Kyle & Katrina Williams, International Ministries, Global Servants

Training and supporting Southeast Asian leaders who are seeking to build bridges across tribal lines in the Mekong region of Thailand

The Williams will speak in worship on July 21

Katrina and Kyle strive to provide a platform for marginalized people to share their stories. To make these stories even more powerful they gather and provide the data needed so that tribal minorities can make decisions about how they interact with an ever-increasing globalized world.

Later this year they will be joining a data capital firm in Southeast Asia that is working toward policy level changes to further protect minority groups. They will be focusing on training teams of nationals who are positioned to research the causes, dynamics, and potential solutions to human trafficking and other forms of violence and power imbalances in the region.

In the 21st century, gathering and presenting good data on these issues is key to protecting vulnerable people. Katrina’s background in graphic art gives her the experience needed to present information in dynamic ways to compliment and better represent these marginalized voices as they share their stories.

Katrina and Kyle began their journey working cross-culturally in 2008.  Living and working in Nicaragua, they quickly developed a passion to serve those who don’t have the same access to power and privilege that they possess as white Americans. Coming to grips with their own privilege led to Kyle’s studies and area of research interest revolving tightly around “implicit bias” and intergroup preference. In other words, he is always seeking to answer these questions:

I. How do humans show preferences for those like themselves while thinking
they’re not racist, sexist or generally affected by prejudice?

2. Because of the major downsides of group think, how do humans overcome their tendency to surround
themselves by like individuals and instead create diverse work-forces and coalitions across tribal lines?

After completing an MS in Research Psychology, Kyle and Katrina left for Congo. During their time there, they became more aware of the complex systems that allow some individuals to take advantage of others. Sometimes this played out along tribal lines, or gender lines, and even generational.  Sharing life with their neighbors brought many credible stories of abuses. As they listened to their neighbors, they were moved to do what they could but even that seemed like not enough. So, they listened some more and found that this simple act was life-giving to those who needed to share.

Congo, like many other worldly systems (yes even the U.S.), benefits those at the top while leaving most others to much harsher fates. This way of life, where being stepped on or stepping on others without thought, was all their neighbors knew.

Fortunately, the Jesus of liberation has given a vision of a different kind of system. He called it the Kingdom. In the Kingdom power is washing the feet of those on the bottom, reaching out and healing those in the margins and giving oneself over even to death, but never retaliating with like violence. This other-oriented, self-sacrificing love is what motivates the Williams to go and work to do the same. But it always brings them back to dealing with worldly systems meant to harm rather than give life. They now believe that abundant life can’t happen until the systems that victimize those in the margins are dismantled.

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