Equipping Leaders to Serve

Written by Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director

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Mon Maya, level 1 class captain, takes attendance on a Tuesday night.

Chuda, the Level 4 captain, by the Kansas River during a class field trip to Kaw Point last summer.

Mission Adelante desires to build indigenous leaders.  

We believe that the essence of the great commission is reproducing disciples and leaders who are capable of multiplying the work.

We want the people we serve to take ownership of our programs, to care deeply for their neighbors, and to see themselves as leaders. Ultimately, we want to see shepherds leading the way for their community to know Jesus. So many of our students don’t see themselves as having much to offer. They have been pushed to the fringes of their own culture and ours, and sometimes they don’t see their worth.

On registration night, each Bhutanese ESL class now chooses one or more leaders to “captain” the class. The class votes on the leader and decides what his or her responsibilities should be. They even came up with the term “captain”. Each group’s leaders may have different responsibilities, but most of them are responsible to help the lead teacher with attendance, name tags, time-keeping, and checking in on absent students.

When we introduced class leadership last fall, most of our students shied away from it. They said we should find someone younger, with more education, or who could speak better English. One student told me, “I cannot read the names. I cannot help you.” Another said, “I am too old.”

Rachel Yeargin, the level 2 instructor, said, ‘This is unique opportunity for them. Many of our students are old, have physical challenges, or lack education.  Student leadership gives them a platform to lead and serve that they have not had before. It has even had an impact on class and gender barriers in the classroom.”

Mon Maya is the captain in our level 1 class this session. She cannot read or write in English or Nepali, her native language. She stepped into leadership after watching a friend do it last fall. Before class begins each week, she has already counted and sketched out attendance using her own system. She helps students understand what is going on in class, and is ready to assist at any time. She is engaged, and her enthusiasm draws other students in as well.

A hurt arm has kept Chuda, the level 4 captain, from getting a job. He said, “Because I cannot go to the job, I can be a class captain and help my friends in that way.” He said he is glad for the opportunity to contribute.

Please join us in praying for our ESL class captains. Pray that God blesses them and draws them to himself. Pray that they have a deeper understanding of their own value, and that this taste of leadership would show them the capacity they have to serve others in their community. And finally, pray that the staff at Mission Adelante would find new and meaningful ways to partner with our community, to increase their ownership of our programs and grow leaders ready to change lives around them.

In other news:

  • Our Bhutanese and Latino LIT kids have worked hard to earn a pizza party this Saturday where we look forward to having some fun and fellowship!
  • Our Bhutanese house church leaders have begun to meet regularly for discipleship training, worship and fellowship!

Prayer needs:

  • As we begin to lay the foundation for a family practice medical clinic in our neighborhood, we recognize the immense value of input from immigrant and refugee families in our community. Please pray for the health care surveys that we're conducting with Latino and Bhutanese ESL classes this month. Please pray that God guides this process and shapes these ideas into something that will bring him glory.
  • Praise God for a miracle!  Graciela, a Latina woman in our church, was hospitalized and it seemed that she would need heart surgery.  It was concluded that she does not need surgery, and she was released from the hospital yesterday.  Pray for Graciela as she will still need to make healthy lifestyle adjustments.
  • Janoy is a friend and member of our Latino church. His wife and children have been awaiting permission to immigrate and join him in Kansas City for quite some time, and have become discouraged that the process is taking so long. Please pray for Janoy’s family as they await their visa--the final step in the process.
  • Praise God for answered prayers!  One of our Bhutanese house church leaders recently found a new, full-time job with a great employer.  Please continue to pray for others as they seek employment.

Current needs:

  • Our Resource Center is low on gently-used kitchen items. Please contact Molly at mollym@missionadelante.org if you have items to donate.

Upcoming dates:

  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Dinner: March 2 at Lauren Timberlake's house. Please contact Jenny Dunn for more details at jennyd@missionadelante.org
  • Observation Days: Tuesdays, March 5 & 12 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, March 7 & 14 (Latino) 6:30-8:30  Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming?  Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself!
  • Bring-A-Friend Fund-Raiser for Bhutanese Teens Coordinator Hannah Hume: Saturday, March 9 Email Hannah Hume at hannahh@missionadelante.org for more information.