Thursday, February 07, 2013

A Dream Worth Fighting For

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Ministry Director 
and Iris Venegas, Teens Adelante participant

One of the best privileges that comes with serving and loving the kids of our community is hearing what they want to be when they grow up. Their dreams range from professional soccer player to special needs teacher to firefighter!  However, many of our kids reach a point where, because they are undocumented, the possibility of attending college becomes unrealistic.  If you have ever seen a child lose hope in his or her dreams, you  understand the heartbreak of what many of our neighborhood kids face.  It takes a strong person to continue to fight for his or her dreams, even when the odds are stacked against him or her.  I would like to share with you, in her own words, the story of one young woman that is paving the way for others in our community to pursue their dreams as she pursues hers.

My name is Iris Venegas and I’m a senior at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science. I’ve been attending Mission Adelante for about six years now, and currently I’m part of the Hispanic teens’ program at Mission Adelante. Being a senior, I’ve been working on college-related things like applying to colleges and working on scholarship applications.
The application process has been very difficult and new, since I’m the first in my family to graduate from high school and aspire to go to college. Through this process Megan McDermott (my friend and mentor) has been helping me with my personal statement, essay questions, and letters of reference.  So far, this process has been challenging and sometimes even disappointing, but it is nice to know that I’m taking advantage of an opportunity that not many have.
Some of the disappointments I have faced are being overwhelmed with the cost of medical school and not getting into the 6 year BA/MD program at UMKC, where I initially wanted to attend.  I have applied and gotten accepted for general admissions at KU, K-State, and UMKC.  I have chosen to attended KU and study medicine. My dream is to become a pediatrician and someday do medical missions. I am so thankful to all the people that have helped me with this process because I know that I would have not been able to do this on my own. 

The heartbeat of Mission Adelante is relationship and when the Lord provides a way for a young leader, such as Iris, to not only pursue college but to also have a desire to serve others in His name, we are blessed to walk alongside them!

In other news:
  • God continues to bless our Latino church with musicians.  This week a teen, Jaime, stepped up to play the drums at our worship service for the first time!
  • Bhutanese Teens Volunteers will be meeting together on Sunday for fellowship and to learn how to better engage our Hindu friends with the gospel. One of Mission Adelante’s Bhutanese House Church leaders will be sharing about his own journey from Hindu to Yeshu Bhakta ("Jesus Follower").

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for the family of one of our Latino church members who is mourning the loss of their older father.  Pray also for us as we minister to them at the funeral this Friday.
  • Please pray for a Bhutanese family, who lost a family member this past week.  Pray that Jesus would continue to reveal His character to them through our presence at the funeral last weekend.
  • Please pray that The Lord will provide good jobs for several people in our church community who are seeking employment.

Current needs:
  • We are searching for more drivers to join the Bhutanese Transportation Team for our Tuesday evening outreach. If you are available to drive our shuttle bus for one hour on Tuesday evenings (must be 25 years old, no CDL required), please contact Drew Hammond at drewh@missionadelante.org.
  • Expo dry-erase markers for use in the Bhutanese Kids Programs. Please contact Kristen at kristenm@missionadelante.org.
Important dates:
  • Bhutanese Teens Volunteer Dinner and Training: Saturday, February 9 Email Hannah Hume at hannahh@missionadelante.org for more information.
  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Dinner: March 2 at Lauren Timberlake's house. Please contact Jenny Dunn for more details at jennyd@missionadelante.org
  • Observation Days: Tuesdays, March 5 & 12 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, March 7 & 14 (Latino) 6:30-8:30  Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming?  Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself!
  • Bring-A-Friend Fund-Raiser for Bhutanese Teens Coordinator Hannah Hume: Saturday, March 9 Email Hannah Hume at hannahh@missionadelante.org for more information.





2 comments:

Caroline said...

Wow Iris! It is so cool how you have fought so much for this. :) It is amazing that you are going to KU. You really deserve it! So happy for you!!!!!
<3 Caroline

Kathleen said...

Iris, you're amazing! Thanks for sharing your story. :)