Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interview with an ESL Conversation Partner

Mission Adelante's Bhutanese Logistics Coordinator, Drew Hammond, recently interviewed his mother, Julie Hammond, about her experience serving as an ESL conversation partner with the Bhutanese Ministry.

How long have you been serving with Mission Adelante?
I have been serving as a conversation partner for the level two English Second Language (ESL) class in the Bhutanese Ministry for one year.
What are some things that you have taught your Bhutanese friends during your time of service?
During ESL class we have taught our Bhutanese friends many things. For example: the difference between “chop, dice, slice, and cube” when cutting vegetables, how to fill out citizenship applications, and to say “I need an interpreter for Nepali” when going to the hospital or doctor. My family and I have also invited our Bhutanese friends over to our house to teach them how to make pizza!

Those are all great ways that you have taught your friends! In what ways do you feel like you have learned from your relationships with your Bhutanese friends?
I have learned that we can love each other, even when we are just learning to speak each others language. They have also taught me how to make really yummy homemade chai tea.

Tell me more about how you express love to each other without speaking the same language.
Even without deep conversations, we build connections through serving one another and through smiles, hugs, and “namaste”. [“Namaste” is a word used to greet someone in Nepali culture.]

You mentioned that you build connections with your Bhutanese friends by serving one another. How have you been served by your Bhutanese friends?
   I’m fed very well every time I visit their homes, they have extended my family by adopting me (and my family) into theirs. They also teach me Nepali words during English Class and help me to understand their culture.

What is one thing that you have learned about Bhutanese culture?
How they celebrate. Their heart and soul is put into every detail of their celebrations. I really enjoyed learning one of their cultural festivals which is about celebrating the relationship between siblings. I wish that our culture had a celebration like that too.

Are there any moments where you feel like your friendships with Bhutanese were life-giving to you?
The moment that stands out the most is when I was dancing with everyone at the End of Trimester Party in the Spring. Earlier this year I was at a womens conference and some of the women laid their hands on me and prayed for healing of my Multiple Sclerosis (MS), which I had for 14 years. During those years I was unable to dance due to the side effects of MS, but while the women were praying for me, I felt like I was going to dance again. I had no idea the first time I would dance after 14 years of illness would be with my Bhutanese friends from the other side of the world.

That is a very moving story, thank you for sharing that. Is there any advice you would have for other people who may be interested in serving or who are already serving at Mission Adelante?

My Bhutanese friends are so jovial and easy to laugh with that they make it seem like we aren’t serving them. Instead it feels like I am spending time with my friends and having fun together. My advice would be to come and build relationships with our Bhutanese friends who will do anything for you that they can.

Important Dates:
  • Wednesday, December 25-Wednesday, January 1: Mission Adelante office closed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hard Work Pays Off for the Leaders in Training

Our Leaders in Training enjoyed an overnight trip to Great Wolf Lodge last weekend as a reward for working so hard this semester!  Thank you to all of you that made it possible for the kids to experience the awesome rewards that hard work can yield!  Here are a few photos of the fun we had.

In other news:
  • It's a fun time of year, as both the Latino and the Bhutanese ministries are preparing for Christmas parties and award events this weekend.
  • Many of our immigrant friends are discovering the joys of American holiday traditions for the first time as they are welcomed to take part in family traditions by their American friends. It is really fun not only to learn about our immigrant friends' cultures, but also to share our own culture with them through things like turkeys and Christmas trees!
  • Bhutanese ESL volunteers visited student homes during English class this week. We are thankful for the cross-cultural friendships that have formed this fall!

Prayer needs:
  • Please continue to pray for health concerns in the Bhutanese community. There are many chronic conditions like diabetes and headaches as well as acute medical needs. Additionally, one of our students is recovering from bypass surgery this week.
  • Pray for our kids to finish out the semester of school strong!
  • Please pray for one of our Latino church members who is recovering from knee replacement surgery and will have challenging physical therapy.
  • Ask God to open a door for immigration reform to be considered by Congress in January.

Current needs:
  • The Resource center has an immediate need of 5 space heaters to help families in our community stay warm! If anyone can help please e-mail
  • Calling All Geeks:  We are looking to build our very own “Adelante Geek Squad.”  If you can de-bug a computer, install new hardware, or offer advice on technology upgrades, put your skills to work for the Kingdom and bask in our undying love and respect for your geekness. Contact Sarah at to join the squad.

Important dates:
  • Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 14 at 5:30.  Bethany Community Center (1120 Central Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102). Everyone is invited! Please invite anyone you know who is interested in learning more about Mission Adelante or possibly volunteering in the future!
  • Bhutanese Christmas Party: Saturday, December 14 from 4:00-8:00. First Baptist Church (2900 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102). Everyone is invited! Please invite anyone you know who is interested in learning more about Mission Adelante or possibly volunteering in the future!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

A Major Milestone for Mission Adelante!

Dear Friends,

Mission Adelante is on the cusp of a major milestone that represents nothing less than the accomplishment of our dream and vision!  In the next year we intend to hire our first staff members from within our own community!  Can you imagine the impact this important step will make on our effectiveness in reaching people from other places?  We would like to invite you to be a part of this turning point in our ministry’s development.  In fact, we need you to lock arms with us at this exciting moment to help make it happen!

When Jesus called his first disciples to follow Him, He promised that he would make them “fishers of men”.  The invitation to be with Jesus comes with a challenge to join Him in the work of making disciples.  From the time we started Mission Adelante we have been dreaming of the day when leaders from our own community would rise up to join us as workers in the Lord’s harvest field.  That dream is coming true!  As we look forward to 2014 we have as many as three leaders from our community who could be ready to join our staff in key ministry roles.  These “home-grown leaders” have been part of our ministry in various areas for several years, have been discipled intentionally, and are now leading with us.  They have become and are becoming “fishers of men.”

Amazing Matching Gift Opportunity for 50 Donors!   
In order to make this next step possible, we are launching a new giving fund to create an avenue for donors to help us hire staff members from our own community.  We are calling this new fund the “Community Leaders Fund”. To help get us started, a generous donor has offered to supplement EACH new recurring gift to the “Community Leaders Fund” (at least $25/month) with a $1000 one-time gift (up to a total of $50,000). In other words, your new recurring gift to the Community Leaders Fund gets a $1000 bonus added to it!  The heart of this “matching” opportunity is to encourage ongoing giving to the Community Leaders Fund to foster long-term sustainability.  We are praying that God would provide $2500/month in new recurring gifts and $30,000 in one-time contributions by year-end to help us launch our Community Leaders Fund.  

We would like to invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with us this year-end by contributing to the Community Leaders Fund, either with recurring contributions, or with a one-time gift.  You may send contributions to Mission Adelante Inc.,  22 South 18th Street, Kansas City, KS  66102, or give online at  Be sure designate your contribution to “Community Leaders Fund”.  Thank you for your support and partnership all these years!
In His Grace,

Jarrett Meek
Pastor/Executive Director