“It was me, in my bedroom, with a laptop” chuckled Micah Kephart while reminiscing on the founding of Poetice International in 2009. This non-profit organization was born from a man with passion for formal education and AIDS education.
Its vision is to see impoverished countries transformed through the equipping and empowering of indigenous leaders to shepherd their communities into spiritually, sociologically and economically healthy lifestyles.
Kephart explained that he did not feel a strong calling for missions until 2005 when God broke his heart and opened his eyes through a trip to Zambia. Having previously been a church planter, he said that the Lord began creating discontentment in him. “God really wrecked me, is the word I use to describe my experience…but in a way that God said, ‘I want to use all of it, I want to use all of your past all of your experiences, all of your education all of your gifts and talents, for the poor and vulnerable,’” he said.
The experiences God placed in front of Kephart throughout his time in Zambia began to shape his heart, and he knew then that God was calling him to something greater. He felt The Lord saying, “You’re my poem, you’re my orchestration, I’m writing stanzas of hope in peoples lives through you, and that’s kind of where poetry and justice came from.”
Poetry sets the backdrop. Justice takes the stage; this is the proclamation of the name that explains Poetice International. This nonprofit organization focuses on integral mission; they believe that both evangelism and social involvement should be combined. Poetice International calls people to love and repent in all areas of life as those involved bear witness to the transforming grace of Jesus Christ.
Poetice International has made a way for many to live better lives throughout their six years of work. They currently support over 100 orphans and vulnerable children, assessing individual needs for each child. Care they provide includes tuition sponsorship, uniforms, school supplies, food assistance, mosquito nets, healthcare, and occupational training. They are committed to ensuring that every child in their program graduates high school, whether that means they remain under their care for two years or ten.
Not only does this organization focus on children and their well-being, but it also focuses on communities as a whole. Poetice International concentrates on water and sanitation throughout each community in order to help alleviate common health issues. This organization also helps to fight infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
Leaders and volunteers of Poetice International shepherd young people through biblical purity and sound medical information. Along with teaching medical information, they provide economic advancement for the community by training them and providing the proper materials for agriculture, brickmaking, sewing, and knitting.
“I want God to be pleased,” Kephart explains. “I want those who are caught in exploitation to be set free, I want orphans to hope, I want widows to have dignity and opportunity. It doesn’t matter how many, however many God will grant us. My main goal is to be faithful to the call, and go one step at a time.”
Kephart’s first step began at Indiana Wesleyan University. He explained the discipline he learned through his time at school, “Leading an organization takes incredible focus and incredible discipline, and I would say that began at Indiana Wesleyan. It’s an environment to dream and to believe that the future can be whatever it is supposed to be. I had a lot of space to dream.”
Kephart is now able to live out his dream, always trusting in the Lord and His plan first and foremost. “God’s definition of success is not mine,” he explained. “But I think being faithful is the best thing we can do, the transformation we want to see in the world begins with us.”
And for Kephart, his transformation began at Indiana Wesleyan.
Written by Savannah Buckley. Savannah is a sophomore Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations and a minor in Global Ministries. She is a member of IWU PRSSA and hopes to use her communication skills to work for a nonprofit organization. She loves to incorporate Christ and her testimony throughout her daily life and her work. Visit Savannah’s personal website and blog at www.savannahbuckley.weebly.com.