The Story of Mission Adelante
...loving people from all places
At Mission Adelante We believe that God’s call to love our neighbor is at the heart of all His commands and finds a special expression in the way we extend hospitality, compassion, and friendship to people from other places. We see immigrants and refugees first and foremost through the lens of the incomparable love and grace of God through Jesus Christ. The dual call of the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission; to love my neighbor as myself and to make disciples of all nations, compels us to move quickly past cultural preferences, economics, and secular political discussions, to emphasizing the immense love of God for people from other places. The repeated Biblical mandate to welcome the stranger, and to care for widows, orphans, and immigrants calls our attention to the acute and particular needs newcomers face as they struggle to navigate a new language, a new culture, and an entirely new way of life in the challenging environment of urban America. Mission Adelante loves to welcome and walk with our new neighbors, to hear their stories, to share in their joys and struggles, and to invite them to follow Jesus with us as part of a new community. It’s a mission field in our own backyard!
Mission Adelante, which means Mission “Go Forth” in Spanish, is an Evangelical mission and church founded by Jarrett and Kristen Meek in 2005 as an outreach to Latino immigrants. As missionaries in Bolivia, the Meeks had experienced the challenges of navigating life in a foreign country and believed that God had called them to go out of their way to serve, share life, and share Jesus with immigrants in their own city. Shortly after returning to Kansas City, they assembled a team of friends who had a similar heart for immigrants and began planning the launch of a new ministry. After re-locating to an urban neighborhood in Kansas City, KS with a significant immigrant population, the Meeks began meeting their neighbors and learning about the needs of the community.
On September 15, 2005 the newly formed Mission Adelante ministry team, comprised of 10 volunteers, launched it’s first English class and Kids Outreach Bible Study in a home. Twelve students were in attendance on the first night, and another class began the next week in M.E. Pearson Elementary School. After four months of teaching English and building new friendships, the Mission Adelante team celebrated as two of our new friends received Christ and joined our first "house church."
Within a few short years Mission Adelante moved to a more permanent facility and has grown to include a network of house-churches and various ministries involving all age groups within both the Latino and Bhutanese communities in Kansas City, KS. The heart of our ministry remains focused on relational disciple-making, and leaders from our community are emerging through intentional leadership development initiatives. Partnerships within our community are giving us the opportunity to come alongside other refugees groups including Chin, Karen, and Kareni Christians from Burma. The emphasis on making disciples and developing leaders is bearing fruit as individual transformation is becoming community transformation through Community Development initiatives.