Unlike New Zealand, it boasts no waterfalls, no surf beaches, no mountains, no dolphins. Dangerously hot summers and biting cold winters come around every 12 months and each spring tornadoes steal livelihoods from hundreds of people, leaving them grasping for survival.
So why would anyone want to live here?
For those of you who grew up in the Midwest USA, humor me for a moment while I rave about our great city to my non-North American friends reading this blog.
Kansas City is the home of Royal's baseball, Chiefs football, big summer storms, and the best BBQ food in the country! It is also home to many important people in my life including my parents and siblings, aunts, uncles,cousins and many friends. I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect during this time away.
Kansas City is a city that lies on the border of the states of Kansas and Missouri and therefore is actually divided into two distinct cities. I actually grew up in a thriving suburb on the Kansas side called Olathe, which means "beautiful" in the native Shawnee Indian language. Approx 130,000 people call Olathe home and enjoy a good quality of life, excellent schools, and . . . did I mention good BBQ ribs!
With all that it has going for it, Olathe, like any place on earth, is full of lost and broken people who need a relationship with Jesus Christ. Hidden behind the facade of wealth, education, and comfort are people searching for meaning in life, desperate to find someone to hold onto, to be a bedrock when life feels like a storm.
I am thankful to have grown up here and continue to pray for the people of Kansas City even while I am away. Will you join me?