the holidays. We had watched from a distance the effects of our influence on them as they balanced work, studies and down time. We realized that one of our major parenting faults was not being good examples of taking a break for yourself when you have worked hard. So this year we cleared our schedules for two weeks straight and took time together as a family to enjoy each other's company, to renew our bodies and souls to prepare for the new year ahead.

I have always felt guilty for taking time off, but after taking this time, I see the benefits of leaving the work aside and learning to say no for a short period of time. This was the perfect time for us since the country in general takes vacation time from December through mid-January. We were able to close out the year strong, take a break and then get back to work.

We learned a lot from our rest and were almost instantly challenged with the task of taking what we learned and passing it on. The week after we returned to work, a dear pastor friend of ours and his family arrived because they were doing what we had just done. They had to leave their city so that they could find rest and we were able to open our home and give them a few days of family down time. We had worked in their church during our time in Bogotá. It was wonderful to reunite with them.

We are launching two new initiatives this year and the time away from our normal hustle and bustle gave us time to clear our minds and let the creativity flow for our strategies for 2017. This year we are launching a mentoring program to train children's pastors as well as diving into a new frontier to help expand university ministries to Medellín. Castillo del Rey has already kicked off this year and next week we will return to Las Lomitas to teach English to the children. We also have teams on their way in February and March. 

Part of working in children's ministry is constantly needing materials for the kids. We are working with a local church to promote girls clubs in hopes of changing a common trend of young teenage pregnancy that is rampant in the area. Teaching the girls to respect, protect and take care of themselves is part of the plan to help change the future of this generation. We currently are looking to raise $5000 to purchase materials for 100 girls as well as train several leaders who will be working with the programs. If you'd like to give to this project, please click here. Or if a ministry in your church would like to take on this project, please email tona@kautzfamily.org
- For continued innovation and inspiration as we launch the new initiatives. Also, as we go through training for university ministry that we will be great learners and multiply what we've learned.
- For our Latin America AGWM family who has been hit hard recently. Three missionaries have passed away since Christmas. One is in the hospital after an accident that took the life of her husband. One suffered a major heart attack and is undergoing surgery. There are many grieving who need your prayers.
- For Alex and Maggie as they continue their studies and adaptation to life in the US.
The Kautz Family - Alex, Corey, Tona and Maggie
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