Mission Arlington | Mission Metroplex

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Rainbow Express® begins

(8) rainbowexpressbeginsIn case you don’t know, or haven’t heard, Rainbow Express® is Mission Arlington’s version of a back-yard Bible club.  Crafts, snacks, games, music, and Bible stories form the foundation of this work with children and youth.

Around the country, Spring break happens at different times. Student groups, on their Spring Break Mission trips, arrive in Arlington from March 1st through mid-April.  The second week of March was the kickoff of our Rainbow Express® season, and we are so excited.

Eleven (11) church youth groups are here this week, working in the rain, with such great spirits.  These teams have come from cities across Texas, East and West, and from two different states. One group, a Bible college,  came all the way from Michigan. Students are growing closer to the Lord through their service, and they are growing closer to each other as they serve.

These student groups, consisting of over 200 people, work here around the Mission every morning through mid-afternoon. When the final bell rings for school in the afternoon, these groups are waiting in seventeen (17) locations around town to lead Rainbow Express. Through the first three days of this week, and average of 359 children and youth have attended each day, about 21 at each site. Twenty-seven (27) have accepted Christ so far.

If you know us well, then you know that we don’t do any marketing. We don’t send out flyers asking these groups to come. We trust the Lord’s prompting of individual hearts, and He sends them our way. When the groups come, most stay in our facilities, or in the facilities of churches across town – churches who partner with us, so that more people in our city can be reached.

We appreciate so much your prayers and your financial support of our work, and we are so grateful for the way you volunteer, giving your time to make a difference here.

Please keep praying as we go through these Spring Break weeks.  Next week, teams from multiple states across the country and cities throughout Texas will be here, leading Rainbow Express in 74 different locations.  Then, we move into the Easter season after that.

We are truly grateful for you and for your support.

Date Published: March 10, 2016

The Final Buzzer

(7) children's-basketball-Feb2016-1Children’s Basketball Leagues Conclude – Youth basketball is next!

For four weeks through the month of February each year – every Saturday morning – Mission Arlington®‘s buses would roll throughout the neighborhoods picking up excited kids – for a morning of basketball.

It was one way that Bible study leaders in our apartment congregations across the community could spend more time with each child. Building these relationships are so important. It was also a way that these children – about 70 first through sixth graders each week – could get good exercise, and to learn a little more about the game of basketball.

Teamwork was an important part of the coaching process, led by all volunteer teams. These young students were given the opportunity to dribble and pass the basketball around at the same time they were taking the ball to the hoop. Coaches made sure that the experience was fun for everyone.

These leagues were also designed to encourage competition without being competitive.  The children worked hard to win their individual games, but by the end of each Saturday morning, all of them were winners. As the children left for home each Saturday, it wasn’t evident to observers who the winners were, but it was obvious that no one was a loser.

As you can see from the pictures, every child received a free t-shirt.  These leagues were provided to the community by Mission Arlington®, staffed by volunteers, and free-of-charge for every child.  The mantra of our day is that “nothing’s free,” but that simply isn’t true here.  Every service we offer is always free.  We can do this, because of your faithful support here.

Perhaps the best part of each Saturday morning has been the devotionals, straight from Scripture.  Every Saturday morning, the children heard God’s Word, a devotional thought, a moment of interaction, and then a prayer to start the day.

These Saturday morning basketball leagues have simply been extraordinary.  What a blessing it is to love and serve the children of our community, and to work alongside each of you who pray, volunteer, and provide financial support for our work.

Our youth basketball leagues begin this coming Saturday.

Date Published: March 3, 2016

Your privacy and Mission Arlington®

Conversations about privacy are an important part of the national conversation in our day. Identify theft, and  the consideration of ways to protect your privacy are facts of our every day lives.  Whether it is a concern about search engines, social media, or a newly released platform, protecting private information couldn’t be more important or relevant.

Mission Arlington Offices

Mission Arlington Offices

Your privacy is important to us at Mission Arlington® as well. We’ve published our privacy policy directly accessible on every page of our website for you to review.  We understand that it takes more effort than it’s worth sometimes to review documents like this, so we thought we would point out a few features about your privacy and our ministry:

  1. You do not have to register, nor provide personally identifiable information to access any part of our website,
  2. The only information we collect is what you voluntarily provide for use in “thank you letters,” to send receipts, and/or newsletters.
  3. We do not share, nor do we sell any information with any person, organization, or other entitites;
  4. Our website does not make use of Cookies.

