Making a fresh start!

Refugee Kids Club students received backpacks before they went back to school.

Refugee Kids Club students received backpacks before they went back to school.

Written by Megan McDermott,  Latino Children's and Youth Director

Thank you so much to all of our amazing church partners that helped to make the backpack drive a success.  Our community was so thankful to receive such an enormous blessing.  Please see the fun pictures below as our thank you to you all!


Embracing a new language and a new culture

English Club students learning how to make pizza.

English Club students learning how to make pizza.

Written by Elena Chan, Community Development Director

On May 30th our first English Club was launched with the goal of providing an opportunity for our refugee and immigrant neighbors to be able to to practice their conversational English. Besides learning English we realized that many of them due to the language and culture barriers were never invited to an American house and hardly have any social connections with Americans. Having those goals in mind, we specifically avoided using the main building classrooms, but instead we hosted the Club at the Mission Adelante house next door, to create a more social and less academic environment. The English Club became a place where people could learn and socialize with Americans, while sharing new experiences.

Due to the pilot nature of the English Club, we were not sure what would happen, or what to expect. With a lot of help from our volunteers; we formed several stations focusing on health, practical English, cooking, and arts/crafts. Each station was run by volunteers, the activities and conversations focused on their respective theme. Participants were able to choose their station and rotate after one hour. In our cooking station (the busiest of all of the stations); the participants were baking cookies, making pizzas, meatballs, and even making ice-cream without an ice cream maker (using a lot of ice and salt). Over the course of the summer, we had people from several different countries like Mexico, El Salvador, Nepal, Burma, and Congo.

We came across many stories that people shared with us in the Club. We got to know one of our participants; Kho, who left Burma 15 years ago, fleeing to Thailand and living for more than 10 years in the Karenni Refugee Camp in Thailand. We found some images of the camp online and he showed us his primary school in one of the photos. Kho and his family moved to the U.S. 4 years ago. his mother is still in Burma and his dream is to visit his mother and other relatives who are still in Burma. Another dream of Kho’s is for his family to become American citizens. He has already applied to attend a citizenship class at Catholic Charities this Fall.This is just one story of many that people shared with us this summer. It’s encouraging to see people becoming more comfortable in sharing with us and allowing to be a part of their lives.

I would also like to thank all our volunteers for serving this summer with the English Club. Thank you, Travis, Alice, Amy, Katie, Lance, Jan, Julie, Jeannette, Cody, Joanna, Madi, Ruthie, Tyler, Robert.

CURRENT NEEDS:

  • Adelante Thrift is looking for a long-term volunteer who can drive our box truck for pick-up and delivery of large donated items.  A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is not required.  This volunteer must also be able to assist in lifting and loading/unloading heavy appliances and furniture.  This volunteer position has the potential to become a paid position at Adelante Thrift, for the right candidate. If you are interested in this volunteer position please fill out our volunteer form at adelantethrift.com/volunteer
  • Our kids ministry programs are looking for people to purchase and deliver new board games for our Tuesday & Thursday programs. If you are interested, please contact Megan McDermott at meganm@missionadelante.org.

When we welcome them, we welcome Him

Pictured: A couple of our cute little students coloring at Refuge Kids Club.

Pictured: A couple of our cute little students coloring at Refuge Kids Club.

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's and Youth Director

In Matthew 18, Jesus said:

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me."

Why is it so important for us to invest in the children of our community?  Why is it so vital for us to welcome all children as our neighbors, showing them love and compassion? Because when we welcome them, we welcome Him.  

In our desire to continue pressing into the Lord’s calling in our ministry to “love people from all places”, this summer yielded the opportunity to begin a pilot outreach to the broader refugee community of KCK.  Laxmi Gurung, a young woman that began serving through the Bhutanese Outreach five years ago,  began her apprenticeship this summer.  She has begun leading the Refugee Kid’s Club and when asked why she feels this endeavor is so important, her response was simply beautiful!

"I have learned a lot this summer.  I have learned how to make plans and how to be flexible with others.  I decided to do the apprenticeship because it helps me to learn about leadership and how to grow more in Jesus.  My favorite part about Refugee Kid’s Club is playing with the kids and watching them learn about Jesus.  I think Refugee Kid’s Club is important for the community because if there is a place that kids can go and learn about Jesus, this will help them to know who God is and what He does for us. Also, it is very important for kids to have friends and a place to play. I am most excited about the future of Refugee Kid’s Club and to see more kids coming from different backgrounds!"

Please continue to pray for us in this pilot season and for all the young leaders of our community.

urrent Needs:

  • Adelante Thrift is looking for a long-term volunteer who can drive our box truck for pick-up and delivery of large donated items.  A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is not required.  This volunteer must also be able to assist in lifting and loading/unloading heavy appliances and furniture.  This volunteer position has the potential to become a paid position at Adelante Thrift, for the right candidate. If you are interested in this volunteer position please fill out our volunteer form at adelantethrift.com/volunteer

  • Our kids ministry programs are looking for people to purchase and deliver new board games for our Tuesday & Thursday programs. If you are interested, please contact Megan McDermott at meganm@missionadelante.org.


 




 

ESL and the eagerness to improve

The current ESL Curriculum for Latino ESL at Mission Adelante

The current ESL Curriculum for Latino ESL at Mission Adelante

Written by Paul Kienzle, Latino ESL Director

My wife and I are on loan to Mission Adelante from another Mission agency that has been in existence for over one hundred years.  Because of a changing demographic, evolving ministry emphasis and a multitude of other ongoing nuances and innovations, the Mission agency has changed its name three times in its century long existence to reflect its mission and vision.  Mission Adelante has been in exsistence a much shorter time (almost thirteen years) and has not changed its name.  I marvel at its commitment to the core value of innovation, its openness to “fresh ideas and new approaches” in a highly multicultural demographic like Kansas City.  As Director of Latino ESL ministries, and as a relatively new addition to Mission Adelante; it has been amazing to piece together the innovative history of an ongoing ESL program that started at a dining room table in the home of Jarrett Meek, our Founder and Executive Director.

