Thursday, August 09, 2012

Demonstrating the Love of Christ

Written by Drew Hammond, Bhutanese Outreach Intern

Living in the Midwest comes with a few "perks". One of those being the grueling summer heat. This summer has been exceptionally hot: the first six months of 2012 were the hottest on record, and July temperatures continued to soar. Try to imagine living in this heat without air conditioning. The temperature inside your home may get up to say, 93 degrees. Your initial thought may be, “I could tolerate that. I could visit the air-conditioned home of family or friends during the hottest part of the day, and it would’ve cooled off by the time I return home to sleep.” But not if you work the night shift...in a shipping warehouse that also isn't air-conditioned, and you must sleep during the day. So now, you come home after working through the night, the temperature in your home is pushing 100 degrees, and you have to get good sleep so you can perform well at work again tonight.

That is precisely the situation in which one Bhutanese refugee family recently found themselves. They told their family about the hardship, who told their friend, who told us at Mission Adelante. At that point, we took the opportunity to visit the family. Not only did they not have air conditioning, the fan set up in the window was missing a blade. We replaced the fan with a new one, to encourage them and let them know we were looking to help them. Not long after that, some friends from a local coffee shop heard their story. Responding in obedience to the call the Lord put on their heart, they graciously donated a window a.c. unit to our ministry for the benefit of that family.

After we delivered the a.c. to their home, helped them install it, and explained how it works with a mind for their future electricity bills, the family was eager to make a modest donation to Mission Adelante.  That sounds odd, doesn’t it? Mission Adelante turned around and sold a donated item to a refugee family?!?  We understand.  It’s a pretty new concept for us, too.  But it’s called “dignity,” and it has become one of our core values.  At Mission Adelante, we value the dignity of the people the Lord has called us to serve, share life, and share Jesus with.  Rather than being spoon-fed, this Bhutanese family became empowered to “provide” what they needed for themselves, even with their admittedly limited resources. To take part in overcoming a problem, rather than helplessly accepting an external solution.

Thanks to the donation of an air conditioner at a key point in time, we were able to demonstrate the love of Christ to our Bhutanese friends. Not only that, the family was able to maintain their dignity, and ended up with a real sense of ownership and empowerment. Most importantly, the Kingdom of God was given more ground on earth.


In other news:

  • A big thank you to Mill Creek Community Church and Christ Church Anglican for providing backpacks and school supplies for all of the kids in the Latino and Bhutanese Outreach!
  • We are excited that some of our teens are beginning the process of visiting area universities, and applying for admission. Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Outreach Director was honored to accompany a high-school senior on her visit to UMKC Medical School on Monday.
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for moderate temperatures (under 100!) for our end-of-trimester picnics this Sunday so we can safely enjoy this special event.
  • Mission Adelante staff will attend the Christian Community Development Association annual conference at the end of September, and we're going to use the opportunity to
    invest in emerging leaders by
    taking a few immigrant teenagers with us. Please pray for the application and selection process, through which we'll choose which teens we'll take. Decisions will be made within the next week!
  • Please pray for the Bhutanese Teens Club as we dream about possible new changes for next trimester.
Current needs:

  • Wireless Internet-capable laptops for use by our Leaders In Training during the upcoming school year.  It's okay if the battery doesn't work!  Contact Megan McDermott at meganm@missionadelante.org Kristen Maxwell at kristenm@missionadelante.org if you can provide one.
  • Ten 60"x102" rectangular felt-backed plastic tablecloths.  We spread them on the floor to use them as "activity centers" for our Bhutanese Children's Outreach.  We've recently seen them on clearance at discount stores.  Contact Kristen Maxwell at kristenm@missionadelante.org if you can provide any of them.
Important dates:
  • August 12: Summer Parties at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, KS 66109.  After entering the park, you'll come to a fork in the road; go left.
    • The Latino party begins at 3:00 with an informal time to socialize, followed by a pot-luck meal at 4:45 and program at 6:00.  It will be in the "Beach Shelter." Turn right after passing shelter #6.
    • The Bhutanese party begins at 4:00 in shelter #6.

1 comment:

Matt Totsch said...

Good stuff