by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Pastor/Executive Director
Anyone who's spent much time in a foreign country understands how challenging it can be to navigate the language, culture, systems and relationships in a place that's not your home. That was certainly our experience when we were in Costa Rica for language school in 2002 and 2003. But, out of nowhere, we were surprised by the friendship of a Costa Rican family who took us under their wing and walked with us in the ups and downs of adjusting to a new culture and context. This experience became foundational for us in understanding how God wants us to embrace and befriend people from other places.
Members of Mission Adelante celebrate together at the
National Christian Foundation's Passion Awards
For Israel, the experience of living as foreigners in Egypt marked their identity as a people. The Egyptian experience was a mixture of blessings and sorrows for God's people. Joseph's slavery, imprisonment and rise to power as Pharaoh's right-hand man is one of the most amazing immigrant success stories in history. The escape from famine and the subsequent slavery of the Israelites in Egypt gave God's chosen nation a unique lens through which to view God's call to love the foreigners who would one day live in their midst.
"When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God." Leviticus 19:33-34
One phrase from these verses jumps off the page as familiar and powerful; "You shall love him as yourself". This is one of the only places where this "Great Commandment", "love your neighbor as yourself", is applied so directly to a specific group of people. And if you recall, when Jesus was asked, "who's my neighbor?", he told the story of the Good Samaritan, making the foreigner and outsider to the Jews the hero of the story, the neighbor, and the intended recipient of loving actions by God's people. Jesus emphasizes that the commandment to love God and neighbor is at the very heart of all His commands. This mandate finds a special expression in the way we show hospitality, compassion, and friendship to people from other places.
Whether you're from
Mexico, Nepal, the United States, or any other place, Mission Adelante takes seriously this Great Commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. This love for neighbor is practical. It invites,
shares, serves, celebrates, and grieves. It creates a new community and redefines the "we". It makes outsiders insiders and tells heroic stories about Samaritans. Though we still have a long way to go, our heart's desire is that the phrase, "Loving people from all places" would be what most defines the Mission Adelante community.
In other news:
- Staff and immigrant leaders returned on Sunday energized by the Christian Community Development Association conference where our immigrant leaders had already begun dreaming of new ways to impact our community.
- We have two new additions to our Latino house church this week as we have welcomed two new babies! Please pray for good health and rest for the families.
- Please pray for a family in the Bhutanese community who just had their first child! Pray for sound sleep and community support for this new family.
- Pray for the registration tomorrow evening for our Latino ESL program where we hope to see a strong retention of past students and a healthy group of new students.
- School can be a struggle for many of our Bhutanese High School students who don’t have strong English, making learning difficult, and the temptation to drop out strong. Pray for our school district to have the resources and knowledge to teach ESL students well, and pray for our students to have endurance and a strong work ethic in their studies.
- Want to hang out with some fun kids and share Jesús in a meaningful way? We are looking for 3 or 4 volunteers for our Outreach Bible Study on Thursdays from 6:30-9:00. Please contact Megan if you are interested at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our Bhutanese Kids Outreach is looking for a few new friends! We are in need of 5 mentors to walk with kids at part of our Outreach Bible Study on Tuesday nights from 6:30-9:00pm. If you are interested in learning more please contact Kristen at email@example.com.
- If you are out and about and notice swimsuits on clearance, would you think about picking some up for kids at Mission Adelante? We go swimming many times a year, even in the winter, and sometimes we find out on the way to the pool that some of our friends don’t have swimsuits that fit. We specifically need suits that fit Elementary and Middle School boys, and one-piece suits that fit later Elementary and Middle School girls. If you have questions, or would like to help, contact Kristen Maxwell at Kristenm@missionadelante.org
- Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, September 21, 9:00-12:30 All volunteers should attend this training once at the beginning of serving with Mission Adelante. It's also a great way for someone to become familiar with Mission Adelante's ministry. If you or someone you know is interested in finding out more about what we do, and about our volunteer opportunities, please plan to attend/encourage him or her to attend this informative training.
- All Volunteer Huddle & Dessert: Monday, September 23, 6:30 p.m. We encourage everyone that will be volunteering with us during our fall trimester to attend so we can prepare for a great launch.
- Fall trimester programs launch: Week of September 23