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Real Partnership For Real Change

Real Partnership for Real Change

In December of 2016, one Christ Community member took a bold step. She was convicted. And this conviction found its deepest pang not in how broken she saw the world but rather in how clearly she understood her calling.

She believed:

  1. Urban and underprivileged children should have opportunities to explore and experience music and the arts.
  2. God is the ultimate Creator, who originally created a good and beautiful world for us to live in. As His image-bearers, we are also called to create beauty in our world.
  3. Christians are called to seek the common good of our city.

And so Sara Forsythe gathered a team of Christ Community folks in collaboration with Mission Adelante staff to birth a weeklong Arts Camp.

For the past two years, this week-long camp has been a catalyst for discipling children in knowing our creative God and honing their creative gifts as image-bearers. Check out her recap of this last year’s camp here. It’s beautiful to see Christ Community volunteers and financial support leveraged in this common-good initiative.

Not only is the Arts Camp a beautiful picture of our robust partnership with Mission Adelante, but it keeps growing in impact. Now, throughout the year, children are growing in the arts, developing leadership skills, and finding their place to serve others in their community.

Gissell Vasquez is an associate ministry director at Mission Adelante. She leads the Adelante Arts Community year round, and one child who has been impacted through Adelante Arts is Prishmila. Gissell writes:

“When she began attending Arts Community, you could tell that she was one of those charming and shy girls that would not answer a question if not asked directly. Not only did she never miss a class, she was the first to arrive.” 

But over time, something happened:

“…As I was helping the students one by one to remember the names of the guitar strings and naming the new chords we were practicing, this girl stepped in and said to me, ‘Do you want me to help you? I can work with my partner while you are doing it with the rest.’ It was a surprise and a joy for me having her offer to help. Immediately I said, ‘Yes, of course, go for it!’ That night and for the rest of the trimester she became not only a student but a helper. She is becoming an artist with a potential to be developed beyond our program and she is turning into a young leader with the most important leadership skill: a servant heart.

I’m blessed to have such an amazing group of students that come every Monday night to enjoy the arts, to share life together, and to learn about Jesus.”

It’s one of our great joys as a church to partner with such excellent organizations like Mission Adelante, influencing our community and world for Jesus Christ. If you aren’t familiar with their work, Mission Adelante longs to see “a growing multicultural community of disciples making disciples, where immigrants and others are thriving and using our gifts together to transform our neighborhood and the world for the glory of Jesus Christ.”

Whether helping immigrants and refugees sharpen their English speaking skills, cultivating the arts with emerging artists, cultivating a space for community support, sharing the gospel, or providing jobs through Adelante Thrift, Kansas City is better for it and Jesus is glorified in it.

Partnership is always more than just a relationship, but never less. And every relationship has to start somewhere. If you are curious about how you too can get engaged with the amazing work at Mission Adelante but you don’t have a ton of time, try this. One good first step would be to coordinate a time for you or a group to serve at Adelante Thrift. If you would like to schedule an opportunity to serve, you can go here.

If you’re looking for more robust engagement, whether in mentoring or teaching in ESL, check out those opportunities here. And if you have artistic gifts and hearing the story of Prishmila inspired you, Gissell is always looking for teachers and mentors in the arts. Reach out for information here.

Think about it. Can you imagine if a whole generation of immigrants and refugees were affirmed in their dignity as image-bearers? Imagine if the most vulnerable in KC were empowered to cultivate their God-given capacity to create where God has them today? It would make for a better city. A better tomorrow for us all.

May we not just be broken by what we see but convicted by who we’re called to be.

All it takes is one big step.

Take it today.

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