Business as Mission Workshop Launches Adelante Business Coaching

by Kristen Allen, Director of Community Development

On Saturday, July 20, 2013, Adelante Business Coaching launched with a Business as Mission workshop presented by Rudy Carrasco of Partners Worldwide. Thirty-five men and women came to listen, learn, and dialogue about partnering to foster business development to transform the community. We see God stirring the hearts of men and women to use their experience and skills in relationship with other entrepreneurs to expand job opportunities and His Kingdom.

If there is one word that could sum up Rudy’s Business as Mission presentation it is “partnership”. God created us for relationship with Him and each other. We can partner together to do great things for Him and this includes partnership in business.

Adelante Business Coaching promotes and supports the development of immigrant and refugee owned businesses in our community. One of our key strategies for this ministry is partnership with immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in mentor relationships to share experience and help encourage enterprise development. Men and women on both sides of the mentor relationship will share wisdom, experience, encouragement, and accountability. In true partnership, we all have something to give and we all have something to gain.

We’ve shared the story of

R.G. Asian Store

 and know there are more success stories to be told in our community. As Adelante Business Coaching continues mentoring businesses and expands to offer training and further develop a network for collaboration and advocacy between community organizations, business owners, and potential entrepreneurs, we are excited to see individual transformation become community transformation.

Other News

  • Jasmin and Cesar, Latino house church members, moved back to Kansas City last week after spending a year in Texas.  We were overjoyed to see them join us at house church. 
  • Jason Schoff joined two of our local partner ministries for a meeting in Washington, D.C. with Evangelical Pastors and Leaders who are advocates on behalf of immigration reform as part of the Evangelical Immigration Table .

Prayer Requests

  • Please pray for a refugee-owned business in the community who has been working with Adelante Business Coaching on a new business plan. They will soon submit information to the bank as they seek a loan to purchase a new location and expand their business.
  • The Adelante Business Coaching team had a great strategic planning session with Rudy Carrasco. Please pray that this ministry continues to follow God’s calling for community development as they move forward with the plans for the rest of this year.
  • Please pray for the Adelante Thrift team as they continue to work through the site selection process for the thrift store.

Current Needs

  • We are looking for a volunteer or volunteers to trim a tree away from the blue house so we can move forward with roof construction. Please contact Sarah at sarahw@missionadelante.org if you can help.
  • The Kids Adelante ministry needs an ipod with a long battery life.. We would use it multiple times each week and would be so grateful to receive one.  Please contact Meganmeganm@missionadelante.org if you are interested. 
  • Looking for an intentional way to impact the future leaders of our community? Our LIT program (Leaders in Training, after-school tutoring program)  is currently seeking mentors for the fall. Please contact Megan at meganm@missionadelante.orgif you would like more info.

Important Dates

Summer Parties are

August 11th

at Wyandotte County Lake Park, 91st and Leavenworth Road, Kansas City, KS 66109.  After entering the park, you'll come to a fork in the road;

go left.

  • The Latino party begins at 3:00 with an informal time to socialize, followed by a pot-luck meal at 4:45 and program at 6:00.  It will be in the "Beach Shelter." Turn right after passing shelter #6.
  • The Bhutanese party begins at 4:00 in shelter #6.

Working Together: The First Bhutanese Store in KCK

by Kristen Allen, Director of Community Development

At Mission Adelante we began talking and praying seriously about how individual transformation could become community transformation in the fall of 2011. As we explored how Mission Adelante can help make a community impact through empowering our immigrant friends and working in partnership to address the needs of our community, others were dreaming too. Two Bhutanese refugees dreamed of opening a store to meet the cultural needs of their community and approached Mission Adelante to share their vision and ask for guidance.

We looked through our network and found volunteers willing to collaborate on this business venture.  A successful business owner saw the potential for individual and community transformation and came forward to provide technical assistance to the two entrepreneurs. Another Mission Adelante volunteer encouraged the entrepreneurs and assisted with various activities including using a box truck to go and pick-up store fixtures the entrepreneurs found through their own network. The Bhutanese community pooled money together to help make a down payment on the building. A long-time supporter of Mission Adelante used his business to finish furnishing fixtures in the store. And on December 9, 2012, R.G. Asian store opened at 101 S. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kansas. When God’s people work together it can be a powerful, transformative thing.

Click the image above to register now for Ignite 2013!

Thanks to R.G. Asian Store, our Bhutanese friends now have access to culturally appropriate and familiar food, clothing, and other products. Customer service is a high priority, and when Bhutanese refugees ask for a new item the owners work through their network in the US and Nepal until the item is on the shelves of their store.

The store owners’ contributions to the Bhutanese community go deeper than providing cultural items -- they also focus on the needs of the Bhutanese teens. R.G. Asian store supports the KC (BEST) Bhutanese Ekata Soccer Team and encourages the young men to be responsible and hard-working. Recognizing that the Bhutanese teens face the challenges of every teen (high school, fitting in, becoming independent, etc.) and the additional struggles faced by newcomers trying to integrate into a new culture, R.G. Asian created a space in the building behind the store where teens can hang out and play games like ping-pong so the teens have a positive outlet and are less likely to get mixed up in less desirable activities like gangs. Our friends at R.G. Asian Store remind us that business can make a community impact.

We hope to build on this experience and further develop a model of for equipping and coaching entrepreneurs through our emerging Adelante Business Coaching ministry. We envision those passionate about business sharing their skills with immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs and a coaching environment where individuals on both side of the mentoring relationship are contributing, learning, and growing. This is not an effort to “do for” - it is an effort of partnership to “do with” in a spirit of collaboration and dedication to the community.  

