At Mission Adelante, as we've labored to make disciples by serving, sharing life, and sharing Jesus with people from all places, together we've seen individual transformation begin to move toward community transformation. Adelante Thrift, our first community development initiative is nearing its one-year anniversary, and the ministry fruit is exciting! Though the store is not yet profitable, we are seeing God use a thrift store as a light in the neighborhood and a training ground for emerging leaders from our community to grow and realize their potential. We invite you, your family, your business, your church, school, or neighborhood group, to lock arms with Adelante Thrift as we work together toward sustainability in 2016! Sign up to volunteer at www.adelantethrift.com/volunteer. And, enjoy this video about how God is using Adelante Thrift to empower and equip people from all places to reach their potential at the exciting intersection between business and ministry.
It's common to hear "Buenos días" or "Namaste" at the Mission Adelante office in the mornings. However, if you stop by now, you are likely to hear "Dobrea utra" as well. That's Russian for "good morning," and it's been brought by our newest staff member who comes all the way from Tajikistan! Elena Mamadnazarova joined the Mission Adelante team in January to lead our community development ministry and is already making an impact.
"Lena" brings with her a Master's degree in International Development from Brandeis University, as well as over 10 years of international community development experience in Central Asia. Her most recent role was managing the Central Asian office of the Norwegian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Kazakhstan. Her educational background, along with her depth of experience and cross-cultural competency have raised the level of excellence on our leadership team almost overnight.
Beyond her professional qualifications, Lena's faith journey is deep and inspiring. She experienced being a refugee during Tajikistan's civil war, having to flee to Russia when her father's race and culture made their family the target of ethnic cleansing. During this time she prayed fervently to a God she did not yet know for her father's safety. God answered her prayers. Later, when they returned to Tajikistan, Lena received Christ with a friend who invited her to attend a church that had been started by Korean missionaries in her town. She grew and served and began to feel a calling to live out her faith in practical ways that would help communities.
Of course, a relationship brought Lena from the East coast to Kansas City. Her husband, Ray Chan is a pediatrician with Children's Mercy and they have a daughter, Samila who is three. Together they are members of Christ Community Church where they attend the Downtown campus. Lena has served at Christ Community as a member of their Global Leadership Team.
Mission Adelante is delighted to have Lena on board and excited for her leadership as she helps our team turn individual transformation into community transformation!
Written by Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director
Healthcare is right at the top of the list of immigrant needs. Imagine arriving here with no language skills and lots of medical issues. We want to help meet those needs at Mission Adelante. Bhutanese English classes emphasize practical topics like healthcare because basic English skills are essential to everyday life for refugee families.
Volunteers Joe and Judy Lemaster are skilled healthcare workers who love Nepali people enough to move to Kansas City to serve them better. Joe is a KU Med Center doctor who specializes in refugee health care. He is the primary care physician for a large number of the Bhutanese refugees in Kansas City. Judy is a nurse, and has spent many hours helping refugees make, keep and understand their medical appointments. Both the Lemasters speak fluent Nepali (the language of the Bhutanese refugees) from years spent as missionaries in Nepal.
The Lemasters are constantly helping refugees, but last month Judy taught a special unit on health care to our middle level English class. She covered basic first aid, doctor appointments, and over the counter medicine. To finish the unit, the class visited a local pharmacy.
Students and conversation partners scoured the aisles together, looking for healthcare and hygiene items. They read signs, discussed prices, and reviewed how to use various over the counter medications.
Field trips are an excellent way for us to help bridge the gap from classroom learning to real life applications. When students can practice looking for medicines with a conversation partner, they’re more likely to have the confidence to visit a pharmacy on their own. This helps each immigrant family, and it helps our community by avoiding emergency room visits.
Our English students are blessed to have so many talented and committed volunteers giving their time to help them navigate life in Kansas City.
In other news:
- Thanks so much for your prayers for our Hindu friends during this festival season. The biggest festival of the year is now past, and the Lord used it in many ways. Please continue to pray that our friendships with the Bhutanese community would continue to deepen and that the truth of Jesus would shine through them.
- Ten Bhutanese ESL conversation partners met together this week to brainstorm ways to help students improve literacy skills. We are so thankful to have such talented and committed volunteers.
- Our Leaders in Training are learning about WWI this year. We shared a very sweet time of prayer on Veteran’s Day, honoring those that have sacrificed for the freedoms we enjoy.
- We have engaged a new Realtor to help us with our building search for Adelante Thrift. Please pray that this new partnership would lead us to the perfect space.
- Our LIT students earn "Mission Adelante Money" for exemplary behavior and doing extra academic work, which they can spend at a Reward Store once each trimester. We're in need of items to stock that store! Ideas include sports equipment, craft supplies, room decorations, or any small item that would appeal to 8-14 year old students. If you would like to contribute, please contact Megan McDermott at email@example.com or Kristen Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The highlight of the year for each LIT student is our overnight trip to Great Wolf Lodge in December! How would you like to bless all of their hard work in a very practical way? We are looking for a small group or an individual to purchase pizza for our lunch (for 30 kids and 20 adults) on Saturday, December 7 and deliver/have it delivered to Great Wolf. If you are interested, please email Megan at email@example.com.
- Final Observation Day: Thursday, November 7 (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!
- Kansas Bhutanese Concert: Saturday, November 16th from 4pm-10pm at Wyandotte High School (2501 Minnesota Ave, Kansas City, KS 66102)Everyone is invited to come and celebrate Nepali Culture at this exciting event sponsored by Mission Adelante and coordinated by our dear friend Ram Rai. It will feature comedians, cultural dances, and ethnic food. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the RG Asian Store (101 S 18th St, Kansas City, KS66102), or at the door of the event. Don’t miss this chance to learn about and celebrate the rich culture of the Bhutanese Refugee community!
- Fall Break: No Programs Tuesday, November 26-Saturday, November 30.
- Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 14 at 5:30. Bethany Community Center (1120 Central Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102). Everyone is invited! Please invite anyone you know who is interested in learning more about Mission Adelante or possibly volunteering in the future!
- Bhutanese Christmas Party: Saturday, December 14 from 4:00-8:00. First Baptist Church (2900 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, KS 66102). Everyone is invited! Please invite anyone you know who is interested in learning more about Mission Adelante or possibly volunteering in the future!