When looking at it from the outside, an entire summer committed to full-time ministry seems significant. Nearly three months, 11 weeks; yet, here I stand nearly halfway through my fourth week and I wonder where the time has gone. God, how I can make a difference in such a short amount of time? How can I speak truth into the lives of individuals who I can’t relate to? Whose frustrations, fears, sufferings and struggles don’t seem the least bit comparable to mine? Teenagers whose heavy eyes paint a picture of the burdens they carry, burdens that middle-class suburbia hasn’t prepared me for? I barely speak their first language, I don’t understand their culture, and I am supposed to sweep in and save the day?
No; no I am not, because I can’t. These problems are bigger than me, much bigger. I can’t relate, I can’t comprehend, and I can’t speak truth. Even if I could, at my best “all [my] righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The fact of the matter is that I, in my pride, would try to do a work that has already been done: “But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53: 5). Fortunately I serve that God: “9 But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
The day I accepted this internship I walked into a field where men and women had already begun God’s work. Mission Adelante did not need me and I may soon be forgotten, but God in his sovereignty has chosen me to play a part. The full-time staff of this ministry are the primary workers, with interns and volunteers providing support, but ultimately even they recognize the real work is being accomplished by God. “7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. […] 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:7, 11).
Thus I am called to two things as an intern. First I need to trust God’s perfect will: “6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). I am playing a small role in a big plan of bringing God glory in Kansas City, Kansas and I need to take him at his word and trust the work of the Holy Spirit. Second, with a sense of desperation I need to intentionally bring Christ into everything, both in word and deed. Knowing that Christ commands us in Matthew 28 to go and make disciples of all nations, I have no other choice. I am honored to have a small role in the incredible ministry work being done at Mission Adelante and the greater work of bringing God all glory, honor, and praise.
In other news:
- This was the first year that all of our Leaders In Training--students that participated in our intensive tutoring and character development program during the past school year--finished out the year! Therefore, all 12 students earned the privilege of going on a camping trip this weekend! A group of 35, including the students, a few family members, Mission Adelante staff, interns, and volunteers will enjoy a weekend of fun at a Kansas state park.
- A team of about 20 middle- and high-schoolers from Shoal Creek Community Church with lots of energy are conducting a Vacation Bible School at Mission Adelante in the evenings this week. Up to sixty Bhutanese and Latino kids from the neighborhood have gathered on our soccer field the past three evenings for interactive storytelling, games, and crafts. The theme of the week is obedience to God, parents, and teacher as illustrated by the story of Jonah.
- Please ask the Lord for clear, sunny skies this weekend during the LIT camping trip. Also, as Megan McDermott teaches about what the cross means to us, pray that those on the trip will connect deeply with one another and the Lord.
- Pray for David Stetler and Drew Timberlake, who are presently in Nepal. Ask the Lord to guide them as they make the difficult and exhausting journey to the Bhutanese refugee camps this week. The opportunity to travel to the camps is very significant, because it will give David insight into where our Bhutanese friends lived for a couple of decades before resettling in Kansas City, as well as the chance to meet their family members and bring back news.
- A team of six from Mission Adelante will travel to Qba next week to strengthen the sense of unity between our ministry and the Raices ("Roots") ministry there, with whom we partner. Please pray that the Lord would accomplish that purpose, and use our team powerfully as they participate in some Raices ministry functions.
- Two refrigerators, which have been requested by immigrant families. If you can donate one, please contact Molly at 913-961-2984.
- Molly needs volunteers to help her sort and organize donations to our Resource Center, which helps channel resources such as clothing, household items, and food from donors to immigrants with specific needs. Please call Molly at 913-961-2984 to arrange a time to come help.
- Many of the immigrant families we serve have a need for the basics, like food. Help provide staple food items for neighborhood families by hosting a Canasta Basica Assembly Party! Find all the details by clicking here!
- June 28-July 4: Summer break. No Bhutanese or Latino outreach programs. The Mission Adelante office will be closed June 29-July 4.
- July 8th at 7:00 p.m.: All are welcome to join us for tea, coffee, and dessert, and to meet the two new staff members we've added to the Bhutanese Outreach. You'll also hear about their calling to this ministry and the financial needs that we have to make them full time staff members. Join us at Larry & Barb Stetler's, 5814 W. 84th Street, Overland Park, KS 66207. Please RSVP by clicking here.