Sunday, April 28, 2013

A New Ministry Beginning at Mission Adelante!

by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Executive Director

Marking Milestones
There are important milestones in the life of every person, organization, and ministry; moments that mark movement forward, new growth, or the beginning of a new season.  These moments do a lot to define our lives and our development.  For Mission Adelante I can look back over our eight years and see many of these moments, but three events rise to the top of our list of milestones.  The launch of the ministry, and specifically the beginning of our first "house church", the acquisition of our building, and the launch of our Bhutanese ministries.  The initial launch of our ministry qualifies as a major milestone for obvious reasons, but the beginning of our first "house church" in that same season specifically represented the spiritual first-fruits of our ministry and evidence that what we began could really work. What was a dream had become a reality as we saw the first immigrant family receive Christ and join our fellowship.  The acquisition of a building was another major milestone in that it was truly a game changer.  Heartland Community Church provided the funding for the purchase and remodel in a amazing show of support that vaulted us years forward in our development.  And the launch of our Bhutanese ministries represented the proving of our ministry vision/model with a cultural group other than Latinos, something that has caused us to grow dramatically and open our eyes even wider to what the Lord may want to do with us in the future.  And now, I'm excited to share with you that Mission Adelante is at the beginning of what I believe will be another major milestone in our ministry's development: the launch of a new ministry division called "Community Development Initiatives."

Community Development: Individual and Community Transformation
While much of what we've done up to this point could be considered community development, we are now poised to build on the relational network and the emphasis on individual transformation that we've worked so hard to establish and begin addressing some of the larger issues and needs we have seen in our community.  Being very passionate about our identity and vision as a disciple-making mission, we are intent on holding on to this core calling even as we begin engaging in broader community development initiatives.  We believe that community transformation can spring forth from individual transformation, and that those who at one time were recipients of care and service can become owners and stakeholders in initiatives that improve our entire neighborhood.  Our community development ministry will involve emerging leaders from our neighborhood in developing new initiatives that make a community-wide impact in areas such as entrepreneurialism, job-skills training, and health care that is accessible to people who come from other places.

The Impact of Business: Empowerment, Jobs, Economic Sustainability
At the nexus of business and ministry there is a powerful synergy that moves beyond charity and betterment to development.  Equipping people with marketplace skills and entrepreneurial tools, and helping them start small businesses is empowering, promotes community ownership, improves the financial outlook for their families, and contributes to the economy of our entire community.  In a conversation with Pastor Rick Behrens he shared his perspective on the impact of immigrant entrepreneurs on our neighborhood; "Twenty years ago an economic study was done on the Central Avenue area in KCK, and based on that study they predicted that by the year 2000 our area would be a ghost town.  But, they didn't know who was coming and what God had in mind."  Today immigrant-owned businesses are fueling an amazing comeback in our area.  A study done by the Hamilton Project states, "Today's immigrants possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit.  In fact, immigrants are 30% more likely to form new businesses than U.S.-born citizens."  Imagine the impact training, coaching, and start-up capital could have on immigrant entrepreneurs and on the economic development of our community!

The Need for Accessible Health Care
For those of us who were born in the U.S., navigating our health-care system can be an intimidating and confusing experience.  Now, imagine trying to make your way through this gauntlet of paperwork, long sterile halls, and sky-high bills as a new refugee coming directly from a camp in Nepal with very little English.  A 2013 study done by the Population Health Institute ranks Wyandotte County 99th out of 102 counties in Kansas for health outcomes (mortality and morbidity), while neighboring Johnson County is ranked #1.  In addition to other factors, our community is clearly under-served in terms of health-care.  Our immigrant friends often hesitate to visit the doctor because cultural and language barriers create a sense of fear and distrust that are very difficult to overcome.  High health-care costs and lack of insurance make preventative or primary care seem like an un-affordable luxury, and the emergency room often becomes the first stop for patients who could have prevented a crisis by seeing the doctor sooner.  As we explore ways to address some of the most glaring needs in our community, making health-care accessible both culturally and financially to immigrants has emerged as one of our highest priorities.

