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

 

 

 

Fear vs Love

Written by Julie Nelson, Long-time Mission Adelante Volunteer

“Sit down--nobody wants you here.” I heard these words whispered from a group of watching teens, as I was standing up, explaining an upcoming event at Teens Adelante. The words were accompanied by the unmistakable smacking of lips that only a girl highly skilled in the art of teenage angst can produce. I was a new volunteer with the teens program and could tell that breaking into this group would be difficult with some of the teens.  I wasn’t hurt or surprised by the words; I had worked with teens before and it was precisely comments like this that made me want to be a part of what God was doing here.  I knew that this teen, like most teens I knew, had at some point experienced loss and heartache. She’d felt insecure and insignificant. It’s our natural human tendency to protect ourselves at all costs; to reject others before we can be rejected. I continued showing up every week, getting to know the teens and earning the right to be heard, and she quickly opened up. We talked about past hurts and future goals.  She would ask me to pray for her and the fear she was experiencing. God was working in both of us.  Those teens were hilarious, kind, wildly talented, and so incredibly smart. God used this community to sanctify, encourage and teach me.

Fast-forward four and half years and I’m still volunteering with Mission Adelante, now with the Leaders In Training (LIT) program. I love getting to be a part of their lives and I love the impact they have on mine. I’m excited about the future, knowing they will be our leaders. But I’ve been thinking lately about that comment from a teen over 4 years ago: “Nobody wants you here.” I can’t help but think that the kids I love and their families are now hearing that same message, except it’s not coming from one angst filled teen; but from lawmakers, people in power, and millions of voices in our nation--from people that could have a real impact on their lives or the lives of their family members. The context is so different, but I think the root is still the same as it was in that teen’s comment: fear.  Fear drives us to hate and blinds us to the beauty God has created in others. I can’t imagine KCK or the US without these kids, and my hope is that they know how loved they are. Even more, I hope people can discard their own fear, so that they don’t miss out on the beauty and adventure of loving people from all places. I know my life would not be the same without getting to know these amazing people.

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

Praying for and welcoming the stranger among us

 

With the current upheaval in the lives of refugees and immigrants in the United States, organizations that serve the vulnerable and displaced, like Mission Adelante, are often inundated with calls from people seeking ways that they can help the refugee and immigrant population.  

A vital way to help is to pray. Pray for refugees who are still in harm's way. Pray for immigrants and refugees as they transition to life in the United States, and experience hardships. Pray for those who work with and for the immigrant and refugee populations here and abroad that God would grant them strength and perseverance to continue to advocate for and help all involved. Pray for our elected officials that they will remember the vulnerable and displaced when they are making decisions.

Prayer is essential to our ministry. Our staff continues to spend much time in prayer and lament for our friends and neighbors in our community.  Prayer is an important part of our programs, from praying with the children who come to our programs on Tuesday and Thursday evenings to praying with and for the volunteers and students who participate in ESL classes together. At Mission Adelante, "we believe that prayer is the most important work in ministry and that our mission depends upon the power and work of the Holy Spirit in individual lives."

One tool that we continue to find helpful, and that we put in our volunteer orientation notebook each trimester is the "I Was A Stranger" bookmark from the organization, Evangelical Immigration Table.  The bookmark has 40 scriptures on it that speak about our need to help the foreigner among us.  The Evangelical Immigration Table has four challenges for us.  First, challenge yourself. Second, challenge your church. Third, challenge your campus.  Fourth, challenge your legislators.  You can order the bookmark or become part of any of the challenges at http://evangelicalimmigrationtable.com/iwasastranger/

We will continue to welcome the stranger, we will continue to advocate and stand up for our immigrant and refugee friends, we will continue to fight for the vulnerable and the displaced. But most importantly we will pray that others will show justice and compassion to immigrants and refugees. 

"Immigrant" is a Beautiful Word

Written by Jarrett Meek, Executive Director

Written by Jarrett Meek, Executive Director

When Oscar arrived in Kansas City four years ago, it was hard to imagine the impact he would make in the lives of others in his school and in the Mission Adelante community.  Though he was born in the U.S., he had grown up in Mexico.  Arriving again in the U.S. as a young teen brought with it all of the challenges you might imagine: a new culture, a new school, new friends, and a new language.  While many would be crushed by such intense changes at such a vulnerable age, the Lord was doing something special in Oscar that would be revealed in due time.

