Nepali

Igniting a Disciple-making Movement

by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Pastor/Executive Director

Few moments in Mission Adelante’s history have been more significant than the Leadership Community launch retreat we held last weekend.  It was, in many ways, the culmination of ten years of disciple-making and leadership development efforts, coming into bloom on a precious plant that has been often tossed and beaten by the wind and hail of the challenges that we face in our community on a daily basis.  

Forty-eight emerging leaders from our Latino, Bhutanese, and English-speaking communities came together to begin a year-long, multicultural training experience focused on learning to make disciples as Jesus did.  Using stories from the gospels to demonstrate that Jesus’ work on earth focused on equipping disciples who make disciples, we observed and expounded eight principles of his disciple-making ministry (also expounded in the classic book, “Master Plan of Evangelism” by Robert Coleman).  Each principle was introduced by a member of our team (Yanelis, David and Jarrett) with a short teaching segment, and participants were able to listen simultaneously with headphones to a translated, pre-recorded version of the segment in their own language (Nepali, English, or Spanish).  The concise teaching segments were followed by longer small group discussion times that moved from observing Jesus’ disciple-making ministry to putting it into practice in our own neighborhood and context.  What made this time especially effective was the years of disciple-making culture and values that are embedded deep within our ministry’s DNA.  Many expressed that we were putting words to concepts we had been living out, giving a clearer vision of what we’re all working toward.

While we covered a lot of content, the retreat was also full of fun and games.  The first night’s games of dominoes and Dutch Blitz were followed up by an afternoon of soccer, foosball, and ping-pong, and then dramatically eclipsed by a spontaneous two hours of karaoke in Spanish and English on the final night.  All I have to say is Mission Adelante’s got talent!!  

Many of us shared in open mic format, on the final morning, that the greatest highlight of the weekend was worshiping Jesus in three languages at different times during the retreat.  This aspect of our retreat was indeed a unique and profound experience.  Nepali songs led by AB, Ram and the Nepali band expressed praise for our Lord with voices and dancing.  Our Latino musicians passionately led us as we lifted up the name of Jesus.  And, our English speaking group guided us to that intimate place where Jesus is the center of everything.  It was a taste of heaven indeed.

As messy as multicultural endeavors can be, we are excited to continue experimenting, overcoming challenges, and experiencing the Lord together in the process.  And, as we press into making disciples like Jesus did, we are anxiously expecting and praying that the Lord will ignite a multiplying, multicultural movement in our neighborhood.  

“We envision a growing multicultural community of disciples making disciples, where immigrants and others are thriving and using our gifts together to transform our neighborhood and the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.”

I believe now that we are closer than ever to seeing what we’ve been envisioning for so long.  I invite you to pray that this vision will become reality at Mission Adelante.  

In other news:

  • The Bhutanese Teens Club launch could not have gone better! Last week, 14 high school and college-age students joined us to eat, play games, do homework and learn about Jesus in small group bible studies.  We've switched from Tuesday nights to Monday nights this trimester.

  • The Latino Leaders in Training are learning about the life of Jesus and the kind of leader He was as recorded by Matthew!  It is encouraging to see the kids growing in their pursuit of the Lord.

  • Last Thursday was "Superhero Night" at Kid’s Adelante.  It was a blast to see the well-known and made upcharacters the kids chose for their costumes!

Prayer requests:

  • Please pray that the Lord would draw closer to His heart the young mothers in our neighborhood that may feel isolated and that need love, support, and hope.  Pray that they'll find encouragement through community.

Upcoming dates:

Observation Nights: Each trimester we invite potential volunteers to come observe our ministry programs to get a better idea of what serving in our context looks like.  Come on up to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 at 6:30 on any of the following evenings:

  • Tuesdays, March 1 and 8: Bhutanese ministry observations nights (Adult ESL, Kids Club, Middle School Club)
  • Thursdays, March 3 and 10: Latino ministry observation nights (Adult ESL, Kids Club)

One God, Many Cultures

Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Outreach Intern

I was visiting one of my Bhutanese friends last week when she asked me to teach her how to pray to Jesus. So we talked a little bit about what prayer is, and then I encouraged her to try it for herself. She was nervous to try praying in English, so I urged her to pray in Nepali. Shocked, she looked at me and asked “Jesus knows Nepali?”  

It’s fun to imagine heaven and the multitude of cultures from all around the Earth that will partake in extravagantly worshiping our Lord.  Revelation 5:9 declares of Jesus, “

You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.”  Will we be seated in pews, or on rugs on the floor?  Will we understand the speech in each language we hear?  Will there be electric guitars and drums, or violins, or an organ? Maybe all of the above!

To see the way that other cultures worship can sometimes seem odd or even make us uncomfortable. A few weeks ago, most of the Mission Adelante staff and a number of volunteers attended the Christian Community Development Association Annual Conference. While there, we were blessed to worship Jesus with some Native American brothers and sisters who have a worship style that's very different than we've ever experienced. They wore brightly colored traditional clothing, danced, beat drums and chanted. After the dancing was done, one of the dancers explained that with every step of the dance prayers were being offered to God for the Native American people to come to know Jesus. This seemed odd to me. However, 

this is the most natural way

for the Native American people to pray to and connect with God.

Mission Adelante loves to see people worship the one true God within their own culture, in a way that makes sense to them. We constantly consider how to share the Gospel and and how to show what it means to follow Jesus within the context of their lives and norms--becoming a Christian doesn't require one to become an American first. We're learning as we go--it's for this reason that we continue to made changes to our programs. For example, the Bhutanese Teens used to sing English worship songs while seated in chairs arranged in rows. However, now when we congregate each Tuesday evening, we gather around in a circle, seated on Nepali rugs, and sing “Yeshu Bhajans” or "Jesus songs" in the Nepali language. It's an atmosphere that's just more naturally conducive for Bhutanese people to worship.

Won’t it be a beautiful sight to behold when every tribe, nation and tongue worships Jesus together in heaven? Imagine all the colors, the motion, and the noise! It's going to be beyond our imaginations, and its going to represent the vast creativity and beauty of God. Until then, we want to paint a picture of that heavenly kingdom on Earth each time we tell Bhutanese, Latino, and American girls and boys that “God created you just the way you are, and he wants you to worship Him just the way you are”.

In other news:

  • Two Bhutanese ESL classes are taking field trips to local pharmacies. These field trips strengthen the relationships between students and their American conversation partners, and can really help students take better care of their families health needs.

Prayer needs:

  • Many of our new volunteers are visiting the homes of the students that they work with for the first time. Pray for God’s presence, wisdom, and love to be poured out during these friendly visits.

Current needs:

  • The weather has changed! 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 mollym@missionadelante.org to set up a time to drop-off your donation.  Please help us out by not leaving donations inside or outside our facility.  Thanks!
  • The kids in our Kids Club are growing up and we need some board games to entertain older kids on Tuesday nights.  Contact Kristen Maxwell at kristenm@missionadelante.org for more information, or if you have some games to donate.

Important dates:

  • Tuesday, October 23/Thursdays, October 18 & 25:Ever wondered what goes on here on a typical evening of programming?  Come on up on a observation night and find out!  Tuesday evenings are Bhutanese outreach, Thursday evenings are Latino outreach.  Come to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102 between 6:30 and 8:30.
  • 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.