"All Nations Soccer Tournament" Celebrates Diversity and Creates Unity

Written by Hannah Hume, Bhutanese Teens Club Coordinator

Here in Kansas City we love sports! Men and boys will sit in freezing cold weather or under blistering hot sunshine to watch a game with religious dedication. Women will slave over Rotel dip and chili to serve to the huddled masses of friends gathered together to scream at the television set in their living rooms. Sports create a sense of community, purpose, and good old fashioned fun for fans.

Last Saturday, long time Mission Adelante church partner Shoal Creek hosted the first annual “All Nations Soccer Tournament” for local teams in Kansas City, and the event was great! Five teams participated in the tournament, representing the countries of Peru, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, and Bhutan, and they hope to have even more teams participate next year!

Several of our staff members and volunteers went to the tournament to cheer for Bhutanese team, "KC Best", as many of the players are part of Mission Adelante's weekly Teens Club. It was fun to see the cultural diversity of our city represented by the various teams, and yet to also see the unity and community that can be formed in the midst of such diversity around a common passion like soccer.

In a city that is becoming increasingly diverse it could be easy to feel like we may not have anything in common with our neighbors. However, at Mission Adelante we love to embrace the differences that other cultures offer, believing they can broaden our own perspectives and enrich our city. It’s also good to be reminded that, at the end of the day, even those who may seem different than us are probably a lot more like us than we may initially think. The Asian man fixing your car is a father and worries about being a good dad too. The international student on your campus is just as excited as you are about the Black Friday sale on that computer. Across cultures, everyone loves to gather together, laugh, compete, and cheer for sports.

Praise God that He has made us all so wonderfully different and yet, in so many ways, to share the same needs, have similar likes, and most importantly, to be loved magnificently by our awesome God!  

In other news:

  • A core group of our Teens will take a leadership development trip to Chicago during Labor Day weekend.  We are excited to see how the Lord unifies them and continues to equip these leaders from within our own community!
  • Five immigrant leaders in the ministry of Mission Adelante have accepted an invitation to travel with four of our staff to the CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) National Conference in September. This will be a rich opportunity for their continued mobilization.

Prayer needs:
  • Pray for vision and direction as we set out planning the Fall trimester programs, and LIT for the 2013-2014 school year.
  • Pray for the Bhutanese ESL leadership team as we listen and plan what God has for the Fall trimester and following trimesters.  Pray for the conversations that we have with some of our students to bring direction and ownership of our classes among the Bhutanese community.
  • The Adelante Thrift team has started working with a new agent to find a location for the store. Please pray that God would show us where He wants this effort in our community.
  • Pray for members of our staff who will be meeting briefly with Congressman Yoder to share stories that illustrate why immigration reform is a necessary element for the transformation of our neighborhood.

Other needs:
  • We're in the process of setting up a brand new library for the Leaders in Training (LIT) students, and hoping to have it finished by the first week of September. Do you know of someone that would be interested in helping to paint some bookshelves or maybe even buy some bean bags or decorations to make it cozy?  Please contact Megan at meganm@missionadelante.org.
  • Volunteers are currently needed for both Bhutanese LIT which meets after-school, and Bhutanese Kids Club which meets on Tuesday nights.  If you are interested in learning more about partnering with us through volunteering contact Kristen Maxwell at Kristenm@missionadelante.org
  • Want to hang out with some fun kids and make a big impact? We are looking for volunteers for our Leadership development program and also for our Outreach Bible Study! Opportunities are available Monday-Thursday.  Please contact Megan if you are interested.  meganm@missionadelante.org.