Reflections on Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly

A Team from Mission Adelante was inspired to do justly, love mercy, and walk humble at the annual CCDA conference this month.

A Team from Mission Adelante was inspired to do justly, love mercy, and walk humble at the annual CCDA conference this month.

Written by Jarrett Meek, Executive Director

Recently, a passage from the Old Testament prophet Micah has been on my mind.  "With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the God on high?", asks the prophet.  "Shall I come with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?  Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil?  Shall I give my firstborn...?"  What does the Lord require of us?  As Micah ponders this questions out loud, his mind goes first to external religious practices.  He mentions sacrifices and wonders if the Lord will be pleased with his burnt offerings.  It seems clear he's setting this idea up to be torn down.  Then he goes a bit further, multiplying the sacrifices by really big numbers; "what if my sacrifices numbered in the thousands and tens of thousands?  Then would the Lord be pleased?"  And then he proposes the ultimate act of religious devotion; "What if my religious zeal was so great that I were to give my FIRSTBORN!"  The way he asks the questions communicate the answer: zeal for religious practice does NOT please the Lord.  

Today we might say something like, "What if I pray each morning?  What if I get up at 4:30 a.m. to pray each morning?  Then would the Lord be pleased?" Or, what if I read the Bible in a year?  What if I memorize a whole chapter from the Bible?  Then would the Lord be pleased?"  I believe the answer to these questions is like the answer Micah was implying; the Lord is not impressed by our religious activity.

Micah is not meaning to toss out spiritual disciplines or practices all together.  He just wants to put them in their place.  When he finally gets around to answering the question, he says, "He has shown you, oh man, what is good and what the Lord requires of you."  He reveals his answer in 3 parts:

  1. To do justly
  2. To love mercy
  3. To walk humbly with your God.

Doing justly means, in part, seeking the good of our neighbor, especially our neighbor who is vulnerable to suffering injustice.  If we want to please God, Micah reminds us, we must care deeply about injustice and do something about it.  

When I think about loving mercy, the first thing that comes to my mind is the famous book/musical/movie, Les Miserables.  For those who have seen it, the image of a man, Javert, who loves judgement and the law contrasts in the most powerful way with a man who has received mercy and loves to give it, Jean Valjean.  The Lord is pleased with a person who loves mercy.

Walking humbly with our God has many expressions.  Humility should characterize our relationship with God and should permeate our relationship with our neighbor.  The apostle Paul said it well when he wrote, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others as more significant than yourselves."  (Philippians 2:3)

As Mission Adelante lives out it's mission, our heart's desire is to please the Lord.  We love to talk about the greatest commandments: to love God and to love our neighbor.  The passage in Micah 6 gives us another way to remember and apply what Jesus said was most important.

Current Needs:

  • Our Leaders in Training (LIT) students are hungry when they arrive at Mission Adelante after school.  We go through about 80 individually wrapped snacks a week! Next time you are at Costco or Sams, think of us!  You can drop them off at Mission Adelante during regular business hours, Monday - Thursday 9:00 - 5:00.



Building Community at Christian Community Development Association Conference

Written by Drew Hammond, Bhutanese Ministry Intern

Two weeks ago, a team of 12 from Mission Adelante traveled to New Orleans to attend the 2013 Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) National Conference. There were 5 staff members, 2 members from our Bhutanese community, 2 from our Latino community, and 3 volunteers. The trip was an incredible time for us to build friendships, worship together, and come together to collaborate on how we can transform  Kansas City, Kansas together.

Ram Rai is a friend of mine who traveled to the CCDA conference with us. Ram is a Bhutanese refugee who has resettled in Kansas City and now owns RG Asian Store, a neighborhood grocery store that caters to the needs of Asians.  The following is an interview with about his experience at the conference.

Question: What was your favorite New Orleans experience?

Answer: The city of New Orleans itself was very interesting to me, I had never been there before so experiencing that culture was really great. Also, the French Quarter reminded me of cities in Nepal, we even met some people from Nepal which made me feel very welcome in New Orleans.

Question: What is best thing you learned from CCDA Conference?

Answer: The best thing I learned from the CCDA Conference was being on mission together. Specifically to incarnate the love of Jesus so our neighbors can come to follow Him with us.

Question: What was the most meaningful part of the trip to CCDA?

Answer: Being a brother in a large community of Jesus followers. Also, learning how to encourage and train children and students in the ways of Jesus.

Question: Is there anything from the conference that you are excited to implement in Kansas City, KS?

Answer: I received a lot of knowledge and training on how to give a workshop about the negative effects of drugs, alcohol, and negative thinking. As a matter of fact, I am planning a workshop right now.

Question: Do you have any prayer requests for our readers?

Answer: My biggest prayer request after CCDA is that I will continue to be encouraged and blessed as I reach out to my neighbors.

