Mar 122014
 

 

by Laura Grace King

 

What if Jesus had only asked the woman at the well for water then walked away?

What if Jesus had passed by Zacchaeus when he was sitting in the tree?

What if Jesus had thrown the first stone at the woman?

What if Jesus had not noticed the blind, deaf, and sick?

What if Jesus had not raised Lazarus from the dead?

What if Jesus had refused to die for you and me?

What if Jesus had not said “follow Me?”

What if followers of Christ quit obeying God when the going gets tough?

What if followers of Christ refused to live the Gospel and obey the Great Commission?

What if followers of Christ refused to go to the nations or different communities and live with the people?

What if followers of Christ stayed in their comfort zone instead of jumping out of the boat?

What if followers of Christ refused to live as Christ lived?

What if I refused to live as Christ lived?

 

What if.

John the Baptist said it all in just one simple sentence: “He must increase, but I must decrease (John 3:30, ESV).” Basically, John the Baptist was saying that he had to become less and less so Christ would become more and more in his life. That is the same thing with my life. I am having to constantly remind myself that I am not my own. I jumped out of the boat of my comfort zone because God was calling me to. When God is calling a person to do something, the only thing that they can do is trust and obey.

I am originally from El Paso, Arkansas. It is a small country town that is mainly dirt roads and hunting woods. I went to the same church and hung out with the same people all of my life. When God put moving to Houston, Texas in my heart, I thought God was pulling a prank on me. Moving to Houston, Texas for a few months was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever made. One thing I learned when I was preparing to move was that I had to die to self and trust God. I had many “what ifs” running through my head because my mom is in bad health. I had to learn that God has everything under control no matter where I am.

Now I see why God has placed me in Houston, Texas. Here at Mission Centers of Houston, I am the intern at Gano. I work in the food pantry, and help out with kids, preteens, and senior adult ministries. I have been put out of my comfort zone a lot and I am learning what ministry really is about. Ministry is serving God by serving others. I am learning that I am second. Jesus comes first in my life, and I must live like Him by serving others.

Laura Grace leads worship with senior adults at Gano Center.

Laura Grace leads worship with senior adults at Gano Center.

Laura Grace King is a Global Footprint Intern serving at Mission Centers of Houston from January – May 2014.

Nov 112013
 

During this time of year we often get phone calls and emails from people wanting to know what kinds of needs we have in hopes that they can provide some Christmas cheer to our ministry.  This year, we decided to post a “wish list” of things that we would like to have but do not have resources to provide ourselves.  This is truly a “wish list” of items that would make our lives easier, more efficient and help us serve our neighbors better.  If you’re interested in helping with any of the items, please email us (info@missioncenters.org) or call 713-227-0304.  Thanks!

 

  • Copy paper for our Mildred McWhorter Missionary Building.
  • Gift cards to Staples, Office Depot, Costco and Sam’s Club to purchase office supplies.
  • New twin bed comforters (lightweight) or quilts for our women’s and men’s dormitory (for student missionaries).  We need 20 twin comforters for women’s beds and 10 twin comforters for men’s beds.
  • New mattress pads (twin size) for our missionary dormitory (30 total).
  • Gift cards of any amount to Target, Wal-mart, Kroger and/or  HEB for our student missionaries (4 students).
  • A new or used sound system (board and speakers) for use at Joy Fellowship Center.
  • A desktop computer with Windows 7 or 8 for our Family Ministries Coordinator at Gano Mission Center.
  • FIFA 2013 or FIFA 2014 for Wii for the youth room at Gano Mission Center.
  • 2 new upright vacuum cleaners (industrial preferred) for Fletcher Mission Center.
  • 4 new lawnmowers (2 for Fletcher Mission Center and 2 for Joy Fellowship Center).
  • A new metal roof for our gymnasium at Joy Fellowship Center.
  • Floor wax stripped and re-installed in our Mildred McWhorter Missionary Building.
  • Donors to provide funds for party supplies and food for our various after-school Christmas parties (numbers of kids and needs vary by Center -contact us for more information).

