Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Teens Coordinator
At Mission Adelante we believe that ministry is about relationships, and that relationships are meant to be two-way streets. Both parties should serve one another, teach one another, and grow together. Relationships that function like this require both participants to exercise humility.
I am often caught off guard by the humility that my refugee friends display. As a 23-year old white American female, I am quite naive about the suffering in this world. Sure, I'm fluent in English and I know how to navigate American structures surrounding things like obtaining a drivers license, for example. Really though, what right do I have to enter into the lives of my refugee friends, or to be a trusted counselor to many of my friends?
These men and women--my friends--are strong. They have raised families in refugee camps and have been forced to move around the world to a new country to start life over again. Many of them have been farmers, mothers, doctors, and school teachers, and now here they are, allowing a young, single woman--who only recently learned how to shovel snow out of her own driveway--into their world. It would be quite easy for them to take one look at me and write me off. I don’t understand the things they have been through, or are going through. I don’t really know that much about their culture, nor do I speak their language. Who am I to think that I have anything to offer them?
Nevertheless, they welcome me in, and not just as an aid to understanding and navigating their new home here in America. They welcome me in as family. They humbly ask for help when they need it and patiently overlook my youth and cultural blunders. Often, I find myself the true beneficiary in the relationship. They teach me to see the world in new ways, offer me friendship and love, regularly feed me dinner, and care for my well being. In turn, I am blessed to offer the truth of Jesus and to serve as a cultural broker for them. However, over and over again, they prove to me that while I am trying to bless them, I am really the one that is receiving the blessing.
Many people equate refugees and immigrants to a drain on our society’s resources. However, we at Mission Adelante would be curious whether people who make that claim know any refugees or immigrants personally. The reason that we so deeply value interdependent relationships is that we have discovered that immigrants have something valuable to offer to us as individuals and as a nation. It is my prayer that we can learn from their experience and have enough humility to accept their contribution.
In other news:
- Our Latino Equipos (Teams) continue to grow and demonstrate new strength in our ministry. These immigrant teams will play a big part in this week’s ESL registration, new volunteer orientation, and Monday’s all volunteer huddle, and we love watching them lead!
- Pray for a successful launch next week for our Spring programs, and for the Lord to bring the right students for English class, teens for teens programs and kids for kids programs.
- Thank God with us for his great provision of volunteers in the past, and ask Him to fill key volunteer slots for all our programs this upcoming trimester.
- We are looking for a donated or low-cost ceiling-mountable projector with a protective cage for the Kids’ Room. If you can help with this, please email Sarah Winston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We still need the following volunteers for our Spring trimester, which begins next week:
- Latino Leaders In Training (Tuesday afternoons): 1 volunteer. Please contact Megan McDermott at email@example.com to learn more.
- Bhutanese Kids Club (Tuesday evenings): 3 volunteers. If you are interested in learning more contact Kristen Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kids Adelante (Thursday evenings): 4 volunteers. Please contact Megan McDermott at email@example.com to learn more.