I couldn't believe my ears the first time Oscar grabbed a microphone at Mission Adelante and began to speak.  Having scarcely heard a word from him in his first two years in our community, he was now standing in front of our Latino congregation telling us about how he had shared the gospel with and encouraged classmates at school.  The Lord was using him to counsel and guide his friends.  Somewhere along the way, the word of God had taken root in his heart and was beginning to blossom and bear fruit: a young disciple beginning to make disciples!

Oscar took things even deeper as a participant in our Summer Internship in 2016.  The power of God's word to set us free was proven yet again in his life through forgiving someone who had hurt him.   The intensive discipleship and community dynamic was the context for some significant breakthroughs in his life.  With a genuine, servant heart and love for others, Oscar was becoming a leader before our eyes.  He was up for any challenge, whether it was leading worship, investing in kids, or sharing his story.  He was becoming a disciple who makes disciples.

It shouldn't have surprised me to see pictures of Oscar on Facebook sharing his story and teaching our Latino youth group last Wednesday.  His example of character, love for God and neighbor, a transformed life, and a growing passion for justice issues that affect our community uniquely qualify him to teach other youth.  The caption on the Facebook post said, "Inmigrante es una palabra hermosa", which means, "Immigrant is a beautiful word."  At a time when immigrants are often maligned and looked upon with disdain, Oscar coined a phrase that the youth of our community desperately needed to hear; "Immigrant is a beautiful word." God is using him to heal wounds and lift others up.  It will be exciting to see what the Lord does with Oscar in the coming years!

The Power of a Volunteer

Written by Elena Mamadazarova, Community Development Director

Today’s focus is on one of our High Impact Volunteers at Adelante Thrift, Miss Joyce. Miss Joyce lives in the neighborhood, loves shopping at thrift stores and used to be a frequent shopper at another thrift store in the area. Miss Joyce started shopping at Adelante Thrift when it opened. She soon realized she had a decision to make in her thrift shopping choices, Adelante Thrift became her favorite shopping destination. She used to come to the store and without anyone noticing she would start fixing the clothing section by sizes, gender,  and even color. She was also re-arranging the housewares section without anyone asking her. She was doing it for a while until one day the store’s Executive Director, Antoine Dunn approached her and asked her if she would consider joining the team to assist the staff. Miss Joyce is a retiree and she figured instead of staying home she would come to Adelante Thrift and help. She started to come in to volunteer in November 2015, when she had spare time. Initially she would come only once a week, but it didn’t take long for her to start showing up at the store on daily basis from, 9am - 6pm.

When asked why Adelante Thrift was her shopping choice in comparison to her long history of shopping at her previous favorite thrift store, her answer was simple …”it felt like family, they knew my name before I knew theirs, you come and everyone is nice and friendly”. Immediately Miss Joyce surrounded herself with tasks and is frequently approached by staff for opinions on how things should run in the back production room and on the floor of the store. Besides good people and a friendly atmosphere, “Adelante Thrift is a great store to shop for some unique items” according to Miss Joyce. “The store is kid friendly too, families come with their kids and they love the kids area, where they can play while parents are shopping.”

Last year Miss Joyce was ill and couldn’t come to the store for 3 months, but once she was better she came back to work on jewelry and accessories because it requires less time standing on her feet. “It’s nice to have flexibility as a volunteer and to have the freedom to chose when to come in,  and not feel stressed about being fired for a 3 month absence..” - shares Miss Joyce. The advice Miss Joyce is giving to people that are also in her stage of life is, “if you're retired, you can easily come and find your spot volunteering at the store. If you like fixing things, cleaning, or if you are creative and good with merchandise, if you are good at sorting or organizing, Adelante Thrift is a place for you to use your talents and skills. You will be busy talking with people as well as doing practical things at the store and feel like you are contributing to the wellness of our community.”
Miss Joyce has made so many great friends at the store that last year she went on a week long road trip in an RV to Colorado with Judy, one of the Adelante Thrift staff members. We love stories like Miss Joyce’s and we value how the store is an avenue for people to not only receive but to also give back. Thank you Miss Joyce for your service and your heart for Adelante Thrift.

