Upside Down Kingdom

Written by Lauren Timberlake, Bhutanese ESL Director

Mon Maya Rai prayed a lot for my healing
 this summer and has blessed me so much.
God’s kingdom is truly upside down. Last year, our family spent lots of time, energy and money to move to the Mission Adelante neighborhood and serve Bhutanese refugees. We finally settled down in March, and I was looking forward to diving into relationships with our neighbors. As I prayed about where to start and how best to serve, a mentor encouraged me to wait at God’s doorstep (Proverbs 8:34-35). Positioning myself near to His heart would ultimately be the best way to serve others.

So I did. And I was led to take small steps. 

A few neighbor kids started spending time with us after school, and we made plans for summer fun with them. I was excited to take them swimming and to the park, and to go on walks with some of my ESL students. Summer was going to be a season of diving deeper into life here, and I was ready.

The first weekend after school got out, I broke my foot (just walking barefoot in my house!). I knew it would slow me down, but I prayed God would heal me quickly, so I could still take the kids swimming and such. A few days later at a routine eye exam, my doctor discovered that my retina was detached. I would need emergency surgery--the kind that comes with a significant recovery period.

I was down for the count. And really frustrated. How was I going to take care of my three kids--let alone serve others--if I couldn’t walk, drive or even see straight? But God still had plans for my summer. I was surprised by all the ways I saw His concern for me through those I thought I was supposed to be taking care of.

My missional family (those of us living in the neighborhood to serve the Bhutanese), co-workers, volunteers and even my ESL students blessed me again and again. They brought meals, prayed for me and with me, walked my baby girl, and sat with me while I was homebound. Our Bhutanese house-church members and several ESL students prayed for my healing. Even now, they commonly ask me how my eye is doing. Their concern was real, and God listened to their prayers. It's been about a month since my foot finished healing, and my eye is doing better than anyone expected--I am so grateful.

How humbling. And how beautiful. We come to God ready to give what we think we have, and then he turns it around and lets us receive His love and grace afresh. His kingdom doesn’t work the way we think it should--it’s so much better than that. The relationships that form from serving at Mission Adelante really do result in sharing life with each other and growing His kingdom--His way, not ours. And positioning ourselves at His doorstep is always a good way to begin.


In other news:
  • The majority of Mission Adelante staff and a number of staff spouses, members of the missional family, and neighborhood teens attended the Christian Community Development Association's Annual Conference in Minneapolis last week. It was four days jam-packed with encouragement and equipping to do justice and love mercy, along with exhortation to never forget that walking humbly with our God is that which enables us to do the work that we do.
  • We're so very pleased that Yanelis, the leader of the Raices discipling ministry in Cuba, has arrived in Kansas City for about three weeks of getting to know the "family" and training. It is a long-awaited visit, involving mountains of paperwork, and we're enormously thankful that the Lord brought her in His timing.
Prayer needs:
  • Please pray for each member of our staff to persist in the habit of quieting ourselves before God on a regular basis to receive life from Him.
  • Pray for the Lord's hand to be over Yanelis during her visit, that she would learn and be encouraged and equipped in every way that He has for her.
Important dates:
  • Tuesday, October 9 & Thursday, October 11: Bring-A-Friend Nights Volunteers, who do you know that might be interested in getting a first-hand look at what it's like to volunteer at Mission Adelante?  Next Tuesday and Thursday evenings are the perfect opportunity for you to invite someone to come along, meet your immigrant friends and Mission Adelante staff, and get the flavor of the way we serve to demonstrate the love of Christ.
  • Saturday, November 17, 3-6:30 p.m.: Mission Adelante Staff House Parties

  • Jarrett & Kristen Meek, Molly Merrick: 251 N. 15th Street
  • Jason & Megan Schoff, Megan McDermott: 410 N. 15th Street
  • David & Brooke Coon: 245 N. 17th Street
  • David & Holly Stetler, Drew Hammond: 438 N. 17th Street
  • Drew & Lauren Timberlake, Kristen Maxwell: 706 N. 17th Street
  • Garett & Jenny Dunn, Hannah Hume: 335 N. 15th Street
All homes are in Kansas City, KS 66102.  RSVP not necessary.