Written by Brooke Coon
We went around the circle one by one, as each teen shared what the summer at Teens Adelante was all about for them. After four weeks of the boys and girls being separated to have a Purity study, I was anxious to see if the confidence I had seen growing in the girls community would transfer to the whole group. As we went around the large circle of 11 Teens and 9 leaders, every single one shared a truly insightful piece of what God had been teaching them. "Loyalty." "Brotherhood." "Respect." But what really got me was when I heard "Trust." It wasn't just the concept, but who it was coming from; the one teen who from the first night I volunteered at Mission Adelante tried to place a wall between us. "Trust" was not in his vocabulary. Walls were safe for him.
Over the past year, his defenses have come down, stone by stone, and during the men's purity time something in him seems to have not only come down, but he has actually reached out. He offered his true self and what resulted was "Trust; I never thought I would be able to trust a group of guys. I have never been able to before." Not only did he find a group of teen guys and men to lead them as brothers in Christ, but he is discovering an identity in Christ that gave him the confidence to share his true heart in front of all Teens Adelante.
The four weeks with the girls was equally powerful. The first week was an awkward tension of defense mechanisms at their maximum load. The second week those defenses burst to pieces. The Lord had called a couple of the women leaders to share from the dark unhealed wounds of the heart. He called us to lead the way in modeling what it looks like to brings things into the light that can really feel painful to acknowledge. Immediately after we penetrated the silence in our own hearts, they did in theirs. The chains of our sin and the wounds that others had inflicted on our feminine hearts poured out into the thick air that night.
But a temporary discomfort in facing sin brings complete salvation and freedom to never again sit in darkness or fear. Doors in every single one of the young women opened, to what I imagine will be a year of deep restoration. There is a Holy restoration to our identities as 'daughters of the King' that occurs when we simply gather to seek His face. I am now beginning to see in them a security in each other and in their womanhood. They are suddenly radiating as a group of girls. They no longer see each other as a threat, but as sisters.
I am joyfully anticipating building on this foundation of sisterhood that Jesus laid in them. My prayer for all the Teens as we begin a new school year is that this communal foundation will give them strength to live a life that is set apart and that they will experience the Body of Christ working in all its glory. Despite all of our differences at Teens Adelante, there is a group of women and a group of men that will gather to seek wholeness in Christ, and demonstrate our love for each other through "loyalty", "respect", "trust", "vulnerability", and "brotherhood."
In other news:
- A portion of the Bhutanese missional family traveled to Fayetteville the weekend before last to learn about business as missions from a church that is doing it there. They returned with many ideas about new ways to help the immigrants in our community.
- Another year of Leaders In Training--an after school tutoring and character development program--begins today for 12 select kids between the ages of eight and 14. Director Megan McDermott feels very privileged to invest in the emerging leaders of our community in this way.
- Praise God! Lauren Timberlake has officially joined the Mission Adelante Staff as the part-time Director of the Bhutanese English Outreach! Please pray for the quick completion of the remodeling of the home they have purchased in Kansas City, Kansas, as they are eager to move to the neighborhood.
- Pray for God to strengthen a Latino gentleman in our community that lost his father earlier this year and is presently trying to hold onto hope for his marriage.
- A number of volunteers are still needed for the fall trimester in most of our program areas. Our needs are:
If you, or someone you know is interested, click here for more information. Then contact the staff person listed with the information about the program that most interests you. Our fall trimester is right around the corner, kicking off on September 13.
- Bhutanese Kids Club: 4 volunteers, at least one of whom is male
- Bhutanese Teens Club: 2 male mentors; a worship leader
- Latino Teens: 2 male mentors
- Latino Adult ESL: 6 conversation partners
- Leaders In Training: a small group to provide a meal for 20 people each Monday afternoon throughout the school year; 1 male tutor for Wednesday afternoons
- An appliance dolly, to move large items in our Resource Center.
- Nonperishable food items to distribute through our Resource Center including canned goods, cereal, pasta, toilet paper, etc.
- A baby stroller, which has been requested in our Resource Center
- Volunteer Orientation & Training: Saturday, September 10, 9:00-12:30. This orientation is a great way to get to know the scope of our whole ministry in one sitting, so if you'd like to find out more about us, even if you're unsure whether you can commit to volunteering, please come!
- Volunteer Team Meeting: Monday, September 12, 6:30 p.m. All of our active volunteers gather once at the beginning of the trimester to prepare for a great program launch.
- Bhutanese Trimester Launch: Tuesday, September 13, 6:30 p.m.
- Latino Trimester Launch: Thursday, September 15, 6:30 p.m
- Save the Date: Saturday, November 19. Mission Adelante Staff Open Houses in the afternoon. More details TBA.