What's Happening Now?
Over the past several months Mission Adelante has begun preparations to launch three new initiatives:
  • Adelante Thrift: We have formed a board of directors and are working on a launch plan for a neighborhood thrift store that will provide jobs and job-skills training, and will serve as an incubator for small immigrant-owned businesses.  Income generated by Adelante Thrift will provide another source of sustainable funding for other Mission Adelante ministries.
  • Micro-lending/Small business start-up ministry: Last fall we piloted our first business as ministry project as we helped the RG Asian store (ethnic groceries) start-up in our neighborhood.  This summer, as we form our team for this new ministry program, we will be hosting Rudy Carrasco from Partners Worldwide for a training seminar on business as ministry.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Medical Clinic: A team of people from our neighborhood has been hard at work doing surveys and focus groups within the Mission Adelante community to assess the real health-care needs of the people we serve.  We are hoping to finish these surveys in the next couple of months.
Funding Needs
One of the biggest challenges and most important aspects of our plan to launch these new initiatives will be to raise the funds necessary to move forward.  During the second half of 2013 we will praying earnestly and  making a significant effort to both increase funding for our General Ministry Fund, as well as secure funding for our new Community Development Initiatives.  We will be approaching current donors to suggest an increase in giving for those who are able, and inviting new people to partner with us financially as well.  Though our "campaign" has not yet begun, if you would like to begin contributing or increase your giving you may do so online by visiting

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Faces of Immigration

Written by Lauren Timberlake
Photos by Molly Merrick

We have recently shared several posts inviting readers to investigate what the Bible says about immigrants and to examine attitudes in the light of those truths. That is hard work, and we thank God so many are taking the time to engage in something that we really care about at Mission Adelante. Today, we’d like to focus on one of the reasons why we care so much. Immigration is not just theology or politics to us-- it is individuals and families, grandmothers and little boys, friends and even co-laborers with us in our efforts towards sharing the message of Jesus. Here are some photos of the immigrants in our community, taken at last week’s trimester-end celebrations. As you scroll, please pray for these people and the community they represent, for their families and their futures, for health and stability, for life and hope.

Ratna, Julie, and Ran walk into the Bhutanese Family Fun Celebration together.

Beth loves on kids as they wait in line for food at the Latino End of Trimester Party.

The youngest group from Kids Adelante lines up together after receiving awards.

Brenda and Tika enjoy creating temporary henna “tattoos” together at the mehndi station.

The program awards are finished, and Krishna and Janelle help get the Nepali dance party started.

Michael earned the pinnacle award for learning all the verses and not missing a day of Kids Adelante this term.

Kids Club friends Sarah, Kabita and Pramoda spend time together as they wait for dinner.
In other news:

  • Informational meetings were held on Sunday afternoon for students who are interested in beginning the application process for the Leaders in Training Program for the 2013-2014 school year.  Many students attended and have begun the application process!
  • More than 90 evangelical leaders from Kansas City gathered on Tuesday to hear from Noel Castellanos, CEO of Christian Community Development Association, about our call to confront injustice for the benefit of our neighbors, specifically, in this case, injustice in the form of out-dated immigration policy. See Fox 4's news coverage of the event.
  • We're always grateful for donations to our Resource Center.  Please help us out by not leaving donations outside of the Resource Center, or inside or outside of our facility!  The weather can make a mess out of them!  Please contact Molly at to arrange a time to drop-off your donation.
Prayer needs:
  • As we reflect on the past trimester and consider the feedback we've received, pray for God to lead us to continue to shape our programs to best serve the needs of immigrants, and to most clearly demonstrate to them the love of Christ.
  • Jarrett & Kristen Meek and family's sabbatical is about to conclude, and although we find ourselves increasingly eager to welcome them back to Kansas City this Monday, we know it will be a taxing transition for them.  Please pray for the Lord to supply extra energy and patience for them in the coming weeks.
Important dates:

  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Snacks and Training:
    Saturday, May 4, 2:00, at Lauren Timberlake’s house. Please consider joining us for fun, prayer and some cultural training as we keep learning how to love the Bhutanese well. Please contact Jenny Dunn at for more details.
  • Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, May 18, 9:00-12:30 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's ministry.  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 20, 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 programs launch: Week of May 27

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"Crying For...": A poem for Christians about our hearts toward people from other places

"Crying For...", by Jarrett Meek

Rain falls like tears from heaven, crying for the pain of millions whom God loves and are created in His image.

