Chad and Keith reflect on the 20th Anniversary Reunion at K-Kawai and praise God for his faithfulness in making the Institute happen.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:13): And welcome back into the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, we are in studio, really a special edition because we’re talking about.
Keith (00:18): Oh my goodness gracious Chad
Chad (00:20): We’re not really doing a podcast in the traditional sense, but, wanted to bring an update. We had, maybe, one of the greatest weekends in the history of the Kanakuk Institute, the 20th anniversary reunion, this past weekend. Keith, give us some highlights. What stood out?
Keith (00:38): Oh my gosh, you know I… Chad, I don’t know, and I’m probably going to cry right now because I don’t know if I’ve ever been this emotional in my life. I can be an emotional guy, but this was beyond the emotions. You know to walk here into the Kanakuk Institute and to see four-hundred alumni out of the twelve-hundred graduates all right here in Branson with their kids, and we’re just sitting there and celebrating all these lives that are making a difference in the world. I mean, I’m not talking just Branson, but they’re in Dallas, New York, they’re everywhere, and they’re glorifying God and making him known. As I heard the story after story after story of what these guys and girls were doing, whether it be in the business world, whether it be being a doctor or a lawyer, a teacher, a coach, working in a retirement home, I just sat there and wept with every single story of the grace of God and what God was doing through these kids that knew how to handle accurately the word of truth and they were investing into others and making a difference for Christ.
Chad (01:44): Yeah, it was so fun to have those conversations, and for those of y’all that couldn’t be with us, if you can picture the K-Kawai dining hall, and walking into the dining hall literally shoulder to shoulder of people from the last twenty years all just hugging, and embracing, and sharing life stories. It was, that first night especially was just overwhelming.
Keith (02:10): It was overwhelming, and, Chad, it was so refreshing at the same time, because you’re going, “the vision that God gave to us many years ago – twenty-one years ago – had become reality, and all these guys and girls were equipped, and the vision that God gave was working.” And that lives were exalting, not the institute, but Jesus Christ and the Word of God, and we’re going, “Oh my goodness.” It was just, it was beyond, and like you said, shoulder to shoulder. My jaws hurt. My mouth was, like, dying, because I can’t talk this fast, and I talk fast anyway. And I go, I couldn’t believe it because God had done, supernaturally, what we never could have pulled off. He pulled off the inevitable.
Chad (02:56): Yeah. There seemed to be some themes as we were having conversations. What, for you, what were a couple of the themes, and specifically I think that what I was excited about was there were tools that we always intended to put in people’s toolbox, and now to see ten years later, fifteen years later, five years later, that those tools were being used.
Keith (03:20): Yeah, you know, when you give someone a tool and you go, “Can you fix this?” Well a lot of times, they know what the tool is and they know what they’re trying to fix, but they don’t know how to fix it. And what we heard people saying time and time again was, “We are taking the Word of God to the world.” Whether it be a junior high group, high school group, elementary, whether it be even kindecare kids, or whether it be adults, whatever, these guys were making an impact. They were teaching accurately, inductively, the Bible. And I’m telling you, it was unbelievable to hear that. But and to hear them saying that they are having a spiritually disciplined life, and the ones that were doing so well were the ones that, you know what it’s like Tom was saying earlier when we did an interview with Tom Nelson. Just the disciplined Christian life. You know, spending time in prayer, spending time in the Word, equipping yourself, and then making sure that you go out and love people well and share the gospel with them, the real gospel, and to make sure they understand what they believe and why they believe it and that during their trials that God doesn’t leave them. Oh my word. It was amazing. So you know, the weekend, as I kept going, I was watching you and you were watching me and we’re going, “Dude, can you talk to this many people?” You know, it was amazing.
Chad (04:41): That’s awesome. And you guys know, Keith can. I usually can’t. But it was so fun and so full of memories. Obviously, some of our alumni weren’t able to be there. Give them just 30 seconds. What do you miss about them? What would you encourage them in? What do you hope they’re doing today?
