Building reciprocal relationships with our ESL students

Written by Paul Kienzle, Latino ESL Director

I absolutely love that one of the Mission Adelante core values is interdependent relationships.  “We believe deeply that effective ministry is relational at its core”.  There is nothing that excites me more than being able to spend time with our ESL students outside of the classroom and have the opportunity to “rub shoulders” and get into their lives in a totally different context.  What excites me equally, is when our ESL students voluntarily take some of that time outside of class to serve; using their talents and skills.

That is exactly what happened between trimesters, as we were getting the building ready for the new trimester to start.  I didn’t even have to ask twice; Jesus, Ricardo, and Oscar jumped on the opportunity to repair a huge hole in the ceiling in one of our classrooms. The pizza and soda flowed, and the lively banter went well into the evening.  I couldn’t keep up with these guys.  I learned a lot about how to “mud” drywall and the art of sanding and reapplying the “mud”.  The project took several days, as they all had day jobs. They came straight to Mission Adelante from work, but it didn’t matter to them.  “Pablo, (my Spanish name)” they said, “this room needs a paint job, not just this room but the room next to it.” “If there is time, we could do that one too”  “Have someone get the paint and we’ll do the rest, I have everything else we need”, said Jesus, a painter by trade.  “And anything else we can do”, chimed in Ricardo, “just let us know, we want to give back.”  Now, I felt both humbled and extremely proud of these guys.  Oscar,  a painter by trade too, jumped in on the second day to help after he found out through his friend’s Facebook post that his ESL “compas” (Spanish for “dudes”, “bros”) were at Mission Adelante. “Hey, you didn’t tell me?!”, replied Oscar, “I’ll be there.”

It was a great time those few days; being with these guys and witnessing first hand their servants hearts, and observing them using their skills and talents to repair a hole and paint a room that now looks absolutely fantastic.  The Mission Adelante core value mentioned earlier, goes on to say, “And when relationships are interdependent; learning is mutual, serving is reciprocal, and friendship is life-giving.”  This is certainly what this grateful individual experienced serving alongside these talented and grateful men.

Current Needs:

  • We are still in need of churches, small groups and individuals to contribute backpacks for our back-to-school backpack distribution.  If you are interested in learning more contact Kristen Maxwell at
  • We have had a few groups come and finish some maintenance projects for us in the past several months and we are very thankful to them, but we still have more maintenance projects around the building that need attention.  Some would be great for an individual and others for small groups.  Contact Sarah at  if you are interested in checking out our project list.

Important Dates:

  • Observation Nights:    Have you ever wondered what goes on at Mission Adelante during a typical program night?  Come see our ministry in action!   Bhutanese Observation Nights, July 19 or 26 6:30 - 8:30 pm.  Latino Observation Nights, July 21 or 28 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
  • Come celebrate 11 years of ministry with Mission Adelante! Our end of the summer party will be a huge celebration with the Bhutanese and Latino ministries together in one location. Mission Adelante is thanking our students, volunteers, partners, and God for 11 great years of ministry.  The celebration will be August 7, 4 pm to 8 pm. at Wyandotte County Lake, Leavenworth Road & 91st St. Kansas City, Kansas 66109. Parking & Shuttles to the party will be at the Marina Parking Lot. The party will be held at Shelter #6.