Living to the South, cycles of poverty perpetuate, the stench of government corruption poisons progress, violence devastates viability, work and wages wither.

On mission trips we say, “wow, they are so happy in their simple life.” But, in believing so we minimize their strife.

We choose to view their suffering as a blessing while knowing inside that we could never live like that. We somehow see ourselves as different, and this blinds us to their plight and stops us short of action.

They’re now our neighbors, trying to escape what we could never bear. They’ve left children and wives, they’ve risked their lives to make a future for them and to leave despair.

We’re angry. We say “go back”. We look at them with disdain and demonstrate the compassion we lack. “What’s ours is ours” we feel justified in declaring, “we’re blessed by God and we don’t like sharing.”

“Wait in line”, “follow the rules”, “learn our language” we shout, not realizing or caring that our laws have shut them out. If you’re a doctor, welcome in or if your family member is a citizen. If not you can try your luck, win the lottery or you’re simply stuck.

“It’s economics”, we say as our hoarding hearts betray the fact that we were not sincere when in their land we shed a tear for the blessings that destroy and the poverty they enjoy.

Politics and Christianity now mixed make it hard to draw the line between secular and divine. Complexities build a web of confusion in our minds. How does Christian thought and action address the situation and distress?

“Obey the law”, some say, is the rule that wins the day. Not to slight this right command, but what about us who were born in this land? Does not the Lord this law decree, that love our neighbor is priority? What’s OUR response to our neighbor’s pain? How about mercy, not disdain!

Of course they’re sinners, as are we, we need the truth to set us free. The greatest commandment cannot be ignored, and without the gospel we can’t be restored. It’s the mission field you see, coming here to you and me.

Let us not in blindness miss the hypocrisy of all of this, to visit them in their land and say “Jesus loves” on one day, and then the next when they move in on our block to say “go home!” and bolt the lock.

The rain again is falling down, God crying for us Christians now. Not for suffering or for pain, but for missing the point, an ugly stain. Let us repent and turn around, God change our hearts renew us now, give us compassion and hearts of grace. Help us not to turn our face from you or those who need to taste the news of Christ his saving love and skies that clear from clouds above.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Times with Friends

 Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Teens Coordinator

My Freshman year of college I lived in India for 5 months. It was a great experience, and one where I got to try a lot of things for the first time. I had my first motorcycle ride there, I ate lots of new foods, took bucket baths, and learned how to barter in the marketplace.

Similarly, many of our Latino and Bhutanese friends get to try lots of things for the first time when they move to America. Some of them are really fun, and some of them are not as fun. Whether it’s using a soda fountain for the first time and marveling at the world of modern convenience, seeing snow for the first time and sledding in it, or doing something less fun like learning how to read utility bills, immigrants get to have lots of firsts.

On Sunday, the Bhutanese outreach got to be a part of an exciting first-time event with our friends: bowling! Mission Adelante ends each trimester with a big party for the community. This trimester some of our staff got creative with the party planning, and we held our party at nearby St. John’s Catholic Club and bowling alley! For most of our Bhutanese friends, this was their first time ever bowling, and they loved it!

Inversely, the American volunteers got to experience some things for the first time, too. There was henna for the ladies to paint their hands, and Nepali Carrom board games for kids and adults to play. And of course we finished the night off with a lot of dancing to Hindi music!  It was a great time to celebrate the end of another trimester of learning English, making new friends, deepening old friendships, and growing in our knowledge of God together!

In other news:
  • Forty-nine Bhutanese ESL students were honored at our party last Sunday night for their consistent attendance this trimester. We are so proud of the way they continue to press into language study!
  • We celebrated our Latino program graduates, both kids and adults, at a party this past Saturday at Bethany Community Center in KCK.  It was a huge success! All of the main courses for dinner were prepared by participants and their families and our Leaders In Training students led activities for all the kids during the adult portion of the program.
Prayer needs:

  • Pray for compassionate and family-friendly immigration reform.
  • Sunday afternoon we will have meetings for students and parents interested in participating in the Leaders In Training program during the 2013-2014 school year.  Pray that the Lord would bring the right kids and guide everyone through the application process.
  • Pray for the Meek family as they're preparing for their return from sabbatical to the States on April 29! (Keep reading below this post for Jarrett's recent "Sabbatical Reflections from Costa Rica!")

