Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Life Transformation through a Short-Term Mission

When dreaming about how to effectively equip volunteers for cross-cultural ministry in our own city, the idea of a short-term missions training trip emerged. Combining serving with cultural exploration and language learning proved to be a winning combination! Eight Mission Adelante "missionaries" traveled to Costa Rica for Adelante Missions Institute's first ever missions training trip the second week of May. As these volunteers were equipped through new experiences, we found that Mission Adelante is surprisingly prepared to make a significant impact on short-term trips like these. The brief story below, written by trip participant, Mark Barber gives a glimpse into this life-changing experience.

Written by Mark Barber
His name is Marvin. This is his last chance for redemption. He has let the Costa Rican government know that he is a drug addict and that he needs help. This final opportunity is granted to him and he shares his testimony. Pain, suffering, abuse, neglect, and broken dreams litter his words. This short vignette is one of a hundred connections that the Mission Adelante Costa Rican cross-cultural team has made.

For eight days, members of this team were touched, moved, transformed by the experiences and the openness of the Costa Rican people and the strength and misericordia (mercy) that God bestows upon his people. God has sent troops on the ground to relay his Word to the people at MANA and to give blessed hope and fulfillment through Jesus Christ. Alejandro is one beacon light of hope that teaches work skills, business acumen, and life skills to these men who need guidance. Members of the team fellowshipped and testified God’s presence and work in their own lives in order to show the great change that can happen by surrendering yourself to Him. Surrender engenders rebirth and a new narrow path of guidance and leadership. At MANA, Marvin can begin a new life and take advantage of the benefits of this safe and loving environment. Only time will tell, if he continues to grow and make positive adjustments in his life.

Marvin’s life and words will forever have an impact on my own personality and perspective. The ability to identify a problem, realize that it needs to be changed, and take the drastic steps necessary to rectify the problem shows true character and understanding. This trip has made me realize that I allow little problems to sidetrack and knock me off course, and this trip has instilled in me a greater appreciation and love for God’s work and God’s Omnipotent power and grace. Marvin may never know the true impact on my life he had that one day in May but I am forever grateful for his words and testimony concerning his struggle and desire for redemption. This one little picture of our Costa Rican experience shows that God can take seemingly small innocuous moments and transform your life.

In other news:
  • Our request for a vehicle for a community member that needed one has been fulfilled!
  • David Stetler's sinus surgery went really well, and he received daily visits from caring Bhutanese friends during his recovery.
  • We're ramping up for our summer trimester, and more excited than ever as our outreach programs keep expanding.
  • Save the Date! Dr. Daniel Caroll, author, distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary and expert on immigration will present the Adelante Missions Institute Saturday Seminar on July 24 at 9:00 a.m. Look for more details soon.
Prayer needs:
  • Pray for our four summer interns as they finish up fundraising and preparation to move to our neighborhood this Saturday.
  • Pray for our staff as we try to embrace a variety of challenges: returning from surgery, returning from a missions trip, and increased responsibility, all in the midst of a very busy few weeks on our ministry calendar. Pray for God to multiply our time and sharpen our focus!
  • There are three three-day summer VBS-style camps planned for neighborhood kids during the month of June. Please pray for new kids to be attracted to our ministry through these special activities.
  • Jason & Megan Schoff's son is due to arrive in about a week. Please pray for a safe delivery, and a healthy baby boy.
Current needs:
  • Toothpaste, for distribution to immigrant families through our Resource Center.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

All-Star Volunteer: Pam Morton

Written by Megan McDermott

"I love the hearts of the kids. I can see that Leaders in Training is a need and I see God's love in them." -Pam Morton

One of my favorite things about serving at Mission Adelante is the amazing ways that God brings new volunteers across our path. Last year, while having a support appointment at Panera, Pam Morton walked by our table. The person I was meeting with knew Pam and introduced us. Pam has this very gentle way about her and as she talked, I realized she had a passion for Hispanic kids. As I heard her share her story, I started thinking how perfect she would be for our after school Leaders in Training program! I invited her, she accepted, and we laugh together about how God orchestrated our meeting.
Pam is the type of volunteer that anticipates a need and acts on it. Every Monday during this school year, Pam tutored the LIT kids in math. Pam anticipated that the kids might need the answer packets filled out. She took the packet home, worked through all the problems, and brought them back for all of the other tutors to utilize. Pam was so helpful in taking care of that before I even realized it needed to be done.
Pam is someone that the kids love playing with as well. The picture above was one of our recreation times. Pam is always one of the first to jump up and be silly with the kids. I appreciate volunteers like Pam because after teaching all day, she still finds the energy to come share Christ's love with the children of Mission Adelante. Volunteers that give their time, hearts, and love to the children allow Mission Adelante to reach into the KCK community to show God's heart.

