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Written by: Mitch Killian, Kansas City Fellow – Class of 2015-16

It’s hard to believe our fellows year is almost halfway over! Since this past weekend was Thanksgiving, I had some time to reflect on how much we have to be thankful for so far this year. Hold onto your seat – it’s a long list.

Live: To our host families – Thank you for opening your homes and hearts to a bunch of 20 somethings that are searching for what they want to do when they grow up. You let us eat your food (like a lot of food), steal your tv’s, and hog your ping pong tables – all for nothing in return. I can only imagine how much courage it takes to bring some young adults into your lives that will forever change your family dynamic (yes, I just invited myself to stay in your family forever – sorry Cramers). Thank you for showing us what truly living a Christ centered life looks like in our everyday lives. I don’t think we can ever repay you.

Work: Thank you to each of our employers for giving us a chance to prove ourselves and learn under your wing. I’m going to be selfish on this one and brag about my job. Every day I wake up I am truly thankful for being given the opportunity to work at a place like Cremalab. My bosses, Dan and George, are some of the best people I have ever met. They exemplify what it means to run a very successful business, while integrating it with integrity and community. They have built such an amazing team and truly appreciate every one of their employees. It really is fun to go to work every day. Not everyone gets to say that, especially this early in life. So for that, I am truly thankful. An extra shout shout out needs to go to each of our mentors. Thank you for taking time out of your days and weeks in order to help guide us through all of these transitions. Some of the most successful people in this world have credited their work to having a mentor, so thank you for being a go-to person in our lives.

Learn: Thank you to Trinity International University and Dr. McCall. I will be the first one to admit that these classes don’t exactly get my blood pumping. However, it is very important to know that I am very thankful that we even have the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors in the world. These classes are designed to push us and help us learn how to better interpret the Bible. While I may not see it now, I think that these lessons will pay off greatly throughout our lives. A special thanks goes to Martin Cramer for helping set these classes up. Martin is always the first one to the classes and the last one to leave. He sits through 10 hours of lecture and he isn’t even taking the class. I also wanted to thank Kris Fernhout for leading our small group sessions on Thursday mornings. I know it’s not early for you, but for some of us getting up can be a struggle. Your energy and excitement to teach us is truly amazing. It is so awesome to learn from you and is definitely one of my favorite parts of the entire fellowship.

Serve: Thank you to everyone at Christ Community, specifically Dennis Nichols, as well as the many other organizations that have presented us with so many opportunities to serve our community. Serving our community is something we need to be doing for the rest of our lives, so learning to integrate that into our lives at an early age is amazing. We have visited so many great organizations and met so many amazing people that we wouldn’t have without all of your help.

I also wanted to thank each of our families for having faith in us and supporting us as we take this year to grow and learn. We wouldn’t be able to do any of it without your support.

Last but not least, thank you to our fearless leaders – Kevin and Carol Rauckman. Without both of you, we wouldn’t even have all of these people thank. You both put so much work into this program and have truly invested in each of us. We could never repay you for working so hard to make sure each of us had somewhere to live, to work, to learn, and to serve. You two traveled, and continue to travel, all across the midwest to visit each of our schools and you continue to make sure we are surviving on a daily basis. Thank you for all of your hard work.

Thank you to: The Rauckman’s, Askins, Cramers, Busonnes, Chad Battison, David Kiersznowski, Steve Steddom, Sherry Shockey, Tyler Hilker, Mike Barr, Kris Fernhout, Tom and Liz Nelson, the Pastoral Fellows, Madderom’s, Vanlandingham’s, Harlan’s, Nichols’s, Jeanette Thomas, Abi Kinne, Sydnay Youtz, each of our families, Cremalab, J.E. Dunn, Convergence Design, Bardavon Health Innovations, Heart to Heart International, DEMDACO, Sunesis Advisors, and everyone at Christ Community Church. Apologies to anyone I missed, we are thankful for you too!

You all are impacting our lives more than you know and we couldn’t be more thankful. To show our appreciation, we can pay you in gum. Well scratch that… that’s a lot of gum. Hugs?

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