Current needs:

  • We're always grateful for donations to our Resource Center. Please help us out by not leaving donations outside of the Resource Center, or inside or outside of our facility! The weather can make a mess out of them! Please contact Molly at to arrange a time to drop-off your donation.
  • A Bhutanese family is in need of a car seat for their 18-month-old daughter. If you could provide one, please contact Drew at
Important dates:
  • Saturday, May 4, 2:00: Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Snacks and Training, at Lauren Timberlake’s house. Please consider joining us for fun, prayer and some cultural training as we keep learning how to love the Bhutanese well. Please contact Jenny Dunn at for more details.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sabbatical Reflections from Costa Rica

by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Executive Director/Pastor

A sabbatical is a strange and wonderful thing; a phenomenon that defies the laws of productivity and normal adult experience.  The last time I can remember being free from responsibility for four solid months was before I entered kindergarten, which I naturally don't remember.  Even as a kid, the long summers of swimming, romping in the woods behind our house, and playing baseball always came to an abrupt end after just three months, and were replaced by the rigors of school and the constant pressure of much-dreaded homework.  And then, as an adult, there never really had been a break from responsibility.  Even during a rare two-week vacation there was always the knowledge that my work was waiting at home to punish me for leaving it unattended for so long.  And then suddenly (or not so suddenly if I think about all the preparation that was required), I was extracted from the battlefield of urban ministry in Kansas City on a snowy New Year's Eve morning.  When we landed that evening, I found myself surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of Costa Rica with fireworks lighting up every corner of the warm night sky in what seemed like an extravagant city-wide, "welcome to sabbatical" party; a celebratory beginning of four months free of responsibility and separated from ministry by 2500 miles.  The lessons learned and the experiences lived during this time are in some ways very profound and in others quite mundane.  If you had four months to read, I would share it all with you.  But, for now you'll have to settle for a few highlights!

Routines, Rhythms, and Habits
I learned that a sabbatical is not a vacation.  On vacation, every routine is thrown out the window along with a whole lot of money.  Well, a family can't live like that for four months!  Besides realizing that the high prices of most products in Costa Rica would mean we would be watching every Colón (1/5 of a penny),  we also discovered fairly quickly that if we were going to thrive here during this time we would need to establish some rhythms and routines.  The opportunity to do this without factoring in work meant that daily exercise with the kids, homeschooling (yes, I was in charge of homeschooling during sabbatical), family devotional times, regular time playing basketball and baseball with Charlie, and frequent dates with Kristen would be easily established.  What a rich family time!

My own personal study time was also factored into the daily rhythm; about 2 hours/day of reading, writing, prayer, and Bible study.  This time was not pressured in any way, but at first was simply my time, doing whatever I felt like. It later became a little more focused as I found my rhythm.  One of the things I read in the first month was a classic Latin American novel called "Cién Años de Soledad."  As I reached back to try to remember all of the things I've enjoyed doing in the past, but haven't had time to do, I was struck by the importance of having habits that keep me from having to spend the mental energy making every decision each day about what to focus on.  I discovered that where there are habits and routines established around some of the most important things in our lives we are able to execute them much more consistently because we're not starting from scratch each day trying to make a new plan.  I reflected a lot on the inconsistency of my own spiritual disciplines over the last several years, and a personal goal for this sabbatical became to gently re-establish habits and rhythms around some of the things that are hard to maintain or restart during the busyness of life and ministry on the battlefield.

Primacy of Relationships
In the abundance of family time, devotional time, reading, and the relaxed schedule, the Lord brought me back many times to one important word: relationships.  Where have I put ministry productivity above loving others?  Where have I put ministry function above loving my teammates?  Where have I put results over relationships?  I don't want to be that kind of leader.  I don't want to be that kind of person.  I've seen it before; strong and gifted leaders whose competence replaces character and whose talent becomes a substitute for healthy relationships.  Surely results in ministry are enhanced by rich and thriving relationships over the long-haul.  Surely relationships are the essence of real godly ministry.  I pray the Lord will allow me to grow in this area and give me the eyes to see how I need to change and where I need to pursue reconciliation with people I've hurt along the way.

