Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jesus

Written by Caroline Meek

On Sunday, December 12, the children’s church group at Mission Adelante had a birthday party celebrating Jesus’ birth. On that fun-filled night, the kids learned that reading the Bible and learning about Jesus can be fun and exciting. They discovered the importance of giving, and grasped the idea that Christmas is not all about presents, cookies, and snow. They played relay races and learned the real story of the Candy Cane and how it represents Jesus’ suffering and purity.

They played games such as the snowman relay race where they worked as teams to decorate a team member as a snowman before time ran out. This was challenging because they all had to cooperate and the toilet paper kept breaking! Another game required them to patiently balance 2-4 peppermints on a small plastic spoon while walking to the other side of the room and back.

When game time was over, the kids got to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and celebrate with a piece of birthday cake. The kids thought it was great and they had lots of fun honoring Jesus on his birthday and learning more about Him.

In other news:

  • Thanks, Westside Family Church, for inviting our community kids to join your choir for the "Rock the World" services, and for the wonderful hospitality you showed to our group while there.
Prayer needs:
  • Pray for immigrant families that are separated from one another, which is especially difficult during the holidays.
  • Pray for God to provide abundant funding for Mission Adelante's ministry and for staff salaries through year-end gifts. About 25% of our annual budget is typically funded by year-end contributions.
  • Pray for God to provide more volunteers for all of our outreach programs, but particularly for Latino and Bhutanese kids ministries.
  • Pray for our Teens Adelante volunteers to continue to embrace a vision for investing their lives in individual Latino teens.
  • Pray for security, productivity, and strengthening of relationships during Jarrett's trip to Qba during the first half of January.
Upcoming dates:
  • Mission Adelante will be closed Friday December 24 through Saturday, January 1.
  • Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, January 15, 9:00-12:30 at Mission Adelante

Monday, December 13, 2010

Great Wolf Lodge: A Dream Come True!

Written by Megan McDermott

The children of Leaders in Training, our after-school tutoring and character development program, wait anxiously all year for one thing: Great Wolf Lodge! They know that after all of their faithful attendance, scripture memory, dedication to their studies, and hard work, they will earn a coveted trip to the incredible indoor water park. One of my favorite parts of the trip is the moment when the kids see the park for the first time. It's hard to imagine what they are expecting but it's incredible to see their little faces light up with the realization that their hard work paid off.

Oftentimes, their lives are wrought with broken promises and inconsistency. At a young age, they can lose hope that their dreams and efforts will be spent chasing impossible goals. Many children give up before they even start and as I have seen first hand within our community, witnessing the dreams of a child be extinguished is heart wrenching. LIT is a way for the kids to hold onto their dreams and to have the support they need as they work towards them. Great Wolf is a tangible, real goal that they can achieve and it gives them the confidence to keep fighting for their future.

The Great Wolf trip is also a chance for us to go deeper with the kids in their pursuit of the Lord. This year, we focused our teaching and fellowship time on the importance of a quiet time. Many of the kids had never been taught this before and we explored how reading the word, journaling, praying, worshiping, using art, and even just taking a walk are all intimate ways to form a real relationship with the Lord. It was truly a time led by the Holy Spirit as the kids realized how much the Lord desires to walk with them everyday!

The following day at church, one of the student's mom approached me and asked me what I had done to her son at Great Wolf. When I asked why, she told me he had awakened that morning and asked if their whole family could pray together around the kitchen table before they started their day. He desired to have a quiet time with his family! She was unbelievably proud of her son and grateful for the ways that God is pursuing his heart.

I thank all of you for your prayers that were answered in powerful ways as the LIT kids were able to escape into the arms of the Lord last weekend!

In other news:
  • The Mission Adelante Christmas parties went great! About 300 people attended the Latino party on Saturday. It was a packed house and Jarrett Meek shared a message about God's interruption into people's daily routines and troubled lives with the birth of Jesus. About 130 people attended the Bhutanese party on Sunday, which created a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. David Stetler shared about God's interest in knowing people of all social classes equally, illustrated by the announcement of His Son's birth to both the lowly shepherds and the affluent wise men.
  • We're grateful for the group from Shoal Creek Church that brought desserts to share and entertained the kids with planned activities during the Latino Christmas party on Saturday.
  • Latino and Bhutanese kids from Mission Adelante have been practicing special songs and are eager to join a kids choir to sing for the 10:00 and 11:30 services at Westside Family Church this Sunday. If you don't have a place to worship this Sunday, they would love to have you in the audience!
  • Thanks to Mill Creek Church and Heartland Community Church, we've received enough winter coats to meet the need of our community for this winter. Thanks to everyone who donated coats or rounded them up and delivered them!
  • The twelve flash drives that we requested for our L.I.T. students have also been generously supplied by a donor. We're so thankful for donors through whom God provides for our needs!
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for God's provision of the necessary funding for David Coon to join the Mission Adelante staff as an apprentice.
  • Pray for the members of the Latino disciple making team to be courageous and faithful as they put into practice the things they've been trained on during the past six weeks.
Current needs:
  • More adults' and children's winter clothing, hats, gloves, and shoes to stock our resource center.
  • Paper towels and rolls of 55 gallon trash bags for use in our facility.
Upcoming dates:
  • Mission Adelante will be closed Friday December 24 through Saturday, January 1.
  • Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, January 15, 9:00-12:30 at Mission Adelante