Current Needs:

  • If you are interested in becoming a High Impact Volunteer, like Miss Joyce, we have many opportunities in various areas of the store. Please visit the Adelante Thrift website for more information: www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer





 

Important: A Big Transition for our Bhutanese Ministry

Dear Friends,

I'm writing to share about a significant transition that will be taking place with Mission Adelante’s Bhutanese ministry over the next four months.  After a prayerful and thoughtful process, the Bhutanese staff team has come to the decision that it is time to wind down our formal outreach programming for the Bhutanese.  We will hold one last, great trimester and end with a big party on April 22nd to celebrate all the Lord has done through our Bhutanese outreach these seven years.  At the end of April, our Bhutanese staff team will transition off of our staff and Mission Adelante will re-define our ministry with the Bhutanese and explore opportunities for broader refugee ministry in our neighborhood.

As you might imagine, it's hard to decide to wind down something that has been so fruitful.  It's kind of like Michael Jordan retiring while he was still one of the best players on the court!  As we walk carefully through this process, we are sure of a few things. First, the needs of the Bhutanese community are much different than when we began this ministry outreach seven years ago, and we've seen very few new families be resettled in Kansas City since 2013. Second, there are now several Bhutanese-Nepali led churches in KCK.  And, finally, each member of our Bhutanese staff team has a growing sense of "mission accomplished" and a feeling that God is ushering in a new season in each of their personal lives.  These three factors form the basic outline of the "why" behind this big transition.

I'm very proud of the Bhutanese staff team for their courage and faithfulness in the decision-making process.  Their thoughtful prayer and processing through the fall brought them to a point of consensus as last trimester was ending.  For my part, I've had the privilege of walking with them, listening, providing counsel, and giving them my support as they landed on a unanimous decision and have begun walking it out.  While this transition wasn't in the master plan, and there is still a lot of work that could be done, it is clear that the Lord is at work in new ways, which we are discovering with each step we take in this new direction.

As we consider what our ministry with the Bhutanese will look like after our formal outreach programs end, the rising themes are partnership, empowerment and leadership development.  With a great foundation already established, we envision collaborating in new ways with our closest Bhutanese partners as we equip emerging leaders and support Nepali-led initiatives that serve the community.  Our expectation and hope is that this transition will open the way for Mission Adelante to live out our passion for equipping and empowering refugee leaders in new ways.  

The idea of starting a ministry outreach for refugees from Bhutan took us by surprise in 2009 and broadened our vision.  In much the same way, we are sensing that the Lord may be using the ending of the Bhutanese outreach to broaden our vision again to include other refugee groups who are being resettled into our community.  Though there are still a lot more questions than answers regarding this broader vision, we are entering this new season with a sense of expectation about how the Lord may be calling us to lean into the identity He has given us as a ministry with immigrants AND refugees.

Our Bhutanese staff team members will all be transitioning off of our staff at the end of April.  Their willingness--and desire--to stay on for this final trimester has set the stage for us to be able to finish well and celebrate what God has done these seven years.  During this final trimester, they are each discerning the Lord's direction for this next season and they will surely communicate their future plans to many of you when they feel the time is right.  In an effort to make these next four months lighter, we are cutting back on some of their responsibilities and giving them some extra freedom and flexibility to pursue future employment opportunities.  Please pray that the Lord would guide them in this transition.  

This season of change comes with a mixed set of emotions, as you might imagine: a sense of satisfaction about "mission accomplished", a sense of sadness at something ending, a sense of uncertainty about next steps, and a sense of excitement about new vision.  But the overarching feeling for me is that the Lord continues to bless Mission Adelante abundantly.  Our Latino Ministry is thriving under Latino leadership, reaching new people each trimester, making disciples, and developing leaders.  We are creating jobs and transforming our community through Adelante Thrift.  Youth from our community are being developed through our internship.  Our multicultural leadership core is growing deeper and getting more diverse.  Financial support for the ministry remains strong, and our operational infrastructure is efficient.  A major transition like this brings with it waves of different kinds of emotions, but in it all it is clear that God is sovereign and that He is a good, good Father.  

