Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Lord Restores Teens' Identities at a Recent Retreat

Written by Brooke Coon, Teens Adelante leader

There is something about being outside of my comfort zone that has always appealed to me. Over time I realized that it was because I draw nearer to Him out of my fear of the unknown territory. In the same way, eleven of our Teens Adelante members signed up for a weekend retreat two weekends ago into uncharted waters. They agreed to give up their weekend to stay at a church in Liberty, with another teen group they hadn't met before, to support a service project and spend time learning about their identity in Christ. I could sense their fears as they asked many questions about it. One of the girls was calling me in the final two days leading up to the retreat, backing out, then changing her mind, then finally admitting that there was something spiritual that she was afraid of. She ended up facing that fear.

The heart of the retreat was Saturday night. It is what we were all afraid of: the moments when Jesus punctures our hearts to let the brokenness out. We each traced our body on a big sheet of clean white paper, and filled it in with our responses to statements about ourselves. “I feel most free when... What I hear in my head when I am all alone is... I feel most like hiding when...”
We split into our committed discipleship groups to discuss what we had drawn. The statements were shining a light into dark, crippled places. I was amazed at the honesty I saw in their responses. Some were joyous. Many were painful.

When we got into our groups we began to talk about which statements were the hardest to finish. The tears began to flow as the Lord was pulling things out of the girls, into the light...memories, along with the lies the enemy encrypted in them, and the fears that they formed. They were ugly and heart-wrenching to hear. But what I realized in that very next moment, was how blessed they were that the Lord wants to heal these scars and the behaviors and beliefs that they have adopted as a result. At their young age, he is cleansing them to keep them from claiming those memories as a part of their identity; to take away the crutches and let them walk healed.

Sometimes it takes years to let Jesus into certain areas of pain, but Saturday night felt like an aggressive outpouring of grace. He wasn't going to wait anymore. He dove straight into the hearts of those girls to retrieve what is His; their whole hearts, free of pain and fear. It is a gift to feel the compassion that He feels for them, and to realize that He feels that same way for me. It is like learning in reverse; to see the way the Lord loves them, to feel the way my heart aches for them, and know that it is from the Lord, the same ache he has for me, and for all of us.

The Lord blessed our retreat. He blessed my group for facing their fears and drawing near to Him. He blessed their desire to complete those piercing statements about themselves in truth. The Holy Spirit gave them courage and support around them to go to those places. It was their choice to go into the unknown, and it resulted in a big victory for His kingdom. He exposed darkness in their hearts, allowing space for the Lord's feelings about them. There is now an honesty I see among my group; open hearts. After that weekend together, I have seen their relationships deepen, and I sense the joy that comes from the hope we have in healing; the truth that will continue to transform these girls and the rest of Teens Adelante this trimester.

In other news:
  • Our weekly Latino church service has an energetic atmosphere, with at least 40 adults consistently in attendance.
  • Our ministry connection in Qba is four weeks into a training program to equip 20 enthusiastic new disciple-makers.
  • We welcome Courtney Colin from Westside Family Church, our new intern in the Latino kids outreach.
  • Seth Sears, former Mission Adelante apprentice and missionary to Costa Rica, has just arrived back in Kansas City for about a month to work on fundraising.
  • Sargent Smith of the Kansas City Kansas Police Department will present a seminar on October 9 on gang awareness and prevention in our neighborhood to educate parents and volunteers.
Prayer needs:
  • We're praising God for a wonderful Five-Year Anniversary Open House last Saturday. At least 180 people came in spite of the rain to help us celebrate all God accomplished in the first five years of Mission Adelante's ministry.
  • Praise God for Musselman & Hall Contractors, who patched big crumbling areas in the pavement on our driveway.
  • Please ask God to grant us wisdom in planning our goals and priorities for 2011.
  • Help us pray for a strong financial finish to 2010 for the general fund and staff accounts.
Current needs:
  • Kids and adults winter clothing and outerwear and kids winter shoes to make available in our resource center as the weather changes.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Leaders in Training: Changing Our Community From the Inside Out!

Written by Megan McDermottHow do you choose, from among 60 amazing kids, the ones that God has a heart to grow into leaders? This is the question I ask myself each year as our team prepares for Leaders in Training, our after school character development and tutoring program. The purpose of LIT is two-fold: to provide academic support and to teach the children how to be positive leaders in a challenging environment.

