Panza Llena, Corazón Contento

Written by volunteer Kathleen Powell

Several years ago, I spent a summer in Mexico living with my aunt and uncle. I was trying to master the Spanish language and to get to know my Mexican family better. After every meal, my Tío Toño would always say, "Panza llena; corazón contento." This roughly translates to: "full stomach, happy heart." Last Sunday I realized that it isn't just the eating that makes his heart happy; it's the act of bringing la familia (more than just relatives) together and conviviendo (sharing life).

Sunday night, Mission Adelante launched three different house churches. My group had the privilege of meeting in the home of one of the Latina moms who is relatively new in her faith. Her 11 year old son has a sweet and joyful heart and is one of my favorite kids to hang out with at LIT (Leaders in Training, Mission Adelante's after-school program).

This evening, for the first time since that summer I spent with my tío, I tasted the sweetness of what sharing life could look like in my neighborhood, in my life. My senses were awakened; the room was full of laughter, spices, color, and warmth. Everyone who came had a chance to speak and contribute; everyone brought something to the table (literally). We worshipped together and dug into the Word together. I felt alive again. We were doing church, being the church, and it had nothing to do with a program or a building.

In other news:
  • There are now a total of five house churches meeting in Kansas City, Kansas; two of which include our Bhutanese friends and three of which include our Latino friends.  Kids Adelante Director Megan McDermott described the first meeting of her Latino house church last Sunday as feeling like a family reunion!  She was also delighted that kids with whom we're acquainted brought their parents, some of whom hadn't had any past involvement with Mission Adelante!
  • We're grateful to Heartland Community Church and Christ Community Church for supplying winter coats for ALL of the children that participate in our outreach programs.
  • Bhutanese Kids Club Director Kristen Maxwell and Intern Drew Hammond share their lives and a whole lot of their time with the families we serve.  This week, Kristen gave a 12-year-old girl her very first Bible and then watched as she immediately sat, opened it, and began reading aloud.  Also this week, some Bhutanese teen boys engaged Drew in conversation about Jesus and the implications of Christian faith in our lives.
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for our house churches to become well established, for immigrants to embrace leadership roles, and for new people to continue to come and feel welcomed.
  • Pray for safety in the homes of some of the kids we know, and protection for them.
  • Pray for a teen we know that is in legal trouble.
Current needs:
  • A Multi-Media Specialist, who will devote two to three hours a week to the use of multi-media to tell the story of Mission Adelante, its programs, and its people in ways that increase ownership and passion and inspire others to get involved.
  • Male volunteer tutors for our Leaders In Training program on Mondays from 4:00-6:30  for the rest of the school year.  Please contact Megan at
  • Adults' and children's winter clothing and shoes in all sizes to stock our Resource Center.  Please call Molly at 913-281-6274 x5 to arrange dropping off your donation.
  • An electric stove, which was requested through our Resource Center.  Please call Molly at 913-281-6274 x5 to arrange dropping off your donation.
Important dates:
  • Staff Open Houses: Saturday, November 19, 3:00-6:30, Mission Adelante Staff homes in Kansas City, Kansas 66102.  Drop in and let us thank you for your support of "our" ministry!
    • Jarrett & Kristen Meek, Megan McDermott: 251 N. 15th Street
    • Jason & Megan Schoff, Molly Merrick: 410 N. 15th Street
    • David & Brooke Coon: 245 N. 17th Street
    • David & Holly Stetler, Kristen Maxwell: 438 N. 17th Street
    • Drew& Lauren Timberlake: 706 N. 17th Street
  • Fall Break: There will be no outreach programs Tuesday, November 22 or Thursday, November 24.  The Mission Adelante office will be closed Wednesday, November 23-Saturday, November 26.
  • Latino Christmas Party: Saturday, December 10
  • Bhutanese Christmas Party: Sunday, December 11