Signs of Life

Mission Adelante began with a vision to be both a “mission” and a “church”. On the mission side of our ministry we offer things like English classes, tutoring, and tangible resources, and bible studies and events for kids. On the church side of things we started with a small group of volunteers, hoping to share our faith and grow relationally and organically, adding the necessary components of a genuine worshipping community according to God’s timing. Multiplying home-based Bible studies, one-on-one discipling relationships and periodic worship celebrations formed the essence of our church-planting strategy. Without a doubt the church-plant side of our ministry has proven to be the most difficult and often painful part of the endeavor. To be sure, God has been faithful, and fruit has been evident every step of the way. Each trimester we look back and we see small steps of growth: a new conversion, a new ministry team launched, a children’s ministry started, a new family involved. Yet the volatility of immigrants’ lives and the painful unpredictability of their commitment has accelerated my (Jarrett) hair loss by years (at least that’s the explanation I give myself).

God has proven to us in this process that the glory will be His! Time after time when we least expect it He brings families back who we thought were lost or connects families that we had given up on. God will work in His timing and in His way. Our job is to trust and be diligent. The first Sunday night of 2009 was a celebration of this very kind of fruit. The room was filled with excitement as we had a record turn-out for our worship service: 37 adults and as many kids. In that group were Pedro and Sara, there for the third week in a row after having been missing-in-action for months. Mario and Veronica and their kids have the same story; three weeks in a row of attendance after a long absence. Mayra, a single mom, who has come very consistently since she began attending, invited her neighbors for the first time. These are precious small victories that cause us to celebrate, praise God, and forget prior discouragements.

We are still a small community, but God is causing us to grow little by little, both in number and in faith. As this year begins we are praying that God will strengthen our young ministry teams, under-gird our efforts at disciple-making, and use us to draw more immigrants into a relationship with Jesus. Please pray with us for these objectives.

In other news:
  • Our community celebrated Christmas Eve together for the first time with an evening worship service. About 20 adults including some new faces enjoyed the fellowship.
  • Molly Merrick joined Mission Adelante's staff this week as a Ministry Aide, working 10 hours per week.

Prayer needs:

  • Pray that our current three-part worship service series on becoming disciples will help more members of our faith community follow the pattern set by Jesus' first disciples.
  • Pray that our emphasis on individual discipleship will build momentum among participants and bear fruit.

Current needs:

  • Diapers: all sizes
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby formula, to stock the resource center
  • 2 tall bookshelves, for the Leaders In Training library

Important upcoming dates:

  • Saturday, January 10: 9:00-12:00 New Volunteer Orientation & Training
  • Monday, January 19: 6:30-8:15 All Volunteer Team Meeting
  • Thursday, January 22: 6:30 Spring English classes and Kids Adelante begin