English Class at the "K"

By Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director

About a month ago, we took twenty-five Bhutanese English students and volunteers to the Royals game together. It was the first time to go to a game for many students--most had not even heard of baseball before. Everyone had a great time huddling together in the stands and learning about a new sport. We admired the stadium, ate peanuts and popcorn, clapped and cheered together. When I watch people from such different backgrounds have that much fun together, it’s easy to see Jesus in it. We are thankful for volunteers and students who want to be friends inside and outside the classroom. And what a year to experience Kansas City baseball---go Royals!

In other news:

  • Our level 1 Latino ESL class has a record number of students and volunteers participating this trimester!
  • The  Latino Leaders in Training (LIT) kids are excited to engage in enrichment activities every Wednesday. The interactive activities have included healthy cooking, culturally-based art projects, and even some drumming.

Prayer needs:

  • Please pray for two marriages in our Latino community that are currently going through significant struggles.
  • Please pray that our negotiations on the lease for our Thrift Store location would be finalized and the lease signed this week!
  • Please pray for many Bhutanese English students who suffer from chronic pain.

Current needs:

  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs for use in our facility.

Important dates:

  • Get-acquainted Days: Thursdays, October 16 & 23, 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 on up to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.  Please note, the Bhutanese Get-acquainted Day on October 21 has been cancelled due to a festival that will be celebrated by our community that day.

First Times with Friends

Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Teens Coordinator

My Freshman year of college I lived in India for 5 months. It was a great experience, and one where I got to try a lot of things for the first time. I had my first motorcycle ride there, I ate lots of new foods, took bucket baths, and learned how to barter in the marketplace.

Similarly, many of our Latino and Bhutanese friends get to try lots of things for the first time when they move to America. Some of them are really fun, and some of them are not as fun. Whether it’s using a soda fountain for the first time and marveling at the world of modern convenience, seeing snow for the first time and sledding in it, or doing something less fun like learning how to read utility bills, immigrants get to have lots of firsts.

On Sunday, the Bhutanese outreach got to be a part of an exciting first-time event with our friends: bowling! Mission Adelante ends each trimester with a big party for the community. This trimester some of our staff got creative with the party planning, and we held our party at nearby St. John’s Catholic Club and bowling alley! For most of our Bhutanese friends, this was their first time ever bowling, and they loved it!

Inversely, the American volunteers got to experience some things for the first time, too. There was henna for the ladies to paint their hands, and Nepali Carrom board games for kids and adults to play. And of course we finished the night off with a lot of dancing to Hindi music!  It was a great time to celebrate the end of another trimester of learning English, making new friends, deepening old friendships, and growing in our knowledge of God together!

In other news:

  • Forty-nine Bhutanese ESL students were honored at our party last Sunday night for their consistent attendance this trimester. We are so proud of the way they continue to press into language study!
  • We celebrated our Latino program graduates, both kids and adults, at a party this past Saturday at Bethany Community Center in KCK.  It was a huge success! All of the main courses for dinner were prepared by participants and their families and our Leaders In Training students led activities for all the kids during the adult portion of the program.

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for compassionate and family-friendly immigration reform.
  • Sunday afternoon we will have meetings for students and parents interested in participating in the Leaders In Training program during the 2013-2014 school year.  Pray that the Lord would bring the right kids and guide everyone through the application process.
  • Pray for the Meek family as they're preparing for their return from sabbatical to the States on April 29! (Keep reading below this post for Jarrett's recent "Sabbatical Reflections from Costa Rica!")

Current needs:

  • We're always grateful for donations to our Resource Center. Please help us out by not leaving donations outside of the Resource Center, or inside or outside of our facility! The weather can make a mess out of them! Please contact Molly at to arrange a time to drop-off your donation.
  • A Bhutanese family is in need of a car seat for their 18-month-old daughter. If you could provide one, please contact Drew at

Important dates:

  • Saturday, May 4, 2:00: Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Snacks and Training,at Lauren Timberlake’s house. Please consider joining us for fun, prayer and some cultural training as we keep learning how to love the Bhutanese well. Please contact Jenny Dunn at for more details.

Transformational Love

Written by Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director

While many of our ESL students come to class ready to learn and form friendships with their conversation partners, some do not. When Huka began attending ESL, she was quiet--so quiet she did not even repeat words we were trying to teach in class or say her own name. She avoided eye contact and did not smile. She faithfully came to class, though, and we prayed she would respond over time.

