Our hearts are filled with gratitude today, as the Mission Arlington® family celebrates its 32nd birthday and begins its 33rd year. Birthed in prayer, and launched through the heart and vision of a faithful church, the ministry is still going strong into its fourth decade. Tillie Burgin, our Executive Director, has been here since the beginning. On this special day, we want you to know how grateful we are for you, and we want to thank you for the donation of three wonderful gifts:
We have furniture, household items, school supplies, (and so much more), because you gave it first. No one in our community should ever have to be hungry, for example, because you keep our food pantries full. We have always known that we are a reflection of the generous and faithful community who surrounds us, because the resources for every service we provide comes directly from you. The great news which follows is that all of our services are free. Because you give it, we can give it away.
It is one thing to give your things, and quite another to give of yourself. We are so amazed at the way that hundreds of volunteers each week make their way downtown to lift the load. Some of you help us organize the provisions we receive, not always an easy task. Others use their time to care directly for people – in our health clinics, front room, sports arenas, Bible studies, and more. We recognize both the sacrifice it takes and the generous spirit behind your presence with us, and we are grateful. Beyond helping the people we serve together, you are an encouragement to us. That is no small gift.
We believe that this ministry belongs to the Lord. Our role is to follow His lead, and to share His love throughout our community in whatever way that we can. Your prayers on our behalf encourage us, and remind us to lean into Him for direction and strength. It is the one gift you can give from any time and place, and which will always be needed and appropriated in the work here. We truly value and appreciate the way you cover us in prayer every day. Thank you.
We are asked this question from time to time. Our goal is to support the families in our community who are at a point of need, and to treat each person with dignity and respect. We want to share authentically the good news of God’s love as far and wide as we can, and to be consistent and humble as we share. We look forward with enthusiasm to walking this journey alongside you into the future. We are grateful for where we’ve been, and we are excited about the days and months ahead. Thank you so much for your support!
2018 Summer Camps are Happening Now!
July is always an exciting month for Mission Arlington®. Summer camps have returned, and they are so much fun. These free day camps give children and youth a chance to learn about the Lord in fun and exciting ways.
A Camp for All Ages
We know that children and youth are shaped in different ways throughout their childhood, and that is why our camps are specifically designed for different age groups. “Kiddie Camps,” which happen on Tuesday nights in July, are hosted for children in Kindergarten through 3rd grade. Children’s Camp, designed for students in 4th-6th grades, happens on the first two weekends of July, while Youth Camps for 7th-12th graders are held on the last two Saturdays of July.
Free and Fun
These camps are a lot of fun. From outdoor games, to eccentric songs, Mission Arlington® Summer Camps are filled with activities designed to teach God’s Word and foster the youth’s personal relationships with God in new and innovative ways. Our good friends from Camp Thurman provide our camps with fun ropes courses, swimming pools, and beautiful scenery.
It is important to note that our camps are free for all children and youth who participate. Transportation to and from the camp is provided for everyone who needs it. Hardworking parents will be comforted in knowing that their children are having fun learning about the Word of God, at no additional cost to their families.
We are grateful for your support.
We are so grateful for the volunteers and other members of the community who put in countless hours of work and give in various ways. We are especially grateful for all that you do. We humbly request that our friends and family do one more thing. We ask that you pray. Pray for our volunteers, teachers, the students, and everyone else involved.
Pray for the continued success of our Summer Camps so that the youth participating will not only cultivate their own relationships with God, but also be witnesses to others in their schools, homes and communities. We are thankful for you.
School Supplies Help Students Succeed
A new school year means new supplies, and another chance for all of us to provide for the children & youth in our community. Mission Arlington® has the privilege to be your partner again in collecting & distributing what you provide to an anticipated 10,000+ AISD students. We want you to know that your support always means so much to families in our community. In fact, as Tillie often points out, parents are “so thrilled” when they see Mission Arlington® volunteers knocking on their door with exactly what their children need to start school.
Not only do these provisions help students to succeed academically, but it encourages them personally in more ways than we could possibly understand. The tears of joy we see, and the hugs we receive, are intended for you. We are constantly amazed by the way you give to help people you don’t know, to bless the children & youth of our community. Thank you!
