I was visiting one of my Bhutanese friends last week when she asked me to teach her how to pray to Jesus. So we talked a little bit about what prayer is, and then I encouraged her to try it for herself. She was nervous to try praying in English, so I urged her to pray in Nepali. Shocked, she looked at me and asked “Jesus knows Nepali?”
It’s fun to imagine heaven and the multitude of cultures from all around the Earth that will partake in extravagantly worshiping our Lord. Revelation 5:9 declares of Jesus, “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Will we be seated in pews, or on rugs on the floor? Will we understand the speech in each language we hear? Will there be electric guitars and drums, or violins, or an organ? Maybe all of the above!
To see the way that other cultures worship can sometimes seem odd or even make us uncomfortable. A few weeks ago, most of the Mission Adelante staff and a number of volunteers attended the Christian Community Development Association Annual Conference. While there, we were blessed to worship Jesus with some Native American brothers and sisters who have a worship style that's very different than we've ever experienced. They wore brightly colored traditional clothing, danced, beat drums and chanted. After the dancing was done, one of the dancers explained that with every step of the dance prayers were being offered to God for the Native American people to come to know Jesus. This seemed odd to me. However, this is the most natural way for the Native American people to pray to and connect with God.
Mission Adelante loves to see people worship the one true God within their own culture, in a way that makes sense to them. We constantly consider how to share the Gospel and and how to show what it means to follow Jesus within the context of their lives and norms--becoming a Christian doesn't require one to become an American first. We're learning as we go--it's for this reason that we continue to made changes to our programs. For example, the Bhutanese Teens used to sing English worship songs while seated in chairs arranged in rows. However, now when we congregate each Tuesday evening, we gather around in a circle, seated on Nepali rugs, and sing “Yeshu Bhajans” or "Jesus songs" in the Nepali language. It's an atmosphere that's just more naturally conducive for Bhutanese people to worship.
Won’t it be a beautiful sight to behold when every tribe, nation and tongue worships Jesus together in heaven? Imagine all the colors, the motion, and the noise! It's going to be beyond our imaginations, and its going to represent the vast creativity and beauty of God. Until then, we want to paint a picture of that heavenly kingdom on Earth each time we tell Bhutanese, Latino, and American girls and boys that “God created you just the way you are, and he wants you to worship Him just the way you are”.
In other news:
- Two Bhutanese ESL classes are taking field trips to local pharmacies. These field trips strengthen the relationships between students and their American conversation partners, and can really help students take better care of their families health needs.
- Many of our new volunteers are visiting the homes of the students that they work with for the first time. Pray for God’s presence, wisdom, and love to be poured out during these friendly visits.
- The weather has changed! We are in need of cold-weather clothing for the whole family to stock our resource center. The resource center is also low on household items such as pots and pans, dishes and cups, small and large appliances, etcetera. Please contact Molly Merrick at email@example.com to set up a time to drop-off your donation. Please help us out by not leaving donations inside or outside our facility. Thanks!
- The kids in our Kids Club are growing up and we need some board games to entertain older kids on Tuesday nights. Contact Kristen Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or if you have some games to donate.
- Tuesday, October 23/Thursdays, October 18 & 25: Ever wondered what goes on here on a typical evening of programming? Come on up on a observation night and find out! Tuesday evenings are Bhutanese outreach, Thursday evenings are Latino outreach. Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 between 6:30 and 8:30.
- Saturday, November 17, 3-6:30 p.m.: Mission Adelante Staff House Parties
- Jarrett & Kristen Meek, Molly Merrick: 251 N. 15th Street
- Jason & Megan Schoff, Megan McDermott: 410 N. 15th Street
- David & Brooke Coon: 245 N. 17th Street
- David & Holly Stetler, Drew Hammond: 438 N. 17th Street
- Drew & Lauren Timberlake, Kristen Maxwell: 706 N. 17th Street
- Garett & Jenny Dunn, Hannah Hume: 335 N. 15th Street
All homes are in Kansas City, KS 66102. RSVP is not necessary.