Lois Osborn began volunteering three months after Huka arrived. She wasn’t sitting with Huka in class, but Lois decided to pursue her anyway. Lois said, “I was encouraged to befriend a student outside of class. Huka is quiet and reserved, and I thought she needed a friend.” Lois and another volunteer decided to take Huka’s family and another immigrant family to the zoo over spring break last year.

Lois connected with Huka’s entire family that day. She told Huka’s children they could call her Grandma Lois, and she took note of each family member’s birthday. She has made it an effort to celebrate each of them this year with a cake, dinner or even a small party. Lois has made time in her schedule for tea and food before or after English class, and even brought them to the Christmas Eve service at her church.

“I feel a special love for that whole family,” Lois said. “Huka thinks of me as her mother. She lost her mother when she was young and hasn’t seen anyone from her own family in decades. She has adopted me as much as I have adopted her.”

A year later, Huka is full of life. She jokes with other students and volunteers on Tuesday nights, smiles easily, actively cleans and cares for her home, and is ready to pass Level 1 English. Some of that is due to good medical and mental health care she has received here, but I believe a significant part of her growth is in response to God’s love that Lois has so faithfully represented to her.

Mission Adelante believes that God calls Jesus-followers to demonstrate special hospitality for immigrants like Huka, going out of our way to show them compassion. Simple acts of kindness do much good here. We pray that God sends us more volunteers like Lois to show His love to others in our community, and that they will respond with open hearts to Him.

Huka and Lois have become close friends through experiences inside and outside of the ESL classroom at Mission Adelante.

In other news:

  • The Latino teens and volunteers surprised one of our young ladies with a party on Saturday, which was her 18th birthday.  What a blessing for her to be surrounded in love!
  • The ladies from Level 3 Bhutanese English class got together for a tea party at a conversation partner’s home last weekend. It was a great way to connect outside of class and have fun together.
  • A faithful, long-term volunteer and church member donated a well-running car to Mission Adelante, which we provided to a newly-arrived Bhutanese refugee in need of transportation.

Prayer needs:

  • Please pray for a member of our Latino church whose family’s visa to immigrate was denied this week.  They plan to appeal and we ask for God’s mercy over their request.
  • Please pray for maturity for the growing leaders of our house churches.

Current needs:

  • Our kids room serves more than 150 kids and teens each week.  We would love to receive two Foosball tables to further equip the room.  If you can provide one, please contact Megan McDermott at or Kristen Maxwell at

Upcoming dates:

  • Final Observation Day: Thursday, March 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.
  • 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

Enrichment Through Multi-generational Friendship

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Ministry Director

At Mission Adelante, one of the things that we are passionate about is investing in the next generation of leaders.  Throughout the Gospels, we read that Jesus was constantly attending to the widows, orphans, and aliens that he encountered. We desire to encourage the children we love and serve, to love and serve others in turn, the way that Jesus did.  One ongoing relational opportunity that we foster for our Leaders in Training is visiting Bickford Place, an assisted living home, each month.  For the school year, each child is paired with the same resident, or buddy, to learn from one another, do fun crafts, and ultimately become friends.   Both the children and residents are blessed by the friendships that develop.  Two of the LIT girls wrote about their recent experiences at Bickford. 

"I liked getting to know my buddy Roma.  I felt excited about going to Bickford because my buddy was really nice to me and she also told us about her childhood. When she told us her story, she let us look all around her room. She also let us look at all her pictures. We saw a picture when she was very very young. I enjoyed spending time with her because it was my very first time going to Bickford.  She also liked spending time with us because she told us. Roma said that I was really really sweet to her and that I asked a lot of questions. When it was time to go, I felt sad, but I will go back again.  I hope I get to spend time with Roma again." --Perla, age 9

"Bickford is a good place to be because the people there are super nice and friendly.  I feel very exicted when I go to Bickford because I get to be with my buddies.   I  learn new things about them and about how they grew up.  Both of my buddies lived during World War II. By the stories they've told me,  it was a rough time.  They've told me they were very very scared at that point.  They also lived during the Great Depression and they said it was a very sad time.  It makes me very thankful for what I have today. When you leave you will be wishing you'd spend more time with them and will be wanting to come back. --Nataly, age 11

In other news:

  • On December 8th we'll wrap up our fall outreach programs with Bhutanese and Latino Christmas parties to celebrate the kids' and adults' accomplishments. The parties provide another great chance to share Jesus.  Pray for God to prepare our friends' hearts to hear and believe the great news of His incarnation!
  • The Bhutanese and Latino Leaders In Training will spend the night at the Great Wolf Lodge this weekend to celebrate their hard work and effort during the semester.

