KBM Alumni, Mary Kate Work

Have you experienced a moment when you encountered a person or place that, seemingly without cause, moved your heart to deep love and compassion? That is what happened when Mary Kate first visited Las Vegas during 2011 while participating as a student with The Experience. The moment she entered Las Vegas, she loved the city.

“I felt like God supernaturally said, ‘Mary Kate, I want you to love this place because I love it.’”

During a day of serving a local mission center, she felt God’s love towards the people. “Even though they live in one of the most difficult places in America, God loves them and hasn’t forsaken them, so I should love them like Jesus loves them.”
She sees God’s beauty shine through in so many different ways.

When her team left Las Vegas, Mary Kate knew that she would be back one day. After a season of waiting, God brought her back. In her time there, as she serves at a church and has a job as a barista, she continues to see the ways God’s mercy and transforming love is invading the dark places.

As a barista, she experiences the rough nature of the city. Aggressive and rude customers challenge her call to see the people as God sees them and her spirit is often weary. She constantly encounters a culture that is very self-centered.
“Some days I just want to walk away.”
But then she is reminded of God’s call to stay true to who He has made her to be and to trust that she is placed there for a specific purpose. As she engages the lives of those around her, they often ask what’s different about her and she is able to share Jesus with them. She remembers God’s promise to her:
“I’m going to walk beside you.”

When asked what was one of the most powerful experiences she has had in Las Vegas, Mary Kate shared this story:

“I volunteer with a local organization, The Cupcake Girls, that reaches out to strippers. During an expo, the Cupcake Girls rented a suite at the Hard Rock hotel. Throughout the day, we provided a free spa experience for these girls, giving them a place to retreat to. My heart broke as I saw these girls who are so loved by Jesus. Jesus wants to be with them.
This industry is very deceiving. They walked in and were so excited to be away from boys…it was heart breaking. It’s not how it’s supposed to be. I just sat down and talked with them and shared. The girls were so thankful and amazed that we were there to simply love on them. For me to be able to interact with these girls on that level was a powerful experience to see God’s mercy, grace and love poured out on these girls, even as they don’t realized what’s going on. I believe that one day they will have the opportunity to see Jesus for who He is and choose Him.”

While it is hard to live in Las Vegas, her love for the city only grows.
“Being here helps me understand how much Jesus gets in the trenches with people. Jesus desires to extend himself to all people. If we allow Him, He will use us to show His love and mercy to those around us.”

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