Responding to Student Needs

Bhutanese men talk together at the ESL Launch Party last Tuesday night.

Bhutanese men talk together at the ESL Launch Party last Tuesday night.

There is always a break between each trimester at Mission Adelante.  During this break, staff and lead volunteers ask ourselves questions like: “Is what we are doing meeting the needs of the community?” and “How can we meet those needs better?”

This spring, the Bhutanese ESL Lead Team felt that it was time to give our students a little more of the “social” experience that many of our students long for –especially the women. We have done this in the past by changing our registration night from a formal process to being a time to hang out, talk, eat, and listen to some great music with a little business on the side. But we felt we should take it a step further this trimester, not exactly knowing what it will bring.  Instead of doing our usual four levels of English classes, we are doing only two classes: one men's class and one women’s class.  We want our students to learn English but also to build community and strong relationships with each other.  The dynamics of the classes are completely different-- lots of joking and talking during the entire women’s class and lots of nonsense and then getting down to business in the men’s class.

We hope to see Bhutanese and American relationships grow stronger, and we want the Bhutanese community to become even more unified this summer.  Please pray this with us as we experiment with this new program format. We want to be constantly listening to our community and meeting their needs.

In other news

  • Our Leaders in Training programs celebrated a successful year by heading out on a camping trip (Latino LIT) and to Great Wolf Lodge (Bhutanese LIT). It was a blessing to reward the kids for all of their hard work this year.
  • The level 1 Latino English class began with the largest turnout ever! We also have a vision to start a new house church through this group of people.
  • The Bhutanese community of Kansas City celebrated a cultural festival last weekend that included music, poetry, awards and food.

Prayer needs

  • Please pray Kansas Senator Moran and Congressman Yoder.  We have shared real-life stories of undocumented immigrants with them and asked them to vote for immigration reform that keeps families together.

Current Needs

  • One of this year's high school graduates will be the first from our community to go on to college! As she heads to KU this fall, we would love to bless her with a new laptop or Chrome book to set her up for success.  We are looking for a person or small group to purchase the computer.  Please contact Megan McDermott ( if you would like to help.  (Please no cash donations.)
  • We need several 4x8 foot ivory-colored cloth tablecloths to be used for events at the building. If you are able to provide these, please contact Jenny Dunn at
  • We still need a few more board books for our Mommy & Me ESL and early literacy class in June. Please contact for book titles.

Hasta and Bibi play the piano together while they wait to register for English class.

A Deaf International volunteer comes each week to work with our deaf ESL students.

Hearing First Hand

Written by Jason Schoff, Latino Outreach Director

This past week we hosted more than 25 new volunteers for our summer trimester orientation, and as always, we invited immigrants to come participate and share their story.  Janga led a song in Nepali, Narbu shared his testimony, and Julia* told her story.  Staff and volunteers alike were greatly impressed by the richness of our friends' participation and challenged by their boldness to share about their lives with strangers. 

During our Latino training time, Julia shared the difficulties she faces as a teen and described her family.  One of the things Julia shared was that she and several of her brothers and sisters were not born here but were brought here by her parents.  To share this publicly is huge because she was declaring that she is undocumented.  No one saw her this way, though.  This is the beauty of serving with Mission Adelante--opportunities to see people for who they really are, image-bearers of God.   

Some are refugees, some are undocumented, some are children, some are elderly, but all are eager to be loved, accepted, and valued.  Our volunteers come and get to experience this alongside our staff, which brings us pure joy.  Please pray for us this summer as we seek to do this well. To find out more about who undocumented immigrants are and how they affect our culture and economy, go to

*Julia's true name was omitted.

