Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Sin on the Cross

My Sin was on the Cross

"Rage", "lack of patience with my kids", "envy", "the way I act in my home", "not obeying you", "pride", "selfishness"; These were some of the anonymous sins that were nailed to the cross on Sunday night as we each acted out with real hammers and nails the reality that “He was pierced for our transgressions”. After sharing an Easter feast, a celebration of praise songs, scriptures, communion, and prayer mixed for a sweet evening of worship in two languages by believers from various countries.

We praised God both for what he did and for what He continues to do as we saw Hispanic members of Mission Adelante bring friends, as one new believer shared about her new life in Christ for the first time, as volunteers arrived to accompany the ESL students they work with, and most of all, as people directed their attention toward the glorious God who loved us so much to secure our eternal joy with His own life. With a mixture of struggle and joy we are watching God change lives and build a community out of broken and vulnerable people.

In other news:
  • Seven first-time attenders came to the Easter Worship Celebration.
  • Three full-time and one part-time staff along with 42 ongoing volunteers serve an average of 102 regular participants on a weekly basis through our ESL, Kids Adelante, and Bible study programs.

Prayer requests:

  • Praise God for providing through donation the replacement of most of the items that were stolen.
  • Pray for the plans for the facility remodel to come together and be executed quickly.
  • Pray for the progession of the teams that were formed to involve the Hispanic community in service.
  • Pray for more Hispanics to follow through with sharing their faith and leading others through the discipleship material.

Current needs:

  • Portable soccer goals
  • Tutors for an after-school program to begin this fall (If you're interested, contact Jarrett!)

Important upcoming dates:

  • Monday, April 7 @ 6:30: Volunteer Team Meeting at the facility
  • Saturday afternoon, April 19: Trimester-end Party at The Bethany Center

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Thieves Break in and Steal...from Mission Adelante

Thieves Break in and Steal...from Mission Adelante
Cigarette smoking thieves broke into the Mission Adelante building on Saturday night and left their dead cigarette butt and a crow bar where our sound system used to be. They pried their way in through the back door, took a few things that were easy pickings, and left the back doors wide open. Besides the sound system they also made off with a guitar and some tools.

This violation has been discouraging and has prompted us to take further security measures. Nonetheless, Morgan reminded us today as we prayed in our staff meeting that our "enemies" merely stole things, but we are being used by God in this neighborhood to steal lives from grasp of the real enemy. The faces of eleven new believers who are now brothers and sisters in Christ came to mind as I had a sense that we have taken more from the enemy than he has taken from us.

In other news:
  • Another Hispanic woman crossed the finish line with the 13-study discipleship course this week! The discipleship course covers topics that are foundational to the Christian faith.
  • A group from the local company Laminate Works made good progress working on the building on Saturday.
  • Alberto & Graciela and Rosi have repeatedly attended Worship Celebrations and in-home Bible studies.
  • A total of nine students and leaders from the Baptist Student Union at Central Missouri University in Warrensburg, three of whom were here for the whole week, spent their spring break volunteering at Mission Adelante. They worked on various projects including a large sign for the front of the facility. We're grateful for their work!

Prayer needs:

  • God's protection of the facility and those who work and worship inside.
  • Full attendance at the Easter Worship Celebration this Sunday evening, and an atmosphere of praise for Jesus' provision of salvation for us.
  • Praise for the provision of twin-size beds that we requested last week.

Donation needs:

  • As a result of the burglary, a guitar
  • A sheet-music stand
  • A capo (guitar accessory)

Important upcoming dates:

  • Volunteer Team Meeting: Monday, April 7, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the facility
  • Trimester-end party: Saturday afternoon, April 19

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Compassion in the Context of Community

God has continued to work in the lives of Alberto and Graciela, a married couple, who are students in our English classes. When Alberto was without a job, both of the classes prayed for him to find a job. Last week we reported that a Mission Adelante volunteer had suggested a possible job for Alberto, and that Jason helped him prepare for the interview and accompanied him to it. Alberto interviewed for the job in his limited English and was hired. The following week, both English classes rejoiced in the answered prayer. Finally, the strategy of "serving immigrant to Christ" was fulfilled when Alberto and Graciela attended our Worship Celebration for the first time on Sunday evening. We rejoice that God facilitates relationships with people when believers show compassion in the context of community!