 

Volunteer Wish List:

  • Volunteers to work with our children and youth at Gano Mission Center (opportunities vary but volunteers are needed Monday through Thursday from 3:30 pm – 5:15 pm).
  • A group to mow the  yard and pull weeds at our Morris Women’s Empowerment Center (1522 Fulton Street).
  • Nursery volunteers at our Fletcher Mission Center (Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 am – 12 pm).
  • Maintenance or  handyman/woman type person to check air filters, replace light bulbs, make simple repairs to facilities (toilets, ice machines, etc.).
Aug 192013
 
Week 2 (31)

Maria, one of our summer interns, plays with Ernesto.

Meet Ernesto.  Ernesto came to the Joy Center with his mother at the beginning of the summer.  She was hoping he could be a part of Kids Club even though he cannot walk or talk.  She understood he probably could not because he requires constant attention.  Thankfully she came in the summer when our Centers are staffed with Summer Missionaries from all over the country.  We had plenty of help to allow Ernesto to come each week and still give all the other children the attention they need.  We saw Ernesto become more and more animated each week.  He truly was a part of the group before the summer was over.  Our missionaries made a real connection with him and both he and his mother were greatly blessed.

So now what happens to Ernesto?

Our missionaries are gone.  We don’t have the volunteer force to accommodate that kind of special attention without them.  This isn’t intended to be a sad commercial with mournful music playing in the background: this is just the kind of reality we face every week at Mission Centers.  We are limited in the ministry we can provide because we are limited in the number of volunteers we have to provide ministry.  We know that most of our needs fall during working hours.  We know that makes it much more difficult for many to serve.  But we also have to do ministry at the time when it best serves our communities and those times are typically mornings and after school.

Below you will see some of our volunteer needs for this fall.  Would you please pray with us as we seek to fill those needs?  Would you be willing to share these needs with your church family or Sunday School class?  And would you be willing to consider if maybe God might be asking you to spend a little time each week serving the under-served of Houston?

We don’t want to turn away Ernesto or anyone in our communities.  Please contact craig@missioncenter.org if you are interested in being a part of the ministry team at Mission Centers, or call us at 713-227-0304 ext. 107.

 

 

Current Volunteer Needs:

Joy

  • 2 people to interview adults for Food and Clothing Ministry; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-11am; must be bilingual
  • 1 person to help organize and run the Food Pantry; Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-11:30am; needs to be bilingual
  • 2 people to interview Senior Adults for Senior Adult worship and food pantry; Thursdays, 9-11:30am; must be bilingual
  • 1 person to preach Senior Adult Service; Thursdays at 10am; must be bilingual
  • 2 people to work with Kids Club (ages 4-6) to help with games, songs, crafts, etc; Mondays, 3:30-5pm
  • 4 people to work with Kids Club (ages 7-10), to help with games, songs, crafts, etc; Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 2 people to work with Teen Club to help with games and build relationships; Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm; males especially needed
  • 2 people to work with Preteen Club to help with games and build relationships; Thursdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 1 woman to help with a monthly sewing class for girls and to build relationships with the mothers of the girls who attend; needs to be bilingual

Gano

  • 2 nursery workers; Mondays 9-11:30am
  • 3-5 people to work with Teen Club to help with games, teach, and build relationships; Mondays, 4-6pm; males especially needed
  • 3-5 people to work with Preteen Club to help with games, teach, and build relationships; Tuesday and Thursdays, 3:30-5pm; males especially needed
  • 2-3 people to work in the Food Pantry; Wednesday mornings, 9-11:30am
  • 2 people to work with Kids Club (ages 4-9); Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 1-2 people to do work in the garden and yard bi-monthly

Fletcher

  • 4 people to work in the nursery for ESL classes; Monday and Wednesdays, 9-11:30am
  • 2 people to help with Preteen and Teen Club, Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays, 3:30-5pm