In his aptly written article on Mission Adelante’s website last week, commitment to Mission Adelante's core value of innovation (see “Innovation or Moldy Bread?”), Jarrett Meek writes, “Innovation implies a willingness to try new things, to take risks, to celebrate successes, to fail and try again, and a constant eagerness to improve and grow.”   In our ESL Latino program, it is our desire to improve and grow and not be satisfied with simply letting a program run on autopilot or turning a blind eye to areas in need of innovation and improvement.  In ignoring issues, we run the risk of mediocrity or stagnancy, which in turn, impacts the learning experience of our ESL students. Some of the best eyes and ears for improvement and growth are from our very own volunteers.  Latino Ministry Director, Yanelis Lopez and myself turned to a group of dedicated volunteers recently for input and help with improving and strengthening the present ESL curriculum "English in Action" for the upper ESL levels.  Needless to say, it was a fruitful evening of discussion (and pizza)!  Our volunteers were eagerly engaged and dedicated to the task of discussing the facts of our present curriculum; the positives, the negatives, any emotion based feedback related to our curriculum and ended with a bounty of great, new ideas. It was a phenomenal first meeting and a great start toward strengthening and improving what we already have.

The momentum of innovation does not stop when a meeting over improving our ESL curriculum needs.  The “willingness to try new things” and the “eagerness to improve and grow” are key building blocks to innovation that compel me to take action and follow through.  May God grant each one of us in our own workplace and personal lives, the desire “to try new things,” the courage “to take risks,” the time “to celebrate successes,” and the perseverance “to fail and try again.”  

Current Needs:

  • Adelante Thrift is looking for a long-term volunteer who can drive our box truck for pick-up and delivery of large donated items.  A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is not required.  This volunteer must also be able to assist in lifting and loading/unloading heavy appliances and furniture.  This volunteer position has the potential to become a paid position at Adelante Thrift, for the right candidate. If you are interested in this volunteer position please fill out our volunteer form at adelantethrift.com/volunteer

Innovation or Moldy Bread?

I was recently talking about the concept of "continuous improvement" with a friend who owns a business.  He often (if not constantly) is processing his business through the lens of scripture, and on this occasion the conversation turned to the importance of ongoing growth in business, ministry and the Christian life.  The Apostle Paul prayed in his letter to the Philippians knowing confidently that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." This good work that the Lord is doing in us is not finished until the day when Jesus returns!  In Exodus 16, God promised to provide daily bread and meat for the Israelites while they were in the desert; this provision came in the form of a bread like substance called manna that fell like dew from the sky, and quail.  While God was providing fresh nourishment each day, there was only one catch; they couldn't save yesterday's portion to eat the next day.  Just as it's easy to fall into "maintain mode" in ministry or business, living on yesterday's manna is a temptation in the Christian life as well.  

The need for fresh and creative approaches in an urban, multicultural context is such a critical factor that we've embraced "innovation" as a core value.   Innovation implies a willingness to try new things, to take risks, to celebrate successes, to fail and try again, and a constant eagerness to improve and grow.  The journey of Mission Adelante has included all of these things.  Sticking to a basic set of vision and values, we've explored and experimented with different strategies, we celebrated successes and improved approaches that have worked well.  We've discontinued ministry programs that had flourished in their season, and we've picked up the pieces and tried again when an idea hasn't worked out.  The shifting nature of our unique ministry context has required a willingness to embrace change and allow the Lord to guide us into new and unfamiliar territory.

This value of innovation on an organizational level has its parallel in our personal lives with Christ.  It is represented by the willingness to trust Him with success and failure, to pursue spiritual growth eagerly, even when it comes through discomfort, to seek fresh nourishment from Christ each day, and to be guided by Him constantly.  Of course, the value of innovation can be misapplied as well.  Dangerous expressions might include always seeking something new, a restlessness that causes us to move too quickly from one thing to another, or an over-ambitious drive to achieve new and bigger things for our own glory.  Nevertheless, the deep spiritual lessons the Lord teaches us when we are willing to be led by Him into unfamiliar territory and nourished by Him with fresh manna daily are an important part of His plan for our continued growth "until the day of Christ Jesus." 

Is your relationship with God current and growing, or are you living on your experience with God from times past?  Have you settled in to what's comfortable and easy in your job, or are you willing to keep improving the way you work?  As I walk through seasons of ministry and life, I pray for the passion and faith to continue pursuing and embracing the growth the Lord wants to produce in me.  I pray that I'll always choose the discomfort and faith that growth requires over the moldy bread of complacency.

Leaders from All Places on the Playing Field

Staff and interns from "all places" getting on the ministry playing field in KCK. 

Staff and interns from "all places" getting on the ministry playing field in KCK. 

by Jarrett Meek, Pastor/Founder/Executive Director

In the midst of life and the ups and downs of ministry, the Lord is quietly carrying Mission Adelante through important milestones.  For some years now we have been focused on mobilizing volunteers and raising up leaders from within the immigrant and refugee community in KCK. In 2011 we began measuring the number of ongoing immigrant volunteers that were serving in ongoing, defined roles in our ministry.  At that point the number represented about 14% of all of our volunteers, a modest, but decent start for a ministry that had initially emphasized recruiting volunteers from suburban churches.  Slowly, each trimester we've made progress.  In 2013 we shifted the focus of our summer internship to equipping youth from our community.  We experimented with different leadership team models that were meant to provide a place at the table for people from other places.  And, with two steps forward and one step back, we began to see fruit.  

Mobilizing "community leaders" for the mission field in our own backyard is not just a strategy, but it is value that comes close to the heart of our mission.  We are convinced that to truly live out our mission in this community, we must do it together!  Not as "us" serving "them", but as a new "we".  Every day I see evidence that we still lack a lot in this regard, but I also see that the Lord is moving us forward.  While we still have a long way to go, this summer trimester marks the first time that more than 25% of our 130 ongoing volunteers are immigrants or refugees.  And, if patterns remain consistent, we might expect to make another significant jump in September.