In other news:
  • We were so excited to celebrate the graduation of one of our teens, Iris, this week from Sumner Academy.  She has been part of the Mission Adelante family for six years and it has been such a privilege to walk with her!
 Prayer needs:
  • We are currently recruiting business mentors for our the Business Coaching ministry that is one of our Community Development Initiatives. Please pray with us that God will call forth individuals who are willing to share their expertise and disciple immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs.
  • We are in the final stages of planning for our summer trimester. Please pray that God will draw students, cultivate cross-cultural friendships, and reveal His love through our programs this summer!
  • We invited eight Latino teens to be part of our internship this summer.  Pray for an important meeting this Saturday with these teens and their parents to solidify final details.  
 Current needs 
  • We need ten vinyl, felt or flannel-backed tablecloths that are at-least 52”x 90” or 60”x84” in size for small group seating at summer kids camps.  Used is OK.  If you are able to provide these, please contact Kristen Maxwell at
  • One of this year's high school graduates will be the first from our community to go on to college! As she heads to KU this fall, we would love to bless her with a new laptop or Chrome book to set her up for success.  We are looking for a person or small group to purchase the computer.  Please contact Megan McDermott ( if you would like to help.  (Please no cash donations)
  • We need several 4x8 foot ivory colored cloth tablecloths to be used for events at the building. If you are able to provide these, please contact Jenny Dunn at 
 Important dates 
  • Summer Bhutanese programs launch: May 28.
  • Summer Latino programs lauch: May 30.

A Dream Worth Fighting For

Written by Megan McDermott, Latino Children's Ministry Director 
and Iris Venegas, Teens Adelante participant

One of the best privileges that comes with serving and loving the kids of our community is hearing what they want to be when they grow up. Their dreams range from professional soccer player to special needs teacher to firefighter!  However, many of our kids reach a point where, because they are undocumented, the possibility of attending college becomes unrealistic.  If you have ever seen a child lose hope in his or her dreams, you  understand the heartbreak of what many of our neighborhood kids face.  It takes a strong person to continue to fight for his or her dreams, even when the odds are stacked against him or her.  I would like to share with you, in her own words, the story of one young woman that is paving the way for others in our community to pursue their dreams as she pursues hers.

My name is Iris Venegas and I’m a senior at Sumner Academy of Arts and Science. I’ve been attending Mission Adelante for about six years now, and currently I’m part of the Hispanic teens’ program at Mission Adelante. Being a senior, I’ve been working on college-related things like applying to colleges and working on scholarship applications.
The application process has been very difficult and new, since I’m the first in my family to graduate from high school and aspire to go to college. Through this process Megan McDermott (my friend and mentor) has been helping me with my personal statement, essay questions, and letters of reference.  So far, this process has been challenging and sometimes even disappointing, but it is nice to know that I’m taking advantage of an opportunity that not many have.
Some of the disappointments I have faced are being overwhelmed with the cost of medical school and not getting into the 6 year BA/MD program at UMKC, where I initially wanted to attend.  I have applied and gotten accepted for general admissions at KU, K-State, and UMKC.  I have chosen to attended KU and study medicine. My dream is to become a pediatrician and someday do medical missions. I am so thankful to all the people that have helped me with this process because I know that I would have not been able to do this on my own. 

The heartbeat of Mission Adelante is relationship and when the Lord provides a way for a young leader, such as Iris, to not only pursue college but to also have a desire to serve others in His name, we are blessed to walk alongside them!

In other news:
  • God continues to bless our Latino church with musicians.  This week a teen, Jaime, stepped up to play the drums at our worship service for the first time!
  • Bhutanese Teens Volunteers will be meeting together on Sunday for fellowship and to learn how to better engage our Hindu friends with the gospel. One of Mission Adelante’s Bhutanese House Church leaders will be sharing about his own journey from Hindu to Yeshu Bhakta ("Jesus Follower").

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for the family of one of our Latino church members who is mourning the loss of their older father.  Pray also for us as we minister to them at the funeral this Friday.
  • Please pray for a Bhutanese family, who lost a family member this past week.  Pray that Jesus would continue to reveal His character to them through our presence at the funeral last weekend.
  • Please pray that The Lord will provide good jobs for several people in our church community who are seeking employment.

