Friday, January 22, 2010

Impact Report January 2010

Happy New Year! The Hispanic group kicked the New Year off with a fiesta. About 60 came out to celebrate and eat with us, bringing tamales and other yummy Hispanic dishes. Willie from the kitchen was there to make sure we got our black-eyed peas as well. The entertainment for the evening was a small slide show, a time of singing and a Bible Trivia game, and all had a blast. We didn’t stay until midnight in order to allow families to make it to other family and community activities.

December was a successful month! Although fewer churches were involved this year with providing Christmas presents for families in need, all of our Impact families who needed it were helped with wonderful gifts. And this year the process was more efficient, more personal, and much more fulfilling. Adding to the joy was the Impact Children’s Christmas party! Thanks to all our friends from other churches who came and manned stations, who provided guidance and entertainment, and who were there to love on kids. My only “complaint” for December was the time many of our Impact groups were away from each other. Early January reports, however indicate that little to no damage was done. Everyone seems ready for the New Year.

New Year –New Series: I don’t know why I think our sermon series are of any interest to you, here. I guess I am just excited about it. These series help us as a body to have something to concentrate on together which is great when we are all going in so many directions. We are doing a short 6 week study on Psalms Everyone Should Know. Already it seems short, because the kick-off week seems to be making us hungry for more. We may have do a Greatest Hits, vol.2 in the summer.

Stew Weather! This past weekend the Impact kitchen was running almost non-stop making stew, rice and beans, gumbo, and a hearty Chicken Alfredo for a crowd of 76 homeless who needed refuge from the sub-freezing temperatures. I spent the first night with them to make sure things were running smoothly, but soon found out I was not needed. Our kitchen staff is so dedicated, energized, and capable, and our guests were so appreciative that all work was being done in snap. Everyone was watching out for one another, and attitudes were incredible. We stayed open from Thursday evening to Monday afternoon, and you would have never known it just walking through our service on Sunday morning. Willie Barnes from the kitchen worked hardest of all, and still will not take a break until all of our meals are cooked for this week, ending tomorrow. Pray he gets a good rest, and a extra star in his crown!

Ken Lewis came by! Doing exploratory work for Continent of Great Cities, Ken was sharing his plans for helping a team start a church plant in downtown Houston and was looking for information and resources. It was just good to have him with us to encourage us and for us to encourage him. He misses Impact and marveled at the expanse and improvements to the campus he had never seen before.

The Distribution Center is having a crazy month registering families all over again to receive food once a month each month this year. 150 families lined up just this week to get their cards, and the box and bag of food. After a few weeks of depleated supplies, we seemed to make up for it in this week’s smorgasbord.

New tutoring sessions will begin this month at an area apartment complex where we regularly pick up children for church and other activities. Lluvia Flores will be coordinating that effort, but we will all see how we can be used as more opportunities might arise.

Celebrating 20 years of Alejandro! Hispanic minister, Alejandro Arango has served with Impact for 20 of our 23 years in downtown Houston. We will celebrate those years of service with a dinner in his honor, this Saturday, January16 between 2:00-4:00pm. You are invited, too if you know and want to honor Hmno. Arango.

Just keep praying for us! We are expecting a great month, and a great year here. We thrive on prayer more than anything, so keep it up please. And may God bless your service to Him in Kingwood.

When disaster strikes, we pray we can be there to help. Sometimes we get to be there to protect as we have done when hurricanes plowed through our city. Record lows in early January 2010 moved Impact to open its doors to those living on the streets. To avoid dangerous elements, Impact housed a number of outdoorsmen for a few of those bitterly cold evenings. However, TRUE disaster has struck the country of Haiti. So many seem to want to help with the Haiti relief efforts but don’t know where to start. Here is a list of established relief organizations that would be good to have available to anyone with the desire to help.

(Most information was taken from the Christian Chronicle.) All checks should be accompanied by a note that reads "Haiti Earthquake Relief"
and made payable to the organization of your choice below (listed alphabetically):

Christian Relief Fund

P.O. Box 19670, Amarillo, TX 79114-1670
(800) 858-4038 (800) 858-4038

Global Samaritan Resources

101 Walnut Street, Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 676-9991 (325) 676-9991

Healing Hands International

455 McNally Drive, Nashville, TN 37211
(615) 832-2000 (615) 832-2000

Hope for Haiti's Children

P.O. Box 936, Sugar Land, TX 77487-0936
(281) 240-3550 (281) 240-3550

Rapha International

402 Blue Smoke Ct. W., Fort Worth, TX 76105
(817) 536-3383 (817) 536-3383

World Radio / White's Ferry Rd Church of Christ

3201 North 7th St., West Monroe, LA 71291
(318) 396-6000 (318) 396-6000
Email: or

And other ways to give are through the links below:

World Vision:

Compassion International: Text "disaster" to 90999 to give $10 to Haiti relief efforts or give online at

International Disaster Emergency Service:

Thursday, January 21, 2010

If the Lord Wills...

A new year brings hope of what may come and what may be accomplished. For the 23 years God has allowed Impact to serve in downtown Houston, we have developed ministries and traditions we expect will continue because of the lives they touch and the needs they serve. I believe it is good to expect great things from this year, and I also believe it is good to make plans for accomplishing great goals. However, James 4:13-15 keeps ringing in my ear. It says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city.’…..Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow….Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’” So, that is what we want to do: We want to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, Impact will continue to help the hungry, homeless, and hurting people every day that He gives us.” To be ready to do the Lord’s will, we are doing all we can to continue programs that we have seen benefit thousands of lives.

We continue praying that He guides us in continuing ministries, and blesses us in our special events. We will also invite you to participate in those plans and ask you to pray for how He wants you to partner with us. We will do these things if God allows, because we believe it is His will that we keep serving in the inner-city. If the Lord wills, children will be loved by your children. If the Lord wills, hungry families and homeless people will be helped through our efforts. If the Lord wills, generous hearts will continue to provide in the name of Christ. If the Lord wills, the lives that are touched will be changed forever because of the reflection of Jesus shown to them. Some may think it pointless to plan and dream for so much to be accomplished in a broken world, but our hope for 2010 is to serve the will of God every day that He affords us… “if the Lord wills.”

cover of January issue of Impact News, by Steven Wells for Impact Houston Church of Christ