In other news:

  • The Latino Leaders in Training (LIT) program launched last Wednesday with 14 kids! We are excited to begin growing together as a family in our pursuit of Christ!
  • All of the volunteers who will be serving in our programs this fall met together at Mission Adelante on Monday night for fellowship and to plan for the trimester. One of the highlights of the evening was the level of ownership our community took is sponsoring the night. There was a multicultural worship band, and desserts were provided by lots of our community members. It was great to welcome our volunteers together as a community.
  • The Bhutanese Outreach had a great fall trimester launch on Tuesday. We're eager for the fall launch of the Latino Outreach tomorrow. We are excited for a new season with new friends at Mission Adelante.

Current needs:
  • A refrigerator. Please contact Jason at if you have one to give.

Reaching Out to the Fatherless Generation

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Ministry Director

A valuable training opportunity is coming up on Saturday, March 16 at Mission Adelante.  Gang Intervention Specialist Amy Williams is coming from the Chicago area to present a workshop called, Feeding Father-Hunger: Understanding And Ministering To The Fatherless Generation.  We hope you will consider joining us as we learn from Amy that morning, but first, allow me to explain why this topic is so relevant to ministry today.

Walking side by side with the children, teens, and families of our community, I have found myself in the privileged position of being trusted enough to be shown glimpses of the wounds that afflict many of our friends.  By far, the most profound and tender wound is the ache of a life lived without a father-figure.  I had never understood the severity of this struggle or how the Lord might want to work in our community in light of it until the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) Annual Conference last September.  During the conference, five Mission Adelante staff members and two of the teens on the trip with us attended a workshop that plumbed the depth of the wound and its implications.  It was the Feeding Father-Hunger workshop, and this was the written description that persuaded us to attend:

"Oftentimes both kids and adults are unaware of the lifelong effects that an absent father has in the life of a child.  The emotional response of the fatherless can be linked to poverty, high-school dropout rates, crime, drug use, and teenage pregnancy.  The fatherless live a lifestyle living with a father they don’t see, while filling the empty space with painful outburst and pseudo-comfort realities.  We hope to provide you insights for helping youth to discover their identity, pinpoint side effects that are gripping them from growth, and discover practical mentoring approaches to free their souls and not block their blessings."

Each of us found the workshop deeply meaningful because Amy Williams didn't just provide statistics, she appealed to our hearts and suggested practical ways for us to minister to those that struggle with the absence of a father.  Above all, Amy reminded us that regardless of whether we had grown up with a father figure or not, our Heavenly Father desires to fill the ache for approval in us.  One of the teens that attended had this to say: " I really loved  Amy's workshop because it showed me that I have pain and problems with my Dad," and the other reflected, "Amy's presentation helped me to notice that I still have some pain about my dad that I have to work on. She also opened my eyes to see that others around me are in a similar position."

We are very excited that Amy is coming to Kansas City to present the same workshop at Mission Adelante on Saturday, March 16 from 9 AM-12 PM!  Please consider joining us for this amazing  training opportunity!  We think it will strengthen our ability to understand and minister to people affected by fatherlessness.  While there is not a fee to attend, free-will donations will be accepted to help offset Amy's travel expenses.  Child care will not be provided.  Register by clicking here!

In other news:

  • Twenty Bhutanese Kids Outreach volunteers gathered a week ago Saturday to enjoy food and fellowship and to learn about how to better serve our friends!  Thank you to everyone who came out!
  • All of the snow during the past couple of weeks gave several staff members the opportunity to take some of the Bhutanese children and teens sledding for their first time! It was fun to be with them for their first time experiencing this American Winter activity!
Prayer needs:
  • Pray for restored momentum for our outreach programs.  The recent snow days can take away from our immigrant neighbors’ rhythm of participating in activities.
  • Pray for continued vision and guidance for our disciple-making and church planting efforts.  Pray that the Lord would guide us and that He would break through.
Current needs:
  • Our Resource Center is requesting bags of sugar, dry beans, rice, flour, and pasta to include in Canastas Basicas, or bags containing staple, non-perishable food items that we make available to families that need them. To learn more about the Canastas Basicas, click here. To provide any of the food staples, contact Molly at
Upcoming dates:
  • Observation Days: Tuesday, March 12 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, March 7 & 14 (Latino) 6:30-8:30  Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming?  Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself!  Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.
  • Bring-A-Friend Fund-Raiser for Bhutanese Teens Coordinator Hannah Hume: Saturday, March 9 Email Hannah Hume at for more information.
  • Training by Amy Williams, Gang Intervention Specialist: Saturday, March 16, 9:00-12:00 at Mission Adelante. Register here!
  • Spring Break: Monday, March 18-Saturday, March 23.  None of our regular programs will meet.  The Mission Adelante office will be closed Wednesday, March 20-Saturday, March 23.
  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Dinner: rescheduled for May 4 at Lauren Timberlake's house. Please contact Jenny Dunn for more details at

A Soccer Ball and an Emerging Leader

Written by Michael Pollock, Teens Adelante volunteer

At the end of September, the Mission Adelante staff, a few volunteers including me, and five neighborhood teens traveled to Minneapolis for the annual CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) National Conference.  There was a lot of great teaching and training in the plenary sessions, workshops, and luncheons.  However, it began to feel like an information overload, so we enjoyed the scheduled (and a few unscheduled) breaks from time to time.  

During a break, Johnny (one of the teens) and I went out to explore downtown Minneapolis.  

Johnny was in search of some postcards featuring Minneapolis to show his family and friends where he had been. I was bent of buying a soccer ball, because,

in an unprecedented lapse of judgement, none of the teens had brought one on the trip!

After we found the items we were looking for, we were faced with a challenge: where, in a dense downtown urban area, do you find a large enough space

to kick around a soccer ball?  The nearest field that I saw on Google maps was a good 25 minute walk away, but just then Johnny suggested playing in an alley less than a block from our hotel.  So there in the middle of a big city, on a beautiful day, during an intense conference, Johnny and I kicked the ball off the walls of the buildings lining a dirty alley.  Normally scuffing up a brand new ball on brick walls and splashing it in dirty puddles isn’t ideal, but in this case it was perfect.

The time we spent together not only helped me improve my ball handling skills, but Johnny and I deepened our friendship.  In one of the workshops that I attended at CCDA, I learned that this type of relationship is the kind that can lead to the emergence of leaders from our neighborhood (one of Mission Adelante's core values.)  Another stage in the development of leaders, according to the workshop, is “turning spiritual corners” (see, I did learn something!)  Johnny had shown interest since he started coming to Teens Adelante, and we've detected ongoing spiritual growth in him, but since CCDA I have noticed a heightened desire in him to deepen his relationship with Christ particularly through the Word.  Just last week at Teens Adelante, he expressed a desire for a devotional that would help him get into the Word more!

I feel so blessed to know Johnny and the rest of the 

Teens Adelante

teens, and God has been showing me more and more what it means to share my life with them.  One of the first speakers at the CCDA conference emphasized how our stories are the method by which we enlarge the kingdom of God, and by God’s providence the first day I was back from the conference I read a verse that confirmed that:

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by

the word of their testimony

, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Rev. 12:11 [ESV] (emphasis added).

In other news:

  • Girls from Teens Adelante have started a Bible study on Thursdays and prayed last week that teens will come “because they want to know Jesus, not because someone is making them.”
  • The Bhutanese and Latino Leaders in Training took an enrichment trip to Deanna Rose yesterday. As they're getting to know one another and learning more about one another's cultures their friendships are growing. The Bhutanese kids were especially excited to see the goats, an animal that is commonplace in Nepal, but that they haven't seen since moving to the U.S.

Prayer needs:

  • Halloween night falls on Wednesday next week--Teens Adelante night. Please pray for wisdom, discernment, faith, and that the Lord’s will be done that night at the home of the Coons!

Current needs:

  • We are in need of cold-weather clothing for the whole family to stock our resource center.  The resource center is also low on household items such as pots and pans, dishes and cups, small and large appliances, etcetera.  Please contact Molly Merrick at  to set up a time to drop-off your donation.  Please help us out by not leaving donations inside or outside our facility.  Thanks!
  • Bibles for Teens Adelante youth. Please contact Brooke at for more details if you would like to contribute.
  • Kids Club, our Bhutanese kids' outreach, is growing in number and growing up.  Many of our kids have outgrown the games in our game cabinet.  We are in need of board games suitable for 4th-6th graders!  Some ideas include Blokus, Battleship, Simon, Perfection, and Jenga. Please contact Kristen at

Important dates:

  • Saturday, November 17, 3-6:30 p.m.: Mission Adelante Staff House Parties
    • Jarrett & Kristen Meek, Molly Merrick: 251 N. 15th Street
    • Jason & Megan Schoff, Megan McDermott: 410 N. 15th Street
    • David & Brooke Coon: 245 N. 17th Street
    • David & Holly Stetler, Drew Hammond: 438 N. 17th Street
    • Drew & Lauren Timberlake, Kristen Maxwell: 706 N. 17th Street
    • Garett & Jenny Dunn, Hannah Hume: 335 N. 15th Street
      All homes are in Kansas City, KS 66102.  RSVP is not necessary.
          • Wednesday, November 21-Saturday, November 24: Fall Break Mission Adelante office closed.  No programs Tuesday, November 20-Saturday, November 24.