The reality that the children of Mission
Adelante live in is foreign to most of us. On a daily basis, they are confronted with difficulties pertaining to abuse, drugs, purity, violence, gang involvement, and even separation from family members due to immigration issues. Because of this instability, the children often harden their hearts to God in order to survive the constant emotional turmoil they endure.

Leaders in Training was started to reach these children at a young age and
equip them with the skills and faith necessary to change their community from the inside out. I have seen firsthand how one child with a soft heart toward the Lord can change the faith of her entire family. I have witnessed children that have never felt that they belonged, become part of a family of believers. I have had the privilege to walk with some of the most faithful, loving, selfless, and spiritual people I have ever known and most of them are under the age of 13!
Please pray and praise God with us for these awesome leaders of His kingdom. These children, His children, need a great deal of prayer to continue on the path He desires for them and to not be led astray.
He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart. Isaiah 40:11

In other news:
  • We became acquainted with over 30 new volunteers from 7 area churches at our Volunteer Orientation last Saturday morning. We're so thankful for each of these folks that is coming on board for this trimester! Praise God for providing each one of them right when we needed them!
  • Janoy, a friend that Jarrett and Jason met during their trip to Qba in April, has moved to Kansas City and become part of Mission Adelante. This is another exciting tie between our ministry and the one in Qba.
  • Bikash is a native Nepali involved in ministry in Kathmandu. He is presently in Kansas City for church planting training and is working with Mission Adelante's Bhutanese Outreach several hours a week, which is exciting for Outreach Director David Stetler.
Prayer needs:
  • The new trimester of Bhutanese Outreach Programs launched Tuesday night, and Latino Outreach Programs will launch tonight. Please pray for a great start for the trimester, and for all the adults and kids to feel warmly welcomed right away.
  • The Latino teens are going on their very first retreat this weekend together with the Shoal Creek Church youth group. Please pray for each of them to have openness of spirit as they study their identity in Christ.
  • Continue to pray for the families in crisis situations from both the Bhutanese and the Latino communities. They're facing a variety of very great difficulties, and we believe that sustained prayer is one of the greatest ways we can support them.
Current needs:
  • Vacuum cleaners are greatly needed by Bhutanese refugee families, who are living in carpeted homes for the first time, and attempt to sweep the carpet with brooms.
  • The Resource Center is very low on food right now. The items that are most needed are non-perishable staples such as cereal, peanut butter, pasta, and canned foods.
Upcoming dates:
  • Five-Year Anniversary Open House: Saturday, September 25, 2:00-5:30 at Mission Adelante. Everyone's invited!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Mission Adelante Anniversary Open House

Mission Adelante is celebrating five years of ministry in Kansas City, Kansas! You're invited to join us in celebrating God's work in our community over the last five years and honor the partners who have played a significant role in our ministry's growth.

We'll celebrate on September 25, 2010 with an open house at Mission Adelante, located at 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102, beginning at 2:00 and lasting until 5:30 with a special program at 3:30 including highlights and recognitions. Enjoy facility tours, refreshments, and carnival games for the kids! Please RSVP if you're able to come to, indicating how many will attend.

In other news:
  • Leaders In Training, our tutoring and character development program, began again this week with 12 kids who have demonstrated leadership qualities. This is the third school year we've had L.I.T. Five of the kids are returning from last year, and seven were invited for the first time.
  • We're launching into the fall trimester of programs! Adult Bhutanese and Latino English students enrolled this week, we'll train our new volunteers this Saturday, and our programs launch next week!
  • Teens Adelante is transitioning from a large-group format to smaller discipleship groups, and the teens are looking forward to a fall retreat in conjunction with the Shoal Creek youth group in a few weeks.
Prayer needs:
  • Praise God for the first fruit in the Bhutanese ministry, with the first member of that community professing faith in Christ this week!
  • Pray for God to bring additional volunteers with hearts to serve the immigrant population.
  • Please continue to pray for several Bhutanese and Latino families that are facing a variety of crises.
Current needs:
  • Vacuum cleaners for Bhutanese refugees, who are living in carpeted homes for the first time, and attempt to sweep the carpet with brooms.
  • A washing machine, a couch, a refrigerator, and a blender have recently been requested by families visiting our Resource Center. Please contact Molly Merrick at 913-961-2984 to coordinate drop-off of any of these items.
Upcoming dates:
  • Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, September 11, 9:00-12:30 at Mission Adelante.
  • Volunteer Team Meeting for all volunteers serving this fall: Monday, September 13, 6:30-8:00 at Mission Adelante.
  • Bhutanese Fall Trimester Launch: Tuesday, September 14, 6:30 at Mission Adelante and other locations.
  • Latino Fall Trimester Launch: Thursday, September 16, 6:30 at Mission Adelante and other locations.
  • Five-Year Anniversary Open House: Saturday, September 25, 2:00-5:30 at Mission Adelante.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Introducing Kristen Maxwell: Director of Bhutanese Kids Outreach!

