Mission Centers of Houston had a busy but rewarding summer. For the past 9 weeks, we had 12 summer missionary interns (who Ms. Mac affectionately called her “critters”) that spent their summer serving and leading the MCH programs. On Friday July 27th, we said goodbye to our 2018 summer missionaries. During their time with us, each missionary oversaw a different program at their assigned center. They allowed God to work through them to bless the community as He taught them more about who He is.
Sarah Dempsey, a summer missionary at the Gano Center said, “My experience at MCH is best summarized as “transformative.” I learned and grew in ways that I never anticipated. But most importantly, God’s glory was magnified, and His people were loved. My heart is forever changed, and I know that the Lord will continue to transform Houston just like He will continue to transform me.”
Both children and adults decided to give their lives to Jesus this summer. Tyrae, a summer missionary who led the summer Gano food pantry shared a testimony about a man who visited us. He was overwhelmed by the love and acceptance he received upon his arrival. Tyrae said, “I work in a food pantry, providing food to 50-100 people per week. Today, a homeless man walked in. While he was past the deadline for us to serve our homeless community, we agreed to serve him anyway. He was dark, covered in tattoos, and his face was weary with wrinkles and his eyes red with tears. After serving him his food, my sidekick, Jessica, (another summer missionary) went and fetched him a backpack, to put his food in to make it easier to carry his things. At our team debrief, we realized that we’d worked collectively to meet not only his physical needs, but also his spiritual needs. Before he walked into the food pantry, my teammates had led him in giving his life to the Lord.”
Seeing God work in and through the missionaries is something that we will always be thankful that God allows us to be a part of each year.
Throughout the summer Mission Centers of Houston also hosted groups of students and families of various ages come from Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania to serve at our centers. Led by our missionaries, the groups helped in our food pantries, kids and youth clubs, provided childcare for the Mom’s Bible study, served in the homebound and senior ministries, prayer walked, participated in evangelistic outreaches in the community, mowed yards and provided lawncare for the needy, and participated in the homeless ministry while learning about the community and history of MCH. With the help of these groups, the missionaries sorted through piles of clothes to organize the clothing closet at the Joy Center and to start a new clothing closet at the Fletcher Center.
On Thursday evenings, a weekly service was held featuring the preaching and praise and worship teams from a variety of local Houston churches. All the staff, summer missionary interns, and our visiting groups from both Joy and Gano Centers enjoyed a meal together prior to the service, which also included testimonies of how God was at work during their week of missions at MCH.
At the end of June, with the help of 180 youth from a national youth conference, the missionaries and MCH held community prayer walks followed by a block party at each center. Everyone in the community was invited to come out and have fun. There was a bounce house for the kids, food for everyone, family games, music, and each child left with new books that were donated for the event.
Although it was a packed summer of serving here at MCH for the missionaries, they still found time to explore Houston. From getting to watch the Astros, to driving down and relaxing at the beach in Galveston, to visiting different churches to worship and seeing the diversity of the city, and participating in a scavenger hunt around town, the missionaries had a chance to partake in some of the best Houstonian experiences.
We are thankful for all the hard work that the missionaries put in this summer. Please pray with us for the missionaries as they return to their everyday lives, that they would take back everything God has taught them in continuing to serve The Lord. They have left an eternal imprint on Houston and in our hearts!