The good news about working with non-profits is that if they partner with watchdog organizations like Charity Navigator, as we do, you can discover if their “Donor Privacy Policy” meets the high standards required to protect people’s privacy.  You can see Charity Navigator’s affirmation of our privacy policy here.

We work hard to be an organization you can trust in everything we do.  We are coming up on our 30th birthday this summer. We are grateful for the privilege we have of serving alongside this wonderful community each and every day.

Thank you for the way you give your time, your prayers, and your financial support in this place.

Date Published: March 2, 2016

Pictures worth a thousand words

Mission Arlington Offices

Mission Arlington offices one beautiful day in 2015

Each year, Mission Arlington publishes our ministry results. Our desire is to be transparent and accountable to you.

You can view, therefore, in one location the various ministry results from year-to-year.  For example, here are our ministry results from 2015. Yet, those results, while they represent numbers of people, essentially are still a list of numbers.

So, in addition to the one-sheet ministry results, we also publish each year a photo album of pictures which represent ministry from the previous year.  It’s a little more than 10 pages long, and it is organized from year-end, back through the first of the previous year.

We hope that you enjoy the pictures and the people which represented the Lord’s work here in 2015.  Click the link below to access the album.


2015 Annual Report and Photo Album

Date Published: February 25, 2016

Day-by-Day at Mission Arlington®

Volunteers stop the work every morning at 10, circling to pray for the mission. It is always beautiful to see.

“A group of volunteers and staff stopping to pray at 10:00 a.m. out back at Mission Arlington.”

In the first couple of months of the year, before Rainbow Express® begins, and/or before the Easter season, our focus in communicating with you tends to be our investments in children and youth.  Sometimes, that means we will share about our “every-other-week” gym nights with you – for youth and children.  At other times, we will communicate with you about the fun children are having every Saturday in our basketball leagues.  All of that is “well and good,” and so much fun.

Yet, day-after-day, here at the mission, things keep humming along.  Right around 450 people every day come through our front doors for help.  These are ordinary people who have had a crisis of some kind which tumbles them into and through our doors.  Day after day, we are there to help – with food, clothes, emergency financial assistance, and more.

Out back, cars are coming and going. There is a steady stream of beds, couches, household items, food, Christmas toys, bikes, and so much more flowing into our place at any moment on any given day. It is extraordinary to watch. Like an active bee-hive, the energy is almost palpable.  Day-by-day, because you have given, people receive from us exactly what they need for their families.

In the same way, our medical and dental clinics are brimming to overflowing with volunteer health professionals of every sort, and people needing help with their health. At no charge, people are receiving good help here.

Out in the field, week by week, our Bible studies are following up with people’s expressed spiritual needs, teaching God’s Word, and staying busy with all kinds of activity.  After schools are occurring in multiple locations, so that students can receive help with their homework.  This is happening week-by-week, and day-by-day in 349 locations.

And, there is so much more – all of it happening here day-by-day.  We are so honored to walk this journey with you. Thank you for the generous way you keep giving so that someone in need can receive what they need “day-by-day.”

We’re still having fun. Come join us, won’t you?

Date Published: February 22, 2016

A Four-Star Decade: Charity Navigator Rates Mission Arlington.

(1) Mission Arlington Jan 1, 2016

For the 10th year in a row, Mission Arlington® receives Charity Navigator’s 4-STAR Designation

Transparency and accountability has always been an important part of the work at Mission Arlington®. For this reason, we voluntarily partner with various “charity watchdogs” who provide independent reports to you about how we are doing with the resources you provide. We keep these reports public, available for your review anytime.

For the tenth year in a row, Charity Navigator, the largest, and one of the most respected, charity-evaluators in America honored Mission Arlington® with its 4-STAR rating. This is the highest rating an organization can receive in their system.  According to Michael Thatcher, their President and CEO, in a letter to Tillie Burgin February 1st, ” only 1% of the charities we rate have received at least 10 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that

Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® outperforms most other charities in America.

In his February 1st, 2016 letter, Thatcher says that Mission Arlington®  consistently demonstrates “sound fiscal management practices and a commitment to accountability and transparency.”  The 4-STAR rating is a designation which communicates to donors two important truths: Mission Arlington®  1) operates using “best practices” which minimize the chance of unethical activities,” and 2) “executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.”

Since this organization turned 29 last August and reaches our 30th birthday this coming August, we like to say that we are “in our 30th year.”  Our Director, