Bhutanese Outreach Pilot Launch from Jarrett on Vimeo.
It's not English, and it's definitely not Spanish! Nepali is the language spoken by the Bhutanese refugees that are being relocated to our neighborhood after years of living in refugee camps on the border of India, Nepal, and Bhutan. Mission Adelante has officially begun a pilot project to reach out to this cultural group and to determine if what we do best can be easily reproduced to reach immigrants from other places besides Latin America.
After months of prayer and preparation, a new ministry project was finally born last night at Mission Adelante. A fresh group of volunteers representing five churches has formed under our newest staff member, David Stetler, and last night they launched the Bhutanese version of our English-as-a-second-language and Kids Adelante programs. With about 23 adult participants and as many children, the ministry was instantly viable. A small army of ESL volunteers led by Justin Berger from the Gathering Network and Lauren Timberlake from Hillcrest Covenant Church launched an English program for adults that looks very much like our program for Hispanics. In the other wing of our building, Bhutanese kids with names that we could hardly pronounce demonstrated that kids are kids, by engaging in fun games, skits, songs, and small group activities. David Stetler, Rachel Yeargin, and several more committed volunteers corralled the kids and began to smother them with the love of Christ, something we pray will till the soil of their hearts in preparation for God's word to be planted there.
Although the new programs for the Bhutanese refugees are held on a different night than our programs targeting Latinos, Guadalupe, an Hispanic graduate from our ESL program, was intrigued by this new group of neighbors and showed up to help in the English teaching effort. This melding of cultural groups is something we're not pushing, but cautiously hoping for, recognizing that only God can create the kind of unity that has allowed different churches to serve together, and will someday see people from every tribe, tongue, people and nation worshiping Jesus together in heaven.
As we continue to explore this new opportunity God has opened up to us, we have seen His provision in many ways, including the financial support necessary to hire David Stetler and the volunteer participation needed to run these new programs according to our ministry values. God is also providing solutions to unique challenges associated with this ministry such as transportation for the Bhutanese participants, most of whom do not drive. Please pray with us as we take the next steps on this exciting journey!
In other news:
- Mission Adelante is planning our first missions training trip to Costa Rica in mid May to further equip volunteers and staff in cross-cultural ministry.
- Our faith community has met together for Sunday Worship six weeks in a row since transitioning away from in-home small groups. It has been a positive change, as the continuity of gathering all together has allowed the community to become even more tightly-knit. Thanks for helping us pray for this favorable outcome!
- Three Hispanic men from our community and a staff member were able to help a single mother-of-three move in only four hours, without a u-haul. The family has temporarily moved in with relatives while they look for affordable housing. Also, the mother is expecting her fourth child in mid February. Please pray for strength and an extra measure of faith during this stressful season for this woman who has become dear to us.
- Pray for God to arrange a sustainable solution for transporting Bhutanese adults and children to our outreach programs every Tuesday evening. Very few of the adults of this immigrant population know how to drive.
- Please pray for God's blessing upon the launch of the Hispanic outreach programs, including adult ESL and Kids Adelante, tomorrow.
- Financial limitations often keep families from being able to come to worship events. Pray for God to make a way for them to come when they don't think they'll be able.
- Baby blankets for newly arrived Bhutanese families.
- A family of five that has been faithfully involved in our worship community for over a year continues to experience transportation problems. Their only car has been broken down for almost two weeks and seems to need extensive repairs that are unaffordable. If you have a used vehicle that you would be able to donate to their family, please contact Jarrett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Thursday, January 21: Spring trimester begins, including Adult ESL classes and Kids Adelante
- Thursday, March 18: Spring break--no ESL classes or Kids Adelante.