by Jarrett Meek, Pastor/Founder/Executive Director
In the midst of life and the ups and downs of ministry, the Lord is quietly carrying Mission Adelante through important milestones. For some years now we have been focused on mobilizing volunteers and raising up leaders from within the immigrant and refugee community in KCK. In 2011 we began measuring the number of ongoing immigrant volunteers that were serving in ongoing, defined roles in our ministry. At that point the number represented about 14% of all of our volunteers, a modest, but decent start for a ministry that had initially emphasized recruiting volunteers from suburban churches. Slowly, each trimester we've made progress. In 2013 we shifted the focus of our summer internship to equipping youth from our community. We experimented with different leadership team models that were meant to provide a place at the table for people from other places. And, with two steps forward and one step back, we began to see fruit.
Mobilizing "community leaders" for the mission field in our own backyard is not just a strategy, but it is value that comes close to the heart of our mission. We are convinced that to truly live out our mission in this community, we must do it together! Not as "us" serving "them", but as a new "we". Every day I see evidence that we still lack a lot in this regard, but I also see that the Lord is moving us forward. While we still have a long way to go, this summer trimester marks the first time that more than 25% of our 130 ongoing volunteers are immigrants or refugees. And, if patterns remain consistent, we might expect to make another significant jump in September.
There is another important and related transition taking place at Mission Adelante; half of our staff Leadership Team are from other countries, and, during the summer, with our summer interns included, almost half of our staff (46%) are first or second generation immigrants. These statistics may not break any records for urban ministries, but they represent significant fruit from our efforts at becoming "a multicultural community of disciples making disciples where immigrants and others are thriving and using our gifts together to impact our neighborhood and world for the glory of Jesus Christ. "
- Mission Adelante will be on break next week, July 4th - 7th. There will not be any programs that week so that our staff and volunteers can enjoy the holiday with their family and friends.
- Observation Nights are coming soon! If you have ever wondered what goes on during a night of programming at Mission Adelante you can join us on Tuesday July 11th & 18th from 6:30 - 8:30 to observe our Refugee Ministry or on Thursday July 13th & 20th from 6:30 - 8:30 to our observe our Latino Ministry. We are located at 22 S 18th St. Kansas City, Kansas 66102. Visit our website at: www.missionadelante.org/serve/