There is another important and related transition taking place at Mission Adelante;  half of our staff Leadership Team are from other countries, and, during the summer, with our summer interns included, almost half of our staff (46%) are first or second generation immigrants.  These statistics may not break any records for urban ministries, but they represent significant fruit from our efforts at becoming "a multicultural community of disciples making disciples where immigrants and others are thriving and using our gifts together to impact our neighborhood and world for the glory of Jesus Christ. "

Important Dates:

  • Mission Adelante will be on break next week, July 4th - 7th.  There will not be any programs that week so that our staff and volunteers can enjoy the holiday with their family and friends.
  • Observation Nights are coming soon!  If you have ever wondered what goes on during a night of programming at Mission Adelante you can join us on Tuesday July 11th & 18th from 6:30 - 8:30 to observe our Refugee Ministry or on Thursday July 13th & 20th from 6:30 - 8:30 to our observe our Latino Ministry.  We are located at 22 S 18th St. Kansas City, Kansas 66102. Visit our website at: www.missionadelante.org/serve/

Fearfully and wonderfully made

A few of the Art  Camp participants showing off the instruments that they made.

A few of the Art  Camp participants showing off the instruments that they made.

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Kids & Youth Director

When you hear the verse, “...fearfully and wonderfully made,” what images do you see?  In The Message, this verse is translated as, “How you made me is amazing and wonderful.”  Oftentimes, we forget that God’s perfect creation included us, created in His image, created wonderfully!

This summer, in lieu of our typical outdoor VBS camps, we decided to embark on a new adventure to explore, through the Arts, how God might desire to open up opportunities to the children in our community. Our good friend, Sara Forsythe from Christ Community Church, approached us with the idea to offer the kids classes in art, music, dance, storytelling, drumming, guitar, piano, singing, and drawing.  

Over the course of a week, we explored the various modalities of the Arts and weaved in spiritual elements to help the kids connect with the truth that they are created in the image of God.  We saw timid children blossom as they realized a newfound talent in an area previously unknown to them.  We praised God together, thanking Him for making each of us in such special ways.  

Our hope is that, as the kids continue to grow in their faith, they would hold tight to the truth that they are special and that they are each uniquely gifted to add beauty to their community! Enjoy the pictures of some of the activities the kids did during Art Camp at Mission Adelante.


Disciple-Making in Real Life!

Written by Yanelis Lopez, Latino Ministry Director

"Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”" (Matthew 28: 18-20)

A big debate in churches over the years have been, “How to effectively make disciples”. There are many ideas that are studied and well-analyzed that help us to better understand how we can walk with others in the faith. For me this theme has been my passion. I have dedicated myself to reading, studying, and more than anything; trying to live focused on making disciples of Christ. Once I deeply understood the last words of Jesus in the book of Matthew, I haven’t been able to keep the captivating secret that exists in sharing life with others. Making disciples does not depend on a context, a country, or certain circumstances; it is something that goes with you, wherever you go from the moment you begin to embrace it . This is exactly what has happened in my life in the past few years.

On Sunday we had our house church service. We took advantage of the nice, summer weather and went to Wyandotte County Lake Park. While we were there, we celebrated the birthdays of some of our members. We had rich food, cake, and much laughter. What a beautiful and fresh experience, it reminded us that church happens where two or more are together in His name. Discipleship relationships flourish perfectly and naturally in environments such as these.  Values are transmitted, teaching happens, and the life of Christ is transferred through being together like this. The church feels alive and organic; conversations of practical and real life arise spontaneously.

I love Jesus' strategy of making disciples, I love living my life together with my brothers and sisters of faith and with those who, although they do not know the Lord, find their home in the church as well. May the Lord Jesus continue giving us opportunities to share live together and to know Him.  May we realize the impact of our discipleship relationships as lives continue to be transformed.


Partnership, a key ingredient for God-sized challenges.

Written by Paul Kienzle, Latino ESL Director

During the course of a trimester, the staff at Mission Adelante will receive a number of new volunteer interest forms via email.  They come from people from around the Kansas City area, who visit our Mission Adelante website and fill out a form online expressing their interest to serve as a volunteer or to know more about one of our ministry outreaches.  The opportunities and challenges that present themselves here in the life and mission of Mission Adelante are God-sized. These “budding” partnerships jumping off the pages of those volunteer interest forms are crucial for building a collaborative effort to transform this community in the name of Christ.

Our new volunteer training, which is held at the beginning of each trimester, is an intentional next step for deepening and broadening our volunteers’ understanding of what Mission Adelante feels called to do here in Kansas City, and introducing them to the volunteer opportunities available. This key event also serves as a perfect stepping stone for us as staff, to nurture relationship and build trust with our new volunteer partners.  On an overcast and coolish Saturday in May, twenty-four new volunteers descended upon Mission Adelante to begin their journey of partnering with Mission Adelante.  Out of this group, there were no less than six churches represented!  This half-day of training was packed from start to finish! It was a coordinated mix of relationship building, great worship, vision casting, touring the neighborhood and Adelante Thrift. The training day ending with the volunteers in their respective ministry groups, enjoying great Mexican cuisine, fellowship, and information about their ministry choice!  

The result of this half day training event is seeing new volunteers stepping out, excited, not just about serving in their respective ministry, but also excited about what God is doing in and through Mission Adelante, and wanting to be a part of it!  We need these vital partnerships for the God sized challenges before us at Mission Adelante! It was only fitting, on that overcast Saturday morning, that together we sang as one, “You're the God of this City, You're the King of these people, You're the Lord of this nation, You are...For greater things have yet to come, And greater things are still to be done in this city.” ("God of this City", Chris Tomlin)  


 

 

 

 

       

New Refugee Ministry Pilots at Mission Adelante

Our new English Club for people from all places launched on May 30!

