KBC Serving At Network of Nations at Northern Illinois University. 5-6-16

KBC Serving At Network of Nations at Northern Illinois University. 5-6-16.
carrying in the truck 5-6-16 church ladies 5-6-16 cookies 5-6-16 getting ready 5-6-16 happy server 5-6-16 helping out 5-6-16 lental soup 5-6-16 lots of talking 5-6-16 marys brownies mingling 5-6-16 more serving 5-6-16 murphy and matt 5-6-16 nice crowd 5-6-16 pulling curtains 5-6-16 steve and his pot 5-6-16 the grads 5-6-16 the serving line 5-6-16 websters 5-6-16

beautiful family 5-9-16

Hello Everyone!

THANK YOU for stepping up to serve the international students last night at the Network of Nations final Intercultural Cafe of the 2015-2016 school year! By the grace of God we enjoyed perfect weather which allowed students to walk over, and as always, God provided the right amount of food and eaters. Sometimes in the past when weather was stormy, cafe attendance was down as much as 25% just because the walk over becomes difficult, so I was delighted that fundamentally God blessed our gathering with the most basic of blessings, bright sunshine and fresh air to breathe! But there was MORE, all of you came with generous offerings and cheerful spirits, demonstrating once again that it is more blessed to give than to receive. It brings so much joy to my heart that many of you included your families in the preparations and serving, and that everyone engaged the students in conversation. You also took the time to talk to and make friends with fellow church members that you didn’t know, spreading blessings in that direction as well. All 3 women from the main Network of Nations staff (Jane, Sylvia and Lois) stopped me during the evening to express thanks and praise at the quality of commitment expressed by KBC members, and how everyone was both working hard at the serving lines and spreading out in the room to find students to talk to. As I walked outside to put my clipboard in the car during the evening, another serving servant was outside taking out the trash. I thanked God out loud for the good weather, and his response was “God is good always, and I can’t stop praising him for that – especially his goodness in sending his one and only Son.” Just like that – a heart not only serving at the most menial of tasks, but full of love for God. In his words I heard echoed the unspoken praise from all of you who came prepared in the same way because of the way I know that you live your lives every day. Praise God for the privilege he gives us to live in His presence, to share life with one another, and to be blessed in the process as we take opportunities to bless others.


Unexpectedly, we also enjoyed the experience of witnessing Senior Recognition Night, due to the fact that this was the final cafe of the year. We got to hear the testimonies of many students whose university experience at NIU was all the more enriched through their interaction with the Network of Nations community, some all the way from day one when they were picked up at the airport when they arrived in America by a volunteer through the Welcoming Ministry. So many international students have made friends with Church Volunteers from the dozen or so churches working within the Network of Nations community, and have been invited into homes, hearts and churches on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter and ordinary days. Let’s pray that these relationships expand not only horizontally but also vertically up to our Father God himself through the gospel of his Son shared in love. If even one person heard one word of truth last night or felt the love of Jesus through us that brought them closer to faith in our Lord Jesus, God be praised!  We may never know until we get to heaven how God worked to accomplish world redemption and the transformation of individual lives through one small decision to be faithful, so all praise and glory to Him for his quiet way of working.


I was also very thankful to witness the introduction by the two female policewomen who attended. Until yesterday these two women had been unaware of the Cafe, but after hearing about it they made the time to spend the evening with us. How many of these students come from countries with corrupt governments and untrustworthy public officials, and have no idea what to expect from American police? But last night these two local policewomen invited the students to talk them and get to know them before the need arises, in order to encourage them to overcome their fears and call for police help when they need it or witness a crime. Who knows? Those few words expressed in such a friendly and welcoming way may save a life someday or bring about justice for even one victim.