Being vs. Doing
The tension between "doing and being" is often talked about in ministry circles.  I don't know how this happened, but I think I've always misunderstood what was meant by the "being" side of this equation.  I guess I thought it meant inactivity, rest, just existing, the OPPOSITE of doing; kind of like the difference between work and rest.  Somehow during this sabbatical God changed my understanding of what the "being" side of this balance looks like and gave me a new excitement for it.  First, I discovered that it really isn't a balance at all.  Second, although the work vs. rest rhythm is very important, "BEING" in this sense should not be equated with rest as though it were the opposite of doing.  I spent a lot of time plumbing the depths of my own heart and character and reflecting on who I AM and who I want to BE.  I tried to put some of those thoughts in writing in the form of personal values and found that many of them ended up identifying character qualities that I long to see God form in me.  BEING, I discovered, has to do with what kind of person I AM.  And instead of creating tension with doing, the who I am, is the fountain out of which the doing flows.  "Every good tree produces good fruit..." (Mt. 7:17).  So on sabbatical I had time to reflect on who I am and who I want to be... my own growth and what God is doing in me.  Here is one example:
Lover of Mercy:  I want to always see the potential in the people around me, even those who fail many times.  I want to be quick to show mercy even when I have been personally wronged.  I want to avoid taking harsh and critical views of others, opting instead to be a person who defends the dignity of those whom others judge harshly.
Run While You Can!
Running has been an important part of my life since I was young.  I'll spare you the details of my glory days, but the point is that during this sabbatical I have renewed my love for running.  When we arrived here I have to confess that I was in the worst physical condition of my life.  My joints hurt, I had been dealing with a tight hamstring for nearly a year, I had a mild case of sciatica and a growing belly, and I really hadn't run much since a case of IT band syndrome had foiled my first attempt at training for a marathon back in the summer of 2011.  I felt like I was on a downward spiral in terms of exercise capacity and I was kind of depressed about it.  Well, here I've had ample time to rebuild little by little.  Somewhere along the way it dawned on me that there would come a day when I would not be ABLE to run anymore.  I would not be able to sprint.  I would not be able to run 2 miles.  "I need to enjoy this while I can", I thought.   And so I have!  And as we near the end of this four month half-time break, I am in better running condition that I have been in the last ten years.  I'm 32 years old again!  Just for fun, I've been running a slower version of the dreaded "quarter" workout we used to do in high school track and cross country; 16 x 400m sprints.   And now that I'm back in the exercise groove, my motivation to continue when we return is very strong.

Impact on Mission Adelante
It was never really in doubt, but that doesn't mean it was not significant.  The Lord has blessed Mission Adelante with some really gifted leaders who have been able to guide the ship and take new ground during my absence. And it is now clear that He has built a ministry that is not dependent on the personality of its founder.  All of the responsibilities of running the ministry were passed on to capable staff who led through highlights and challenges, without ever having to hit the emergency button and call me back in.  Not only did Mission Adelante survive, but its impact increased, and its leaders were challenged to grow in ways that would never have happened if I had been there.  And we will now have the opportunity to press into the lessons learned from this "disappearing leader" experiment as we look forward to how God will use this time in our future as a ministry.

With a couple of weeks left in this out-of-responsibility experience, my mind and heart are shifting back home, and I'm excited to reengage with the community and mission that God has given us.  There are exciting things on the horizon for Mission Adelante; things I am eager to share with you soon.  So, I invite you to pray for me in this transition, and for my family, and for the Mission Adelante community as we continue to live our God's calling to serve, share life and share Jesus with people from other places .  Thank you for your friendship and partnership!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Living Life-on-Life

Written by Jenny Dunn, Bhutanese ESL Coordinator

Hannah Hume with two Bhutanese teen girls
One of our core values at Mission Adelante is to make disciples and leaders that are capable of reproducing the work of Jesus. This past year, our staff read and discussed the book The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert E. Coleman. This book does an incredible job of bringing to life the way that Jesus made disciples as we look through the Gospels.

