Friday, June 15, 2007

The Interns are In!

Our interns have arrived from all over to help make sure the kids of Impact and our neighborhood have a great summer. Here is a list of who came to join in the fun:

Directors: Gabby Arevalo, Chevone McKinney, Jessica Coleman, and Ashely Cooks
High School Interns: Sandra Chavez, Brittney Cooks, Benny Dixon, Deena Jones, Ricardo Manjarrez, Mariah Mijares, Geremy Varner, Marilyn Flores, Edgar Gallegos, Richard Guice, Ezequiel Lopez, Da’Meshia Lynch, RayRay O’Neal, Gerald Varner,Ben Glover, Sheena Jones

College-Age Interns: Deborah Arango – Houston, TX (Literacy Program Assistant),
Lluvia Flores- Houston, TX, Kyle Gredt – Vancouver, BC, Canada, Hannah Guice – Houston, TX, Ebony Tolder – Houston, TX, Clayton Humphrey – Houston TX, Gerald Davis – Marietta, GA, Randall Gabriel – Houston, TX, Taylor Gabriel – Houston, TX, Sid Gutierrez – Snyder, TX, Angel Howard – Houston, TX, Megan McCormick – Snyder, TX, Sarah McSpadden – Weatherford, OK, Erin Newberry – Oklahoma City, OK, Andrea Tharp – Mesquite, TX

Adult Interns: Maria Arzu- Houston, TX, Laura Hamilton – Houston, TX, Derrick Fletcher –Houston, TX, Luke Boyd – Tipton, OK, Zach Hilburn – Houston, TX Chanthavy Chanhnouvong – Ft. Smith, AR, Loren Moore – Houston, TX
Summit Surrendered to Snow

This year's Trek group may have seemed small, but they were big on skills and heart. The group met their challenges, and even when an anticipated challenge was taken away they faced the potential disappointment with snowball fights and enjoyable campfires.

Thanks for all who gave or sponsored this trip. The summit may not have been reached, but the purpose was accomplished.
Celebrating a Commencement

As many people came in from all over to celebrate Impact's completing 20 years in downtown Houston, a small portion of our body was having an extra special celebration of their own. The Impact Kindergarten class of 2007 experienced the pomp and circumstance of passage, in an event organized by their teachers designed to bless and honor these students as they head into Elementary school. Abigail Arango, Rocio Saldana, and Aracely Velazquez have been with this group of youngsters, watching them grow and learn and face challenges. This past Sunday they also lifted them up by guiding them through a commencement program of songs, special words, the handing out of diplomas, and the opportunity to wear funny hats. The kids had a great time and were made to feel very special. It was a great blessing for them and their families who witnessed the love poured out to them.

Impact Reunion!
Thanks to all who came and made it such a special time!
(More pics and an article to come.)

First Colony Hits a Home Run at Impact!

What better way to kick off the Summer than going to a baseball game! First Colony is #1 in our eyes as Impact was blesses with hundreds of tickets to see the Astros take on the CArdinals at the end of May. The night before, the 'Stros ended a near-record losing streak by gaining a victory against St. Louis. Impact fans got to ride the wave of excitement as Houston produced a strong and exciting 8-3 win over the visiting team. NOt only was it a blessing to watch the home team stomp the opposition, but to have a section full of Christian families bringing their friends and family and reveling in the excitement of a great national past time was like eating a fresh slice of warm apple pie topped with a huge scoop of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Ok, I have to say that it was just extra special for me. I got to see so many Impact kids and Hispanic families come out and really enjoy their time. Thank you God and thank you First Colony. But even more special, I got to bring my son to his first ball game. It was just wonderful pointing things out, explaining things, and seeing him get excited about the things he was discovering and noticing. The game became alive. Well, on that particular day, I was also blessed to have my brother and sister-in-law, another couple from Brazil, and two
Hispanic youth. This was their very first baseball game as well. As soon as we stepped into Minute Maid Park, Claudio remarked how it was just like being in a movie. Imagine your first experience like this: the immense park, tons of people moving smoothly along on escalators, the billboard entertainment and statistics, the hot dogs and chili fries and fresh roasted peanuts, the wave, the sound effects, the "TAke Me Out to the Ball Game," the wonderment of the 7th inning stretch, and of course, the players and the beauty of the game! Watching all of these people discover and fall in love with something new made the experience that much more satisfying for me.

Imagine, also, what it was like, and could be for others, the first time that God really opens our eyes to His love and the great blessings that await us in a new life in Christ. The newness is incredible, but the great thing about this walk with God is that as we keep participating in His work, we appreciate more and more what He is doing. What was once an exciting new thing, only continues to be better and better. Lord, take me out to the "ball game."

Again, many thanks to First Colony for buying an entire section of the park and permitting a great opportunity for many people. Sure, its just a ball game, but you never know how a simple moment can make an large Impact on someone's life.