I, Kayla Beene, was born and raised in the jungles of Guatemala. Being an MK (Missionary Kid), you can take a lot of blessings for granted, which I did. It wasn’t until I stepped out to start my own life back in the states through working and college that I realized my heart had stayed on the mission-field. Ironically, God led me back home to Guatemala, to serve alongside my parents with the villages that had seen me grow up, taught me to climb trees before I could walk, and eat wild jungle fruit. God used my American ronde-vue in college and work to meet the man, who years later would win my heart over with his passion for people and pursuit of God.
Jared had been working at Nasa, praying for an open door to Central American missions, meanwhile I had moved back full-time to Guatemala for missions. When we reconnected, fireworks went off! Long story short, he moved down full-time with FIA, a year later we got engaged, and a year after that we were married! I have never understood fully the layers of God’s love expressed through relationships until I met Jared. Every day it seems our love for each other grows and simultaneously our love for others to taste and experience and know the love of our Heavenly Father grows with it. We both seem to be experiencing more the depth of God’s heart towards humanity; He aches for His children, His dream, His creation, to know Him. Our lives are committed to full-time missions. We have been called to be God’s hands and feet in third-world countries: by serving them and meeting their surface needs in hopes of reaching their spiritual ones.
As our hearts expand with the love of Jesus, so does our vision for the future. There is a deep burden sounding from Heaven for the world to know God as Abba, Father. This rising cry, this burning passion, has infused our lives together with the intention of being the torch-runners of the Light of Jesus, the Love of God who can redeem all things. Through God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit, all things are possible, to those who trust, follow, depend, believe, and surrender to the One greater than this world and all its problems.
Jared and I have learned first-hand that there is nothing that can compare or compete with the plans of God for our lives when we decide to surrender ALL and follow Him. When we both finally did surrender up our dreams and asked Him to lead, we have never been more full of excitement to be a part of God’s eternal purpose. We can both testify that we have never felt more freedom than in surrender, or experienced more life than following Jesus. When God is at the wheel there is no time to look back! His Spirit is placed within you and will continually draw tools from the past, keep your eyes on the present, and keep your heart anchored to the Eternity we are all moments from stepping into!
Now having two children, Harper who is 3yrs old and Judah who is 1yrs old, we are experiencing a new level of God’s love! It is a privelege and blessing that we get to reflect the love of Jesus to our kids first. Our hope is that in being loved by us and seeing us love others selflessly they will be drawn to the love of Jesus that surpasses everything in this life! Being parents has only increased our ministry opportunities here in the villages. Our kids go everywhere we go and love being in the villages! Our family is embraced as the villages own in such beautiful ways! Deciding that our kids were God’s first and entrusting them to Him has been the best choice we could ever make as parents! Knowing that He always has their very best at heart! There is no better place or more freedom than in His hands!
God Bless, from the frontlines of Guatemala!
Jared; Kayla, Harper and Judah Phillips