Written by Jill Berghaus
In January, when I was struck with the desire to serve the Lord and speak Spanish this summer, I had no idea that the Lord was planning on changing my entire life for His sake. My name is Jill Berghaus and I am one of the three interns working at Mission Adelante this summer.
I started off this internship without any knowledge of or experience with Mission Adelante. I have lived in Lenexa, Kansas my entire life and the thought of heading north to the urban core of Kansas City was practically a joke (but not a funny one) to me. To be completely honest, I was terrified of the unknown and the thought of “change” did not seem appealing to me. I couldn’t imagine a place outside beautiful, sheltered “Suburbia”. But, as I have experienced, the Lord does not call me to be comfortable but to be confident in Him. So packed up my bags and headed north.
My heart fell in love with this community within hours of my arrival. From the moment I interacted with the members of the community, I felt loved and welcomed with open, multi-cultural arms. I have always been a people person and loved social interaction but I had no idea that slowly but surely this community would become my family, mi familia. I was able to visit many people at home this summer and every single time the families would drop everything to talk with me. They wanted so badly to help me with my Spanish and would put off their evening plans to make sure I got enough practice. These visits became essential to my ability to get through this internship spiritually and emotionally. The Lord provided me support from people that wanted a friend just as much as I needed one.
I have been able to celebrate, grieve, struggle, and pray with mi familia here. The biggest lesson that I have learned this summer is that in missions, you cannot leave your job. Mission is a lifestyle that can dig into your soul so deeply that the only way to handle it is by crying out to our Lord for His strength and comfort. My relationship with our Creator has deepened more than I could have ever asked for; he captured my heart this summer and opened up my eyes to a world that is so real that it hurts…in a powerful and strengthening way. I have seen first hand the lives of immigrants here and how difficult life can be. Their situation has changed from something that I had only heard about to something that affects me personally, and they've become people that I have grown to love deeply. I have learned that life is all about perseverance; that I need to continue to fight the world for my time with the Lord and I need to fight for mi familia and their well being here. Life is never going to be easy and there will always be struggle, but the amazing promise of the Lord is that He will fight along side us and take weight off of our load.
In other news:
- The Mission Adelante summer internship is winding down this week and next. We've been very blessed by Andrew, Jill, and Rachel, the three young adults that have spent the past couple of months with us.
- Congratulations Holly Stetler on graduating and passing medical boards! Holly is now a pediatric nurse practitioner.
- Praise God! A Latino married couple that hadn't come to church in months appear to have been won back by our faithfulness to their kids, and have been back in church the past couple of Sundays. Pray that God would fuel a hunger in them to know Him.
- The Latino teen girls and teen guys have their final summer Bible studies this week. Please pray that the lessons they've learned will remain with them and guide their choices.
- Please continue to pray for God's mercy upon 4 families dear to our community. Each of these families is presently separated from one another due to a variety of situations. Please pray for them to be reunited.
- Weekly meals for Leaders In Training students and tutors (22 people) on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning September 7. In past years, groups of friends have made a joint effort to provide the meal on a particular weekday. Please contact Megan at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can fill this need.
- Leaders In Training volunteers also beginning September 7 for Mondays and Tuesdays from 4:00 - 6:30, and Wednesdays from 3:00 - 6:30. Please contact Megan at email@example.com.
- Volunteers to work with Bhutanese kids on Tuesday evenings beginning September 14. Please e-mail David at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Important upcoming dates:
- Saturday, August 14, 5:00: Bhutanese End of Trimester Party @ Bethany Community Center
- Sunday, August 15, 5:00: Latino End of Trimester Party @ Wyandotte County Lake Park
- Saturday, September 25: Mission Adelante Five Year Anniversary Celebration @ Mission Adelante Headquarters