Reflections on Friendship with a Bhutanese Refugee

Written by David Stetler

I met Ram about a year ago during a Bhutanese community gathering and since then have become dear friends with him. Ram has helped me understand their culture better, the trials they face and what life as a refugee is like. He has played a major role in helping me organize many of the ministry programs and has been a key leader in the development, growth and unity of his community. Most importantly, he has taught me about friendship, loyalty and trust. I consider Ram a very close friend and I would trust him with anything.

One evening when we were visiting him and his family, his mother, Krishna said to me "Medo chorah", which means "my son". It was such an honor to hear those words from her. She is such a dear lady and she not only calls me her son, but treats me like her son, too. Every time I step foot in their house she serves me cheeya, ahlu and bhaht (tea, potatoes and rice).
Recently Ram wrote the following comments about his experience with Mission Adelante:

"We the newly resettled Bhutanese in KCKS would like to give hearty thankful to ministry since the minitry and volunteers are helping our illitrate community.With the involvement of David and his family member as well as volunteers the hope of our old people to stay in America show the possitive attitude towards life. I am very very happy to see “the smile face” of people who are learning in ESL class."

What an honor and privilege it is to serve these wonderful people, do life with them and build meaningful friendships with them. May they know the love of Jesus as we share our lives with them.

In other news:
  • A family that belongs to our faith community has been without a vehicle for a couple of months, and has therefore been unable to attend worship for that period of time. However, having obtained a working vehicle last week, they were greeted with applause and cheering upon arriving at worship on Sunday! We're so encouraged to see our congregation's sense of community growing.
  • A man that has occasionally come to Bible study and worship over the past couple of years approached Jarrett two weeks ago wondering how to begin a relationship with God! His wife accepted Christ through Mission Adelante about two years ago and has faithfully prayed for him to do the same since that time. On Sunday night he publicly professed his new faith to our worship community!
  • ESL volunteer Jenny Pauley visited her Bhutanese conversation student at home and introduced the family to Jell-o jigglers! Imagine experiencing this unusual food for the very first time as an older child, teenager, or adult!
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for a couple in our community that has sought us out for marital counseling. It's culturally unusual for a Hispanic couple to seek outside advise, so pray for openness to the council they'll receive.
  • Jarrett Meek has an appointment with a neurosurgeon tomorrow to investigate treatment options for the cervical disc extrusion in his neck. Please continue to pray for healing without surgery.
  • Pray for God to provide job opportunities for Bhutanese refugees.
  • Help us ask God to bring candidates to Mission Adelante for the summer internship.
Current needs:
  • Two vacuums to keep our facility clean.
Important dates:
  • Saturday, February 27, 9:00 - 11:30 a.m.: Adelante Missions Institute presents South America Mission’s Executive Director, Kirk Ogden from South Carolina to lead an interactive workshop on Character and Cross-Cultural Ministry. Kirk will explore the personal, spiritual, and character qualities that are essential for making a lasting impact in a cross-cultural context, as well as the pitfalls that the enemy commonly uses to sideline God’s people. I am convinced that the foundation of our ministry effectiveness lies more in our character than it does in our skills or abilities. So, let’s come together as a team, invite whomever you’d like, and spend some time diving deeper into this important topic. A continental breakfast will be provided. The cost will be $15 per person at the door. Please let us know if you plan to come by replying to
  • Thursday, March 18: Spring break. No morning or evening activities.