Saturday, January 20, 2007

Impact, 20 Years!!

Sharing with our Lord in the heart of Houston these 20 years has been a journey of faith and joy. Our Father placed our hand in the hands of thousands whom He loves in the city. From that first gathering at Lee school in 1987 to the present, souls from very different life pathways have come together to honor the Lord and serve others. A love feast began that soon united people desperately needing God’s love with His people desperate to love.

A small group of Christians sought to walk where Jesus would walk. The Lord provided various sites to assemble in worship, study, and share God’s blessings like Lee School, the YMCA, rec. centers, University of Houston, Star of Hope, Salvation Army, two different structures on White Oak, an office building, a Washington Ave., Allen Parkway Village, and a warehouse on Weber St.

Bible studies were begun in homes, on the street, and around park benches. Door knocking began in inner city neighborhoods, the projects, and in missions. Bread and the bread of life were distributed freely. Children were loved. The poor were blessed. Races were united. Cups of water were offered in His name. The Good News was proclaimed. Precious souls were saved!

Our Father brought people together to love Him and one another. Sunday school, Tues. and Wed. night classes were added. Bible clubs sprung up. Youth and college groups began coming from churches and universities. Spring Break and Summer Campaigns brought blessings to those on the streets, in the shelters, and in neighborhoods. Expanded VBS including a reading program involved summer interns, Impact, and local and out-of-town volunteers. Thousands were touched through tender outreach to human need through food and clothing distribution. Prayer, God’s word, and Christian love were extended to all. An ex-offender program was initiated. Homeless outreach offered hot food, blankets, coats, shoes, sleeping bags, shower and laundry facilities along with generous portions of love. Preschoolers and their parents were received through a small day care that operated out of an apartment, a house, a park, the church, finally growing into its own facility next door, Small Steps Nurturing Center. Currently, children are served at this First Ward facility and at the new facility recently opened in 5th Ward.

In the meantime, a Christian Camp for boys and girls was established on Lake Travis in Central Texas. It continues to develop and make a difference for Christ in the lives of children.

Right here at home, the Youth Development Center began as an after school tutoring/mentoring program for middle school youth. It continues to nurture youth through an important phase of life and moves ever nearer a goal of becoming a special school with Christian values.

The Lord has also blessed us to send out and join hands in the planting of other urban churches. One of our young couples led the way in planting and growing the Fortress Church in Fort Worth. One of our high school interns went back home to Abilene with a dream which evolved into planting the New Life Church. New Life celebrated its 10th birthday last Sunday. Another of our special young couples transferred to Oregon to be part of a church planting team that started the Portland Urban Ministry Project. Then we had the privilege of sending off one of our young ministers to plant a church in the Bronx, NYC. We have been given the privilege of being a resource for the planting of a number of other congregations in places like Oklahoma, Colorado, and Alabama. We have also been privileged to have a part in the starting of new ministries in Spanish in the Houston area and beyond.

Thanks be to God for all the blessings of these 20 years. May each of us freely offer ourselves to Him toward His plans for the future. -Ron Sellers

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Upcoming Garage Sale!
Already donors are calling in to receive more information concerning the annual Garage Sale that benefits the ministries and basic operations of Impact for the year. Keep MARCH 24 & 25 marked on your calendars and come out to Traders Village to volunteer or do some shopping! You can support this effort by donating quality items that will draw shoppers, OR volunteer your time in preparing for the big day. Starting the Wednesday before the weekend's sale, we need your help in sorting and organizing items for the sale. If you would like to donate items and arrange for someone to pick them up or know where to drop them off, please contact Felton Benton at 832-729-5222. If you would like to volunteer in any way, please call the office at 713-864-5667. More than anything, keep the Impact Garage Sale in your prayers, and let's see what God does through this event and through what He wants to accomplish through Impact.