Our new English Club for people from all places launched on May 30!

by Jarrett Meek, Founder/Pastor/Executive Director

The end of one season often signals the beginning of another.  As Mission Adelante celebrated the winding down of seven beautiful years of ministry specifically with the Bhutanese, new doors were beginning to open for a broader ministry with refugees from all places in our neighborhood.  A meeting with Catholic Charities underlined the ongoing need for complementary refugee services that go beyond the initial three-month resettlement window.  Relationships with key people from several refugee communities including Bhutanese, Chin, Karen, Karenni, Iraqi, and Syrian, confirmed once again the deep desire our new neighbors have for friendship and their need for assistance with practical matters related to integrating in their new context.  An ESL class that we taught for adults, in partnership with refugee and immigrant students at Schlagle High School, highlighted the potential and passion that exists in youth from all places.  In so many ways it seems the Lord is leading us to press into our role and identity as a ministry with immigrants and refugees from ALL PLACES!

This summer we will be pressing further into our purpose to "love people from all places" by experimenting with two new initiatives that are open to all refugees and immigrants; an English Club for adults and a Refugee Kids Club.  These two initiatives launched on Tuesday night with several exciting highlights!

Our English Club Pilot, led by Lena Chan, is an informal, activity-based ESL program.  Participants practice their English and build friendships as they enjoy cooking, playing games, talking about health-related issues, and address practical issues that may arise in their everyday lives.  It is a combination of fun, relationships, and English-learning in a social environment, rather than an academic one.  Our initial group of 15 English Club students came from countries including Thailand, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico.

English Club participants practice English as they enjoy a game of Jenga.

English Club participants practice English as they enjoy a game of Jenga.

Our Refugee Kids Club Pilot is led by Laxmi Gurung, a refugee from Nepal and Mission Adelante's newest Staff Apprentice.  It is so beautiful to see the fruit of many years of different people investing in Laxmi's life being reproduced now in her own desire to invest in the lives of others.  In fact, the volunteer team Laxmi leads includes four other youth from Nepal who once participated in our Bhutanese Kids Club, among others. It is a truly multicultural team in which the fruits of long-term disciple-making are being harvested in the multiplication of leaders who are now sharing Christ with others.  

Laxmi Gurung with her amazing team of volunteers for Refugee Kids Club

Laxmi Gurung with her amazing team of volunteers for Refugee Kids Club

It is an exciting new season at Mission Adelante with exciting challenges and big opportunities!  Please pray with us as we take these next steps in exploring ministry with refugees from all places in our neighborhood!

The Impact of a Multicultural Worship Experience

Written by Gissell Vazquez, Latino Discipleship and Worship Coordinator

"After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb... crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9,10)

Every time I read this passage from Revelation chapter 7, I get the sensation that Heavens Celebration will be the best party that we could ever imagine. The hosts (The Father, God and Jesus, His Son) have planned every detail very carefully and had paid all the cost to give us a free entry. The guest list is unlimited and varied (...great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages… vs 9) and you know what, the subscription has not expired, there is still a chance to register and be part of this. I wouldn’t miss it for anything!

When I think of all this I get excited. It will be great to have the privilege of thanking Jesus face to face for all He has done for me. And the other amazing thing will be, being part of a large multitude from all places on earth. People that with one voice, will be praising God forever. For once and for all, the differences between cultures and races won’t matter; all races, all economies, will be focused on God’s perfection, not on our differences.          

From all the ideas coming from this text, there is one in particular that draws my attention: The importance of celebrating God in the midst of several cultures, regardless of the differences. My personal opinion is that we don’t have to wait until the end of times to come together as one to worship God. Instead, we as followers of Christ should be rehearsing on a daily basis for that big celebration. I know sometimes it can be difficult, but I also know it can be done. I have the privilege of serving at a place where we enhance the beauty of different cultures and we are centered in Jesus, above all. This place is Mission Adelante.

From my personal experience as the worship coordinator here at Mission Adelante it has been a challenge and a great honor working in this direction. I remember what a great joy Easter Sunday was this year. It was my responsibility to prepare worship for a Multicultural Service that included people from Latin America, Nepal and the US. The arrangement of the songs included parts in Spanish, English, and Nepali. For this I had the pleasure to work with such incredible people as Jeewan, Sunil and Manisha from Nepal and our worship group: Oscar (from Mexico),  and Caroline and Annie (both from the US). It was such an unique experience that took a lot of effort, but it was so worth it. That Sunday morning when we came to worship as one church, not three, it felt that we had an advance entry, an open window that showed us a piece of how worship in heaven will look. You could see on everyone’s face, happiness. You could also sense an atmosphere of community all over the place, even though we all were speaking different languages. I think it was a successful day because we worked for a common goal: to worship God together, no matter the differences, loving and valuing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. From that day on I knew that our communities had built new bridges and new ways of communication that have connected us at deeper levels.

This is definitely the kind of experiences that give us a glimpse of Revelation 7, and make the kingdom of God grow without limits. Experiences like this one are highly valued at Mission Adelante, because it goes to the center of what we envision: loving,  helping, and reaching people from other places.    


 

 

Sharing Life, Sharing Love, and Sharing Jesus in House Church

Written by Yanelis Lopez, Director of Latino Ministries

I love that our mission here at Mission Adelante is to “make disciples by serving, sharing life and sharing Jesus with people from all places.”  This declaration puts the development of a community that grows in faith and produces disciples of Christ in the center of everything we do.  Each program of Mission Adelante is a powerful channel for sharing life with people who don’t know the Lord and with others who already have a personal relationship with Him.

Our Latino Ministry Community has been very blessed through the years with the deep relationships we have experienced.  The outreach services we offer at Mission Adelante have opened doors for friendships that have lasted through the years, and we can say that we have grown a lot in our knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Currently, our Latino community gathers in three house churches with many people who met through their involvement in our ESL, Kids Adelante and Teens Adelante programs.

It’s a beautiful challenge we enjoy as we embrace the cultural differences we have being from different countries: Mexico, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Cuba, and the U.S.  I have learned so much about others, about myself, and about how much we need Jesus in our relationships through sharing life with people from so many different places.  When we meet for church, we gather in different houses the second and fourth Sundays of each month.  We eat a meal together, we sing, and we study the Bible.  The first and third Sundays, we have a worship service at Mission Adelante and this is our opportunity to share life together as a whole family in a larger group.  We provide a comfortable space for people who don’t yet know the Lord or who are new in the faith to feel a sense of trust and to be able to be vulnerable and sincere in their walk with Christ.  Our community and our gathering together are examples of what can happen when we serve, share life, and share Jesus with others, through everything we do.

