Lives are impacted at all hours of the day at the Joy Center, and even into the night when Missionary Noe Ortiz (in photo) gets to spend quality time with other basketball aficianados. “This is an evening where everyone can spend active time together, and leave feeling refreshed physically and spiritually,” Noe shares.

In recent years, Joy’s Open Gym basketball ministry has involved over 250 hoopers who are artists, engineers or students by day and young basketball junkies on Thursday nights. This group has brought strangers together from as far as Missouri City to Atascocita,made them a basketball family. Many of the guys are from the immediate area and some even attended Joy’s mission activities as kids. Noe says, “Thursday night has become ‘church’ to some participants, since the evening often includes prayer time and a devotion from the Gospel of John. The group of guys that enjoy playing ball in an uplifting atmosphere of competitive, yet brotherly love seems to grow by the week.”

Adds Noe, “Thursdays have become a night of family fellowship as we play the sport we love, watch the sport on Tv in the gym, and sharpen one another’s skills on and off the court. All we need now is someone to grill every week and our guys will never leave! It’s become a hidden gym (gem) in Magnolia Park and a hoopers paradise!”

January 24, 2023

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