Thursday, March 29, 2012

Teens Club Is Reaching Teenage Bhutanese Refugees

Written by Bhutanese Outreach Intern Hannah Hume

Mission Adelante believes that ministry is essentially relational in nature.  That's why we're so excited about what's happening with our Bhutanese Teens Club.

We all remember the difficulties of our teenage years: trying to figure out who we were; maneuvering dating, grades, and peer pressure; figuring out what we believed separate from our parents; enduring constantly fluctuating hormones. Now, imagine dealing with many of those same issues while being newly immersed in a foreign culture and language that you don’t understand. You're beginning to get a picture of what life is like for the Bhutanese teens that live in KCK.

The Purpose of teens club is to help students learn how to love God and love people as described in Luke 10:27, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" We believe that there is nothing that these teens need more during this incredibly malleable time in their lives than to know and love the only person who can be constant and unchanging: Jesus Christ.

Jesus is using Teens Club to change teens lives. We are seeing students who were at risk for joining gangs become followers of Jesus instead. This trimester students are getting to hear the story of Jesus, some of them for the first time in their own language, and they are becoming enthralled with Jesus. They want to know more about him. Some of the boys who used to be our most disruptive students during story time are now discussing the stories around their lunch tables at school, and some of the girls are whispering prayers to him at night before they go to sleep.

Teens club is still a new ministry, and in the formative stages. There continue to be challenges in helping our teenage friends. However, the spirit is undoubtedly moving. Please pray for the Bhutanese teenagers of Kansas City, Kansas, and for Teens Club, as we seek to continue to grow and learn together.

In other news:
  • David & Holly Stetler's, Kristen Maxwell's and Drew Hammond's visas were approved for an exploratory-training-leadership trip they and some volunteers will be taking to Nepal April 18 through May 2.
Prayer needs:
  • Jarrett Meek will be traveling back to Q-ba this Sunday to teach at a discipleship training retreat.  Please pray for a smooth and easy arrival, and a rich time there with friends.
Current needs:
  • A washing machine, which has been requested through our resource center.
  • Teens Adelante is hoping for summer swimming lessons for 10-15 teenagers.  Please contact Brooke ( if you can teach swimming lessons to full-grown teens or can help us find a good instructor.
  • A ceiling-mounted projector and protective cage
  • A preschooler sized table and chairs or picnic table
  • A big-screen T.V. for use at a variety of times, including Kids Adelante Bible studies.
Important dates:
  • Thursday, April 12 @ 8:30 p.m. (immediately following Thursday evening programming) Bake Sale and Jewelry Sale to benefit the L.I.T. Canoe Trip at the end of the school year.  This is a reward trip for the students that succeeded at meeting the expectations for L.I.T. participation throughout the whole school year.
  • Saturday afternoon, April 14: Latino Spring Party
  • Sunday afternoon, April 15: Bhutanese Spring Party
  • Saturday, June 30 @ 9:00 a.m. Adelante Missions Institute Seminar.  We're pleased to announce that Noel Castellanos, CEO of Christian Community Development Association, will visit Kansas City at the end of June.  Mark your calendar!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Winter Jam 2012

The Winter Jam 2012 tour stopped in Kansas City on February 17 and many Mission Adelante youth, volunteers and staff got to attend together.  Winter Jam is reportedly Christian music's largest annual tour, and since its formation by NewSong in 1995, has featured many of the top names in Christian music. Molly Merrick, Mission Adelante Ministry Aide, took a few neighborhood girls to the show, who were thrilled by the live performance of songs they hear on the radio.  Of the nine bands that performed, their favorite was Skillet, much in part to their use of pyrotechnics!

Also attending the concert was a teen boy that has begun learning to play drums in the past year and drums on the teens' worship band.  After arriving at Winter Jam in low spirits, he also got very excited about Skillet's performance.  Kids Adelante Director Megan McDermott said, "He is a very talented musician but tends to conceal his true feelings about things.  When we left the concert, he turned to me with a huge smile on his face and in an excited tone of voice asked me if I had seen the amazing drummer.  We so rarely get to see him genuinely excited and joyful.  It was a blessing to see music that praises God bring that out in him!"

