The All-Star FanFest and Relational Ministry

Written by Blake Johns, Summer Intern

This summer, I get to work with the Latino kids, which has been a tremendous blessing! In addition to weekly house church meetings and our Thursday night kids program, my main job is to build relationships with kids in our neighborhood. There are two boys in particular on whom I've tried to focus my time: German and Felipe, but because of Summer break last week and the three weeks of Kids' Camps before that, I haven't had nearly as much time to spend with them individually as I'd like. So, at the beginning of this week, I was pretty excited to finally have some free time in my schedule to devote to them. On top of that, I was fortunate enough to receive two free tickets to the All-Star Game FanFest (!!!), which provided the perfect opportunity to connect with one of the boys.

I decided to surprise Felipe with the ticket, and immediately was energized by the light in his eyes when he found out where we were going. He ate up every moment as we walked around the Kansas City Convention Center, trying to figure out where all the best free stuff was -- we missed out on the foam Mohawks and Taco Bell tacos, but snagged a small treasure trove of foam baseballs -- and trying to decide which ‘main events’ were worth waiting for. Even before our series of Kids Camps began, I hadn’t been able to spend hardly any time with Felipe one-on-one, so getting some light-spirited quality time with him was refreshing, to say the least.

We were only there for two hours or so, but that time very tangibly reinforced my established purpose and vision for the summer. We are here to love to the highest degree, and while seeing this boy’s delight at hitting a 400-ft. home run on a simulator couldn’t have been sweeter in the moment, the taste for a greater love was reawakened in me. At Mission Adelante, we believe that ministry is a relational endeavor, and as such, building and maintaining relationships are an essential part of any ministry we undertake. However, while events such as the All-Star Game FanFest provide a unique opportunity to develop relationships, they cannot be the end for which we are striving, only the means. In Colossians 4:2-4, Paul asks for prayer that “God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ…that [he] might make it clear, which is how [he] ought to speak” (emphasis mine). I shouldn’t strive to be an activities coordinator. I should strive to plainly show these kids the love that I have for them in Christ, and how His love has guided me to them. Pray that Christ’s love would be explicit in my ministry, for that is the greatest love we can offer.

In other news:
  • The '12-'13 school year is just around the corner.  For Latino Children's Ministry Director Megan McDermott and Bhutanese Children's Ministry Director Kristen Maxwell, that means it's time to gear up for Leaders In Training, our after-school leadership development program.  Megan has identified which of last year's students will return to the program, and this week she's extending invitations to a handful of "new kids."  Kristen is mailing acceptance letters to the 11 Bhutanese students that applied to participate. 
  • Twelve Latino teenagers and five adult volunteers are going to summer camp at Point 11 Camp on Table Rock Lake from July 16-21.  It will be the first time for any of the teens to experience summer camp.  Funds are still needed to provide partial scholarships for the teens. You can scholarship one teenager's trip to camp for $200.
Prayer needs:
  • As the Latino teens go to summer camp next week, pray for God to use it as an opportunity to speak to them, and for their safety during sports and activities.
  • A member of a Bhutanese family to whom some of our staff have grown close is in need of a lung transplant.  The family must move to St. Louis in order to gain access to the means for the transplant.  Please pray for God to take care of the family and to provide for all of their needs.
Current needs:
  • Wireless Internet-capable laptops for use by our Leaders In Training during the upcoming school year.
  • Thank you, everyone who has donated items to our Resource Center, which distributes clothing, household goods, and food to immigrants in need.  If you have items to donate, please contact Molly at  913-281-6274 x5 in advance to schedule a time to make the drop-off.  Calling ahead will help us tremendously to keep things orderly around here!
Important dates:
  • 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.  Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 between 6:30 and 8:30.