Written by Fernando J. Orellana, ESL Level 4 Student
It all started on July 1 of 2013, a very big change for my life and for my family, as I arrived to the United States. That same day I began to see that many things were very different from what I knew: the houses, the weather, the longer days in the summer, the people, the language, different cultures, and many other things. One day I said to God, "Lord, you have given me the opportunity to come to this country. I need your help to be able to adapt to these changes, and I pray that you always take care of me, keeping me always in your way."
I began attending a church, where I was received with much love. I found new friends, one of them helped me to get a job at a remodeling company. Soon the new challenges started; I could not communicate with my bosses at that time because I did not know any English. This frustrated me a lot! But little by little I adapted more to the new lifestyle, and in 2015 I met a Mexican friend who told me about Mission Adelante. He told me they taught English and that he was a volunteer there too! Time passed and I did not see that friend again. At the end of 2017, I started to research places where they taught English, and I found Mission Adelante. Days later I received a call from the director of the program, Pablo (Paul) Kienzle, who very kindly gave me all the information to register. I was encouraged that he spoke Spanish, so at least the registration would be less complicated.
The day of the registration there was a huge line, and only the first 24 could enter the program. I quickly counted how many were before me; I was number 22. The Mission Adelante staff received us with a lot of kindness, snacks, and refreshing drinks. That day I discovered a family. I quickly thought: Why did not I start coming earlier? When the class started, I was excited. I was also surprised to see many volunteers who with much love, sacrifice and dedication taught us to learn the English language and learn more about God! I saw all the programs that Mission Adelante has for the Hispanic community, from children to adults, and not only that but they also had programs for refugees from other countries. They were also just beginning a new program for citizenship preparation. I was very blessed to later receive their unconditional support which helped me to complete this process and achieve my citizenship.
Right now I attend the Level 4 English class. I am very grateful to Mission Adelante and all its staff and volunteers for their unconditional support, which has impacted my life, and that of many other students. I have also learned that the way to carry the Gospel of Jesus is through sharing and helping the people around us, regardless of race or country from which we come! Now I realize that wherever we go, the mercy and love of God are always at our side. And if you look for Jesus, great and better things will come to your life. Do not be fearful of the new challenges that come to your life! Never give up despite the adversities, strive hard, and give the best of yourself always. If you entrust God with your steps, He will take care of you! God wants us to grow day by day, in all aspects of our life. I thank God for allowing me to be part of this new family, which has been a blessing for my life! I feel very happy to be part of this beautiful organization. God bless you all!
IN OTHER NEWS:
Have you ever wondered what goes on at a typical night of programming at Mission Adelante? Adelante Arts Community, Refugee Kids Club, Refugee Youth, Teens Adelante, Citizenship Class, Latino ESL, and Kids Adelante have Observation Nights coming up: Monday, February 25, 6:30 - 8:30 pm; Tuesday, February 26, 6:30 - 8:30 pm; Wednesday, February 27, 6:30- 8:30 pm; and Thursdays, February 28, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Visit www.missionadelante.org/observe to sign up!