So what’s your part?  Pray us through this next season!  We invite you to engage with us in actively praying for the Bhutanese people and for our Bhutanese staff team as they finish well and discern their next steps.  Pray for our partnerships with Nepali-led churches.  Ask the Lord to guide us as we re-envision refugee ministry and dream about the future.  And pray for our staff, that we would handle change gracefully, patiently, and with encouraged hearts.  For those of you who have supported the ministry of one of our Bhutanese staff team members, we would ask you to continue your support through April.  After April, we invite you to consider continuing to contribute through our Community Leader Fund, which helps us hire staff from within the immigrant and refugee community.  You have an important part to play in this transition!

If you’ve read this far, you must be truly interested in what the Lord is doing in our community and through Mission Adelante.  We thank you for your love and support, for your prayers and concern.  And, we would love to hear from you in this season.  May the Lord bless you richly and grant you peace.

In His Grace,

Jarrett Meek, Founder/Pastor/Executive Director

Trusting that God is with us wherever we go

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

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

Who are the people in your life that you consider family?  Is it your immediate family? Your cousins? Co-workers? Close friends?  More often than not, it is the people that we choose to spend the majority of our time with.  

The past few months in Leaders in Training, our after-school tutoring and character development program, we have spent four afternoons a week together laughing, learning, growing, and exploring. Through this deep and spirit-filled time, we have truly become a family.  As we dug into the life of Joshua in our character time, a common verse kept catching our attention:  

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

The kids went even a step further and pulled truths from Joshua that encouraged and astounded the volunteers:

  • Be strong and courageous
  • Be faithful
  • Trust in God
  • Stand firm
  • Be patient
  • Your actions have consequences
  • Trust that God is always good
  • Ask God for help

The culmination of the kid’s learning occurred as the kids embarked on their 9th annual Great Wolf Lodge Trip this past weekend!  As we went around the circle and shared what they were most grateful for, many of them admitted that they were most thankful for each other, their LIT family.  It is important for all of us to feel that we have a place where we belong, a place that, even when the world might try to convince us that we are unwanted, accepts and loves us for who we are.  I am grateful that the kids know that they are wanted and cherished by not just each other, but by the One who created them!  I am thankful that they learn that in the face of circumstances that require courage, they can trust that God will be with them wherever they go.

Current Needs:

  • If you would like to give to Mission Adelante this holiday season through donating items, check out our Amazon Wish List for some practical needed items to make our mission possible, https://www.amazon.com/wishlist. While you are on the Amazon website, you can help out Mission Adelante by choosing us as your charity of choice through Amazon Smile.  smile.amazon.com
  • After Christmas is a great time to clean and organize for the New Year.  If you have items to donate, consider donating them to Adelante Thrift. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm.  Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. KC KS 66102 (Adelante Thrift can even pick up large items that are valued at $200 or more, call 913-499-7215 to schedule a donation pick-up)

Year-End Giving Opportunities with Mission Adelante

Summer Interns: Mónica, Laxmi, Annie, and Oscar became a family from all places!

Summer Interns: Mónica, Laxmi, Annie, and Oscar became a family from all places!

Year-End Giving Opportunities with Mission Adelante

What a meaningful time to be called to serve, share life and share Jesus with people from all places!  A lot has been said in the last year about immigrants and refugees, and we find that our passion for “loving people from all places” and our mission to make disciples is important now more than ever.  It’s as though the Lord has given us this mission and put us in this community, “for such a time as this.”  

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

From early on in Mission Adelante’s history, we have played a unique role in inviting believers from across the city to embrace the Greatest Commandments and the Great Commission in a special way with people from other places.  We’ve grasped a great opportunity for Christians who were born in the U.S. to learn and live out the gospel by showing friendship, hospitality, and compassion, by sharing the Good News of salvation by grace, through faith in Jesus Christ.  

