Life Transformation through a Short-Term Mission

When dreaming about how to effectively equip volunteers for cross-cultural ministry in our own city, the idea of a short-term missions training trip emerged. Combining serving with cultural exploration and language learning proved to be a winning combination! Eight Mission Adelante "missionaries" traveled to Costa Rica for Adelante Missions Institute's first ever missions training trip the second week of May. As these volunteers were equipped through new experiences, we found that Mission Adelante is surprisingly prepared to make a significant impact on short-term trips like these. The brief story below, written by trip participant, Mark Barber gives a glimpse into this life-changing experience.

Written by Mark Barber
His name is Marvin. This is his last chance for redemption. He has let the Costa Rican government know that he is a drug addict and that he needs help. This final opportunity is granted to him and he shares his testimony. Pain, suffering, abuse, neglect, and broken dreams litter his words. This short vignette is one of a hundred connections that the Mission Adelante Costa Rican cross-cultural team has made.

For eight days, members of this team were touched, moved, transformed by the experiences and the openness of the Costa Rican people and the strength and misericordia (mercy) that God bestows upon his people. God has sent troops on the ground to relay his Word to the people at MANA and to give blessed hope and fulfillment through Jesus Christ. Alejandro is one beacon light of hope that teaches work skills, business acumen, and life skills to these men who need guidance. Members of the team fellowshipped and testified God’s presence and work in their own lives in order to show the great change that can happen by surrendering yourself to Him. Surrender engenders rebirth and a new narrow path of guidance and leadership. At MANA, Marvin can begin a new life and take advantage of the benefits of this safe and loving environment. Only time will tell, if he continues to grow and make positive adjustments in his life.

Marvin’s life and words will forever have an impact on my own personality and perspective. The ability to identify a problem, realize that it needs to be changed, and take the drastic steps necessary to rectify the problem shows true character and understanding. This trip has made me realize that I allow little problems to sidetrack and knock me off course, and this trip has instilled in me a greater appreciation and love for God’s work and God’s Omnipotent power and grace. Marvin may never know the true impact on my life he had that one day in May but I am forever grateful for his words and testimony concerning his struggle and desire for redemption. This one little picture of our Costa Rican experience shows that God can take seemingly small innocuous moments and transform your life.

In other news:
  • Our request for a vehicle for a community member that needed one has been fulfilled!
  • David Stetler's sinus surgery went really well, and he received daily visits from caring Bhutanese friends during his recovery.
  • We're ramping up for our summer trimester, and more excited than ever as our outreach programs keep expanding.
  • Save the Date! Dr. Daniel Caroll, author, distinguished Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary and expert on immigration will present the Adelante Missions Institute Saturday Seminar on July 24 at 9:00 a.m. Look for more details soon.
Prayer needs:
  • Pray for our four summer interns as they finish up fundraising and preparation to move to our neighborhood this Saturday.
  • Pray for our staff as we try to embrace a variety of challenges: returning from surgery, returning from a missions trip, and increased responsibility, all in the midst of a very busy few weeks on our ministry calendar. Pray for God to multiply our time and sharpen our focus!
  • There are three three-day summer VBS-style camps planned for neighborhood kids during the month of June. Please pray for new kids to be attracted to our ministry through these special activities.
  • Jason & Megan Schoff's son is due to arrive in about a week. Please pray for a safe delivery, and a healthy baby boy.
Current needs:
  • Toothpaste, for distribution to immigrant families through our Resource Center.