Thursday, July 07, 2011

She's Just the Person that Unlocks the Door

We at Mission Adelante believe that serving to meet practical needs is a critical aspect of loving immigrants. The "kingdom value" of service increases when word and deed unite to clearly proclaim the glory of Jesus Christ. One of the ways Mission Adelante helps meet the practical needs of immigrants in our neighborhood is through our Resource Center, which operates out of a detached garage on our property. It helps channel resources such as clothing, furniture, household items, and food from donors to immigrants with specific needs. Resource Center volunteer Michelle Holland says, "Many people in our community have not connected to a support system. Having a place that offers to meet some of the essential needs, such as food and clothing, is so important in showing the love of Jesus. Meeting those needs can hopefully lead to beginning relationships that will build their support system and share a support system--Jesus--that will never fail them!"

Each Saturday morning for about the past two years, Ministry Aide Molly Merrick has opened the Resource Center to the waiting group of immigrants that have gathered in the parking lot. Molly is well suited to run the weekly operation because of several of her characteristics that she's well known for around here. Those who know her will tell you that she is compassionate and possesses a servant's heart. Her Christ-like vision leads her to welcome anyone who comes through the door. She diligently and cheerfully manages the ministry, which is a lot of behind-the-scenes work without much glory. She quickly recognizes needs and will do whatever she can to find a way to meet them. She's also shown resourcefulness, given that she speaks little Spanish, by braving the language barrier and creatively generating volunteers to help staff the Resource Center. In addition to the Holland family, three Latina women and their children, all of whom have been a part of our church at some point, are some of Molly's most dependable volunteers. Even when they've had long absences from church, serving in the Resource Center has shown them a way that they can serve and lead, and has preserved their connection with Mission Adelante.

Now, Molly describes her role by saying, "I'm just the person that unlocks the door." She says that the best part of managing the ministry is not having to worry about the Saturday-morning operation of the Resource Center because she knows that the volunteers that are helping know just what to do. This frees Molly up on Saturday mornings to visit with the families that come, play with the kids, and manage the volunteer groups that sometimes come for work days.

We believe that God calls believers to demonstrate special hospitality for "strangers," going out of our way to show them compassion. That's why we're so thankful for Molly, and her leadership of the Resource Center, which is one of the most tangible ways we have found of demonstrate compassion.

Current needs:
  • Molly needs volunteers to help her sort and organize donations to our Resource Center. Please call Molly at 913-961-2984 to arrange a time to come help.
  • Two refrigerators, which have been requested by immigrant families. If you can donate one, please contact Molly at 913-961-2984.
  • The Resource Center door is a standard locking garage door, but the lock sometimes doesn't work correctly. If you could replace the lock, please contact Molly at 913-961-2984.
  • Many of the immigrant families we serve have a need for the basics, like food. Help provide staple food items for neighborhood families by hosting a Canasta Basica Assembly Party! Find all the details by clicking here!
Important dates:
  • July 8th at 7:00 p.m.: All are welcome to join us for tea, coffee, and dessert, and to meet the two new staff members we've added to the Bhutanese Outreach. You'll also hear about their calling to this ministry and the financial needs that we have to make them full time staff members. Join us at Larry & Barb Stetler's, 5814 W. 84th Street, Overland Park, KS 66207. Please RSVP by clicking here.


Jarrett Meek said...

Awesome Article Morgan!! Way to go Molly!!

David said...

Beautiful words about a beautiful woman. You're awesome Molly!

Amy Bush said...

I agree to all the "awesomeness" comments. :) You're amazing, Mols!

Kathleen said...

Great post! Love ya, Molly!