Reaching Out to the Fatherless Generation

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Ministry Director

A valuable training opportunity is coming up on Saturday, March 16 at Mission Adelante.  Gang Intervention Specialist Amy Williams is coming from the Chicago area to present a workshop called, Feeding Father-Hunger: Understanding And Ministering To The Fatherless Generation.  We hope you will consider joining us as we learn from Amy that morning, but first, allow me to explain why this topic is so relevant to ministry today.

Walking side by side with the children, teens, and families of our community, I have found myself in the privileged position of being trusted enough to be shown glimpses of the wounds that afflict many of our friends.  By far, the most profound and tender wound is the ache of a life lived without a father-figure.  I had never understood the severity of this struggle or how the Lord might want to work in our community in light of it until the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) Annual Conference last September.  During the conference, five Mission Adelante staff members and two of the teens on the trip with us attended a workshop that plumbed the depth of the wound and its implications.  It was the Feeding Father-Hunger workshop, and this was the written description that persuaded us to attend:

"Oftentimes both kids and adults are unaware of the lifelong effects that an absent father has in the life of a child.  The emotional response of the fatherless can be linked to poverty, high-school dropout rates, crime, drug use, and teenage pregnancy.  The fatherless live a lifestyle living with a father they don’t see, while filling the empty space with painful outburst and pseudo-comfort realities.  We hope to provide you insights for helping youth to discover their identity, pinpoint side effects that are gripping them from growth, and discover practical mentoring approaches to free their souls and not block their blessings."

Each of us found the workshop deeply meaningful because Amy Williams didn't just provide statistics, she appealed to our hearts and suggested practical ways for us to minister to those that struggle with the absence of a father.  Above all, Amy reminded us that regardless of whether we had grown up with a father figure or not, our Heavenly Father desires to fill the ache for approval in us.  One of the teens that attended had this to say: " I really loved  Amy's workshop because it showed me that I have pain and problems with my Dad," and the other reflected, "Amy's presentation helped me to notice that I still have some pain about my dad that I have to work on. She also opened my eyes to see that others around me are in a similar position."

We are very excited that Amy is coming to Kansas City to present the same workshop at Mission Adelante on Saturday, March 16 from 9 AM-12 PM!  Please consider joining us for this amazing  training opportunity!  We think it will strengthen our ability to understand and minister to people affected by fatherlessness.  While there is not a fee to attend, free-will donations will be accepted to help offset Amy's travel expenses.  Child care will not be provided.  Register by clicking here!

In other news:

  • Twenty Bhutanese Kids Outreach volunteers gathered a week ago Saturday to enjoy food and fellowship and to learn about how to better serve our friends!  Thank you to everyone who came out!
  • All of the snow during the past couple of weeks gave several staff members the opportunity to take some of the Bhutanese children and teens sledding for their first time! It was fun to be with them for their first time experiencing this American Winter activity!
Prayer needs:
  • Pray for restored momentum for our outreach programs.  The recent snow days can take away from our immigrant neighbors’ rhythm of participating in activities.
  • Pray for continued vision and guidance for our disciple-making and church planting efforts.  Pray that the Lord would guide us and that He would break through.
Current needs:
  • Our Resource Center is requesting bags of sugar, dry beans, rice, flour, and pasta to include in Canastas Basicas, or bags containing staple, non-perishable food items that we make available to families that need them. To learn more about the Canastas Basicas, click here. To provide any of the food staples, contact Molly at
Upcoming dates:
  • Observation Days: Tuesday, March 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!  Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.
  • Bring-A-Friend Fund-Raiser for Bhutanese Teens Coordinator Hannah Hume: Saturday, March 9 Email Hannah Hume at for more information.
  • Training by Amy Williams, Gang Intervention Specialist: Saturday, March 16, 9:00-12:00 at Mission Adelante. Register here!
  • Spring Break: Monday, March 18-Saturday, March 23.  None of our regular programs will meet.  The Mission Adelante office will be closed Wednesday, March 20-Saturday, March 23.
  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Dinner: rescheduled for May 4 at Lauren Timberlake's house. Please contact Jenny Dunn for more details at