Amber Kern didn’t pick New Orleans.But it seems God might’ve picked it for her.
Last summer, she signed up for student missions and asked to be a part of the Boston team. She got assigned to New Orleans instead.
“But my heart completely broke for the city,” said Kern, a student at Calhoun Community College in Huntsville.
Even so, this summer she signed up for the Chicago team — but she got sent to New Orleans again.
“Even when I didn’t expect it, God kept my life on that straight path, one thing after another,” Kern said.
And over the summer He worked something bigger in her heart — a desire to stay longer.
During the six weeks she was there, she and other members of her team spent their time getting to know the Bywater area of New Orleans and doing research about the people they would get to minister to.
“It’s an interesting neighborhood. There’s a lot of creativity, murals, graffiti — that’s how they express themselves,” Kern said. “As you start to get to know people, you’ll see it’s a seeker culture. There are a lot of people searching for an identity.”
So she and her team, a GenSend team working with the North American Mission Board, were laying the groundwork for a new church plant to reach out to that neighborhood full of seekers.
And this fall, Kern will transfer to Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to finish her degree and to be the new church plant’s missions coordinator.
“I’ll organize teams and organize logistics,” she said. “It’s been a rollercoaster to say the least. I had no intentions of moving there — by my plans, I wasn’t even supposed to be there. But God had perfect timing, and He broke my heart for this city.” (Grace Thornton)