Crossing Cultures and Sharing Joy


written by Dani Hammond, Bhutanese Kids Club Coordinator

Recently, we took the Bhutanese Leaders in Training students on a tour of our little neighborhood to sing Christmas Carols! We practiced singing some fun, traditional Christmas songs at LIT to prepare and also taught them about a fun cultural Christmas tradition. Last year, when our students learned for the first time that our culture has a similar tradition they were excited to give it a go. The Bhutanese have a similar tradition for one of their cultural festivals called Deusi Bhaile where they tour the homes of their friends and family and sing for them. Our Bhutanese friends take it to a whole new level though. They don’t just stand on the porch and sing, they go inside and also perform dances in living rooms and spend over an hour at each house performing and sharing time together with different families.

This year we took our largest group of LIT students, 14 Middle School students and 9 Elementary students, which means we caroled around our Mission Adelante neighborhood with 23 kids. It was really fun to see our kids all together having fun and getting along well as we celebrated the joy of Christmas together. We stopped at the homes of families who have been part of the Mission Adelante community for many years and at some who have just recently joined us. I loved seeing the faces of our friends that we sang for, since all of our 23 kids didn’t fit on porches most people invited us inside. I was usually the first one in the door, leading the kids and getting to watch faces of hosting families as our kids just kept coming and coming, it was amazing. Everyone enjoyed having the kids they know and love in their homes spreading Christmas cheer and singing loud for all to hear.

It was a wonderful night and I went home feeling very grateful. I am grateful for such an incredible group of students who are not only willing but also enjoy stepping into our cultural traditions, and who do so well together as a group. I am grateful for such a wonderful community of friends, family, and volunteers who love the students at Mission Adelante and are excited to share their lives with them.

Important Dates:

  • Mission Adelante is holding a Volunteer Training on Saturday, January 9 to familiarize and orient new volunteers to our whole ministry as well as the area in which they’ll serve. We ask that each volunteer attend this training once, preferably at the beginning of his or her first term serving.  The training will be at the Mission Adelante facility located at 22 S. 18th Street in Kansas City, KS 66102. We’ll begin with a continental breakfast at 9:00 a.m. and wrap-up at 1:00 p.m. Lunch will be served from a local Mexican restaurant (a $5 contribution is suggested).

  • All volunteers that will serve with the Latino and Bhutanese outreach programs this spring are invited to attend our All Volunteer Huddle & Dessert on Monday, January 11 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Mission Adelante.  We want to get everyone on the same page for a great launch, as well as to give you a chance to connect with the rest of the volunteers before you disperse to the various programs.

  • Bhutanese programs launch Tuesday, January 12th at 6:30 p.m. at Mission Adelante and other Kansas City, Kansas locations.

  • Latino programs launch Thursday, January 14th at 6:30 p.m. at Mission Adelante and other Kansas City, Kansas locations.