Thursday, May 31, 2007

This week, as we have done for a number of years, Impact will take a group of High School students from inner-city Houston out to the wilderness of Colorado to hike, repel, and reach the summit of a mountain as a group. Below is a speech given by one of last year's group and a recent Impact graduate, Edgar Gallegos, at a Fundraising Dinner this Spring:

Wilderness Trek was one of the most wonderful experiences I had the opportunity to be a part of my life. Getting to do something such as climbing a 14,000 ft mountain with our church’s youth group is something you don’t do everyday. Trek is a good way to see God’s world in a different view than were used to. It’s an opportunity to look at life in a different prospective and to see what he made for us to enjoy and call home.

During this trip the Lord taught our youth group many things. He helped us work together as one to reach our goal, which was making it to the summit of the mountain. All the time that we spent on the mountain God taught us the most important thing you needed on the trip; which was patience. During the climb patience was the last thing we had with our guides and ourselves. They would tell us “keep on walking, we are almost there” but we would just get mad at them and stop to take our own little breaks. The reason we couldn’t take lots of breaks was because we had only a certain amount of sunlight and we needed to get to our campsite so we could set up our tent in with light instead of in the dark. After the whole day of fussing and wishing that we have never should of gone, we took the time to actually think about what we had accomplished in reaching the summit and enjoy ourselves on top of a mountain were we’ve never been before. God helped us reach the mentality that with His awesome power we could do anything as one.

Going to Colorado and getting to climb a mountain is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This trip alone has made me realize that nothing is impossible and experiences like this one made me grow into stronger Christian. In this trip, I was one of the two leaders to help encourage every one to give it all they had and to make sure no one was left behind. Even though the whole group, including myself thought the goal of making it to the top of the mountain was unachievable we kept on encouraging each other to do our best and to keep on going. Seeing everyone helping out each other made me realize that everyone was a leader in some way. The trip also made me feel more comfortable being with the group. I have been in the youth group through my four years in high school and this trip made me feel more confident with myself and being with the group. Before this trip I felt left out from the group, I felt like I was not wanted but this experience made realize that were all in this together and what life throws us at us we have to challenge it together as a family.

The point of the whole trip is to show our youth group that with faith and with a lot of patience we could do what seems impossible like climbing a 14,000 ft mountain in 3 days. This experience has made our youth group become intact with each other. Wilderness Trek is a perfect opportunity to prepare you for real life. It also shows you that with the Lord by your side, anything is possible.

~ Edgar Gallegos

This past Sunday, Impact celebrated its graduating Seniors. Just growing up downtown is hard, staying in school becomes an acheivment, and still participating in church activities makes this group all the more special. We thank God for these young people. We celebrate this milestone with them. We pray the best of God's blessings for their future.

The graduates:

Jose Alejandro Arevalo

Taylor Blizzard

Sandra Chavez

Edgar Gallegos

Benjamin Glover

Deena Jones

Sheena Jones

Leland Rose

Diana Saldana

Priscilla Saucillo

Michelle Saucillo

Don Victoria

Congratulations Seniors '07!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Barbara Garcia meets with Governor Perry

Impact member and cancer victim, Barbara Garcia recently met with Gov. Perry at the state capitol to show her support for his HPV order. Follow the link to view the video:

excerpt from press conference: "The cost of providing this vaccine to eligible young women through the Vaccines for Children program and Medicaid is less than $13 million in general revenue each year, while the cost of treating HPV-related cervical diseases is $173 million in direct medical costs each year.
I am also mystified by the argument that making this vaccine widely available encourages promiscuity, especially from legislators who voted for a needle exchange program that encourages drug addicts to continue to abuse illegal drugs...... And it is the tone of this debate that has disturbed me most. The notion of forgiveness and grace has been totally lost in this debate. People make wrong choices. Our society is full of such individuals who have found redemption from past mistakes......
And this is not some arcane policy debate. We're talking about real lives. Lives like Barbara Garcia, whose battle with cervical cancer now confines her to a wheelchair. She won't live to see her 9 year old son one day graduate from high school…or ask his sweetheart to marry him. Barbara, thank you for being here today. That's what this is about my fellow Texans, ensuring that other women don't have to face the same suffering."

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Impact Homecoming!! Come One, Come All!

Come reunite to celebrate 20 years at Impact! June 8 - 10, 2007.

Events include:
* tours,
* a "catch-up" dinner,
* breakfast and ballgames at the park,
* Impact ministries showcase,
* an international dinner,
* storytelling,
* a special Homecoming Sunday service,

* and more!

For more details, contact April McBrideat or 405.761.7666

Come be a part of Impact History! Celebrate what God is doing today! Pray for the future God wants for Impact!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What Liberty Island Means to Me
by Jessica Foust

It’s difficult for me to put into words what the people of Liberty Island have meant to me in the last few months. The first time I participated in the Monday night devotional, I was blown away by the presence of God. Here in front of me were people that are easily overlooked by the world, and who rarely have ownership over their own lives. But for an hour on Monday night, they lead their own worship service. One night of worship with these amazing people, and I was hooked.

The residents of Liberty Island have long since become my friends and my brothers and sisters. They share what is on their hearts and encourage each other with their songs. What a powerful testimony to the power of God’s spirit to live in even the simplest of hearts! I am challenged by the simplistic honesty of Clark’s prayers and the passion of Rodney’s songs. The beauty of Mary’s voice and the smile on Millie’s face bring to light God’s grace and love for others. And watching Les, Kirk, and Michael serve these brothers and sisters with love and compassion, without pretense, inspires me to live with humility. I thank God for showing me His power to make each life an invaluable instrument for His kingdom.

Every Monday night, Impact leaders go to the assisted living facility known as Liberty Island to spend time with the residents, lead a time of devotion to God, and share with those they serve in a time of worship. Jessica, who also lends her time as a Bible class teacher, is one of many who have been Impacted by this unique ministry and these special people. If you would like to participate, just call the office and make arrangements.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Congratulations to Wes and Trish Fikes!
Micah James Fikes was born on May 2, 2007. (In the photo, Samuel examines his new baby brother as father Wes proudly holds his two boys.)
-sorry for the tardiness of the post!