Do you want to dive deeper into how businesses can make a Kingdom impact? Learn more about Business as Mission at Ignite 2013: A Workshop for Developing Business for Kingdom Impact on July 20th. Read more about the workshop here:


and register for this event that coincides with the formation of Adelante Business Coaching.

A New Ministry Beginning at Mission Adelante!

by Jarrett Meek, Founder, Executive Director

Marking Milestones

There are important milestones in the life of every person, organization, and ministry; moments that mark movement forward, new growth, or the beginning of a new season.  These moments do a lot to define our lives and our development.  For Mission Adelante I can look back over our eight years and see many of these moments, but three events rise to the top of our list of milestones.  The launch of the ministry, and specifically the beginning of our first "house church", the acquisition of our building, and the launch of our Bhutanese ministries.  The initial launch of our ministry qualifies as a major milestone for obvious reasons, but the beginning of our first "house church" in that same season specifically represented the spiritual first-fruits of our ministry and evidence that what we began could really work. What was a dream had become a reality as we saw the first immigrant family receive Christ and join our fellowship.  The acquisition of a building was another major milestone in that it was truly a game changer.  Heartland Community Church provided the funding for the purchase and remodel in a amazing show of support that vaulted us years forward in our development.  And the launch of our Bhutanese ministries represented the proving of our ministry vision/model with a cultural group other than Latinos, something that has caused us to grow dramatically and open our eyes even wider to what the Lord may want to do with us in the future.  And now, I'm excited to share with you that Mission Adelante is at the beginning of what I believe will be another major milestone in our ministry's development: the launch of a new ministry division called "Community Development Initiatives."

Community Development: Individual and Community Transformation

While much of what we've done up to this point could be considered community development, we are now poised to build on the relational network and the emphasis on individual transformation that we've worked so hard to establish and begin addressing some of the larger issues and needs we have seen in our community.  Being very passionate about our identity and vision as a disciple-making mission, we are intent on holding on to this core calling even as we begin engaging in broader community development initiatives.  We believe that community transformation can spring forth from individual transformation, and that those who at one time were recipients of care and service can become owners and stakeholders in initiatives that improve our entire neighborhood.  Our community development ministry will involve emerging leaders from our neighborhood in developing new initiatives that make a community-wide impact in areas such as entrepreneurialism, job-skills training, and health care that is accessible to people who come from other places.

The Impact of Business: Empowerment, Jobs, Economic Sustainability

At the nexus of business and ministry there is a powerful synergy that moves beyond charity and betterment to development.  Equipping people with marketplace skills and entrepreneurial tools, and helping them start small businesses is empowering, promotes community ownership, improves the financial outlook for their families, and contributes to the economy of our entire community.  In a conversation with Pastor Rick Behrens he shared his perspective on the impact of immigrant entrepreneurs on our neighborhood; "Twenty years ago an economic study was done on the Central Avenue area in KCK, and based on that study they predicted that by the year 2000 our area would be a ghost town.  But, they didn't know who was coming and what God had in mind."  Today immigrant-owned businesses are fueling an amazing comeback in our area.  A study done by the

Hamilton Project

states, "Today's immigrants possess a strong entrepreneurial spirit.  In fact, immigrants are 30% more likely to form new businesses than U.S.-born citizens."  Imagine the impact training, coaching, and start-up capital could have on immigrant entrepreneurs and on the economic development of our community!

The Need for Accessible Health Care

For those of us who were born in the U.S., navigating our health-care system can be an intimidating and confusing experience.  Now, imagine trying to make your way through this gauntlet of paperwork, long sterile halls, and sky-high bills as a new refugee coming directly from a camp in Nepal with very little English.  A 2013 study done by the

Population Health Institute

ranks Wyandotte County 99th out of 102 counties in Kansas for health outcomes (mortality and morbidity), while neighboring Johnson County is ranked #1.  In addition to other factors, our community is clearly under-served in terms of health-care.  Our immigrant friends often hesitate to visit the doctor because cultural and language barriers create a sense of fear and distrust that are very difficult to overcome.  High health-care costs and lack of insurance make preventative or primary care seem like an un-affordable luxury, and the emergency room often becomes the first stop for patients who could have prevented a crisis by seeing the doctor sooner.  As we explore ways to address some of the most glaring needs in our community, making health-care accessible both culturally and financially to immigrants has emerged as one of our highest priorities.

What's Happening Now?

Over the past several months Mission Adelante has begun preparations to launch three new initiatives:

  • Adelante Thrift: We have formed a board of directors and are working on a launch plan for a neighborhood thrift store that will provide jobs and job-skills training, and will serve as an incubator for small immigrant-owned businesses.  Income generated by Adelante Thrift will provide another source of sustainable funding for other Mission Adelante ministries.
  • Micro-lending/Small business start-up ministry: Last fall we piloted our first business as ministry project as we helped the RG Asian store (ethnic groceries) start-up in our neighborhood.  This summer, as we form our team for this new ministry program, we will be hosting Rudy Carrasco from Partners Worldwide for a training seminar on business as ministry.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Medical Clinic: A team of people from our neighborhood has been hard at work doing surveys and focus groups within the Mission Adelante community to assess the real health-care needs of the people we serve.  We are hoping to finish these surveys in the next couple of months.

Funding Needs

One of the biggest challenges and most important aspects of our plan to launch these new initiatives will be to raise the funds necessary to move forward.  During the second half of 2013 we will praying earnestly and  making a significant effort to both increase funding for our General Ministry Fund, as well as secure funding for our new Community Development Initiatives.  We will be approaching current donors to suggest an increase in giving for those who are able, and inviting new people to partner with us financially as well.  Though our "campaign" has not yet begun, if you would like to begin contributing or increase your giving you may do so online by visiting