Food Pantry

  • 2 people at Joy Center to interview Senior Adults for Food and Clothing Ministry; Tuesdays – Wednesdays, 9-11am; must be bilingual
  • 1 person at Joy Center to help organize and run the Food Pantry, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-11:30am; needs to be bilingual
  • 2-3 people at Gano Center to work in the Food Pantry; Wednesday mornings, 9-11:30am

Children

  • 4 people at Fletcher Center to work in the nursery for ESL classes; Monday and Wednesdays, 9-11:30am
  • 2 nursery workers at Gano Center; Mondays 9-11:30am
  • 2 people to work at Joy Center with Kids Club (ages 4-6) to help with games, songs, crafts, etc; Mondays, 3:30-5pm
  • 4 people to work at Joy Center with Kids Club (ages 7-10) to help with games, songs, crafts, etc; Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 2 people to work at Gano Center with Kids Club (ages 4-9); Wednesdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 1 woman at Joy Center to help with a monthly sewing class for girls and to build relationships with the mothers of the girls who attend; needs to be bilingual

Preteens and Teens

  • 3-5 people at Gano Center to work with Preteen Club to help with games, teach, and build relationships; Tuesday and Thursdays, 3:30-5pm; males especially needed
  • 2 people at Joy Center to work with Preteen Club to help with games and build relationships; Thursdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 2 people at Fletcher Center to help with Preteen and Teen Club, Monday, Tuesday and Thursdays, 3:30-5pm
  • 3-5 people at Gano Center to work with Teen Club to help with games, teach, and build relationships; Mondays, 4-6pm; males especially needed
  • 2 people at Joy Center to work with Teen Club to help with games and build relationships; Tuesdays, 3:30-5pm; males especially needed

Senior Adults

  • 2 people at Joy Center to interview Senior Adults for Senior Adult worship and food pantry; Thursdays, 9-11:30am; must be bilingual
  • 1 person at Joy Center to preach Senior Adult Service; Thursdays at 10am; must be bilingual

Yard/Garden

  • 1-2 people at Gano Center to do work in the garden and yard bi-monthly
Jul 102013
 

COPPERFIELD CHURCH HOSTS NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR

 

ATTENDEES WILL SEE LIFE’S TROUBLES IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT

 

Copperfield Church and Mission Centers of Houston is pleased to announce best selling author and speaker, Don Piper, as its special guest on Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 7:30 pm.   Admission to the event is FREE!

On his way home from a church conference in 1989, Don Piper’s Ford Escort was struck head-on by an 18-wheeler. He was killed instantly — pronounced dead by four sets of paramedics. But God worked a miracle and sent Don back to a broken body. To date, 34 surgical procedures have taken place. He walks only as a result of miraculous and in some cases medically unexplainable circumstances. During the time he was dead, Piper was granted the extreme privilege of glimpsing Heaven itself.

Ninety minutes after dying, Don Piper came back to life where he faced a long and grueling recovery. Don travels across the country and around the world sharing his amazing story of hope and healing. His message is simple … We can have a better life now and an eternal life someday through faith in Jesus Christ! Don has appeared and shared his miraculous story in numerous national media outlets, including Fox News, CBN, “The Today Show” on NBC and Newsweek.

 

Copperfield Church

8350 Hwy. 6 North

Houston, TX 77095

281.856.2273

 

At the event, representatives from Mission Centers of Houston will also share a report on the life-changing ministry being conducted in the underserved communities in inner-city Houston. Attendees will be given an opportunity to partner with this ministry.

