Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Come and See the 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 or Bhutanese)
  • LIT After-School Tutoring (Latino)
New volunteers are needed in all of our outreach programs beginning in September! Only three weeks remain in our current trimester, so now is the perfect time to come observe what we do and find the program that you're the most well-suited for! Please click here for all the info related to volunteering with Mission Adelante! And now, if you have a couple of 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:

  • The recent heat wave has provided terrific opportunities for several Mission Adelante staff and interns to take kids swimming as they continue to share life with them.
  • The Lord has truly blessed the first two weeks of the Latino teens' purity Bible study. By guiding the adult leaders to be particularly transparent and vulnerable on the topic of personal purity, God has brought some of the teens' deepest wounds into the light. While those things are exceptionally hard to resolve, praise the Lord, who wants to heal the wounds each of us have suffered!
  • The Bhutanese ministry staff enjoyed dinner with some of the Bhutanese community at a Bhutanese family's home last weekend, and were surprised by how strongly they felt like they were among family.
  • Each of our summer interns continues to make a real impact on lives in our community. Latino Outreach Director Jason Schoff reports that summer intern Ariel Anib did a terrific job teaching the Level 1 Latino ESL class last Thursday!
Prayer requests:
  • Please ask the Lord to grant understanding and healing to the Bhutanese community in Kansas City following a tragic death. Ask Him also for wisdom for Mission Adelante staff that want to comfort and care for them, as well as opportunities to speak words of hope to them.
  • Pray for Fernando, a teen in our community, that will have eye surgery on Thursday.
  • Alberto, a member of our Latino church, has an appointment this week for his doctor to determine whether he needs knee surgery. Please pray that if surgery is necessary, that the Lord would provide the resources for him to afford it, and that if it isn't necessary, that the Lord would relieve his knee pain in another way.
  • Please pray for each of the six summer interns to remain totally engaged in their ministry roles here for the remaining three weeks of their internship, and to finish the summer strong.
Current needs:
  • A bookshelf has been requested through our Resource Center. Contact Molly at 913-961-2984 if you have one to donate.
  • Box fans to help cool the classrooms in our facility. Please contact Morgan at 913-281-6274 x3 if you can donate any.
  • Articles of clothing for school uniforms, including elementary and middle school boys' and girls' khaki and navy pants as well as navy and white polo shirts. Please contact Kristen Maxwell 913-980-7627 to arrange a donation of clothing.
Upcoming dates:
  • Sunday, August 14: Bhutanese and Latino End-of-Trimester parties at Wyandotte County Lake Park. Mark your calendar now to attend--everyone is invited! More details TBA.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

EBC's Kids' Camp Waters Seeds

Written by summer intern Cassie Donley

This summer I have had the amazing blessing of serving at Mission Adelante as an intern with Kids Adelante. I have learned so much that it is impossible to nail down just one aspect to share. Nevertheless, the one that is upon my heart to share is the principle of convivir (Spanish for "to live with"). All of the Mission Adelante staff and interns live in this neighborhood. It is a basic ministry principle that Mission Adelante holds dear: to live and serve with the people we are trying to reach. This past week, I had the privilege of watching 35 teens from Emmanuel Baptist Church, along with their interns and leaders, experience the principle of convivir. They stayed in KCK from Sunday through Thursday, doing service projects during the day and hosting a kids' camp in Prescott Park with Mission Adelante each evening.

The group arrived Sunday evening, transformed the Mission Adelante soccer field into an outdoor movie theater and hosted a barbeque. They spent their first evening in KCK in fellowship with the Latino church. Just as church concluded, the barbeque was ready and the children stayed for a movie on the soccer field. It was so much fun to lie on blankets and watch the movie. The most exciting part was watching the young EBC teens interact with the kids from our neighborhood.

Over the next three days, EBC hosted a kids' camp at Prescott Park. That specific area of town has been one of Mission Adelante's target neighborhoods for outreach, so locating the kids' camp there was strategic. It was a well-prepared outreach from the songs, to the message, to the crafts and game stations. The biggest impact was the teens from EBC loving on the kids from the Prescott Park neighborhood--kids who have never been to Kids Adelante and were not associated with Mission Adelante. What the EBC teens didn’t know was that they were watering seeds that had already been planted in those children’s hearts.

On Thursday night, EBC was invited to come to Mission Adelante and participate with us in our weekly children’s program. That night, eight new kids from the Prescott Park neighborhood came to Mission Adelante for the first time. We have had kids' camps at Prescott Park for the last three summers with the goal of planting seeds in the hearts of kids. This year, with eight brand new kids coming to Kid’s Adelante, it’s a blessing to see the fruit of God’s hands.

In other news:

  • Bhutanese Kids Club coordinator Kristen Maxwell had the opportunity to tell kids and youth at the Olathe Christ Community Church campus about domestic missions. She challenged them to be the hands and feet of Jesus to Bhutanese refugee children by providing a backpack and school supplies to one of them for the upcoming school year.
Prayer needs:
  • Tonight, Jesus' death and resurrection will be the topic of the lesson at Bhutanese Kids Club and Teens Club. Coming from a Hindu culture, many of them accept Jesus as one of their gods, but not as the only true God. Please pray for the leaders to present the gospel in a culturally respectful way, and that the truth takes hold in the kids and teens minds.
  • A particular immigrant family that lost the husband/father to murder is undergoing heavy spiritual attack now, a year later, as it struggles with issues such as the kids' behavior and finances. Please help us pray that the Lord would protect and deliver them from the enemy's harassment.
  • A number of the Mission Adelante staff members including several interns are presently finding it very difficult to connect with individuals that they want to intentionally spend time with in order to create a framework in which to do ministry. Please pray for the Lord to facilitate the development of those relationships.
  • This is the second of three weeks of "purity talks" with the Latino teens. Last week, God used the study to begin teaching the leaders to be vulnerable, and to examine their own lives through the lens of purity. Please pray for the Lord to deepen the authenticity, vulnerability, and attitude of obedience in the teens and the leaders during the remaining studies.
Current needs:
  • New volunteers for all outreach programs beginning in September. Now is the perfect time to come observe what we do and find the program that you're the most well-suited for! Please click here for all the info related to volunteering with Mission Adelante!
  • Diapers, in all sizes, are a frequently requested item in our Resource Center. Contact Molly at 913-961-2984 to arrange making a donation.
  • Articles of clothing for school uniforms, including elementary and middle school boys' and girls' khaki and navy pants as well as navy and white polo shirts. Please contact Kristen Maxwell 913-980-7627 to arrange a donation of clothing.
Upcoming dates:
  • Sunday, August 14: Bhutanese and Latino End-of-Trimester parties at Wyandotte County Lake Park. Mark your calendar now to attend--everyone is invited! More details TBA.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Need for the Lord Connects the Suburbs with Urban KCK

Written by Jessie Chastain

Suburbia met KCK four evening this week as busloads of teens from Emmanuel Baptist Church have unloaded at Mission Adelante for kids’ camp. Watching their arrival seems to me akin to aliens stepping off their spaceship into uncharted territory. There is a sense of boldness and anticipation mixed by a touch of uncertainty. The feeling seems familiar to me, having been here for only two months. However, in that short time the Lord has spoken to me in my uncertainties, and I’ve seen him do the same with the groups of people that come to volunteer.

In conversations with staff and volunteers, it’s become evident that the Lord’s favor is the thing that enables countless relationships that happen here. There is no other explanation for the vulnerability and encouragement that is cultivated. I have left dinners with my immigrant family speechless because of the connection I feel with them as a family, causing me to ponder the way that Jesus served and lived among the people he worked with. I often plan the right questions to ask and stories to tell before I walk into situations and in reality, I sense the Spirit most in the times when I’m left with no words.

My prayer has become for there to be a growing awareness in the nearby suburbs of the proximity in location and of the heart of KCK. Walking into situations where the culture and history of the people you’re working with is foreign territory only increases our dependence upon God and his ability to work. The hearts of the people here look no different than our own in this sense: they are just as much in need of a holy touch from the Lord as any person that lives in the suburbs.

I see a connection to the Israelites in the Old Testament. God is calling us into a deeper relationship with him that our hearts long to have. You see that he knows the reality of the deep rebellion of our hearts, and our lack of lasting commitment to a relationship with Him. I want to believe that the thousands of years that separate me from the Israelites is enough to cleanse humanity of those tendencies. Wake up call; I’m flesh, and although the world has developed in the outward physical ways, the human heart remains the same. Acknowledging the darkness of our motivations does not end the sinfulness, but it does still us before Christ’s infinite grace in our daily living. I think this is the unifying piece and an ever-present reminder of the ways that God can truly connect the heart of the suburbs with the heart of the city through our joint need for Him.

In other news:
  • Teens Adelante Coordinator Brooke Coon is focusing increased attention on the Latino teens that are "stepping up" in terms of their dedication. She has learned to identify the "hungry" ones as those individuals who show up to events that aren't primarily to have fun--like a service day they had last Saturday.
  • Bhutanese Outreach Director David Stetler and volunteer Drew Timberlake have returned from a very successful trip to Nepal. They were honored when the pastor-leader of the Bhutanese house church network with whom they've established a relationship told them, "We need you to partner with us in this ministry." The global connections that God continues to make for Mission Adelante are remarkable!
  • Each summer intern has dinner with the same immigrant family one night a week as a way to foster relationships that hopefully become the context for ministry to occur. After about two years of participating in English classes and being invited to church, the family that hosts intern Ariel for dinner each week has responded to her invitation and have come to church twice recently!
Prayer needs:
  • Teens Adelante staff and volunteers are preparing to have a series of talks with the Latino teens on the topic of purity. Please pray for the teens to receive their message as one that is credible, and that they can relate to.
  • We emphasize discipleship, or the sustained effort of believers to study and learn together in small groups, as an essential means to personal spiritual growth for our Latino church congregation. Please help us pray for an increase of the momentum and depth of each discipleship group.
  • Pray for perseverance and for maximum learning potential for our summer interns, as they've passed the half-way point of their internship.
  • There are a number of neighborhood kids that we see every summer for the various VBS events that we host in local parks, but not throughout the rest of the year. Please pray for outreaches targeted specifically at those kids that will begin next week. Pray that they'll be attracted by the Holy Spirit to begin attending Kids Adelante regularly.
Other needs:
  • Window air conditioning units for neighborhood immigrant families. Please contact Molly Merrick at 913-961-2984 if you would like to donate one.
  • A Bhutanese family in our neighborhood is in need of a car. If you have a running car that you're willing to donate through Mission Adelante, please contact David Stetler at davids@missionadelante.org.
  • Articles of clothing for school uniforms, including elementary and middle school boys' and girls' khaki and navy pants as well as navy and white polo shirts. Please contact Kristen Maxwell 913-980-7627 to donate this clothing.
  • Please contact a Mission Adelante staff member to arrange a time to drop-off donations to our Resource Center. We request that items not be left outside our building or outside of the Resource Center. You can reach Molly Merrick at 913-961-2984.
Upcoming dates:
  • Wednesdays July 20 and 27, and August 3 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.: Latino kids outreach events. To find out how you can get involved, contact Cassie at 816-527-0947 or Michelle at 630-730-3283.

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.