 

CURRENT NEEDS:

  • Attention Coffee Lovers:  If you love good coffee and helping immigrants and refugees, check out the fundraiser that Messenger Coffee is sponsoring for Mission Adelante. 100% of the profits go to support our immigrant and refugee programs at Mission Adelante.  Visit http://messengercoffee.co/collections/mission-adelante-fundraiser, for more information and while you are at the website, order a bag or two of great coffee for a great cause.
  • Adelante Thrift is in need of donations: We are running low on clothing in all sizes and genders, linens, furniture, houseware items, and electronics.  If you are having a garage sale or doing Spring cleaning, consider donating your gently used items to Adelante Thrift, located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, KS 66102. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Latino ESL End of Trimester Party

Written by Paul Kienzle, Latino ESL Director

For our Latino ESL class, it comes at the end of each trimester. Our grand finale to twelve weeks of learning concepts, verb tenses, and sequence phrases. Our celebration of a job well done, traditionally centered around special presentations, great food, and recognition of our students for their ESL achievement.  It is a time when our students and volunteers come together, extending their friendship to one another in an informal and festive environment. This is what we call our Latino ESL end of the trimester party.

Last Thursday, we held our Latino ESL Spring end of trimester party!  It was a wonderful time spent in the festively decorated Mission chapel (thanks to some of our ESL volunteers).  Up to seventy people attended, a conglomeration of ESL students, their families, volunteers, and staff.  Everyone brought tasty food or a dessert to share.  At our end of trimester Spring party, the program was specifically geared toward highlighting student participation.  One of the program highlights was seeing each of the five ESL levels give a short presentation of something they learned during the trimester.  Level one presented the days of the week to the tune of the “Addams Family”.  Level two acted out a short Bible sequence of “David and Goliath”, while Level three presented the Bible story of “Jesus feeding five thousand people”, and Levels 4 and 5 told the Bible story of “The good Samaritan”.  It was a blast seeing both students and volunteers having a great time participating together, acting out or singing their lines!  This  music was an important component throughout our Spring Party program.  Thanks to Gissell Vazquez, our Latino Discipleship and Music Coordinator at Mission Adelante, we were able to bless our students with a special photo presentation of shots taken during the past trimester put to music!  In addition, Gissell teamed up with an ESL student, Nataly Pantoja to sing a beautiful worship song to end our evening! One of the culminating moments of the evening at our Spring party was recognizing each student and handing out their Certificates of Achievement.  It was a special moment, watching each student make their way up to the front to receive their certificate and then having a line of volunteers waiting to give them a handshake or a hug.  As Director of our Latino ESL program, it simply was a joyful and touching moment to watch.  

Our end of trimester celebrations are important in many ways. We need to recognize our Latino ESL students and their achievements.  Yet, it is also necessary to bring our students and volunteers together in an environment wholly different than that of a classroom, where lasting friendship is extended and where food and festive moments are mutually shared and ultimately remembered long after the celebration.        

  

Current Needs:

  • Attention Coffee Lovers:  If you love good coffee and helping immigrants and refugees, check out the fundraiser that Messenger Coffee is sponsoring for Mission Adelante. 100% of the profits go to support our immigrant and refugee programs at Mission Adelante.  Visit http://messengercoffee.co/collections/mission-adelante-fundraiser, for more information and while you are at the website, order a bag or two of great coffee for a great cause.
  • Adelante Thrift is in need of donations: We are running low on clothing in all sizes and genders, linens, furniture, houseware items, and electronics.  If you are having a garage sale or doing Spring cleaning, consider donating your gently used items to Adelante Thrift, located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, KS 66102. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

 

       

 

Bhutanese Ministry Celebration

Written by Kristen Maxwell, Bhutanese Children's and Youth Director

The Bhutanese community has been a very big part of our lives these past seven years. Looking back, there are a lot of emotions and feelings to process as we end our formal outreach programs.  There have been so many lives touched and changed by the staff and volunteers that have committed their time, energy, and love to the Bhutanese community.  But it wasn’t just the Bhutanese community that has been changed, the lives of our volunteers and staff have been deeply touched and changed through their time spent with the people in the Bhutanese community.  We look forward to celebrating together all that God has done on Saturday April 22, but we also look forward to what God has in store as our volunteers continue to build relationships with families in the Bhutanese community.


 

Dear Mission Adelante Community,

You are invited!  

Please come to:

Bhutanese Ministry Celebration

Saturday, April 22, 2017

4:30pm- 8:00pm

National Guard Armory

100 S 20th St, Kansas City, KS 66102


Celebrate what the Lord has done through Mission Adelante's Bhutanese Outreach as formal programs draw to a close. For the past 7 years, the Lord has shown up in big ways in our ministry to the Bhutanese community, and we are excited to celebrate all that the Lord has done.  

Join us as we will be honoring program participants, volunteers and staff members who have been such a big part of the success of this ministry.


Bring a dish to share, and feast with us potluck style, while enjoying cultural dances and awards presentations.

We hope to see you there,

The Mission Adelante Bhutanese Ministry Team

Important Dates:

  • Adelante Thrift will be hosting an Easter “Eggstravaganza” on Saturday April 15,  12 pm - 2 pm.  There will be fun activities for kids like an Easter egg hunt, cookie decorating, and a visit from the Easter bunny.  Parents can shop while their children are having some “Eggstra-Ordinary” fun.  Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66102

Adelante Thrift Is Making an Impact

3720 State Avenue, Kansas City, KS  66102

How many ways can a thrift store impact a community?  In more ways than you think!  Adelante Thrift opened two years ago as the culmination of a big dream.  Even so, the dream is only just beginning to become reality as we're just now rounding the corner to sustainability.  Here are some highlights!

