May 6 marked a special day in the life of the Mission Centers of Houston. On this day, MCH dedicated the Joy Center Mission House to the Lord to be used in His service.
The Lord gave Executive Director Jeff Chadwick a vision to have a full-time missionary family live and work at the Joy Mission Center in the Magnolia Park area of Houston. This family would set an example of a loving, Christian marriage, children that respected their parents, and a family that served the Lord. God provided this family through Noe and Vanessa Ortiz and their six children.
Noe—who had visited the Gano Mission Center once as a boy—and Vanessa met when they both served as summer missionaries to the Mission Centers in 2003. They married two years later. They served the Fletcher Mission Center from 2009-2014, and were called back to serve full-time at the Joy Center last year. Noe and Vanessa took their positions with MCH and intended to move into the community with their five daughters and one son to invest their lives there.
This answer to prayer provided the impetus for MCH to build a house for the Ortiz’s to live in while they minister to the surrounding community. MCH actually acquired the vacant lot in 2004, but had trouble getting construction off the ground. But, thanks to the support of churches and individuals, construction on the new house began in the fall of 2017.
This house is special to Noe and Vanessa because they believe that their ministry will be most effective when they live in the neighborhood where they serve. While it is, of course, a wonderful blessing to be able to raise their children in such a beautiful home, they understand that this is not a blessing to keep to themselves. The Joy Mission House will provide opportunities to connect with people outside of the walls of the Mission Center, allowing them to deepen the relationships they’ve established and have even more opportunities to share the gospel.
They believe that the Lord is calling them to use this home as a tool in their ministry to the community. Hospitality—opening your home to others and making them feel welcomed and loved—is the heartbeat of God’s gospel of love as He welcomes us into His kingdom and family. Noe and Vanessa plan to hold Bible studies in the home, invite local families for meals, and start discipleship relationships…among other things. They desire to see God use the house to bless the community as a whole.
The house will also be used as one of the facilities to launch the women’s empowerment ministry that was envisioned by MCH several years ago. Originally this ministry was planned for the Near Northside but changing demographics caused MCH to relocate the ministry plan to the Magnolia Park area. The property that was to be used to become the Morris Empowerment Center was sold and a portion of the proceeds that were raised for renovations were used to finish the construction of the Joy Center Mission House. The house will provide a place for personalized and intimate mentoring relationships to take place, which in turn will empower women as they learn important life skills.
The Joy Mission House was dedicated to the Lord on May 6. The leadership and staff of MCH dedicated this house for three reasons: (1) to commemorate the years of prayer, giving and effort to turn this house into a reality, (2) to dedicate the Joy Mission House for the work of the Lord and to ask God to form a veil of protection around, above and beneath it, and (3) to have a service of thanksgiving to the Lord for the provision He made through so many people.
MCH appreciates your prayers as they’ve dedicate this home for service to the Lord Jesus Christ. As Noe and Vanessa continue their ministry to the people of Magnolia Park, they appreciate your prayers for their continued work. Pray for them as they balance ministry and family when the two are so intertwined. Pray for them as they face spiritual warfare in the midst of their bold witness. The community they serve faces darkness everyday: through drugs, gangs, human trafficking and physical illness. Pray that the light of the gospel will penetrate this community and that its residents will come to know Christ through the gospel ministry of the Ortiz’s and Mission Centers of Houston.