About two weeks ago, a small team of staff and volunteers from Mission Adelante’s Bhutanese outreach returned from a trip to Nepal and India. Since then, people have been asking me what my “one big takeaway” is. It is very difficult to pin down the single most valuable thing the Lord taught me over the course of our journey, but the following is definitely near the top of the list.
One of the experiences I will always remember is our visit to a house church in a colony of ex-lepers in Nepal. This is a group of people that has been cast out from society because they happened to contract one of today’s least understood diseases. I was asked to share something with this group of people. In the back of the taxi on the way there, I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I could teach this group of people. After twenty minutes in the car, I still hadn’t come up with anything, even after thinking all morning. Finally I gave up. How could I relate to a people that had been rejected from society? There was nothing that I could find within myself to relate to them. As a last ditch effort, I started flipping through the New Testament to try to find something that could work. Then it hit me: I was my way to visit a group of people who had also found refuge in the arms of Jesus. The Bible is where I should have started!
As I scoured through narratives about Jesus, the Lord led me to Matthew 14: Jesus walking on water. I felt a sense of comfort as I realized how well I was able to relate to Peter’s experience. Jesus calls Peter to step out of the boat, onto the water. The water which was new territory for Peter, a surface upon which all of his prior experience told him was impossible to walk. As Peter stepped out of the boat towards Jesus, he became afraid and cried out “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:30). Then Jesus reached out His hand and said “You of little faith, why do you doubt?” (verse 31), and the two climbed back into the boat together. I shared of the similar experience I had had when I began working with the Bhutanese, facing the options of either reaching out to Jesus or sinking into the depths of fear. I told them that I don’t hear Jesus’ words in verse 31 in a harsh and correcting tone, but in a loving and protective one. A tone that says, “Don’t you know who I am? You have nothing to fear in me!”
The Lord definitely changed my heart in that moment, and over the course of our journey. It became even more clear to me that I belong to the Lord, and that I have nothing else to fear.
In other news:
- We're grateful for a generous donation of over 100 children's books in excellent condition for our children's library from Scott Bunte in memory of his mother, Joanne Paulsen Bunte.
- We're looking forward to the What If The Church? Serve Day at Mission Adelante on June 9. The main projects will be remodeling a couple of rooms in our facility and beginning work on a house next door that we recently acquired. Register to volunteer here!
- Our Latino and Bhutanese Missionary Teams have gathered the last three Monday evenings for grilling and fellowship followed by worship around a fire pit. One of the things we love most about doing ministry together is the rich community that is cultivated!
- Help us pray for a smooth on-ramp to our summer trimester. Ask God to put all the pieces in place, including each individual volunteer and immigrant participant in each of our programs, so that our love for Christ would be demonstrated by serving immigrants.
- Continue to pray for an immigrant family in crisis. Pray for healing and peace, especially for the kids as they get used to a new family dynamic.
- Pray for endurance and clear guidance for Executive Director Jarrett Meek as he leads the way into new initiatives, while keeping up with his many ongoing responsibilities. Also, pray for our Board of Directors as they plan for these new initiatives, which will allow us to have a broader impact in our community.
- Pray for the Lord to bless the fundraising efforts of our staff and interns.
- Bhutanese outreach volunteers for the summer trimester--Tuesday evenings May 29 through August 7. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested in any of these roles.
- Five Kids Club volunteers
- A worship leader for Teens Club
- A driver with a CDL
- Individuals familiar with sign language and deaf culture to work with several deaf Bhutanese ESL students
- It's time to stock our resource center with baby's and kid's summer clothing. Please contact Molly at 913-281-6274x5 if you can donate any.
- Several 4-8 person tents for the upcoming L.I.T. canoe trip, and tarps large enough to put under the tents. Please contact Megan at 913-281-6274x2.
- Fifteen reusable water bottles for Teens Adelante. Please contact Brooke at 913-281-6274x8.
- A ceiling-mounted projector in a protective cage. Contact Kristen at 913-281-6274 x9
- Large Rubbermade storage bins with lids, and disposable cups. Contact Kristen at 913-281-6274 x9
- Volunteer Orientation & Training--Saturday, May 19 @ 9:00 a.m. All volunteers should attend this training once at the beginning of serving with Mission Adelante. It's also a great way for someone to become familiar with Mission Adelante. If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more about what we do, and about our volunteer opportunities, please plan to attend/encourage him or her to attend this informative training.
- All Volunteer Huddle & Dessert--Monday, May 21 @ 6:30 p.m. We encourage everyone that will be volunteering with us during our summer trimester to attend so we can prepare for a great launch.
- Summer trimester program launches--Week of May 28
- 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!