 

books

Jun 132013
 

photoOriginally a Tennessee native, 21-year old Hannah Forsythe is embarking upon her third summer of service as a summer missionary intern with Mission Centers Houston’s Global Footprints program. “I keep coming back, I guess, because it’s different from every other program I’ve seen,” Forsythe explained at the end of a noisy lunch break this week. “The work that’s being done here is intentional. It’s about sharing Christ and it’s not just a hand out. The neighborhood is open to what we’re doing and — it’s just exciting.”  Continue reading »

May 292013
 

64076_10150736096612176_539710431_nMission Centers of Houston is honored to host a retirement party for Tommie and Roy Mendez, long-time director and assistant director at Joy Fellowship Center, in light of their 29 years of faithful service. “Tommie and Roy’s lives are a wonderful picture of what it looks like to be dedicated to something bigger than oneself,” current executive director, Ginger Smith, noted. The fact that they’ve been serving with Mission Centers of Houston for 29 years, she added, shows their deep commitment to God as well as to this ministry, reflecting the great love they have for this community.

Taking place on Saturday, June 15th, Tommie and Roy’s retirement celebration will be a come & go function from 10:30 am until noon at Joy Fellowship (7629 Avenue F, Houston, TX 77012). If other commitments make attendance impossible, cards, gifts and other expressions of well wishing can be sent to the attention of Tommie & Roy Mendez at 1815 Gano St, Houston, TX 77009. Continue reading »

Apr 252013
 

IMG_8096“What drew me in initially is a love of the English language,” shared long-time Fletcher volunteer and English as a Second Language (ESL) facilitator, Sharon Mattox, earlier this week. Her heartfelt commitment to the field began in 1976. “I really enjoy sharing that passion with others, and given the fact that I can combine my love of English with my love of Christ — well, it’s a perfect fit,” she explained. Sharon has been helping to facilitate the ESL ministry at Fletcher Center since 2002 when she first visited the Mission Centers of Houston during a missions experience hosted by River Oaks Baptist Church.

Although Sharon was a Delta flight attendant by profession, her greatest passion has always been for English. She has participated in multiple ESL workshops, conferences and training sessions for over 30 years, frequently hosted at the Baylor campus as well as by different churches and locations across the entire state of Texas. In addition to benefiting from years of experience and training, Sharon also noted that one of the key resources she utilizes during her classes is that of teaching through songs and chants. “I just love music!” she declared enthusiastically. “Really, I think it’s a bit more painless to learn language when you’re learning through song, and the ladies like to sing, so that’s become a great resource.”

Sharon currently teaches the most advanced ESL class hosted twice a week at Fletcher. There are over 30 students, mostly women, who regularly participate in this thriving, ever-expanding program with about 8 who are enrolled in Sharon’s advanced class. In addition to being able to incorporate music into both her teaching and ministry with the ESL students, Sharon is grateful for the greater appreciation and understanding of different cultures she’s received from interacting with women from all over the world for many years. “No matter where they are from, we all share similarities and we can share together, share our stories together, and encourage each other,” Sharon concluded, “and that’s a real blessing.”

During our volunteer appreciation week, we are so grateful to recognize the countless hours of faithful service, instruction, mentoring and discipleship that volunteers like Sharon have so generously shared throughout the years. Thank you for enriching the lives of our women, and therefore their families and friends’ lives as well, on such a consistent basis!

Do you have a unique set of skills or experiences you would like to share with the community we serve at Mission Centers of Houston? Learn more about how to get connected with our ESL ministry or another similarly beneficial volunteer opportunity by contacting associate director Craig Taylor at craig@missioncenters.org.

Apr 182013
 

photo(2)Our newest staff member, associate director Craig Taylor, recently took time to pen a few heartfelt words of appreciation to each of our highly valued volunteers. As we get ready to head into volunteer appreciation week on Monday, it seems only appropriate to share his thoughts here:

What a joy it is to send this note to the people who are touching so many lives in Houston’s inner-city!  My name is Craig Taylor and I am the new Associate Director of the Mission Centers.  Part of my responsibilities is coordinating and ministering to our wonderful volunteers.  I can’t wait to get to know you all in the weeks ahead! 