Current needs:
  • We are searching for more drivers to join the Bhutanese Transportation Team for our Tuesday evening outreach. If you are available to drive our shuttle bus for one hour on Tuesday evenings (must be 25 years old, no CDL required), please contact Drew Hammond at
  • Expo dry-erase markers for use in the Bhutanese Kids Programs. Please contact Kristen at
Important dates:
  • Bhutanese Teens Volunteer Dinner and Training: Saturday, February 9 Email Hannah Hume at for more information.
  • Bhutanese ESL Volunteer Dinner: March 2 at Lauren Timberlake's house. Please contact Jenny Dunn for more details at
  • Observation Days: Tuesdays, March 5 & 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!
  • Bring-A-Friend Fund-Raiser for Bhutanese Teens Coordinator Hannah Hume: Saturday, March 9 Email Hannah Hume at for more information.

The Road to Life-On-Life Discipleship

Written by Drew Hammond, Bhutanese Logistics Coordinator

At Mission Adelante we believe that ministry is primarily a relational endeavor, that genuine compassion and reconciliation requires relationship, and that disciple-making must be life-on-life.

Nearly eight months ago I received a phone call that required an immediate response. A Bhutanese family, who had been in the USA for less than three months, was being forced to move out of their home into a motel at 78th Street and I-70. The house next door to theirs had burned down, the fire severely damaging their home, and they found themselves relocating to the motel located some distance from the majority of the Bhutanese community in Kansas City, KS. As a representative of Mission Adelante, I responded by taking the family food to last them a few weeks until they could relocate to a permanent residence.

When we arrived at the motel, we met the family and delivered the food. The family began to eat and invited me to join them, per the cultural norm.  I tried to refuse, saying, "we brought your family this food since you won't be able to prepare all the food you like while living here.  Keep it for yourselves." A young man about my age responded to my refusal by placing a full plate of food onto my lap.

At that moment, I didn't realize that not only was I beginning a relationship with this family, but that that family would later become my family, and the man that served me the plate of food would become my brother.  You see, now I have the honor of living with this family and sharing my life, and more importantly, the truth of the love of Jesus with them everyday.

In other news:

  • We're so thankful for the Lord’s continued provision!  He has provided so many wonderful new volunteers with the Spring trimester launch!
  • Martin, Iris, Jai and Janga were highlights at our recent volunteer training as they shared parts of their immigrant story with our new volunteers.
  • The Bhutanese outreach programs launched for this trimester on Tuesday night! We are super excited to watch and see what the Lord will do this trimester in everyone’s hearts as we serve and learn together.
  • We were so excited to see our LIT (Leaders in Training) kids back and in action this week!

Prayer needs:

  • Pray for one of our Latino leaders to have wisdom in his decision as he considers moving out of Kansas City.
  • Praise God for growing our immigrant leadership teams! Please pray that they continue to develop leadership skills and increase ownership of our outreach activities.

Current needs:
  • Two women who would be excited about forming discipling/mentoring relationships with Bhutanese teenagers through Bhutanese Teens Club on Tuesday evenings. Please contact Hannah Hume at
  • Volunteers for Mission Adelante’s Bhutanese Transportation Team! Our transportation needs are great for our Tuesday night outreach, and we are looking for more volunteers to join the team as drivers. Must be 25 years of age or older, NO CDL REQUIRED. For more information, please contact Drew Hammond at
  • A dining table and chairs for a recently-arrived family from Nepal. If you have one available please contact Drew Hammond at
  • Small toys and trinkets (valued at about $1 each--ie Target dollar bins, or dollar store) to be added to our Kids Club prize box, which contains reward for excellent behavior during our Tuesday night program for kids ages 5-12.  If you can help us out contact Kristen Maxwell at
  • Bhutanese and Latino kids' programs are in search of a gently used lamination machine to keep our frequently used materials usable for longer. Please contact Megan at
  • Expo dry-erase markers for use in the Bhutanese Kids Programs.  Please contact Kristen 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