As for the food, well done good and faithful servants! Thank you, one and all! I heard that the biggest hits of the evening on the one side were the mostaccoli provided by Jamie and the chili provided by Mary, and on the other side Janelle’s masala got gobbled up first. Oddly that cheap, frozen lasagna I brought also went very well. Everything was delicious and well-received, but I learned that I should take better care next time to balance out the distribution of meat and vegetarian dishes on both sides of the serving lines because one side ended up pure vegetarian by accident and all 3 meat-based dishes were on the other side. My bad. Cindy, you were right in your first offer to add chicken to your soup before I deterred you to keep in vegetarian. And Stephen and Matt are becoming quite the cooks for being single men! 🙂 Thankfully the Network of Nations student population has expanded well beyond the mostly vegetarian Indian population, so next Fall when we do this again, everyone please help me remember to do a better job to try to keep the 50-50 balance of vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu items, because I’m sure that I over-emphasized vegetarian contributions this time and then I was not mindful of the layout. For lots of students who survive on a student budget, a home-cooked, meat-based meal is just what they want, though a hearty meal of beans and vegetables is also good for their overall health and digestion. I loved that people brought fruit and small edibles as well as homemade desserts, and even someone I don’t know contributed a second green salad. When I walked away with the spinach salad intending to empty the bowl of its final contents, one student followed me and asked if she could have the last of it. So cute!  As always, students were appreciative and took heaping portions of everything; we got to the bottom of almost every pot plus we were able to send some food home with the students in small containers. And I even managed to sneak over and enjoy a small bowl of Jeanette’s macaroni and cheese – my personal favorite. 🙂 For those who could not make it last night, I will be bringing the serving supplies that people gave me their food in to church on Sunday to get them back to you. Everything is in my car, so just find me and I will go out and get it for you after service is over.


The daily devotion from the Henri Nouwen ministry is quite appropriate today:

The opposite of a scarcity mentality is an abundancy mentality. With an abundancy mentality we say: “There is enough for everyone, more than enough: food, knowledge, love … everything.” With this mind-set we give away whatever we have, to whomever we meet. When we see hungry people we give them food. When we meet ignorant people we share our knowledge; when we encounter people in need of love, we offer them friendship and affection and hospitality and introduce them to our family and friends. When we live with this mind-set, we will see the miracle that what we give away multiplies: food, knowledge, love … everything. There will even be many leftovers.

As announced last night, you have one more opportunity this Spring to have fellowship with the Network of Nations community at the Picnic in the Country, at the O’Donnell Country Home located at: 31775 Lanan Road in Kingston on Monday, May 30th (Memorial Day).  It’s designed to be open for all NofN community members, so there we can also have a chance to meet and talk to members of other participating churches. Kevin and I plan to be there. No sign up is required. You can bring something to serve or not. There will be a volleyball net and bean bag toss, as well as games for children. The farm is located just off Five Points Road (northern First Street), just over 6 miles north of Route 64.

May God richly bless you with grace, peace and joy continually as you make it your aim to please him.

Love in Christ, Your Sister,  Julie



Signed up at my church to provide a dish and dessert and to serve the NIU International Students.  You know how you get these ideas in your head of what is going to go on….so got fresh fruit; cheese, turkey & crackers; and some cookies – choc chip….figured everyone eats fruit, cheese and sweets – where ever you are – my intention was to slave over a stove and oven, until I was at the store late and my mind shifted…..ENJOY was filtering in my MIND… in the 80 degrees last night, got home, got my little server apron on got the goodies and took off….

(Every Friday through the school term – this International Cafe’ provides food by putting the building on Campus it is a Church(Immanuel Lutheran & another church designated) together and work in unison doing this Cafe’.

BLESSED BEYOND BELIEF…..after serving, they said we could go socialize with the students and other people – bam, lightning streak to the tables…….Got to talk to students from China, Russia, Ethiopia, India on and on……No working like a Hebrew slave cleaning and setting back up….I was so blessed that God gave me an opportunity to “broaden my horizon” to the Network of Nations, Inc. and let me get a glimpse of the other NATIONS and what they eat.  I am fascinated by other cultures and people!  God KNOWS it!


The lady next to me serving – made this awesome vegetable dish with curry, as they told us pretty much what to provide.  I was serving this awesome Mostaciolli  and Chili, both with BEEF.  First two dishes to be devoured!

So being the socialite, found some people from my church, I knew, and then the  graduates got to get up and share and got a rose!  Talking to everyone and the next event, as International Cafe closes for summer, is at the Campus Director’s house on Labor Day – Ruth O’Donnell – wonderful woman.  Music, catered food and fellowship!   You just never know what God is orchestrating!  So Blessed!  I was completed blessed at intertwining with them, letting me relax in HIM!  Martha has been overtaken/transformed into Mary!  Ah ha!  God is good!  (Main Course – choose it, it cannot be taken from us) Ah HA! or


Mary and Martha

38-40 As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”41-42 The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.”

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