  • Adelante Thrift occupied an 18,000 square foot commercial space that had been vacant for four years.
  • Adelante Thrift employs about 15 people, mostly from our own community.
  • Adelante Thrift invested over $228,000 back into our community in 2016 through salaries.
  • Adelante Thrift averaged about 600 volunteer hours/month in 2016, engaging volunteers from across the city and the country!
  • Adelante Thrift provides a clean, pleasant, and enjoyable shopping experience that sets a new standard for thrift stores in our area.
  • Adelante Thrift has developed reciprocal partnerships with churches, schools, businesses, and other non-profit organizations in our community and throughout the metro area.
  • Adelante Thrift has the friendliest staff whose customer service philosophy demonstrates the love of Christ in ways that are felt by our customers, partners and volunteers every day.

As thrift is on the cusp of having some profitable months, the dream of greater community impact through investing proceeds from the store into other ministry projects in the neighborhood is getting closer!  Please pray with us for this next phase of reaching sustainability.  And please, come shop, donate, and volunteer!  Visit www.adelantethrift.com for more information!

Current Needs:

  • Adelante Thrift is in need of 200 store bought sugar cookies, and 20 containers of store bought icing for their Easter outreach at the store next Saturday, April 15th.  The cookies are icing are due by Friday, April 14th.  Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66102.  Contact Molly Merrick at mollym@adelantethrift.com for more information.
  • Adelante Thrift is also in need of 2,000 pre-filled Easter eggs, filled with items that are appropriate for children ages 2-10 for their Easter outreach event at the store next Saturday, April 15th. The pre-filled eggs are needed by Friday, April 14th. Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66102.  Contact Molly Merrick at mollym@adelantethrift.com for more information.

Important Dates:

  • Adelante Thrift will be hosting an Easter “Eggstravaganza” on Saturday April 15,  12 pm - 2 pm.  There will be fun activities for kids like an Easter egg hunt, cookie decorating, and a visit from the Easter bunny.  Parents can shop while their children are having some “Eggstra-Ordinary” fun.  Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66102
  • Mission Adelante will be hosting a celebration marking the end of the formal Bhutanese outreach ministry on April 22nd, 4:30 - 8:00 pm. The celebration will be held at the National Guard Armory, 100 South 20th St. Kansas City, Kansas 66102. Join us as honor our Bhutanese community members and our volunteers for their continued faithfulness.


 

The impact of interdependent relationships

Ricardo with his co-workers from Lawn and Landscape Solutions

Ricardo with his co-workers from Lawn and Landscape Solutions

Co-written by Elena Chan, Paul Kienzle, and Shannon Schafer

Often, helping someone turns into an unhealthy dependency; where one person constantly gives and the other person constantly receives. At Mission Adelante we believe that effective ministry is relational at its core. When relationships are interdependent; learning is mutual, serving is reciprocal, and friendship is life-giving. Ricardo, one of our students, joined our Latino ESL program in the fall of 2015. In the last year and a half, he has progressed to level five in our ESL classes and has become an important part of the program. He has also developed strong friendships with our ESL staff and volunteers.

Not only is Ricardo heavily involved in ESL class he is also employed full time by a local landscaping company, Lawn and Landscape Solutions, based in Olathe, Kansas. The company accommodated his desire to learn English and allowed him to leave work early on Thursdays to attend ESL classes. It didn’t take long for his colleagues to notice how confident and comfortable he became in his conversational English. His language improvement also caught the attention of Erin Baxter, who's husband Sean is the owner of the landscaping company. She found out about Mission Adelante’s ESL program through the improvement she saw in Ricardo, and decided that she wanted to help out at Mission Adelante, with ESL classes. As a result, Erin started volunteering as an ESL conversation partner in 2016. Daniel, one of Ricardo's co-workers and friend, became an ESL student in the Fall of 2016. Daniel brought his wife Daisy along also so that she could improve her English.

Because of the improvement and excitement that Lawn and Landscape Solutions saw in some of their employees, the company chose Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift for their company’s Serve Day. Both the administrative staff and the landscaping crew came to Mission Adelante this past Friday, March 24th and did an incredible job of beautifying the grounds surrounding Mission Adelante.  They worked on weeding, mulching and planting new shrubs. Once the landscaping was well underway, part of the crew proceeded to Adelante Thrift where they helped sort clothes and arrange items in the store.

This is the core of interdependent relationships in action. When an ESL student, Ricardo improved his English skills at Mission Adelante, his confidence and excitement spread to his co-workers.  Friendships were built and his boss and co-workers wanted to give back to Mission Adelante, a place that had helped Ricardo. They were in turn able to give to others by serving at Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift.

Landscaping, Before & After:


The Team from Lawn and Landscape Solutions serving at Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift:

Prayer Needs:

  • Please join Mission Adelante in prayer as we explore a broader refugee ministry. Pray that God would give us wisdom, guidance and favor in the neighborhood as we consider new ways to serve the refugee community in KCK.

Current Needs:

  • Would you like to help Mission Adelante in a practical way? Check out our Top Ten Wish List on Amazon at: Mission Adelante Top Ten List.  Our highest needs are: 
  1. Dry Erase Markers
  2. AA Batteries
  • It's Spring Cleaning Time: While you are cleaning out your basement, closets, and garage consider donating your gently used items to Adelante Thrift.  We are in need of summer clothing (mens, womens & childrens), shoes, and housewares. Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, KS. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5.
  • Donation Drive: Adelante Thrift's warehouse is empty and needs to be restocked. Please help us by organizing a donation drive at your church, business, or neighborhood. Please use our Donation Drive Form to set a donation drive, or call us 913-499-7215.

What are you passionate about?

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Youth & Kids Director

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Youth & Kids Director

What are you passionate about? What moves you and wakes you up in the morning, excited to begin the day? Are you making a difference in someone else’s life?  One thing our Kids Adelante and LIT (Leaders in Training) volunteers are passionate about is sharing life with the kids in our community.  