I come to MCH out of 30 years in vocational ministry: 10 in youth and college ministry and 20 as a pastor.  Over these years God has grown in me a heart to encourage and equip followers of Jesus and a passion for hands-on ministry in the community.  When the opportunity came to come to MCH it felt like this is what God had been preparing me to do my whole life!  And these first few weeks of service have done nothing but confirm those feelings.  It is a privilege to be a part of what God is doing through MCH and I am honored to serve you as a part of my ministry here.

I hope to meet you in person soon but please know I am here to meet any need you might have, whether it is something related to your work at MCH or a personal matter I could be praying about.  Call (713-227-0304, ext.107) or email (craig@missioncenters.org) and let me know anything I can do for you.  And remember that you are the very heart of our ministry.  You are the love of Christ each time you are here: playing with kids, helping with ESL, making a meal for seniors or sweeping up the gym – everything you do demonstrates the heart of God and the worth of each person we serve.  Thank you for investing your life in the Kingdom!  Blessings!

Apr 162013
 

 Immediate need for volunteers to help with a major construction project at Joy Fellowship Center

front elevationProject Details: 

I.         Purpose:  Mission Centers of Houston has been working for years to raise money and support to build a residential house across the street from Joy Fellowship Center (7629 Ave. F., Houston, TX 77012).  The purpose of the house is to provide living space for leadership staff of Joy Center.  Staff must live on-site to provide security and develop community relationships.

II.         Plan:  A contractor has volunteered his time to create blueprints, obtain City permits and oversee construction.  On April 4, 2013, the City of Houston granted permits to build.  Construction is expected to start within the next 10 days.  The goal is to have the house completed by June 1, 2013.

III.         Need:  To keep expenses within budget, we need teams of volunteers to assist with all phases of this project (foundation, framing, interior finishing, siding, roofing, etc.).

  1. Our contractor will provide all tools and supervision.
  2. Required skill levels vary during each phase.  However, ALL skill levels are needed.  On-the-job-training will be provided for most jobs.
  3. Time commitments vary during each phase of construction.  Some jobs require one day; others may require multiple days.

IV.         Volunteer Opportunities:

Date TBD:

  1. 6-8 strong volunteers to dig beams and tie rebar (Estimated time commitment:  10 days)
  2. 12 volunteers to frame the deck (nail guns will be provided)
  3. 12 volunteers to lay plywood and frame the entire house (Estimated time commitment:  1-2 weeks)
  4. 8 men to roof the house (Estimated time commitment:  1 day)
  5. 8-10 volunteers to hang vinyl siding and windows (Estimated time commitment:  2 days)
  6. Groups to finish the house (hang sheetrock, lay flooring, paint, install cabinets, hardware, etc.)  Date to be determined.

V.         In-Kind donations needed (household items need to be NEW):

  1. Ceiling fans (6 total; surface mount)
  2. Gas ranges (2 total; white)
  3. Microwaves (2 total; countertop)
  4. Refrigerators (2 total; white)
  5. Cabinets for kitchens (2 kitchens)
  6. Cabinet hardware
  7. Bathroom hardware (3 faucets, 3 shower/tub)
  8. Fluorescent lights for kitchens (2 total, flush mount)
  9. Contractor who currently holds a bond to cut the driveway apron (that we can use their bond and not have to pay a new fee)
  10. Concrete driveway (approximately 25’ x 35’).  We need concrete and delivery
  11. 1 double garage door opener  (with remote)
  12. 1 single garage door opener (with remote)
  13. Flooring (carpet and ceramic)
  14. Paint (Ask about colors)
  15. Roll-off dumpster for construction debris
  16. Metal cages for 2 a/c units
  17. Door hardware (interior and exterior)
  18. Window blinds

For more information about the project contact:

Ginger Smith, ginger@missioncenters.org, 713-227-0304 ext. 104.

For information about volunteering contact:

Craig Taylor, craig@missioncenters.org, 713-227-0304 ext. 107.