Shared with permission from a Facebook post by Mary Weatherholt, Bhutanese Kids Ministry Volunteer
It was an absolute joy helping with the Bhutanese Elementary Leaders-in-Training program at Mission Adelante this past school year. They became some of my favorite people, and made my week brighter. From different religious backgrounds, different number of years in the U.S., different personalities, different grades, different talents... Each one unique and overflowing with potential.
I loved their smiles and laughs and hugs and stories and exuberant greetings of "Miss Mary!" They inspired me, from their desire to help others less fortunate at St. Paul's food pantry, to packaging sets of books to take back to their classrooms at their schools (and their excitement and scrutiny in each picking out a book of their own to keep), to their openness about their thoughts and feelings and fears and courage in the face of some of those very fears (choosing to go down the slide or get up on a horse even if still feeling afraid). I appreciated their joy found in the everyday things such as learning new things, and running, and playing, and cooking, and their overt excitement and anticipation for adventures and end-of-trimester trips.
I loved sharing my faith with them and all of their ensuing questions about Christianity. Their simple and heartfelt prayers for healing when I was sick and of thanks when I got better humbled me, and gave me a better understanding of Jesus' words "for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."
I loved helping them with their homework and encouraging them to read. I loved sharing with them about the discovery of gravitational waves (they were more interested than those in my physics class). I loved helping them learn how to tie shoes and how the buffet line at Cici's pizza works (also how some choices necessitate trade-offs, like ordering wings off the menu meant I couldn't have dessert from the buffet... They were then very happy with their buffet option). It was an honor to see them grow and learn, and not only did I see them learn, but I learned so much too. And now I have a new found gratitude... Gratitude for all those at Mission Adelante who pour into these kids on a daily basis, for elementary schoolteachers (whatever we pay them- it's not enough), for rocket math (a glorious minute of silence), and for those who have paved a path for refugees into the US and Kansas City. If these kids are any indication of the future of our country... That makes me pretty excited.
Summer Break: We will have a short, summer break from programs at Mission Adelante. June 29 through July 4, there will be not be any programs at Mission Adelante during this time and our office will be closed Monday July 4. Have a fun and safe break!
We are beginning to look for volunteers who would be willing to spend an afternoon or two, mentoring students in our Latino or Bhutanese LIT program. Our Latino LIT program serves 3rd - 8th grade students, two to three afternoons a week. Our Bhutanese Elementary LIT program serves 3rd - 5th grade students and our Bhutanese Middle School LIT program serves 6th - 8th grade students, two to three afternoons a week. For more information on any of the LIT programs please contact Kristen Maxwell, firstname.lastname@example.org.