Megan invited a teen girl whose birthday happened to fall on the same day as the concert.  It's been some time since this teen has been a part of the teen Bible study, and Megan really enjoyed spending the evening with her.  Megan said, "At one point during the concert, I felt the Lord lead me to whisper in her ear that it wasn't a coincidence that the concert was on her birthday.  He wanted to bless her and let her know that He loves her."

After hearing Brooke Coon (Teens Adelante Director) talking about plans to take a group of teens to the show, a teenage boy's mom decided to take a vacation day day from work to go along with the Teens Adelante group, and really enjoyed her first concert!  Brooke said, "I was challenged to rethink about the words I was singing to each worship song, as every now and then she leaned over and yelled over the blaring music, asking me to translate different words such as 'grace' into Spanish. Her generosity in buying food for all the teen girls (from a ridiculously priced concession stand) completely moved me. Her joy in giving is one of her most beautiful traits, and in that moment I longed to have a heart that sees each opportunity to spend my money on someone else as a privilege. Afterwards, I told her son about his mom's generosity. He replied, 'I know. She gives even when she doesn't have enough.'"

Brooke went on, "It has been amazing to see Christ's work, which began in this teen boy, spreading into his family, and then to see Christ reciprocating His glory through his mom, back to Teens Adelante, and to the others of her 5 children. I find myself being ministered to by the very people I minister to...all because of His great power!  I love every moment I get to spend with this woman; her hunger for God and her sacrificial generosity are constantly inspiring me and reminding me of God's compassion and provision. As my relationship with this woman grows, God is showing me how to walk 'alongside' instead of 'ahead of' my immigrant friends. This morning, the Lord used 1 Corinthians 3:7 to encourage me by reminding me of His sovereignty over the lives of the teens and their families that I love and serve. It says, 'So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow.'"

After the concert ended, the question on the minds of most of the youth that got to attend was, "Did you know Christian music could sound like that?!"  We're grateful to our generous God for special occasions such as Kansas City's Winter Jam 2012 tour stop, and the many angles from which he uses them to encourage and refresh us!

In other news:
  • THANK YOU to those individuals that have supplied to us an abundance of goldfish crackers for Bhutanese kids club, a computer desk for a new work space, and a computer for use by LIT students!
  • Corporate worship among the Latino house churches last Sunday (which we hold once each month) was highly attended and highly enjoyed.  After several meetings in their individual groups, everyone was excited to see one another and enjoy fellowship.
Prayer needs:
  • Ask God to give wisdom to our board of directors as they consider how "business as missions" might fit into our ministry structure and allow our impact in our community to increase.
  • A number of Mission Adelante staff members will be traveling during the upcoming week which is our spring break.  Please join us in asking the Lord to grant safe travels.
Current needs:
  • Teens Adelante is hoping for summer swimming lessons for 10-15 teenagers. Please contact Brooke if you can teach swimming lessons (to full grown teens) or can help us find a good instructor!
  • An industrial sewing machine: the Bhutanese women's sewing cooperative is beginning a new and very promising product line using recycled burlap that is allowing a few women the opportunity to use their cultural trade and skills to earn an income for their family.  We already have orders for these products, but we need an industrial sewing machine to use with the burlap material
  • A ceiling-mounted projector and protective cage
  • A 3- or 4-drawer locking filing cabinet with keys
  • A preschooler sized table and chairs or picnic table
  • A big-screen T.V. for use at a variety of times, including Kids Adelante Bible studies.
  • New vacuums or repair for our broken vacuums
  • Men's and kids' winter clothing to make available through our resource center
Important dates:
  • Spring Break: March 14-17 the Mission Adelante office will be closed.  No evening programs Tuesday, March 13 or Thursday, March 15.
  • Latino Spring Party: Saturday afternoon, April 14
  • Bhutanese Spring Party: Sunday afternoon, April 15
  • Adelante Missions Institute Seminar: Saturday, June 30 at 9:00  We're pleased to announce that Noel Castellanos, CEO of Christian Community Development Association, will visit Kansas City at the end of June.  Mark your calendar!