A Visitor in an Unfamiliar Land


Written by Cody Schindel, Refugee ESL Coordinator

Earlier this month, I got to visit for the first time my wife’s home: Bangkok, Thailand. I finally had the chance to experience many of the things Joanna grew up loving: Thai food, public transportation, the people, the walking, the big city, the culture, and the walking (there was a lot of walking).  

Joanna’s parents became missionaries in Bangkok before her birth and remain there still. This was where Joanna was born and raised until she moved to the U.S. at age 18 to attend university. Though I thoroughly enjoyed stepping into the setting of her earlier life, I was shocked by how naturally she fit into a culture that was totally foreign to me. I had always known that moving to America had been an enormous challenge for Joanna, but now I’m better able to appreciate the extent of her struggle related to relocating to a whole new culture and life.

I returned to Kansas City better able to appreciate what our immigrant and refugee neighbors have gone through. They’ve left their homes to come to a place that is totally different than what is familiar to them. They feel out of place, and face daily challenges and struggles. It is something that few of us can truly understand. The heart longs for that which is familiar, that which we grew up knowing and experiencing, and it is a great sacrifice to have to leave all of that behind.

All of this had made me reflect on myself as a sojourner on Earth.  Those of us who trust in Jesus as our source of life are simply passing through a world that we were not made for on our way to being reunited in our true home with our Father. And what is most important in the here and now is that we are displaying Christ to our neighbors. I think C.S. Lewis put it nicely when he said, “The fact that our heart yearns for something Earth can't supply is proof that Heaven must be our home.”


  •  At this time last week, we had received around 50 backpacks and were looking for an extra hundred. In the last seven days, the Lord has provided that hundred backpacks and we are going to be able to outfit all of our kids, middle-schoolers, and teens a brand new backpack with school supplies so they can start the school year off right! We're so grateful to all of you who helped out!


  • Are you passionate about education and kids? Our Leaders in Training program is always looking for new volunteers. Please contact Megan if you would like more information: meganm@missionadelante.org.
  • Adelante Arts Community needs one or two volunteers to teach guitar to kids! No need to be an expert. If you enjoy playing a few chords and would like to share that ability with others, fill out an interest form at http://www.missionadelante.org/arts