In other news:
  • The short-term mission team from Mission Adelante arrived in Costa Rica last Friday. They are spending the week giving ESL classes, working with teens, and receiving Spanish tutoring. They'll return to Kansas City this Saturday. Please pray for their sense of team unity to be strong, and that they'll optimize the cultural and linguistic opportunities of the week.
  • David Coon, an ESL volunteer that has also been highly involved in our church, led worship for the first time last Sunday evening and did great! We hope he'll continue to be involved in leading worship for our congregation!
  • Volunteers and core ministry team members Jacob and Michelle Holland welcomed their second daughter, Keziah Jane, into their family on Friday, April 30. They're all healthy and doing well.
Prayer needs:
  • David Stetler is having surgery today to remove a cyst from his nasal cavity. Please pray for the success of the procedure, and for headaches to be alleviated.
  • Pray for the upcoming delivery of Jason and Megan Schoff's second son, Brennan. Pray for God's perfect timing for his arrival to prevail, as his June 1st due date falls on a very busy week on Mission Adelante's schedule.
Current needs:
  • Toilet paper and kids summer clothes for distribution through the Resource Center.
Important upcoming dates:
  • Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, May 22, 9:00-12:15. All volunteers should attend a Saturday-morning Orientation once in order to become familiar with the ministry of Mission Adelante. To RSVP or for more information, please e-mail Morgan Ham.
  • Volunteer Team Meeting: Monday, May 24, 6:30-8:00. All summer volunteers should attend the Team Meeting to prepare for Summer Program launch the first week of June.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Come Serve in a Mission Field in Your Own Backyard!

Throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God's heart for the lost and broken is evident. His love for all people is beyond imagination, but His heart of mercy for "the least of these" is displayed time and time again in unique and special ways.

In Matthew 25 Jesus says these words;
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

At Mission Adelante, we have found ourselves in the middle of a mission field right here in our own backyard. And in this mission field we are surrounded by the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the sick, and families of people in prison. Who would have thought that the cross-cultural mission field would come to us, and that we would have the opportunity to demonstrate the kind of compassion that Jesus exhorted us toward right here in our own city!?

We invite you to join us in this mission by serving in practical ways and connecting relationally with people from another culture. Instead of viewing missions as something only a few "super-Christians" can do, why not make it a normal part of your life?

Whether your heart is for adult immigrants or kids, Latinos or refugees from Bhutan, there is a place for you to make an impact with Mission Adelante.
  • English Classes for adults (Latino or Bhutanese)
  • Kids Outreach Bible Study (Latino or Bhutanese)
  • Teen Bible Study (Latino)
Come to our Volunteer Training Seminar on Saturday, May 22 from 9:00 a.m to 12:15 p.m. to get started! For more information email Morgan Ham at morganh@missionadelante.org. And now, if you have a few minutes, watch a quick video to get a better feel for what it looks like to be involved in our ministries!

Mission Adelante's Volunteer Opportunities from Mission Adelante on Vimeo.

In other news:
  • We at Mission Adelante are extremely grateful for the 50 or so volunteers from three local churches that spent last Saturday here as part of the "What If the Church Served Together?" event. They assembled cubicles and moved staff offices to the second floor, built a stage in our chapel, insulated our attic, tuck-pointed our chimney, started building a storage room, repaired gutters, put up trim, cut our grass, and landscaped a nearby park! Whew! Thanks to each and every one that labored for our benefit!
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for the 12-member short-term missions team that will fly to Costa Rica this Friday and return Saturday, May 15. Pray for logistical ease, for the team to learn a lot about the culture and improve their Spanish skills, to have a sense of team unity, and to make a lasting impression on those they meet.
  • Help us pray for separate teen girls and teen guys Bible Studies this summer that will focus on the topic of purity as Megan M. works on choosing curriculum.
  • We're looking forward to having five interns spend the summer here at Mission Adelante! Please help us ask God to provide the necessary funds that they're in the process of raising.
Current needs:
  • A blender, a crock-pot, and cooking pans have been requested by families that have visited our resource center recently. If you have extras of these items, or would consider purchasing one, it will be given to a family that needs it.
Important dates:
  • Monday, May 24 @ 6:30 p.m.: Volunteer Team Meeting Summer Volunteers in all outreach programs should plan to attend.