The history of Thanksgiving as celebrated in the United States has a unique and special connection for Mission Adelante's ministry. For those who may not remember what you learned in grade school, or may have never connected the dots, the first Thanksgiving was the story of immigrants' survival in a new and harsh land. Those immigrants, commonly called Pilgrims, are ancestors to many of us. The celebration, as the story goes, included those who were native to the country (the Wampanoag Native Americans) and the new immigrants who had arrived in a somewhat needy situation, seeking a better life. Having survived on help given to them by the Wampanoag, the pilgrims praised God and instituted the first Thanksgiving, modeled after other harvest festivals that were commonplace in Europe at the time.
This year we had the opportunity to experience Thanksgiving with immigrants, family, and other friends from our community in a way that hearkened back to the beginning of this great American tradition. Janoy and Ivan are brothers who have recently moved to the United States from Cuba and have become our close friends. In fact, Janoy lived with our family for his first month in Kansas City before his brother joined him here, and they found an apartment a couple of blocks away from our house. We laughed and watched with joy as the two Cuban brothers ate turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, and everything else Thanksgiving for the first time. Afterward, we of course enjoyed the customary game of football in the backyard, which they also played for the first time.
Among all of our reasons for giving thanks this year, there was one reason that out-shined the rest; the night before, Ivan had received Christ as his Lord and Savior! Immigrants surviving, sharing life with "native Americans", celebrating the goodness of God and His amazing grace... Thanksgiving doesn't get any better than that!
- The parties marking the end of our trimester are coming up this weekend and everyone's invited! The party for the Latino community is Saturday, December 11 at 5:30 p.m. and the party for the Bhutanese community is Sunday, December 12 at 4:00 p.m. Both parties will be at Bethany Community Center, located in Kansas City, Kansas on Central Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. It sets back behind Bethany Park. Turn off of Central Avenue by the fire station.
- Five neighborhood immigrant families received complete Thanksgiving meals thanks to Emmanuel Baptist Church, Kansas City Christian School, and Reaching Out, Inc.
- The members of the disciple making team were sent out last week to visit other Mission Adelante participants and give spiritual encouragement. They were excited to tell about their experiences.
- Thanks to Christ Community Church for the donation of coats and winter wear to distribute to families in need.
- The Bhutanese knitting cooperative sold their handiwork at Rockhurst High School and earned over $250, which will help supplement their families' incomes.
- Praise God with us that Ivan has become a Believer! In the last couple of issues of the Adelante Express, we asked you to join us in praying for God to draw him near to Himself. Thank you for petitioning God on Ivan's behalf.
- Help us pray for God to supply for Mission Adelante through abundant end-of-year giving, at a time when the ministry is growing especially fast!
- Pray for Yanelis, the leader of the Raices ministry in Qba, to have wisdom and discernment. She's spending this month in Costa Rica making contacts and exploring new opportunities for the ministry.
- More winter wear like hats and gloves, outerwear, and shoes to stock our resource center with the arrival of cold weather.
- A high BTU propane space heater for the detached garage that houses our resource center. The volunteers that staff the resource center get pretty cold during the two hours that it's open every Saturday morning!
- Thin knitting needles (size 6 or smaller) and yarn are needed for the Bhutanese knitting cooperative. If you would like to donate supplies, please contact David Stetler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 913-579-6115.
- Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 11, 5:30 p.m. at Bethany Community Center.
- Bhutanese Christmas Party: Sunday, December 12, 4:00 p.m. at Bethany Community Center.
- Mission Adelante will be closed Friday December 24 through Saturday, January 1.