Mission Adelante started in a neighborhood ice cream shop in KCK with one simple word: Love. We deeply love and treasure the community that we serve because we believe the Bible calls us to love our neighbor as ourself.  We believe that God’s call to love our neighbor is at the heart of all His commands, and finds a special expression in the way we extend hospitality, compassion, and friendship. Our volunteers also love our neighborhood and community, they love spending time with the kids and youth in our community.

As I reflected on the best way to convey why the volunteers enjoy serving the kids, the future leaders of our community; I decided to ask them to complete this sentence: "The reason that I like to volunteer at Kids Adelante and LIT is because:"

  • “It allows me the opportunity to serve the Latino community in a meaningful way by teaching the next generation to follow Christ.”  

  • “I believe in what God is doing in our city through Mission Adelante, and I believe we are called to be among children and foreigners.  Jesús is present when we become present to both groups, and the kids at Mission Adelante are a part of both groups.  So, that means that Jesús is doubly present at Mission Adelante and who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?”

  • “The kids have changed, and are still changing my life in many ways!”
  • “When I witnessed the amount of grace and love that Mission Adelante had, I could see it was different. It is not solely a place to help people but a place people feel that their soul is at home.”
  • “I feel the passion to be an advocate for people who fall through the cracks of society.  As a Christian, I am called to love my neighbor as myself and to practice the grace that God has given me by including me in His kingdom.”
  • “I like to look back on when I was kid in the program.  Now, to be one of the volunteers teaching the kids, I feel like this place has become my home.”

What are the ways that God is calling you to love and serve your neighbor?  Maybe it is as simple as committing to pray for the refugees and immigrants of our country. Perhaps, He might be calling you to take that next step and put that love into action in a more significant way.  If so, take a moment to see how you can get involved as a volunteer at Mission Adelante:  www.missionadelante.org/serve.  

Current Needs:

  • Would you like to help Mission Adelante in a practical way? Check out our Top Ten Wish List on Amazon at: Mission Adelante Top Ten List.  Our highest needs are:
    • Healthy Snacks for our LIT programs.
    • Individual Dry Erase Boards for our Latino ESL program.
  • It's Spring Cleaning Time: While you are cleaning out your basement, closets, and garage consider donating your gently used items to Adelante Thrift.  We are in need of summer clothing (mens, womens & childrens), shoes, and housewares. Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, KS. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday,10 - 5.
  • Donation Drive: Adelante Thrift's warehouse is empty and needs to be restocked. Please help us by organizing a donation drive at your church, business, or neighborhood. Please use our Donation Drive Form to set a donation drive, or call us 913-499-7215.

Volunteering Together

Written by Paul Kienzle, Latino ESL Director

One of the most satisfying moments about my job as the Latino ESL Director at Mission Adelante is seeing and talking with my Latino ESL students at Thursday night classes. Another great moment is coming alongside them outside of class and getting to know them and have fun with them, in a completely different context.  One such context is an opportunity we offer once a trimester to our Latino ESL students to volunteer at Adelante Thrift for a couple of hours; allowing them to see and experience first hand, Adelante Thrift’s vision to serve our community.  The satisfying part is seeing these ESL students catch the vision, jump in, and serve joyfully and energetically!

It has been an encouraging journey since the first Saturday we offered this opportunity to our ESL Latino students and no one showed up! It is starting to catch on though, because last Saturday, three trimesters later, we were thrilled to see nine ESL students, two ESL volunteers, and three ESL Latino staff come together and have a great time serving. Out of the nine ESL students, seven were newcomers to Adelante Thrift. We had a lot of laughs, sorting through toys, shoes, and clothes but more importantly; it was interesting listening to them share with me why they wanted to volunteer.  All of the students that I talked with mentioned “giving back to the community” as their primary motive for coming to serve at Adelante Thrift. One student mentioned that his decision to take part in the ESL Latino Volunteer Day was a result of seeing all that he and his family has received; ESL classes, the investment he sees his ESL Volunteers make, and the kids programming that his children have been blessed to be a part of.  One of the students, a mother with three young children in tow, responded that “she wanted them to come so that they could see serving modeled in her so that they in turn do the same thing”.  All that I heard, came from hearts filled with gratitude.  It was beautiful to watch these students, volunteers, and staff working in unison; enjoying one another and getting to know each other better.  Our volunteer experience went by fast, but not without Adelante Thrift making an impact on each of us. The treatment and guidance given to us by the Adelante Thrift staff, from start to finish was phenomenal and very helpful.  Their desire to promote Adelante Thrift and share its vision was made plain to all of us.   

I love this volunteer moment every trimester, as it gives our ESL Latino students and volunteers a chance and an outlet to serve our community, together.  I never know who will show up, but that is the fun and beauty of trusting God to speak into the hearts of our students and volunteers.  I have high hopes that we will not see another Volunteer Day where “no one shows up!”  One of the students asked me, “Pablo, is this the only day we can volunteer here?”  “Nope”, I said with a smile.  “You can come here to serve whenever you like.”  

Current Needs:

  • Adelante Thrift is in need of houseware items to restock our supply.  The demand for houseware items is high, which is good, but our shelves look bare. We are in need of gently used utensils, pots, pans, and other houseware items. Donations are accepted at Adelante Thrift, Monday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.
  • Are you looking for a practical way to help refugees and immigrants? Consider purchasing from Mission Adelante's Top Ten list on Amazon.  Mission Adelante serves a large number of men, women and children each week and is in need of various items. A link to the wish list can be found on Mission Adelante's website under Give Stuff.
  • Adelante Thrift is in need of High Impact Volunteers.  If you are interested in serving at Adelante Thrift in an on-going basis, please visit our website at www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer

Cross-Cultural Interdependent Relationships

Written by Yanelis Lopez, Latino Ministry Director

The desire to live a life of making disciples is something that God put in my heart several years ago.  It was a lifestyle change that I made, and the more that I study the life of Christ, the more honored I feel that He wants to use us in this way. When I lived in Cuba there were many others who had the same desire to impact our community in a different way.  We talked and shared with each other what we were experiencing as we became involved with sharing life and sharing Jesus with others.  After engaging with people in our community who didn’t know Christ and in building sincere and significant relationships with them, we decided to host a retreat for them. We perceived that all they needed was to be more exposed to God’s word, and to have community with other believers.

