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

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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.  


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David Stetler, Associate Director 

David has a Bachelor's degree in Business from Kansas State University and is currently a student at Midwestern Baptist Seminary. After several years in the business world the Lord called David and his wife Holly to serve the Bhutanese refugees in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2009, David, his wife and a team of leaders began to expand the ministry of Mission Adelante to Bhutanese-Nepalis.  David and his wife have three kids; Anna, Isaac and Jude.  


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Yanelis Lopez, Director of Latino Ministries

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 Manager

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.


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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.


Operations Staff

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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.


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Rachel Pierce, Administrative Assistant

Rachel has an Associate's degree in Early Childhood Education from Kansas City Kansas Community College and a certificate in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College. She fell in love with refugees while on a missions trip in Thailand. After that trip, she and her family moved to Kansas City, Kansas to minister to refugees. Her family began volunteering in the Bhutanese ministry at Mission Adelante in 2013, and Rachel came on staff in 2016. Rachel and her husband Jeremiah have two children, Emeline and Ean.


Youth and Childrens Ministry Staff

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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.


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Kristen Maxwell, Director of Bhutanese Kids Ministries

A Kansas City native, Kristen spent 7 years in Nashville, Tennessee studying at Lipscomb University earning a bachelors in Family Studies and a Masters in Education and teaching at Nashville Christian School. While serving at the Northlake Church in Tucker, Georgia during the summers of those same years she discovered a love for refugees and children's ministry. After returning to Kansas City, Kristen taught in the KCK school district for a year before joining the staff at Mission Adelante.


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Drew Hammond, Ministry Apprentice

Drew has a passion for youth ministry and a heart for people from other places. He received church planting, youth ministry, and community development training from local ministries in Kansas City. He began volunteering at Mission Adelante in January of 2011. Drew now uses his training to fulfill his passion for developing communities of people devoted to Jesus among the Bhutanese refugees in Kansas City, KS.