On the first day of Leaders In Training this fall, we were down to the last few minutes of our tutoring time so I began to instruct Nataly and Mariana to start putting away their things. Before I could even take a breath, their papers were in folders, their notebooks were stacked, and Mariana had pulled out a small notebook from her backpack and said, “Michelle, how can I pray for you?” Her pencil was poised and ready as she glanced up and met my eyes. In that moment I was so encouraged at how God has used the LIT program, Kids Adelante Director Megan McDermott, and our team of volunteers. Our students are learning life skills such as organization, they’re boosting their academics, and their hearts are becoming more compassionate as they build a beautiful and healthy confidence in themselves.
Nataly and Mariana were new to LIT last year, and it is such a blessing to begin this school year getting to see the fruit of God’s work from the previous LIT year. I’ve seen these two young girls blossom as they have found refuge from a trial-filled world within the LIT community. I’ve watched Nataly and Mariana develop a hunger to know God. I’ve witnessed walls tumbling down as they understand that they are created by a God who loves them. I see two young ladies shining in the knowledge that they are accepted and belong.
I pray that these truths are being planted in the rich soil of their vulnerable hearts. I pray that as they enter the broken, trial-filled world, that these truths will give them a hope built on Jesus that cannot be shaken. I am so thankful to be a part of the work God is doing in so many young lives. It's not easy to understand the difficulties that each of our students face. It often seems that the odds are stacked against them as they walk the path that lies ahead of them. I have such hope knowing that God has sheltered them in a place where these can be turned for good; yet there is so much we cannot control, and so much we cannot change. However, there is good news! We serve a God who can beat all the odds. That is where I place my hope for these students.
In other news:
- Mission Adelante staff has returned from Indianapolis and the Christian Community Development Association annual conference. Dreams were born, clarified, and strengthened there as CCDA leaders challenged us to INNOVATE new strategies and methods of reaching our city and seeing communities transformed.
- Bhutanese ESL Director Lauren Timberlake's (and her husband, Drew's) baby girl was delivered yesterday several weeks prematurely. The baby weighs three pounds, 11 ounces, is 12 inches long, and is healthy. Lauren says, "Baby Lois is doing so well." Praise the Lord for his care for Lauren and Lois, and join us in praying that the Timberlake family will be especially aware of His presence and that He will cause Lois to continue to grow and develop.
- A Bhutanese teen is facing legal challenges as the result of an accident. Please pray for him and his family to see the Lord's sovereignty over the situation.
- We've begun the season of planning for the upcoming year. Please pray for the Lord to supply discernment and wisdom as we craft goals for 2012.
- A Bhutanese family we know lost their home and all their possessions in a fire last weekend. Please pray for them. Also, if you can donate any furniture--especially beds--or household items to them, please contact David Stetler at 913-281-6274 x6.
- Bilingual Bibles for use in Kids Adelante Bible studies. These are our preferred type. Feel free to have them shipped to Megan McDermott's attention at Mission Adelante, Inc., 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.
- Observation Days: Tuesdays, October 25, and November 1 for Bhutanese outreach; Thursdays, October 20 and 27, and November 3 for Latino outreach. If you've never seen how we serve immigrants, please come observe. If you're a regular volunteer, bring a friend who would be interested to find out about the mission field in our own backyard.
- Staff Open Houses: Saturday, November 19, 3:00-6:30, Kansas City, Kansas