Prayer needs:

  • Several families we know through our outreach programs are in need of work.  Pray for God to provide for them.
  • Please pray for a particular family to be geographically reunited before Christmas.
  • Please pray that Bhutanese Teens club would be a place where student-to-student and student-to-leader relationships are characterized by deep mutual respect and trust.  

Current needs:

  • The Bhutanese and Latino LIT programs need a small group (or groups) to purchase pre-packaged, healthy, after-school snacks for the kids.  We would be blessed to receive a couple months worth of snacks.  Please contact Megan at
  • Teen Bibles and devotionals for Teens Adelante. Please contact Brooke at for specifics.

Upcoming dates:

  • Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 8 @ 5:00  Bethany Community Center, 1120 Central Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102
  • Bhutanese Christmas Party: Saturday, December 8 @ 5:00  First Baptist Church of Kansas City, 2900 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102

The Difference a Dude Can Make

Written by Kristen Maxwell, Bhutanese Children's Ministry Director

I was recently visiting some of our neighborhood KCK elementary schools, meeting teachers in preparation for the launch of the Bhutanese Leader in Training program.  As I talked with one of the teachers, we got on the topic of an LIT kid who had been in her class a few years earlier.  She talked about what an amazing transformation she had seen in the life of this boy since then. 

For the purpose of this story we will call this young man John.  John was new to the country.  His family was in crisis mode, trying to figure out which way was up.  His father was working all the time, leaving his mother to take care of him and his four siblings.  John started to make friends in the apartment complex where he lived.  These friends were considerably older than him and had visible ties to gang activity.  We were worried about John.

John’s attitude at school, home and Kids Club became increasingly negative.  He wanted to be like his older friends, his friends that were in the gang.  Around this time Drew Hammond and Tyler McCommons became the mentors for John’s Kids Club group which included 4th to 6th grade boys.  Drew and Tyler started investing in John.  They started spending time with him outside of Kids Club, hanging out at his house, and taking him places; becoming like big brothers to John and a few of his other Bhutanese friends.

John began to walk with new confidence, a confidence found in the knowledge that Tyler and Drew believed in him and expected great things from him.  Hanging out with his old “friends” didn’t seem so cool anymore.  I am certain that the Lord used Tyler and Drew to change the direction of John’s life.  John is now a bright spot in our Tuesday night program, focused on becoming a leader in our LIT program, and helping the younger Kids Club kids.  

There are countless young men in our community that could benefit from a relationship like the one Drew and Tyler have with John.  If you are a male, would you consider being a mentor to some of our boys?  Would you consider doing life with them, showing them how to walk in the way of Jesus, and how to be a man of God?  A couple of hours a week could make a world of difference in the life of a young man.  If you would like more information about getting involved please contact Megan McDermott ( or Kristen Maxwell (

In other news:

  • A few Latino teens from our community that are interested in pursuing college attended their first "Latinos of Tomorrow" meeting. The mission of Latinos of Tomorrow is to provide leadership learning opportunities in education advancement, career development and civic involvement.  We look forward to encouraging our teens to learn the skills they need to apply for college admission.
  • A big "Thank You" to Cathy Claudell, Bhutanese Nursery volunteer, for outfitting our nursery with fun and engaging toys!  The nursery is used on Tuesday nights by the children and grandchildren of many of our English class participants who would not be able to attend if it were not available.
Prayer needs:
  • Our Bhutanese Leaders in Training will finish their first full week today!  Praise God with us for a full, successful, and fun first week!
  • Thank God with us for our faithful transportation volunteers. They serve our community in such an important way. The Bhutanese ESL, kids and teens programs wouldn’t happen without them!
Other needs:
Important dates:
  • Staff Open Houses--Saturday, November 17, 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. Come to our neighborhood and spend the afternoon with us!