Melissa came on staff in July 2017 and has been an amazing addition to our Loving Houston team. In celebration of her birthday later this month, we did a little get-to-know-you interview!
P.S. For those of you at smaller churches, Melissa’s church has about 40 people so you’ll definitely want to read about their school partnership below!
What brought you (back) to Houston? We sensed God calling us back to the city we grew up in, to be part of the transforming work He was already doing in this diverse city.
What’s your favorite thing about Houston? Favorite restaurant? Our favorite thing about Houston is its diversity, which of course means a diversity of food. We love food, which means it’s really hard to nail down a favorite restaurant in Houston! You’d have to ask us by the type of food!
Why do you believe in church-school partnerships? We believe in church-school partnerships because they allow for long-term relationships to be built in our community. When we have long-term relationships, we see our people empowered to contribute to flourishing communities.
What is your church currently doing in relationship with a local school? We began a relationship with our current elementary school a month after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston. At our initial meeting, we asked the administration how we can help their community and help the school reach their goals. As a result, we hosted a Thanksgiving Dinner for three staff and three families who lost their homes in the storm. We’ve provided cotton candy for top performing classrooms and to appreciate our teachers. We’ve supplied books for a Girls Club, participated in their Career Day, and started a Good News Club for twenty students. We look forward to helping with tutoring next month, to volunteer at their Spring Carnival, and provide summer reading books for 4th-5th graders.
How have you seen the partnership develop this past year? We were so thrilled when the school counselor let us know that we’re considered family and that we have an open door policy with them now. We can walk down the hallways and the staff realize we’re here to stay.
When we showed up for our Good News Club this last week, the principal asked for me to stop by her office. She sat me down and said, “We need prayer support.” She shared how so much was going on in students’ lives that were affecting our teachers and morale. She said that the teachers just need to know that someone cares for them as they enter student testing and try to finish well. When I asked how we could tangibly show our support, she suggested a prayer request box in the teacher’s lounge. My hope is to have our congregation pray for these prayer requests during our Sunday service so that they begin to see what God is doing on this campus. My hope is to see us write encouraging letters to surprise the teachers in their mailboxes too. I’m grateful that our relationship with the principal grew to a place of trust where she felt comfortable asking this from us!