By Laura Hunter, Kalas Village mentor
This summer Kalas Village and the North Maple Townhomes have seen 75 ATS families moving in and out. As one family graduates and moves toward ministry, another moves in close behind. We at Community Formation spend our summers helping these families transition well. For those leaving, we create space for children and adults to celebrate with their friends and say goodbye. We arrange moving teams to help the new families get settled in and deliver homemade meals to welcome them. Once a month, we have community cookouts so neighbors can meet and become friends.
Around one third of our 160 on-campus family residences are filled with International students. Community Formation staff supply them with groceries from their own countries, bedding, cookware, and goodies to make them feel at home. Once they move in, we try to give every family at least one bicycle to help them with transportation. Spouses are invited to a weekly International Bible Study and an ESL class.
Kalas Village houses the Bob and Ellen Stamps Community House, which has become an extension of each of the On-Campus homes. It has a kitchen that was designed to teach Culinary Arts, a children’s chapel, a stage, a main room with tables and chairs to seat up to 250 people, a childcare section, and an art room with plenty of arts and craft supplies. We welcome the families to use this space and work together as a family to keep it clean. The school year is filled with potlucks, events, small groups, bonfires, picnics, and many other types of gatherings which facilitate growing community.
Dave and Laura Hunter are the Community Mentors who live and work in the townhouses along with the students and families. They are both graduates of Asbury University and Asbury Theological Seminary, and they love this season of life when they can spend time among these families. Dave and Laura met in Wilmore during college. They started their family while attending Asbury Theological Seminary, moved into pastoral ministry, and eventually, David became a military chaplain. He is currently a Reserve Army Chaplain and a Mental Health Counselor in Kentucky. Laura works at Asbury Seminary and leads Women’s retreats throughout the year. Dave and Laura have the joy of working together as they minister in Kalas Village. Their ministry flows out of their lives as they build relationships among their neighbors.
Kalas Village and the North Maple Townhomes represent families from around the world who have been called to train here at Asbury Seminary. Many are newly married. Others have young children, and some have traveled from other countries to pursue their degrees. Each year, God knits our hearts together as a new group of people become more than neighbors—we become family.