Written by David Stetler

With the overwhelming growth of the Bhutanese Outreach, ending the experimental season for this ministry came much earlier than we had planned. With this new and exciting development I am thrilled to share with you the recent acceptance of a new appointee here at Mission Adelante, Kristen Maxwell.

Kristen started as a volunteer in our Bhutanese Kids Program at the launch of this ministry and since then has proven that her heart for kids and people of other cultures, as well as her love for the Lord, runs very deep. In the past, she has consistently pursued opportunities to demonstrate the compassion and hospitality of Christ to those who feel like outsiders in our city.

Kristen has a unique set of gifts, skills, and experiences that make her an exceptional candidate for this new role as the Director of the Bhutanese Kids Outreach. People who know Kristen well talk about her love for kids, her whole-hearted investment in what she’s called to, her creativity as a teacher, and her skill as an administrator. Kristen’s commitment to serving Christ, her passion for sharing her life with the “stranger in our midst”, and her strong competencies as a teacher will make, and have already made, a significant impact on the families we serve. We are very excited about what the Lord will do in Kristen as well as what He will do through her in the Mission Adelante community.

Kristen's involvement is already wide spread with continued administration and organization of Kids Club, as well as deepening friendships with the kids - sharing the love of Christ to these wonderful boys and girls through both word and deed. I am so excited about this growing ministry, this new role and the passionate, servant-minded, competent leader that the Lord has called to guide and expand the Bhutanese Kids Outreach.

In other news:
  • Mission Adelante is celebrating five years of ministry in Kansas City, Kansas! You're invited to join us for an open house at 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS from 2:00 until 5:30 on Saturday, September 25, with a special program beginning at 3:30.
  • Daylin Rodriguez and some folks from Emmanuel Baptist Church presented a bilingual parenting workshop last weekend. Two Mission Adelante participants who were in attendance received Christ during the seminar!
  • Enjoy the Kansas City Wizards soccer game on September 11th and support Mission Adelante! Purchase your tickets online using the following link, type in the special offer code, "mission," and a portion of the proceeds from every ticket will go to Mission Adelante. Buy tickets!
  • Our Resource Center has been teeming with people coming to receive food, clothing, and other necessities on Saturday mornings.
Prayer needs:
  • God has answered our prayers for two families that have spent more than the past month dealing with crises. We're so thankful that God has delivered them from a major problem, and they've been reunited with one another.
  • Please continue to pray with us for two families in our church community that are still facing separation and crisis situations.
  • Praise God! Alberto, a member of our church community for whom we had asked for prayer, passed his United States Citizenship interview and is awaiting his swearing-in ceremony!
Current needs:
  • Paper grocery sacks for resource distribution in our Resource Center.
  • Cereal, canned fruit and vegetables, and dry pasta for distribution through our Resource Center.
Upcoming dates:
  • Volunteer Orientation- Saturday, September 11, 9:00-12:30 at Mission Adelante
  • Volunteer Team Meeting- Monday, September 13, 6:30-8:30 at Mission Adelante
  • Bhutanese Fall Trimester Launch- Tuesday, September 14, 6:30
  • Latino Fall Trimester Launch- Thursday, September 16, 6:30
  • Mission Adelante Five-Year Anniversary Open House- Saturday, September 25, 2:00-5:30 at Mission Adelante