Ways You Can Provide Support
With your support, we provided school supplies in 2017 to more than 10,000 students, nearly a thousand students more than the year before. The need looks to be just as great in 2018, and we are starting with less. Your help to provide these supplies for students is so appreciated and makes a difference in the lives of real people. Here is some information we hope will make it easier for you when you give:
- School Supply List – We have worked with the wonderful staff at Aisd to come up with the list of supplies needed for every grade level. Volunteers will take the supplies you provide and organize them into the appropriate age groupings;
- Printable Supply List – Click this link if you want to print the list of school supplies to take with you or to distribute to various teams of people who are helping you collect the supplies;
- Drop Off Supplies – After you have purchased supplies, please drop them off at our main offices downtown. We will add what you provide to the supply provided by others to be organized and distributed by the end of the summer;
- Donate Online – Given the busyness and pace of modern life, it may be easier for you to donate online. Click on the link, then choose the “school supply” option under “categories and funds.” 100 percent of your donation will be used to purchase school supplies.
- Volunteering – We are receiving & organizing these supplies starting now through the end of August. Distribution of the supplies will begin prior to the start of school in mid to late August. Anytime you are available, just come on down, and we’ll get you to work. If you would like to bring your team, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll get you on the schedule. We love the passion we see in you as you give your time and energy to help our community’s students.
We are grateful for you!
We have been serving alongside this generous community for more than three decades. We’ll turn 32 this August 1st. One of our great joys has been to work alongside of you to care for people in a moment of need throughout our community. Thank you for the many ways you give, lend a hand, and pray, so that our Lord will be pleased and the people cared for. We absolutely love what we do, and we love doing it with you. Come see us when you can.
For more of the heart behind this, you might enjoy watching this 55 second interview with Tillie from 2016.
The dictionary definition of revival suggests “an improvement in the strength or condition of something.” Synonyms include words like “resurgence, rallying, upturn,” and more. Revivalism has a long and beautiful history in the church, generally viewed as an “increased spiritual interest or renewal in the life of a church congregation or society, with a local, national or global effect.” The Mission Arlington® family of congregations also has a long history of encouraging spiritual renewal through revival services historically held in June, but now spread across the summer.
A Tent in the Center of Town
Through much of our history, these services were called “tent revivals,” because the bulk of those services were held outside and under a tent. A large, carnival-like red & white tent had been donated along the way, and that tent was moved around the city for multiple day services each June. Putting up the tent included sledge hammers and large metal stakes, plus a large set of stackpoles upon which the tent rested, including one huge one which held up the center. Taking down the tent, folding it in just the right way, and getting it back onto the truck in one piece was also a part of the fun. Everyone was allowed the privilege of tent duty. As the years passed, and as some staff teams grew a little older, this rite of passage was passed along to the younger generations. We knew revival season was underway each June when we began our collective Sunday afternoon worship with Sara Groves’ classic appropriately titled “Tent in the Center of Town.”
Growth and Change
For various reasons, most (but not all) of our revival services are held indoors these days. For many years, our revival services were centralized into sections of town – North, South, East, West, etc. As the number of Bible studies and congregations grew, however, and as each individual Bible study reached more people, we moved away from the more centralized geographic approach. Revival services are still held in various geographic locations across the city, so that multiple congregations can attend in one location. However, many of our congregations are hosting their own services now. These tend to be more localized, smaller, and inside, but they also make the service more accessible to those living
near the event itself. This year, from late May through mid-July, our congregations will sponsor and support 18 different sets of revival services. Generally each event lasts two to three days. We provide food and a place to gather people, then a special worship service and separate age appropriate experiences designed for the children.
Prayer for Renewal
With each revival service this year, as with every year, we are seeing positive responses. Some find Christ for the very first time, and begin a new faith journey with him. Others respond to the messages by renewing their commitment to Christ, a spiritual homecoming of sorts. For many believers who attend, it becomes a time of refreshment, encouragement, and renewal in their already strong walk with the Lord. We are a little more than half-way through a beautiful revival season.
Would you pray with us as these services continue? Should you want to join a service, check out our schedule, so that you can find one near you. Or, just give us a call at 817-277-6620, and we’ll get you connected. We are so honored to serve our community alongside each of you. Thank you so much for your prayers, your time, and your gifts. You encourage and bless us every day, all along the way. Thank you!
