When God Transforms Tragedy into Purpose

Written by David Stetler, Bhutanese Outreach Director

In the early 80's a twenty-two year old Nepali man experienced something that would change his, and his fourteen year old pregnant wife's, lives forever.  That young man fell out of a tree and was paralyzed from the waist down. He would live the rest of his life in a wheel chair in Nepal as an outcast.

But God had different plans for this young man, whom we'll call BK.  Through this one event God gave BK, literally, a front row seat into the miserable life of the unjust treatment experienced by disabled people in Nepal and the Lord began to use him and his family to love and care for the disabled of Kathmandu.  

Thirty years later we see the power of the gospel piercing through this family and their community of lepers, disabled and sick people that make up an amazing expression of God's love and compassion.  The SD Church, by the mighty hand of God and His amazing grace, have reversed the seemingly inevitable fate of these people: they no longer identify themselves as outcasts, but as children of the living God!

SD helps these sick and disabled people, who come to Kathmandu from surrounding villages, navigate the complexities of the health system so that they will get the right treatment.  SD cares for their health needs and shares the love and truth of Jesus.  They are physically cared for and discipled in the way of Jesus, and some are trained to be leaders sent back to their villages to gather and shepherd new believers in their hometowns to participate in the mission of God in restoring the broken places in this world.  

We met the SD community at about the same time that we began to minister to the Bhutanese here in Kansas City and it has been a constant honor to love them, support what they are doing, learn from them and hopefully encourage them. Last month we took a team to visit SD again and were encouraged by all that the Lord continues to do through them.  It's amazing to see a life seemingly destined for struggle and hardship being so full of joy and life.  This is only through the power of God Almighty who makes all things new and "bestows on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." (Isaiah 61)

In other news:
  • The Leaders In Training canoe trip last weekend took the students out of their normal environment and created a context for the deepening of relationships and community.  The Lord answered our prayers for safe travel and safety on the North Fork River, and it was a fun time for everyone who went.
  • Mission Adelante is partnering with Free Wheels for Kids, a new program that, in the course of one week, teaches kids ages 12 and up bike maintenance and road safety, and gives them the opportunity to earn a refurbished bike.  Fifteen kids, most from KCK, are participating, and Blake Johns, our Latino Children's intern, is getting to know them while he helps out.
  • We're blessed by the increased volunteer role that Jacob Holland has assumed.  He's gone from leading a class in his home during past trimesters to coordinating student and volunteer participation in the Level One class this trimester, which is always the largest class.
  • We're eager for the What If The Church Serve Day this Saturday!  We're looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones from metro churches and getting a few things from our "to do list" done!
  • We had a break-in last Friday night, and four laptops used by administrative and ministry staff were stolen.  Thankfully, our alarm sounded, scaring away the burglar(s), and the police responded promptly.
Prayer needs:
  • Please be in prayer for Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director, and her family.  Lauren broke her foot last weekend, and then during her routine eye exam yesterday, she was found to have a detached retina, and so she underwent emergency eye surgery today.  Lauren said, "It's a doozy of a surgery, so it may be a while until I'm back in the game."  Please pray for a speedy recovery, and for God's provision of help to care for Lauren's and her husband, Drew's, household in the meantime.
  • Latino Children's Ministry Director Megan McDermott is extending invitations this week to kids that have been selected to participate in LIT during the upcoming school year. This group of kids receives spiritual mentoring, academic tutoring, and character development.  Pray for God to define Megan's vision for this year's program, and to guide her preparation throughout the summer.
  • Praise God for providing the two Bhutanese teen girls' mentors we needed! 
Current needs:
  • Monetary contributions to offset the cost of replacing the four stolen laptops.  (We've already purchased replacements.)  Contributions may be mailed to Mission Adelante, 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102, and "laptop replacement" indicated in the memo line.
  • Someone to mow (with their own mower) our property (22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102) by this Monday.  Evening kids' camp begins this Tuesday and will be held outdoors in our soccer field.  Please contact  Sarah Winston at 913-749-7958.
  • Paper and plastic grocery sacks for resource distribution in our Resource Center.  Why not gather up all the sacks that have accumulated in your kitchen and bring them up with you the next time you come to the neighborhood?  Please contact Molly Merrick at 913-281-6274 x5 to tell her when you'll be bringing some.
  • Eight copies of The Action Bible, which are used in our Bhutanese children's ministry.  If you would like to provide some of the Bibles, please contact Kristen Maxwell at 913-281-6274 x9.  If you like, you can have them shipped directly to us at: Mission Adelante, c/o Kristen Maxwell, 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.
Important dates:
  • Saturday, June 30, 9:00-12:00 Adelante Missions Institute Seminar at Mission Adelante featuring Noel Castellanos, CEO of Christian Community Development Association.  There is limited space, so we've offered priority registration to our staff and volunteers, and are now opening registration to a wider group.  There is a cost of $10 per person, which includes a continental breakfast.  Register here.
  • Week of July 2 Summer break; no programs
  • July 17, 19, 24, 26, 31, August 2 Observation nights.  Ever wondered what goes on here on a typical evening of programming?  Come on up on a observation night and find out!  Tuesday evenings are Bhutanese outreach, Thursday evenings are Latino outreach.