"All Nations Soccer Tournament" Celebrates Diversity and Creates Unity

Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Teens Club Coordinator

Here in Kansas City we love sports! Men and boys will sit in freezing cold weather or under blistering hot sunshine to watch a game with religious dedication. Women will slave over Rotel dip and chili to serve to the huddled masses of friends gathered together to scream at the television set in their living rooms. Sports create a sense of community, purpose, and good old fashioned fun for fans.

Last Saturday, long time Mission Adelante church partner Shoal Creek hosted the first annual “All Nations Soccer Tournament” for local teams in Kansas City, and the event was great! Five teams participated in the tournament, representing the countries of Peru, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, and Bhutan, and they hope to have even more teams participate next year!

Several of our staff members and volunteers went to the tournament to cheer for Bhutanese team, "KC Best", as many of the players are part of Mission Adelante's weekly Teens Club. It was fun to see the cultural diversity of our city represented by the various teams, and yet to also see the unity and community that can be formed in the midst of such diversity around a common passion like soccer.

In a city that is becoming increasingly diverse it could be easy to feel like we may not have anything in common with our neighbors. However, at Mission Adelante we love to embrace the differences that other cultures offer, believing they can broaden our own perspectives and enrich our city. It’s also good to be reminded that, at the end of the day, even those who may seem different than us are probably a lot more like us than we may initially think. The Asian man fixing your car is a father and worries about being a good dad too. The international student on your campus is just as excited as you are about the Black Friday sale on that computer. Across cultures, everyone loves to gather together, laugh, compete, and cheer for sports.

Praise God that He has made us all so wonderfully different and yet, in so many ways, to share the same needs, have similar likes, and most importantly, to be loved magnificently by our awesome God!  

In other news:

  • A core group of our Teens will take a leadership development trip to Chicago during Labor Day weekend.  We are excited to see how the Lord unifies them and continues to equip these leaders from within our own community!
  • Five immigrant leaders in the ministry of Mission Adelante have accepted an invitation to travel with four of our staff to the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) National Conference in September. This will be a rich opportunity for their continued mobilization.

Prayer needs:
  • Pray for vision and direction as we set out planning the Fall trimester programs, and LIT for the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Pray for the Bhutanese ESL leadership team as we listen and plan what God has for the Fall trimester and following trimesters.  Pray for the conversations that we have with some of our students to bring direction and ownership of our classes among the Bhutanese community.
  • The Adelante Thrift team has started working with a new agent to find a location for the store. Please pray that God would show us where He wants this effort in our community.
  • Pray for members of our staff who will be meeting briefly with Congressman Yoder to share stories that illustrate why immigration reform is a necessary element for the transformation of our neighborhood.

Other needs:
  • We're in the process of setting up a brand new library for the Leaders in Training (LIT) students, and hoping to have it finished by the first week of September. Do you know of someone that would be interested in helping to paint some bookshelves or maybe even buy some bean bags or decorations to make it cozy?  Please contact Megan at
  • Volunteers are currently needed for both Bhutanese LIT which meets after-school, and Bhutanese Kids Club which meets on Tuesday nights.  If you are interested in learning more about partnering with us through volunteering contact Kristen Maxwell at
  • Want to hang out with some fun kids and make a big impact? We are looking for volunteers for our Leadership development program and also for our Outreach Bible Study! Opportunities are available Monday-Thursday.  Please contact Megan if you are interested.

A Soccer Ball and an Emerging Leader

Written by Michael Pollock, Teens Adelante volunteer

At the end of September, the Mission Adelante staff, a few volunteers including me, and five neighborhood teens traveled to Minneapolis for the annual CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) National Conference.  There was a lot of great teaching and training in the plenary sessions, workshops, and luncheons.  However, it began to feel like an information overload, so we enjoyed the scheduled (and a few unscheduled) breaks from time to time.  

During a break, Johnny (one of the teens) and I went out to explore downtown Minneapolis.  

Johnny was in search of some postcards featuring Minneapolis to show his family and friends where he had been. I was bent of buying a soccer ball, because,

in an unprecedented lapse of judgement, none of the teens had brought one on the trip!

After we found the items we were looking for, we were faced with a challenge: where, in a dense downtown urban area, do you find a large enough space

to kick around a soccer ball?  The nearest field that I saw on Google maps was a good 25 minute walk away, but just then Johnny suggested playing in an alley less than a block from our hotel.  So there in the middle of a big city, on a beautiful day, during an intense conference, Johnny and I kicked the ball off the walls of the buildings lining a dirty alley.  Normally scuffing up a brand new ball on brick walls and splashing it in dirty puddles isn’t ideal, but in this case it was perfect.

The time we spent together not only helped me improve my ball handling skills, but Johnny and I deepened our friendship.  In one of the workshops that I attended at CCDA, I learned that this type of relationship is the kind that can lead to the emergence of leaders from our neighborhood (one of Mission Adelante's core values.)  Another stage in the development of leaders, according to the workshop, is “turning spiritual corners” (see, I did learn something!)  Johnny had shown interest since he started coming to Teens Adelante, and we've detected ongoing spiritual growth in him, but since CCDA I have noticed a heightened desire in him to deepen his relationship with Christ particularly through the Word.  Just last week at Teens Adelante, he expressed a desire for a devotional that would help him get into the Word more!

I feel so blessed to know Johnny and the rest of the 

Teens Adelante

teens, and God has been showing me more and more what it means to share my life with them.  One of the first speakers at the CCDA conference emphasized how our stories are the method by which we enlarge the kingdom of God, and by God’s providence the first day I was back from the conference I read a verse that confirmed that:

“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by

the word of their testimony

, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” Rev. 12:11 [ESV] (emphasis added).

In other news:

  • Girls from Teens Adelante have started a Bible study on Thursdays and prayed last week that teens will come “because they want to know Jesus, not because someone is making them.”
  • The Bhutanese and Latino Leaders in Training took an enrichment trip to Deanna Rose yesterday. As they're getting to know one another and learning more about one another's cultures their friendships are growing. The Bhutanese kids were especially excited to see the goats, an animal that is commonplace in Nepal, but that they haven't seen since moving to the U.S.

Prayer needs:

  • Halloween night falls on Wednesday next week--Teens Adelante night. Please pray for wisdom, discernment, faith, and that the Lord’s will be done that night at the home of the Coons!

Current needs:

  • 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  to set up a time to drop-off your donation.  Please help us out by not leaving donations inside or outside our facility.  Thanks!
  • Bibles for Teens Adelante youth. Please contact Brooke at for more details if you would like to contribute.
  • Kids Club, our Bhutanese kids' outreach, is growing in number and growing up.  Many of our kids have outgrown the games in our game cabinet.  We are in need of board games suitable for 4th-6th graders!  Some ideas include Blokus, Battleship, Simon, Perfection, and Jenga. Please contact Kristen at

Important dates:

  • 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.
          • Wednesday, November 21-Saturday, November 24: Fall Break Mission Adelante office closed.  No programs Tuesday, November 20-Saturday, November 24.