"I would love them also if I knew them, but I guess since you love them it's good enough for me. I will love them and pray for them."   -A Friend

Highlights from 2016

  • Leadership Community: This year we launched a multicultural discipleship training group for 40+ participants from our community.  It included an opening retreat, monthly training sessions, and a trip to Los Angeles to attend the Christian Community Development Association’s national conference.
  • Awesome Internship: This year’s summer youth internship may have been our best ever!  We had interns from four different countries represented, including Nepal, Mexico, Costa Rica, and the United States.  
  • Eleven-year Celebration: This summer we celebrated 11 years of ministry in the community with a party in the park, complete with a variety of food, songs, and dances from various countries.
  • Adelante Thrift: Adelante Thrift celebrated one year in March and had its first two profitable months in October and November!  We’re still working hard toward the dream of a Thrift store that provides funding for other ministry initiatives!

Looking Forward to 2017

  • Disciple-making: Press into the heart of our mission, multiplying disciples in our community.
  • Community Leaders:  Hire Gissel Vazquez to our Latino staff as Discipleship and Music Coordinator.
  • Multicultural Leadership Core: Invest in a core of maturing leaders who are impacting our community.
  • Business Coaching Pilot: Pilot a 12-week training course for community entrepreneurs in the Fall.
  • Re-Envision Refugee Ministry: The landscape is constantly changing with refugees in KCK. In 2017 we will be seeking God's direction in possibly broadening our vision for refugee ministry to include groups from other countries. Please pray with us as we discern God's will. 

Giving Opportunities

This year our year-end funding goals fall into two categories: finishing our 2016 General Fund budget and securing funds for our Community Leaders for 2017.  The General Fund need to complete our budget is $41,000.  To contribute to this goal you may designate your gift to “General” or “Stetler-General”.  Our Community Leader Fund need is $35,000.  You may give online at www.missionadelante.org/give.  Thank you for your ongoing support of the Lord’s ministry through Mission Adelante!

In His Grace,

Jarrett Meek

 

Adelante Thrift, A Place to Serve

Written by Elena Mamadnazarova, Community Development Director

Written by Elena Mamadnazarova, Community Development Director

Adelante Thrift was launched with the mission to serve our community by providing quality, affordable merchandise,job training, and ultimately use its proceeds for other community development initiatives.

Not long ago, Wyandotte Municipal Court approached the store with the proposal for Adelante Thrift to partner with their community service worker program. The store was picked as a place where people who have committed misdemeanors can complete their court ordered community service hours. To say this partnership is easy would be hypocritical.  One thing that was clear for our staff is that the people who come to the store to complete their community service hours might not share the mission and vision of the store. The nature of the service for these people differs from the traditional volunteers that the store recruits. This relationship between the store and community service workers is very contractual, with a very limited understanding of the stores role in the community. Those were the characteristics and the complexities that Adelante Thrift recognized when entering this partnership. At the same time, this partnership was viewed as another way to engage with the people from our community. In order to accomplish the mission of Adelante Thrift, we highly depend on the service of volunteers to keep our costs low, to expand capacities, and create a tangible experience; working together for the common purpose of community transformation. By relying so heavily on volunteers, Adelante Thrift is in a constant state of exploring ways to bring the help it needs to operate to its full potential. The community service program is one of the ways the store receives its volunteers. For almost a year, Adelante Thrift has been partnering with the Municipal Court of Wyandotte and Johnson counties for their court-appointed community service workers program. By being able to receive the community service workers, it helped the store with much needed extra hands to sort and clean donations to stock the store. Each community service worker receives the necessary work, orientation and agreement of the regular scheduled time needed to complete the hours sanctioned by the court.

Adelante Thrift can attest to partnering with some of the hardest working service people. Our hope is that Adelante Thrift is a safe and welcoming environment where people serving their hours can be treated with dignity and respect and can potentially learn new skills, gain structure, discipline, and turn their lives around.

Current Needs:

  • If you would like to give to Mission Adelante this holiday season through donating items, check out our Amazon Wish List for some practical needed items to make our mission possible, www.amazon.com/missionadelantewishlist. While you are on the Amazon website, you can help out Mission Adelante by choosing us as your charity of choice through Amazon Smile.  smile.amazon.com


Important Dates:

  • Adelante Thrift will be hosting a Christmas Fun Day for Kids. There will be games, crafts and cookie decorating!!! December 10 12 - 2 pm. Each child will receive a stuffed animal and/or book. Check out the Adelante Thrift Facebook page for more information. www.facebook.com/adelantethrift.