In other news:
  • When volunteer English teacher Andrea suggested a Bible reading exercise as homework for her class, student Juliana said she didn't have a Bible at home. Andrea took the opportunity to give her a bilingual English/Spanish Bible.
  • Volunteer Beth's persistent pursuit of student Olga paid off with Olga's return to English class this morning.
  • Jarrett was explaining our discipleship process to Rosi, another first-time attender to our Worship Celebration on Sunday, when Rosi's sister-in-law, Elaine, volunteered to walk her through the 13-study discipleship course as soon as she finishes it herself. This is the perfect progression of the discipleship model, as a young believer begins to teach the things he or she has learned to those younger in the faith.

Prayer needs:

  • God's solution to crisis in Sara and Pedro's marriage.
  • Praise for the avoidance of unjust prosecution and alleviation of Maria and Mishael's crisis.
  • Praise for the provision of three Foosball tables!

Donation needs:

  • Twin-size mattresses and box springs

Important upcoming dates:

  • Volunteer team meeting: April 7
  • Trimester-end party: April 19

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Turn That Car Around!

Turn That Car Around!

A Hispanic woman in a Spanish Bible study last Sunday considered how to answer the question, “When did God respond to a prayer for you?” Presently in her fourth level of our ESL classes, she came to faith in Christ last year through her involvement in Mission Adelante, and has participated in the Bible study since that time.

She thoughtfully answered, “The answer to my prayer is my life,” and went on to explain that about a year ago she was encountering many of the problems that immigrants face and some people told her that smoking and drinking would help her relax. She decided that she would try those things, but also prayed, “God, if you’re real, help me.”

About the same time, someone invited her to a Mission Adelante worship service. As she was on her way to the first party, she drove directly past the Meek’s house at just the time the worship service was beginning! She remembered the invitation, turned around and returned to the house. However, being a shy woman, she became nervous and drove away again. But she turned around and returned to the house for the second time and parked her car.

As she entered the house, her nervousness deepened when she saw Americans as well as Hispanics inside, but several people engaged her in conversation. She reflected on what she observed that first night, “You all spoke like you were brothers in spite of the cultural duality. I was aware of a small light, like a spark, and I could find peace in that moment! I thought, ‘I’m coming back next time!”

“That’s why I’m a miracle; I’m still alive! Now when I see people who are tense, I tell them, ‘I was where you are and I was about to do what you’re doing. But God showed me the path to life.’”

In other news:

  • Leticia is the first Hispanic person to have completed the 13-study discipleship series and to begin discipling two other Hispanic women.
  • After receiving prayer at the end of her English as a Second Language class on Thursday, Ruth asked where our church meets. She attended one of the in-home Bible studies on Sunday evening despite getting lost on her way there. She seemed to feel at home.
  • The leaders of ESL class 3 realized that Alberto, about whose new job we reported in The Adelante Express last week, is married to Graciela, one of their students. They rejoiced about the answered prayer and “jumped for joy,” as that was a phrase they had just learned in class.

Prayer needs:

  • Crisis in Maria and Mishael’s lives.
  • Megan McDermott’s fundraising efforts for her Kids Adelante summer internship.
  • Complete attendance and an opportunity for our community to re-connect at the worship service this Sunday evening.

Donation needs:

  • A foosball table
  • A folding ping-pong table, both for Kids Adelante.

Important upcoming dates:

  • Volunteer Team Meeting: Monday, April 7, 6:30 p.m.
  • Trimester-end Party: Saturday, April 19

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