By Kristen Allen, Community Development Director
One of my greatest joys in working cross-culturally is seeing amazing leaders rise up to address needs within their community. As the Director of Community Development, it is my privilege to work alongside men and women who are dedicated to using their God given abilities to transform their communities. My focus in the Adelante Empowerment Network, one of our community development initiatives, is empowering leaders to achieve their vision. There are beautiful stories of how vision is becoming reality and the Galilee Learning Center is just one example of the incredible capacity of the men and women who have immigrated to KCK.
My friend Lal is an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. She is always praying into how God can use her and her family and I enjoy how we share our dreams, encourage each other, and build upon our ideas together. Last year, Lal shared how God was laying on her heart to do something for the youth in her community and she started planning for a children's program to launch the summer of 2014.
The vision of a children's program that focused on the Bible and provided Burmese and Chin language instruction couldn't be fulfilled without additional men and women who saw the need within the Chin
community and were willing to be a part of making it a reality. Leaders stepped forward and became the teachers needed to make the program run. One man volunteered his skills in leading worship, another decided to move his Burmese language program to Galilee Learning Center so he could help additional kids, and several Sunday school teachers from various Chin churches volunteered to develop the program, curriculum, and schedule.
I wish you all could spend a morning at Galilee Learning Center and see the hope that comes from a community focused on developing their youth. The sound of children's voices and laughter fills the air. Our space is full of praise songs as the group comes together to worship Jesus. It is beautiful and just a small glimpse of the blessings that God pours out when we work together.
The vision for Christian community development in our KCK community is being realized through Galilee Learning Center. It is community born, developed, and driven. We pray for more leaders to rise up and can't wait to see what issue God calls His people to address next.
In other news:
- The Bhutanese summer interns are reading with the Bhutanese LIT students every Thursday at the library. It's a fun way for the interns to invest in their community, practice leadership, and help make sure that the LIT kids don't lose any of the skills they worked so hard to gain during the school year.
- Many of our English students have enjoyed seeing more clearly with the reading glasses provided by donors last month. It’s amazing what a difference it makes when they are learning to read and write. Thank you!
- One of our English students passed the Citizenship test! We are excited to interview her in our class to give the other students hope of becoming a citizen one day in the near future!
- Our thanks go out to Bright Ideas Signs & More for providing our eye-catching new sign in front of our building. www.brightideassigns.com
- Leaders In Training, our after-school leadership development and tutoring program, is getting excited about technology! We are looking for tablets that are new or in very good condition to use for learning activities during the 2014-2015 school year. If you have one you would like to donate, please contact Kristen Maxwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or Megan McDermott at email@example.com.
- Summer break: July 1-5 No programs.
- Observation Days: Tuesdays, July 8 & 15 (Bhutanese)/Thursdays, July 10 & 17 (Latino) 6:30-8:30 Have you wondered what all goes on around here on a typical evening of programming? Here's your opportunity to come and see for yourself! Come on up to 22 S. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS 66102.