The Staff of 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.

Leadership Staff


Jarrett Meek, Pastor & Executive Director 

Jarrett is the founder of Mission Adelante. A graduate of Midwestern Baptist Seminary, Jarrett served for several years on the staff of Heartland Community Church in Overland Park before moving to Bolivia with his wife Kristen and two daughters to work as missionaries. When they returned they found a mission field right here at home. Now the Meek family lives in Kansas City, Kansas and has grown to include four children; Caroline, Annie, Charlie, and Lucy.  


Yanelis Lopez, Ministry Director

Having become a believer while studying at the University of Havana in Cuba, Yanelis’ passion for disciple-making grew in a relational context.  After attending Torchbearers Bible school in Costa Rica, she continued to develop as a leader in her hometown of Mariel, Cuba where she founded RAICES, a holistic disciple-making ministry.  She moved to the U.S. in August of 2015 and joined the Mission Adelante Staff in December of the same year

Elena Chan, Director of Community Development

Elena was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Central Asia. Growing up, she experienced economic hardship resulting from the break-up of the Soviet Union. She was a refugee during the civil war in Tajikistan. It was during this time that she began to hear God’s calling to serve the vulnerable and displaced people of the world. She received her degree in Secondary Education from Tajikistan State Pedagogical University. After graduation, she worked with various international development agencies throughout Central Asia in the areas of civil society development, poverty alleviation and community development, human rights and democracy promotion. She received her Masters of Arts in Sustainable International Development (SID) from Brandeis University in 2012. Elena lives in the Kansas city metro area with her husband Ray and her daughter Samila. 

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Shannon Schafer, Operations Director

Shannon has a Bachelor's degree in International Development from Calvin College. After graduating, she spent time in Honduras and later began a career in banking. In 2010, Shannon began volunteering at Mission Adelante, and in September of 2016, she joined the Mission Adelante staff.

Operations Staff


Morgan Ham, Finance Coordinator

Morgan has a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Kansas State University and first became acquainted with the social services field by working for a couple of local secular not-for-profit agencies.  Morgan and her husband, Felipe, began volunteering at Mission Adelante in 2005, and Morgan joined the staff in January 2008.  The Ham family now includes three little boys, Camilo, Josiah, and Alistair, and a little girl, Adele.

Ministry Staff


Megan McDermott, Director of Latino Kids Ministries

Megan graduated from Belmont University with a double major in Spanish and Music Education, and from UMKC with a Master of Arts in Music Therapy. Megan was blessed to study abroad in Costa Rica, where the Lord revealed a very deep passion to serve Latino people. In 2008 Megan was one of the first summer interns at Mission Adelante. She joined the Mission Adelante staff in 2009.


Paul Kienzle, Director of  Latino ESL

Paul has a Bachelor's degree in Physical Education from the University of Iowa. Paul and his wife Laura served for much of their adult lives as missionaries with South America Mission in Peru and Bolivia. The Kienzles joined the Mission Adelante staff in September of 2015 and now reside in Kansas City, KS. They have three daughters: Erica, Rachel, and Bekah.


Gissell Vazquez, Latino Discipleship and Music Coordinator

Gissell has a degree in Accounting and Finance from the University of Havana, Cuba and an Intermediate Certificate of Theology from the International Moore Theological College. She also studied music, a passion that she combines with disciple-making. As part of the RAICES team in Mariel, Cuba, she developed a music school to enhance the holistic disciple-making vision. She moved to the U.S. with her husband Felix in October 2016 and joined the Mission Adelante Staff in February 2017.

Laxmi Gurung, Ministry Apprentice

Laxmi was born in Nepal and came to the United States when she was 13 years old. She has been involved in Mission Adelante for five years, including participating in the summer internship in 2016. In the Spring of 2017, she graduated from Wyandotte High School, and in June 2017, she came on staff with Mission Adelante as a 2-year Ministry Apprentice. She will be starting college in the Fall of 2017 at Kansas City Kansas Community College.