One of His strategies was association.  Coleman says that Jesus made a habit of "being with them". Jesus taught these men his way by drawing them close to himself. It seems to be too simple as we consider the instruction in all the curriculum and books that tell us how to disciple.  Jesus was his own school and curriculum!   We at Mission Adelante are not opposed to such things as tools, but we find it very refreshing to see that anyone can make disciples simply by intentionally being with people and capturing teachable moments.

Our staff has grown so much in this area since we studied this book together.  For example, a couple months ago, my husband and I had a painting day at our house. We had been painting for a little while when Hannah Hume, the Bhutanese Teens Coordinator called.  She told me that she was coming over and bringing some Bhutanese teens along. I knew this was going to be interesting because most of the Bhutanese have never painted before.  When they arrived we assigned them to priming the basement stairway.  While they worked, I was painting the door to the basement, so I got to overhear their conversation.  I got to hear how Hannah teaches them about following Jesus in small and ordinary things, like how Jesus asks us to treat others with respect and that means not priming your sister’s hair.

This is just one example of how our friends learn about Jesus’ heart by spending time with Jesus-followers. The staff and volunteers at Mission Adelante pray that many will know Jesus and love Him through their association with us.

In other news:
  • Cody Lorance and his family from Trinity International Baptist Mission in the Chicago area came to visit Mission Adelante to see the ministry and share some training and experiences.  It was a wonderful time of learning, friendship and fellowship with them.
  • Marlen, Gissel, and Lorenzo have been Leaders In Training during the past few school years, and will be our first graduates of the tutoring program! As the three are completing eighth-grade this year, they've reached the upper limit of the LIT program. We are excited to celebrate their accomplishment at the party on Saturday!
  • Welcome to the Mission Adelante Community, Elsa Louise Holland! Latino ESL Level 1 Coordinator Jacob Holland and wife Michelle welcomed Elsa early Tuesday morning. Mother and baby are very well and big sisters Adie and Keziah couldn't be more excited!

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for the parties this weekend that conclude our spring trimester!  Pray for moments of sweet fun and fellowship for our community members and volunteers.
  • Please continue to pray for a neighborhood family who is mourning the death of their 14 year old son, killed in a drive-by shooting nearly two weeks ago.
  • Pray for God’s favor over two Latinos in our community who are applying for U.S. residency.

Current needs:
  • Dance party lights that we could borrow for the Bhutanese Spring Party this Sunday. Contact Jenny Dunn for more information:
  • The Bhutanese Spring party on April 14th is a bowling party and we need new socks in kid, teen, and adult sizes by Saturday, April 13th. Contact Jenny Dunn for more information:
  • Our Resource Center is low on gently-used kitchen items. Please contact Molly Merrick at to set up a time to drop-off your donation.  Please help us out by not leaving donations inside or outside our facility.  Thanks!
Important dates:
Please note: The dates of the Latino and Bhutanese Spring Parties are reversed on the "2013 Key Dates" magnets. The dates listed here are correct.
  • Saturday, April 13, 5:00-8:00: Latino Spring Party, at Bethany Community Center.  Please come and help us celebrate the accomplishments of our ESL, Teens, Kids Adelante, and L.I.T. students this trimester and honor volunteers with sustained service. Bethany Community Center is located on Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas (66102) between 11th and 12th Streets, behind the fire station.
  • Sunday, April 14, 5:00-8:00: Bhutanese Spring Party, at St. John's Catholic Club and Community Center, 720 N. 4th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101.  Please come and help us celebrate the accomplishments of our ESL, Teens Club, Kids Club, and L.I.T. students this trimester and honor volunteers with sustained service.
  • Saturday, May 4, 2:00: Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Snacks and Training, at Lauren Timberlake’s house. Please consider joining us for fun, prayer and some cultural training as we keep learning how to love the Bhutanese well. Please contact Jenny Dunn at for more details.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Celebrating New Life

Written by David Stetler, Bhutanese Outreach Director

When the disciples realized that the very-much dead and buried Jesus had risen from the dead, they recognized that life as they knew it had just changed forever.  Jesus was alive again and new life was beginning to emerge.  Through the power of the Resurrection God broke into the narrative of human history, into our lives of brokenness, and He had started something NEW!