Hundreds of student groups are coming into town this summer to lead Rainbow Express.®
In fact, we started this week with First Baptist Church of Ninnekah, OK. Fifteen (15) students arrived Sunday afternoon and headed home last night.
Oklahoma baptists would be proud of these hard-working teenagers. Early each morning, they joined in a variety of jobs around the Mission (sorting clothes, moving food, lifting furniture into trucks), then spent each afternoon sharing God’s Word with songs, games, crafts, and puppets through Rainbow Express.® Even in the burgeoning heat of early summer in May, these students never complained. The JOY they had in the work, impacted all those they encountered.
Prayer undergirds this important work, and love provides the motivation. Churches set aside resources, and parents pray while their students load into church vans and travel to another state to serve the Lord. Youth ministers receive the large body of material weeks ahead of time, and students devote a few hours each week in preparation for the trip, learning four days worth of Bible stories, activities, songs, crafts, and games. When the students arrive, we know already that they could have stayed home, instead of spending their free time like this. They chose to leave the comforts of home for a week to live in spartan accommodations with their youth group, to work long days under the hot Texas sun, so that they could express God’s love in practical ways. Many here were inspired by their loving sacrifice.
Eternity hangs in the balance. Last year, more than 27,000 children attended a Rainbow Express® event in 404 locations, and 977 of them accepted Christ. These events are a lot of fun. We know, because the children & youth of our community shoot out of their homes as soon as the Rainbow Express® team arrives. Even after an hour and a half of activity, many don’t want to stay instead of going home. Rainbow Express is designed for children & youth, and it is truly fun. However, it is also more than that.
The intersection of families from our community, and student groups from across the US, and the teaching of God’s Word fills hearts with HOPE. We are grateful for the privilege we have of sharing God’s love, and spreading His word throughout our community this summer. Come join us, won’t you? Please keep us in your prayers. We are excited about the months ahead.
Mission Arlington® children gathered each Saturday morning for the past five Saturdays to play baseball at Hunter’s Field, ending on May 5th. Volunteer coaches gave their Saturday mornings to teach the basics of the game, and more importantly, to love on the children who came. Bible study leaders with Mission Arlington® rose early to pick up and deliver the children to the game.
These young people received a t-shirt. They played hard, barely aware that they were enjoying healthy exercise. They worked as teams, and they learned the basics of the game – from throwing & hitting to running the bases. 80+ children enjoyed this experience every week, and each child received their own baseball t-shirt.
Each week, the children who gathered to play ball learned a little more from God’s Word, from our head coach and Bible study leader Jerry McCullough.
We are so grateful for each person and every team who put together a beautiful field for children to enjoy. We are also grateful for every volunteer who gave their time to love on children and to teach them the beautiful game of baseball. We are grateful for the Bible study leaders, most of them volunteers, who give of themselves every week to teach God’s Word all across our community.
Finally, we are grateful to the Lord for his provision, and for allowing us to support the children in our community. Baseball season will start again in the Fall. We can’t wait!
For years now, the Mission Arlington® family has been honored to partner with the “Arlington Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration committee as they lead and support community efforts celebrating the life & legacy of Dr. King. This wonderful group of people, led by Ms. Toni Kincaid, have made a significant difference in the life of so many across our community
In 2009, Tillie Burgin, our Executive Director, was honored to receive the “Sharing the Dream” award for community service. For the past couple of years, we have been honored to host this team on the “Day of Service,” providing a central location from which volunteers could fan out across our community to help others in need. It has been wonderful to watch and to join the efforts of so many.
This past Tuesday night, the MLK Jr. Celebration committee came to the monthly meeting of our board and honored the Mission family with a beautiful plaque which now sits in Tillie’s office. The plaque honors Mission Arlington® for our
“partnership with the Arlington MLK ‘Day of Service,’ serving and meeting the needs of others.”
We are grateful for the privilege we have had of walking together through the years. We look forward to many more years of partnership in the future.
A Holy Week
The word sacred means “set apart,” or distinct. In every way, the week leading into Easter Sunday morning was a sacred one. Here are reports from just a few of the activities which happened last week:
The Easter Store – 638 people, representing 138 families, received Spring clothes, Easter baskets, and other items for the home and family. Each person heard the Easter story. Four people trusted Christ, and another 18 rededicated their lives to Him;
Youth Service – 218 youth, grades 7 – 12, gathered in Central Arlington to worship, study God’s Word, and to take the Lord’s Supper together.