Keith (05:00): You know my prayer for you as an alumni, and that’s past, present future, whoever you are. You know, we are so excited here at the institute, because we understand the value, most importantly, of prayer. And the power of God. And what God has done from creation, from now until he returns is he has changed the world. He created the world, and that power that God is doing now through the Holy Spirit, changing lives, and we’re watching these young men and these young women leave the institute, and they’re going out and they’re going out in the power of the Holy Spirit to change the world. And if you’re an alumni that wasn’t able to come, man our prayer for you is that you are using what God gave to you. Through your gift. Through your talent. To change the world. You know, and I don’t really, I think sometimes we go, “Oh Chancey,” you know, “I’ve got to go do something very powerful and great.” And I go, “You know what? Your next-door neighbor is powerful and great.” You know, going next door and just sharing, asking them how you can pray for them. And taking their prayer requests, and then saying, you know, “Hey, can I just share what God did in my life?” And sharing your story. I’m telling you, that is impact. And so, you know, if you’re an alumni out there, you know, our prayer here is that you’re never away from God, He’s always there. We can quench the Spirit, but God doesn’t, and we pray that you just walk by the Spirit, and if you’re in trials, struggles, whatever, just ask God, “God forgive me.” He does and he makes you new and you’re able to keep going. You don’t lose your salvation, but because of sin you may feel like it. And we are every day, I mean multiple times in a day, I am asking God, “God forgive me, because I just had a bad thought.” Someone pulls in front of me in traffic and I’m like, “Oh my gosh.” You know, and I go, “Oh, you haven’t lost your salvation Chancey, what you’ve done is you’re a sinner. Just like everybody else.” And I’m a mess. You know? And so, praise God that all of us. You know I think sometimes we think we’ve got to be good. And there’s no one good. And God is good.
Chad (07:04): Good reminder. The power of God, the reminder to consistently and constantly confess and to walk obediently with our God, and I love what you said. We just bloom where we’re planted. We don’t have to go change the world, we just, one life at a time, go do it. So, alumni, we love you.
Keith (07:25): We do love you guys. Thank you for what you have done in your investment to take a year off from your life, to move to Branson, and from August to April, you lived here. You got to hear over 40 different teachers come, they did their very, very best to equip you, and each one of you are going to take what you heard and maximize it to your gifts, to your talents, and then you’re going to turn around and you’re going to give it to others, and that’s how we change the world. And you know what if we, each one, can use our gifts, our talents according to what God has done inside of us, and we can continue, the twelve-hundred of us, and we just begin to share about Christ, I promise you, we’ll make a pretty big dent in this world.
Chad (08:08): And uh, that’s our prayer for our Alumni is, uh, the growth we would see at the institute is not because of the institute, but because of the people we love that have been equipped to go out into the world and make a difference. So…
Keith (08:21): You know Chad, one of the things is that, you know, I already heard it. Everybody that was there was like, “We’ve got to have another one of these.” And so, I think in five years, we’re going to have another reunion, and we pray that all of you that next time, all of you are able to come. And if you’re just a listening audience that’s turned on to this and you go, “You know what? You may know someone that you go, hey, needs to come to the institute. Man we hope and pray that you go, “You know what? Here’s a place that’s a place that sinners are welcome, and we bring you in and through God’s grace and his majesty, transformation happens, we equip you, and that we get you ready to go back out and be a light for Jesus.
Chad (08:57): Alumni, we love you. We’re grateful. What an amazing weekend. If you weren’t there, we love you as well and can’t wait until the day that we get to lock arms with you once again, but we will forever be partners in the gospel running fast at the cross, that at the end of our race, the Lord will just say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
Keith (09:20): Praise god for that Chad, and you know, our love always is out there for you, but most importantly our prayers. Man if there’s anything that we can do for you guys, we would love you to send your prayer requests to us. And we would love to be able to get on our knees and pray for you, because we do know that this world is in, just difficult times, and there’s fear, there’s anxiety coming through COVID. People are worried and they’re losing people that they love, and we ant you to know, we are here for you to pray with you. Love you.
Chad (09:53): Good words to finish on. We love y’all. Until next time on the Kanakuk Institute Podcast. This is Keith and Chad signing off.
Keith (09:58): God bless.