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Thanksgiving Doesn't Get Any Better than that!

The history of Thanksgiving as celebrated in the United States has a unique and special connection for Mission Adelante's ministry. For those who may not remember what you learned in grade school, or may have never connected the dots, the first Thanksgiving was the story of immigrants' survival in a new and harsh land. Those immigrants, commonly called Pilgrims, are ancestors to many of us. The celebration, as the story goes, included those who were native to the country (the Wampanoag Native Americans) and the new immigrants who had arrived in a somewhat needy situation, seeking a better life. Having survived on help given to them by the Wampanoag, the pilgrims praised God and instituted the first Thanksgiving, modeled after other harvest festivals that were commonplace in Europe at the time.

This year we had the opportunity to experience Thanksgiving with immigrants, family, and other friends from our community in a way that hearkened back to the beginning of this great American tradition. Janoy and Ivan are brothers who have recently moved to the United States from Cuba and have become our close friends. In fact, Janoy lived with our family for his first month in Kansas City before his brother joined him here, and they found an apartment a couple of blocks away from our house. We laughed and watched with joy as the two Cuban brothers ate turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and everything else Thanksgiving for the first time. Afterward, we of course enjoyed the customary game of football in the backyard, which they also played for the first time.

Among all of our reasons for giving thanks this year, there was one reason that out-shined the rest; the night before, Ivan had received Christ as his Lord and Savior! Immigrants surviving, sharing life with "native Americans", celebrating the goodness of God and His amazing grace... Thanksgiving doesn't get any better than that!

Other news:
  • The parties marking the end of our trimester are coming up this weekend and everyone's invited! The party for the Latino community is Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. and the party for the Bhutanese community is Sunday, December 12 at 4:00 p.m. Both parties will be at Bethany Community Center, located in Kansas City, Kansas on Central Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. It sets back behind Bethany Park. Turn off of Central Avenue by the fire station.
  • Five neighborhood immigrant families received complete Thanksgiving meals thanks to Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kansas City Christian School, and Reaching Out, Inc.
  • The members of the disciple making team were sent out last week to visit other Mission Adelante participants and give spiritual encouragement. They were excited to tell about their experiences.
  • Thanks to Christ Community Church for the donation of coats and winter wear to distribute to families in need.
  • The Bhutanese knitting cooperative sold their handiwork at Rockhurst High School and earned over $250, which will help supplement their families' incomes.
Prayer needs:
  • Praise God with us that Ivan has become a Believer! In the last couple of issues of the Adelante Express, we asked you to join us in praying for God to draw him near to Himself. Thank you for petitioning God on Ivan's behalf.
  • Help us pray for God to supply for Mission Adelante through abundant end-of-year giving, at a time when the ministry is growing especially fast!
  • Pray for Yanelis, the leader of the Raices ministry in Qba, to have wisdom and discernment. She's spending this month in Costa Rica making contacts and exploring new opportunities for the ministry.
Current needs:
  • More winter wear like hats and gloves, outerwear, and shoes to stock our resource center with the arrival of cold weather.
  • A high BTU propane space heater for the detached garage that houses our resource center. The volunteers that staff the resource center get pretty cold during the two hours that it's open every Saturday morning!
  • Thin knitting needles (size 6 or smaller) and yarn are needed for the Bhutanese knitting cooperative. If you would like to donate supplies, please contact David Stetler at davids@missionadelante.org or 913-579-6115.
Upcoming dates:
    • Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 11, 5:30 p.m. at Bethany Community Center.
    • Bhutanese Christmas Party: Sunday, December 12, 4:00 p.m. at Bethany Community Center.
    Bethany Community Center is located in Kansas City, Kansas on Central Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. It sets back behind Bethany Park. Turn off of Central Avenue by the fire station.
    • Mission Adelante will be closed Friday December 24 through Saturday, January 1.