"Imago Dei"; "Image bearer of God". This past year I have heard these phrases over and over in our churches, at conferences, and in books. We use these terms to assert that human beings have inherent value, given to them by the Almighty Creator, despite what they do. I wholeheartedly agree with this truth! However, I am still learning, and sometimes fail to treat others in ways that recognize this dignity.
Duane Elmer shares an anecdote in his book, Cross-Cultural Servanthood, that left a lasting impression on me. Elmer shared about a walk he took with a ministry partner in the city: "Walking with Mark one night, I noticed a lady at the corner ahead. She was scantily clad. I turned to him and asked in a voice the lady would not hear, 'Is she a prostitute?' He paused; I remember thinking, Why the pause? It's obvious. Then he said firmly, 'No! That's not a prostitute. That's a person...in prostitution.' ...When I saw this woman, I saw a prostitute. When Mark saw her, he saw a human being."
Mark saw the woman for who she is, not what she does with her life. Who did Jesus visit and speak to as he walked through the villages, towns, and cities of his time? He visited both those who were accepted and those who were rejected by society. Sometimes it was scandalous. Jesus modeled how to see the image of God in people and he treated them as valued individuals just as he treats each of us. As Christians, God entrusts us with the opportunity to see people the way he sees them, too.
At the heart of all of this is God's message that a right perspective will allow us to lead with love instead of judgement. When I encounter another person, do I first notice an image bearer of God, or a thief, an alcoholic, a jerk who cut me off, an illegal immigrant, a liar?
The Mission Adelante staff is constantly plumbing the depth of messages like this one and we find ourselves challenged for the better. Will you join us in asking God how to live as citizens of His Kingdom here in our world?
In other news:
- The Bhutanese LIT students have been studying physics, and will conclude our study with an egg drop on October 17th! The kids are excited about applying all they have learned.
- We are excited to see the teens participating in and leading Teens Club in new ways this trimester. Each week, we have had tons of Nepali cultural dances and songs performed and led by students for their peers and mentors to watch. It has been lots of fun celebrating Nepali teen culture together!
- Christ Community Church (Downtown) will be hosting a Pray4Reform gathering on October 17th from 7-8am. Please join our staff there to pray. 1708 Baltimore Ave, KCMO.
- Pray for students in our upper level Latino ESL classes that have not come to class yet this trimester. We hope to see them return soon!
- Pray for Congressional Leaders who will likely take up immigration reform at the end of this month. Ask God to lead them toward what is noble, pure, right, and excellent.
- If you are out and about and notice swimsuits on clearance, would you think about picking some up for kids at Mission Adelante? We go swimming many times a year, even in the winter, and sometimes we find out on the way to the pool that some of our friends don’t have swimsuits that fit. We specifically need suits that fit Elementary and Middle School boys, and one-piece suits that fit later Elementary and Middle School girls. If you have questions, or would like to help, contact Kristen Maxwell at Kristenm@missionadelante.org.
- Our Leaders in Training after-school tutoring program is looking for a small group or a few individuals to purchase healthy, pre-packaged snacks for the kids. If you are interested, please contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Observation Days: Tuesdays, November 5 & 12 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, November 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!