Friday, August 21, 2009

~ My Husband Rocks! ~ Burden Bearers International

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I know that after all this time of blogging together, you all may think that you know everything there is to know about me and Austin.

One thing that I have not ever shared on the blog, before today, is something that occupies a huge part of our hearts. For the last several years, Austin and I have been thinking and praying and dreaming about starting a ministry organization dedicated to coming alongside the body of Christ - wherever they may be - and shouldering their burdens in very practical ways.

Throughout our lives, while I was growing up in Colorado, and Austin was living in Iowa, both of our families were heavily involved in the church and lots of different forms of ministry. We were both very involved in our church youth groups, Austin was a member of his church's youth leadership team, I spent my summers volunteering at a church camp, and we were both blessed to be able to serve on more than a dozen short-term missions teams. Before we ever knew that the other person existed on the planet we both had the strong desire to be involved in ministry as our career.

We both ended up attending Emmaus Bible College and graduating with a One-Year Bible Certificate. During the time that we were dating, and since we have been married, we have had many opportunities to serve together as a couple. We were both on a team of students from our college that spent a month in France and Switzerland learning about how to reach out to people in a culture that is very different from that which we were used to - basically experiencing what missionaries would during their first few weeks in the field. Austin and I and our friend Doug travelled to Honduras and spent a week teaching English at a Christian school there. We were also part of a team from our church that traveled to New Orleans to help re-build a homeless shelter in one of the areas that was the hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, and Austin received valuable training in the form of Youth For Christ's Summer Institute.


It has been very exciting to see how God has used and is using the seemingly insignifigant details of our lives to move us into a place where this dream can become a reality. Everything from working together to re-construct our house, to the incredible experience and training Austin has received through his current job in assessing and restoring homes that have experienced catastrophic loss has shown us that we are uniquely equipped to minister to others in some very down-to-earth and practical ways.

Our vision is that we will be able to respond quickly to other ministries and organizations that need assistance with things that are outside of their immediate capabilities. It seems that the church as a whole is very good about recognizing the needs of those who minister to them directly, but we sometimes forget that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals who have dedicated their lives to serving the Lord in places we don't often think about. If the pastor of the local church has a leaky faucet, there are probably 8-10 plumbers in the congregation who can have him squared away in no time. It is far more difficult to just run to Kenya real quick to help the missionary family repair their leaky roof. Similarly, when a river overflows its banks in Iowa, there are hundreds of organizations set up to come rushing to assistance; however, a similarly devestating situation for a village in India doesn't always get the same amount of attention.

Another big part of what we want to be able to provide is the face-to-face relationships and encouragement that so many missionaries miss. Whether that be just spending time with the family and sharing in all their nitty-gritty, day-to-day "stuff," babysitting the kids so that mom and dad can have a special date night, repainting the living room, or cleaning the house. We want them to experience love and refreshement.

Just yesterday morning, Austin was talking to one of our good friends about the plethora of opportunities that just he and his immediate contacts can come up with for us! His name is Tim Cole, and he and his wife Angella serve with Youth for Christ's MCYM on a military base in Brussels, Belgium. He is in close communication with many of the Youth for Christ workers and other ministers throughout Europe. Yesterday he was specifically requesting that we come to Belguim to assist with some building projects next spring for which they need Austin's construction/contracting skills. Another need in that area is when they have a change of leadership or families go on furlough, unless they have someone to come in and run the youth ministries, all of the children of the military families there have no ministry activities. This is a huge need as these kids already feel isolated by the language and culture barriers they encounter - not to mention just the normal growing up stuff that all teens deal with. Since he was 13 years old, Austin has had a passion for youth ministry, his emphasis at Emmaus was in Youth Ministry, and as I mentioned before he has graduated from the Youth for Christ Summer Institute, so this is another area where we would love to serve. Austin and Tim have been talking and planning and dreaming about these possibilites for over two years, and it is thrilling to see it all coming to fruition! Between the people we know who are involved in ministry and the plethora of contacts our families have, these are just a couple of the many opportunites that we are excited to pursue. And we are confident that as more people find out about us, there will be many more who are interested in our services :)

Our earnest desire is to begin ministering as soon as possible in a full-time capacity. Participating in projects such as those suggested by Tim and other missionaries we are close to will give us a good deal of legitimacy once we begin the process of requesting a 501C3 from the IRS to become a not-for-profit organization. This documentation is crucial if we are to have any kind of long-term ministry ability as it will give us all of the benefits - to both us and our supporters - of being a recognized non-profit organization.

In the immediate future, we are hoping to be able to start heading out and building relationships with missionaries and organizations who are in need of what we have to offer. To that end we are perparing ourselves and our lives to be as mobile as possible. We are going to finish the house and put it on the market, sell off all of our extraneous "toys," etc.

We very much covet your prayers as we move forward in this incredible adventure! We would also welcome any suggestions of places/projects in which we may be involved. You can also donate to Burden Bearers International via PayPal by clicking on the button in the sidebar.

Our long-term needs will include a lot of legal/accounting assistance with the incorporation and not-for-profit procedures and paperwork. That process alone can cost several thousand dollars.

Of course, we'll keep you posted as the story progresses :)


I am the only person who has the ability to add blogs to the MHR blogroll. If you are a MHR blogger, and have not been added to the blogroll, plase comment or e-mail me at katylinvw{at}yahoo{dot}com and I will gladly add you to our little group!!!

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If you're not a blogger, but still want the world to know about your amazing husband (or wife, or husband to be, or wife to be, etc.) leave a shout-out in the form of a comment! If you're unable to comment, e-mail me at katylinvw [at] yahoo [dot] com and I'll add your shout out to this post!

As always, on Fridays Union 28 will refund your shipping on any order of two or more items if you mention the great adventure and ~my husband rocks! Fridays~ in the "how did you hear about us?" section of your order form, so run on over there and check them out, too! Thank you Union 28!

Hope you all have a fantastic Friday, and a wonderful weekend!


  1. How exciting, Katy Lin! I can't say that enough! HOW EXCITING for you and Austin! I wish Sound Man and I were financially able to help, but since we are not, I will most definitely do the BEST thing, and pray for y'all!

    Just remember, when the enemy sees that a ministry is getting ready to explode onto the scene, he's gonna try to stop it with plenty of roadblocks! Be watchful and prepared! Oh, and if you ever find your way even remotely close to Memphis, PLEASE let me know! : )

  2. What an exciting journey you all have ahead of you. I've thought about just getting rid of all our worldly things and letting God lead us. It's a bit harder now that we have Yaya though. She needs stability. That said, Bird and I are hoping to go on a mission in the next year or so. God is calling us.

  3. OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!! I am just about jumping out of my skin in excitement for you guys!!!!!!! :D LOVE YOU!!!!! and i'll talk to you tomorrow! ;)

  4. It's been a few weeks since I participated, not a lot of blogging time. But, I'm back!

  5. I've thought about just getting rid of all our worldly things and letting God lead us.

    Work From Home

  6. Wow - that is SO exciting!! Will definitely be praying for you during this wonderful adventure!

  7. so glad to find your blog......What an adventure.....Have a wonderful week..


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