As I became more involved with people who didn’t know Jesus, I could see that the harvest was really plentiful outside the four walls of the church.  So, we took on the work of preparing our first retreat for people who weren’t Christ followers.  Twenty young, non-believers participated and some of them knew nothing at all about Jesus; they only came because they knew us.  But there was one small catch; we didn’t have the resources for this retreat, and we wanted some help with the teaching from someone outside of our own church.  This is how we met Jarrett Meek, the Director of Mission Adelante.  A Cuban friend, who we had in common, lived in Kansas City and invited him to go to Cuba to participate in the retreat. We spent three, powerful days; sharing life together, getting to know Christ deeper, having fun, and working hard.  But the most impressive thing about those few days was that all of the young people who attended the retreat received Christ as their Savior. This retreat started a fire in my heart that is still burning today.  The harvest is plentiful, the people are ready; we need only to seek them, to serve them, and open our mouths and let the Gospel be known.  From that point on there was no stopping us. Six of the leaders who were with us on the retreat came together to work alongside the church to develop a disciple-making movement. It was that point in our history that our partnership with Mission Adelante began.  Jarrett offered to support us so that we could continue to move forward, we then realized that we had everything we needed to begin.

I have to confess that the offer of partnership with Jarrett and Mission Adelante made me nervous at first.  Not all of my experiences with foreigners, especially missionaries, had been positive.  At times I felt that these kinds of relationships ended up creating financial dependency in which one side was in control and the other side had to do everything possible to make sure things looked good and the benefactor was satisfied.  The most beautiful thing about our relationship with Mission Adelante is the genuine interdependency that has developed through the years.  This was true when I was living in Cuba, and it is still true now that I’m here in the U.S.  God had done a miraculous thing, bringing together two very different groups that could encourage and support one another in a way where each side learned and supported each other.  At times it has not been easy; but here we are nearly seven years later, telling stories of healthy and deep relationships between different cultures which are ongoing and continue to grow stronger.  Working now as the Director of Latino Ministries at Mission Adelante, I can see that this kind of interdependence requires awareness and intentionality, and that it is very easy to lose the proper perspective.  When we come together and decide to walk in the same direction, we become stronger and more able to achieve great things for the Lord.

Current Needs:

  • Are you looking for a practical way to help refugees and immigrants? Consider purchasing from Mission Adelante's Top Ten list on Amazon.  Mission Adelante serves a large number of men, women and children each week and is in need of various items. A link to the wish list can be found on Mission Adelante's website under Give Stuff.
  • Adelante Thrift is in need of High Impact Volunteers.  If you are interested in serving at Adelante Thrift in an on-going basis, please visit our website at www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer

Important Dates:

  • Have you ever wondered what goes on during a night of programs at Mission Adelante? Join us March 2nd & 9th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at our Latino ministry ESL & Kid’s programs.  22 S 18th St. Kansas City, Kansas 66102

The impact of helping an immigrant

Written by Gissell Vazquez, Latino Discipleship and Worship Coordinator

Written by Gissell Vazquez, Latino Discipleship and Worship Coordinator

New seasons in life are always a challenging time. Since I moved from Cuba to the US four months ago, I’ve been experiencing many life changes, and many opportunities to grow in faith and life. Everything is so different here; the language, the culture, the weather, the economy, the political system, the way people value life and time, and that is only the beginning. There are many other small things that are too numerous to mention. I have two things that have been my anchor in this season. One is the presence of God by my side every day, giving me hope and strength. The other, are some brothers and sisters in Christ whose have helped by caring for my husband and myself.  They have made our transition much easier. As I write these lines there is one person in particular that has been present the entire time,  Yanelis Lopez, our Latino Ministry Director. If there is someone who has taken my burdens as her own in almost every detail, it would be Yanelis. She has helped me and given me her total support. Her love and passion for helping the immigrant community comes from a heart that feels what God feels, and from the experience of living through the same process.

There are many stories of how she has been there for me. From when she picked me up at the airport in Kansas City on September 21, 2016 and took me to her house to live with her for a month without paying a cent, to buying food and things for me. When we went to a restaurant, she was my voice in English because I didn’t know the proper way to ask for something. My favorite thing that Yanelis has done for me is being my personal driver. As I reflected on this I said to myself, “Well Gissell, you are very lucky. Wealthy people are the only ones who have personal drivers, and you’re not paying a penny and you have at your disposal the director of a ministry from Mission Adelante going wherever you need, at any time, and yet with a smile on her face”.  I mean, when you see this happening you have to say, "there is a humble person who does what Jesus would do to help an immigrant." And I know as I write this that she wouldn’t like that this story is about her, because humble people are like that, they don’t want to be under the spotlight. But I know she will understand that there is a sense of glory in this story that points out someone greater, and that is Jesus.

A few days ago she took me to do take the written exam for my learner’s driving permit. We had time to talk as we waited in a very long line and I told her, “Yane, you know what? When another person moves here, I want to be there for them, to help in every way I can, not because someone tells me to, but because you have done it for me.” There is no better way to serve and help others, than by helping without asking for anything in return. That’s what Jesus did with us, that’s what Yane did with me, and now I have the honor to do it with others.      

Current Needs:

  • Are you looking for a practical way to help refugees and immigrants? Consider purchasing from Mission Adelante's Top Ten list on Amazon.  Mission Adelante serves a large number of men, women and children each week and is in need of various items. A link to the wish list can be found on Mission Adelante's website under Give Stuff.
  • Adelante Thrift is in need of High Impact Volunteers.  If you are interested in serving at Adelante Thrift in an on-going basis, please visit our website at www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer

Important Dates:

  • Have you ever wondered what goes on during a night of programs at Mission Adelante? Join us March 2nd & 9th, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm at our Latino ministry ESL & Kid’s programs. 22 S 18th St. Kansas City, Kansas 66102