Co-written by Elena Chan, Paul Kienzle, and Shannon Schafer
Often, helping someone turns into an unhealthy dependency; where one person constantly gives and the other person constantly receives. At Mission Adelante we believe that effective ministry is relational at its core. When relationships are interdependent; learning is mutual, serving is reciprocal, and friendship is life-giving. Ricardo, one of our students, joined our Latino ESL program in the fall of 2015. In the last year and a half, he has progressed to level five in our ESL classes and has become an important part of the program. He has also developed strong friendships with our ESL staff and volunteers.
Not only is Ricardo heavily involved in ESL class he is also employed full time by a local landscaping company, Lawn and Landscape Solutions, based in Olathe, Kansas. The company accommodated his desire to learn English and allowed him to leave work early on Thursdays to attend ESL classes. It didn’t take long for his colleagues to notice how confident and comfortable he became in his conversational English. His language improvement also caught the attention of Erin Baxter, who's husband Sean is the owner of the landscaping company. She found out about Mission Adelante’s ESL program through the improvement she saw in Ricardo, and decided that she wanted to help out at Mission Adelante, with ESL classes. As a result, Erin started volunteering as an ESL conversation partner in 2016. Daniel, one of Ricardo's co-workers and friend, became an ESL student in the Fall of 2016. Daniel brought his wife Daisy along also so that she could improve her English.
Because of the improvement and excitement that Lawn and Landscape Solutions saw in some of their employees, the company chose Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift for their company’s Serve Day. Both the administrative staff and the landscaping crew came to Mission Adelante this past Friday, March 24th and did an incredible job of beautifying the grounds surrounding Mission Adelante. They worked on weeding, mulching and planting new shrubs. Once the landscaping was well underway, part of the crew proceeded to Adelante Thrift where they helped sort clothes and arrange items in the store.
This is the core of interdependent relationships in action. When an ESL student, Ricardo improved his English skills at Mission Adelante, his confidence and excitement spread to his co-workers. Friendships were built and his boss and co-workers wanted to give back to Mission Adelante, a place that had helped Ricardo. They were in turn able to give to others by serving at Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift.
Landscaping, Before & After:
The Team from Lawn and Landscape Solutions serving at Mission Adelante and Adelante Thrift:
Please join Mission Adelante in prayer as we explore a broader refugee ministry. Pray that God would give us wisdom, guidance and favor in the neighborhood as we consider new ways to serve the refugee community in KCK.
- Would you like to help Mission Adelante in a practical way? Check out our Top Ten Wish List on Amazon at: Mission Adelante Top Ten List. Our highest needs are:
- Dry Erase Markers
- AA Batteries
- It's Spring Cleaning Time: While you are cleaning out your basement, closets, and garage consider donating your gently used items to Adelante Thrift. We are in need of summer clothing (mens, womens & childrens), shoes, and housewares. Adelante Thrift is located at 3720 State Ave. Kansas City, KS. Donations are accepted Monday - Saturday, 10 - 5.
- Donation Drive: Adelante Thrift's warehouse is empty and needs to be restocked. Please help us by organizing a donation drive at your church, business, or neighborhood. Please use our Donation Drive Form to set a donation drive, or call us 913-499-7215.