This year has been filled with new life at Mission Adelante.  We have seen the living God come into the middle of pain, sorrow and life's many challenges and offer transformation.  The message of love and forgiveness flows out of the message of the Resurrection, and God says to us “This is the time” when all things began to be made new - beauty instead of ashes, gladness instead of mourning, and joy instead of despair.  When we leave it all behind to follow Jesus, we are promised new life in Him. With a divine sigh of relief, the God who created all things releases us from the past, and we step into new life with Him forever. What a promise!

At Mission Adelante, sharing Jesus with people from other places is our passion because we believe that He can and He is making all things new.  We see His truth and love give hope, joy and new life.  Whether it's teaching English or investing in the lives of kids, sharing a meal with a family or tutoring a student, walking with a teenager through life or leading someone through the teachings of Jesus - we find Him making all things new. As we share life with these friends, in the joys and sorrows, we see His transforming love at work changing it all into beauty and gladness. He is truly making all things new.

In Other News:

  • One of our church partners, Christ Community EFC, is hosting a conference this weekend called CG2013: Pursuing the Common Good of Our City.  Jason Schoff will have the opportunity to share during a break-out session about a biblical perspective on the immigrant living in our communities and Mission Adelante's ministry efforts.  Find out more about the conference by clicking here.
  • Last Tuesday the Bhutanese Teenagers celebrated a Nepali cultural festival called “holi” at teens club. During this festival people throw brightly-colored chalk powder at one another and celebrate good conquering evil. So, Mission Adelante decided to get in on the action and throw some chalk ourselves, while celebrating Jesus, the ultimate good, conquering the evils of death, sickness, and sin in our own lives. It was a fun evening of worshiping Jesus together in a traditional Nepali way.
  • The Latino Leaders in Training students have eagerly taken on running the children’s activities during our Spring trimester party, a week from Saturday.  We are so blessed to see our young leaders growing right before our eyes!
Prayer needs:
  • The pick-up route for the Bhutanese LIT students yesterday intersected with two locations where people were fatally shot over the weekend.  One victim was a 14 year-old boy who was in class with some of our 8th graders.  Pray for the Lord’s peace and protection to overwhelm our neighborhood, especially kids trying to make sense of senseless violence.
  • Please pray that the current trimester of outreach programs would conclude well next week, and pray that the Lord would provide fresh vision and clarity as we begin to plan for the upcoming summer trimester. We want our plans to be his plans, and his vision to be ours.
  • Pray for our Spring parties on April 13 and 14, that our students will feel really blessed by being honoring for their effort and achievement this trimester.
  • On April 21st we will have our informational meeting for next year’s Leaders in Training program.  At this meeting families will hear the vision of LIT and pick up an application packet.  Pray that the Lord would bring the right kids to be a part of next year’s program.
Current needs:
  • Pony beads with large holes (to thread on yarn) for Kids Club crafts.  Contact Kristen Maxwell for more information:
  • Dance party lights that we could borrow for the Bhutanese Spring Party. Contact Jenny Dunn for more information:
  • The Bhutanese Spring party on April 14th is a bowling party and we need new socks in kid, teen, and adult sizes by Thursday April 11th. Contact Jenny Dunn for more information:
Important dates:
Please note: The dates of the Latino and Bhutanese Spring Parties are reversed on the "2013 Key Dates" magnets. The dates listed here are correct.
  • Saturday, April 13, 5:00-8:00: Latino Spring Party, at Bethany Community Center.  Please come and help us celebrate the accomplishments of our ESL, Teens, Kids Adelante, and L.I.T. students this trimester and honor volunteers with sustained service. Bethany Community Center is located on Central Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas (66102) between 11th and 12th Streets, behind the fire station.
  • Sunday, April 14, 5:00-8:00: Bhutanese Spring Party, at St. John's Catholic Club and Community Center, 720 N. 4th Street, Kansas City, KS 66101.  Please come and help us celebrate the accomplishments of our ESL, Teens Club, Kids Club, and L.I.T. students this trimester and honor volunteers with sustained service.
  • Saturday, May 4, 2:00: Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Snacks and Training, at Lauren Timberlake’s house. Please contact Jenny Dunn at for more details.