April 2016 E-Newsletter

We hope you’re staying dry and safe! Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to connect you with the resources and help you need during this time.

Last weekend, I (Marilyn) had the privilege of celebrating a life well-lived. After experiencing a rare vascular rupture on February 28, Yvonne experienced stroke-like symptoms, entered into a deep coma, and tragically never recovered. Her memorial service was heart-wrenching and emotional, and yet it was one of the most God-honoring memorial services I’ve ever attended. Yvonne truly was amazing. Hundreds came to the service – friends and family whose days had been brightened by her joy-filled smile and whose lives have been forever changed by her generosity. In her short 41 years, Yvonne touched so many lives!

During the memorial service, several of her close friends mentioned how committed she was to studying the Bible and spending one-on-one time with God in prayer. I honestly had no idea about that personal part of Yvonne’s life. What I did know was that she radiated joy and invested selflessly in the lives of those around her. She discipled high schoolers, led small groups, and opened up her heart and her home to family, friends, and co-workers. Yes, God was glorified through her personal prayer life. But His glory was made known to countless others because her rich relationship with Christ compelled her to action.

Friend, how will your faith compel you to action for the sake of God’s glory?

John 13:34-35 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Faith in Action

At our most recent Equipping Session , Fort Bend ISD Superintendent Charles Dupre stopped by to express his enthusiasm about how we’re equipping churches to serve local schools. He started his talk with a resounding “Amen, amen, amen!” about our work before imploring the church leaders in attendance to “love God, love others, love consistently, and love persistently.” To that, we say “Amen, amen, amen!”
Did you know that school districts across Greater Houston are ASKING churches to serve? Imagine how different our schools would be and how differently students, staff, and families would view God and the Church if churches said yes! Would you pray with us that more churches would indeed step up and say yes?
Fort Bend, Lamar Consolidated, Houston, Alief, Spring Branch, Humble, and Klein ISDs are eager to see more churches serving as community partners. To that end, we’re working closely with these school districts and others to mobilize and equip more churches to serve (see Upcoming Events below). What a simple yet transformative way for churches to show God’s love! Everyone – regardless of skill, age, or interest – can do something to help, whether during the day, after school, or on weekends:
  • Kids can help fill backpacks of food so families don’t go hungry on weekends.
  • Teenagers can tutor younger students. (High schoolers need volunteer hours!)
  • Business professionals can speak at career days or host field trips at their workplaces. (Many companies also allow employees to leave during the day to mentor for an hour each week.)
  • Stay-at-home parents and retirees can mentor students, or support teachers in the classroom or teacher workroom during the school day.
  • Everyone can pray, cheer for students at sporting events, participate in school festivals, or help with renovations and community gardens.

The possibilities for how a church can serve a local school are endless! What’s essential is for each church to serve with no agenda, commit to the partnership, and keep the lines of communication open. The schools are the experts in these partnerships, so it’s important to serve with humility while affirming their work and working toward their goals. Let us know if you’re interested in starting a serving partnership with your local school – we’d love to help!

If you’re not interested in serving a school, what breaks your heart? We’re constantly discovering wonderful things happening around the city and can put you in touch with a great ministry or organization. May our faith compel each of us to compassionate action!

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