AdventHealth Shawnee Mission, in partnership with New Change 4 Youth, recently hosted the second annual “Love Works” event.
This year, “Love Works” was held in the Mercy and Truth Community Room located in the heart of a refugee community in Kansas City, Kansas. Over 80 participants attended, including mothers, teen daughters and children representing five African and Asian countries.
New Change 4 Youth (NC4Y) is a mission focused on ministering to young people of refugee families in Kansas City, Kansas. Many have come from war-torn countries, suffered persecution and survived harsh living conditions in the refugee camps.
For these refugees, their new life in the United States continues to be challenging as they struggle to provide for the basic needs of their children, and to prepare them for a life in a new community and culture. NC4Y has chosen to minister through building friendships, sharing the gospel and seeking to support and care for the whole person.
Participants of “Love Works” came together for an evening of pampering, self-care, health education and fun. They entered the event location to find spa stations for foot baths, hand paraffin dips and facials all surrounding a beautiful fountain in the room. The health education portion of the evening was translated in four different languages with an emphasis on health screenings, prevention and self-care. Several women signed up for free women’s health cancer screenings provided at the health clinic.
“We really wanted to help these women make sure they get their annual women’s health exam, including their cancer screenings,” said Jeanette Metzler, community benefit manager at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. “It was an opportunity to help them get those appointments scheduled and help them understand the importance of these screenings.”
Metzler also shared that the event provided a space for participants to connect with one another. Many of them did not know of the other refugee families in the community, and during the event they formed friendships, creating a larger sense of community within the group.
“It was such a pleasure to have a special time with just our daughters, and I am thankful that childcare was provided for my younger children,” said Anna,* an event attendee.
At the close of the event, every participant was gifted a tote bag full of bath, body and feminine hygiene products.
Elisabeth Cowan, a registered nurse at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission NICU and the co-founder and youth leader of the NC4Y leaders, shared what a blessing it was to witness the connections formed at the event. “It was amazing to see our teen NC4Y girls welcome and quickly become friends with a refugee teen from Afghanistan. The smiles and giggles throughout the evening reminded us of how God’s love isn’t limited by language.”
Both Metzler and Cowan look forward to continuing to provide the “Love Works” event annually to bring resources, education and support for the community.
“The story of NC4Y is a miracle story,” said Cowan. “It’s a story of what God does when hearts, moved and motivated by His love, live out His call. It’s a story of how at just the right time, when needed most, when there seems to be no way forward, God provides! And we stand in awe!”
*Name has been changed for privacy