These youth represent the leadership within Mission Arlington’s Bible studies and congregations. The focus of the evening was on the question from Christ to his disciples: “Who do you say that I am?” After the service, the students enjoyed pizza, and then small group discussions with their Bible study leaders about what they had heard. With these youth, our future is in good hands;
Easter egg Hunt – Affectionately dubbed the “World’s Largest,” 5,388 children (including their families) attended the hunt. It was a beautiful day to be outdoors. After hearing the Easter story, the children enjoyed a gym full of bouncy houses and slides. Free food followed, then six lanes of plastic eggs filled with candy. Children had a good time with their families, and we were so pleased to be a part.
Easter Sunday – Mission Arlington® hosts Bible studies and congregations in 354 locations. Thousands of people studied God’s Word and worshiped a Risen Savior in these multiple locations on Easter Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, the leaders of these Bible studies came together to share all that the Lord had done, to study His word, and to pray together.
You made a difference
We are grateful for you and for your constant support, prayers, gifts of time and resources. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of our community’s children. It was a great week. We are already looking forward to next year.
The past few weeks at Mission Arlington® have been sacred indeed, because we have seen the Lord show up in so many ways. Through the first couple of weeks of March, we had 800 students from church groups who came to help.
The third week was strong as well with 600 students from various groups across the nation arriving in town to provide help. Overall, more than 200 people have accepted Christ, and more than 5,000 students attended a Rainbow Express® event. Add to this our weekly basketball leagues, special medical clinics, and the daily ministries of food, clothes, household items, and furniture, you can understand how it feels like these weeks have truly been set apart.
On the other hand, as we move through this coming weekend, we are also entering Holy Week, where, on Palm Sunday, our Lord entered Jerusalem on a donkey to the praise of crowds and the condemnation of religious leaders. He cleansed the Temple on Monday, had intense conversations and various encounters with groups trying to trick or trap him on Tuesday. Later in the week, our Lord taught his disciples, and ate his last meal with them, instituting the Lord’s Supper. Jesus prayed all night at Gethsemane, was illegally tried on Friday morning, and crucified and buried Friday evening. On the first Easter Sunday, however, Christ defeated death and walked out of his tomb on the first Easter Sunday morning.
Holy Week at Mission Arlington®
The Mission family will stay busy through this next week, but it is a different kind of activity. Every activity is designed not just to bless the ones who participate, but to remind them of Easter. Here are some examples:
- The Easter Store – Wednesday & Thursday, March 28th & 29th at Mission Arlington® from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both days. It’s a place where families can receive Easter clothes and other items, and it is all free. Everyone who comes will also hear the Easter story; Link HERE for more information;
- Special Youth Service – On Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., Mission Arlington® junior high and high school students will gather for a special Maundy Thursday service of worship. They will take the Lord’s Supper and eat a meal together;
- “World’s Largest“ Easter Egg Hunt – From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the gym and fields at the Lockwood Center. Everyone who attends this event will alsoFor more information, link HERE.
A Holy Gratitude
All of these events are free of charge, because we are surrounded by a wonderful community of people who pray, and give of their time and resources, so that we can share God’s love throughout our community as fully as possible. We do thank God for you, and for your support. We are truly thankful for you. We look forward to walking through this next week together.
For the 12th year in a row, Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® earns Charity Navigator’s 4-Star distinction.
Toughening Charity Accountability
In 2011, Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These Accountability & Transparency metrics, which account for 50 percent of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders.
On June 1, 2016, the Charity Navigator team upgraded their methodology for rating each charity’s’ financial health with CN 2.1. These enhancements further substantiates the financial health of the four star charities.
In the Top 1 Percent
Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® , with its commitment to accountability and transparency, have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator.
This is the twelfth consecutive time that the Mission has earned this important distinction, putting us in the “top 1 percent of charities rated nationwide,” according to Michael Thatcher, the President & CEO of Charity Navigator.
Note from the President
Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex®‘s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, President & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges.”
We are grateful for you!
We are grateful for this report by accountability partners like Charity Navigator and for your constant, faithful support of the ministry here. For more detailed information about this rating, click here.