 

Hope

Advent-Candles.jpg

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

This past Sunday marked the first Sunday of Advent, a time in our year where we pause and celebrate Emmanuel, God coming to be with us.  The first Sunday of Advent is often spent reflecting on hope.  The hope of a coming Savior, the hope of redemption.

Hope is a tricky thing, if you are not careful, it can be misplaced.  You can place your hope in a relationship, a job, a leader, or success.  Where your hope is can wander away before you recognize it.  This Advent I want to encourage our community to dwell in this truth:

“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.”                                                                                                                           ~Psalm 146:3-5 (NLT)

I want us, our kids, their parents, our volunteers, and our staff to remember where our true hope lies, because no one can take that hope away from us.  I also want to encourage us to show hope to people, be a light in darkness.  The prophet Isaiah was pointing to the coming Messiah when he said:

“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness,  a light will shine.”                                                  ~Isaiah 9:2 (NLT)

How can we, those who have see the light in Jesus, be a light and share His hope this holiday season.

Current Needs:

  • Adelante Thrift is in need of new toys that parents can purchase at an inexpensive price to give as a gift to their children this Christmas.  Donations are tax deductible and can be dropped off at Adelante Thrift Monday - Saturday 10 am - 5 pm.

Important Dates:

  • End of the Trimester Parties will be held the last night of programs for each ministry.
    • Bhutanese Youth Group - Monday December 5, 6:30 - 8:30
    • Bhutanese Kids Club and ESL - Tuesday December 6, 6:30 - 8:30 
    • Latino Kids Adelante - Thursday December 8, 6:30 - 8:30 
    • Latino ESL - Thursday December 15, 6:30 - 8:30 
  • Adelante Thrift will be hosting a Christmas Fun Day for Kids. There will be games, crafts and cookie decorating!!! December 10 12 - 2 pm. Each child will receive a stuffed animal and/or book. Check out the Adelante Thrift facebook page for more information. www.facebook.com/adelantethrift.

Heeding Jesus' command to follow Matthew 19:14

Written by Rachel Pierce, Administrative Assistant

In Matthew 19:13-14 we find that parents are bringing their children to Jesus for him to bless them and pray for them. Jesus' disciples rebuke them, but Jesus replies, " Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Three years before I joined the staff of Mission Adelante, my family and I became volunteers with the Bhutanese ministry.  My husband volunteered with the ESL program and I jumped in to helping out in Kid's Club.  I started out with a group of 2nd and 3rd graders my first trimester of volunteering.  I enjoyed the group of kids I was given, but my heart and experience was really with preschool aged children.  From my second trimester on I have been leading groups of three, four, and five year old's.  I am in my element with these little ones, and love seeing them grow.  

At the end of the 2014 Spring trimester the little girl pictured above came to Kid's Club for the first time.  She was about four years old then, she came with another little friend.  Her friend adjusted and entered in to the activities at Kid's Club but this little sweetie was scared and shy.  She spoke no English and she cried the entire time, but she kept coming back with her friend. She came back on the last night of the Spring trimester, which is a time when we celebrate with the kids. That night I brought Popsicle's to share with my group of preschoolers.  I handed my new little friend a Popsicle and for the first time in three weeks she stopped crying and smiled.  She ate her Popsicle and we became friends.  From that time on she and I have been friends, she continues to come to Kid's Club and she is in 1st grade. I was away from Kid's Club for most of this trimester so that I could attend my daughter's volleyball games; last Tuesday night was my first time back.  This sweet girl came into the room where we have Kid's Club, she saw me and smiled real big.  She said, "You're here, I have missed you".  It melted my heart, she is no longer in my group of kids at Kid's Club because she has moved up to an older group, but we still have a sweet connection.  I am so glad to play a small part in her life, to help show Jesus to her.  I love showing her how Jesus welcomes her and all of us.

My story is just one of many; I believe that all of our staff and volunteers have stories of friendships and personal connections that they have made with the adults, teens, and children that we meet at Mission Adelante.  Our lives have been changed by the relationships we have made with the precious people that we journey with at Mission Adelante. 


Important Dates:

  • Trimester Break:  Monday November 21st - Friday November 25th there will be no programs. This break gives our staff and volunteers a chance to relax and spend time with family and friends over the Thanksgiving holiday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!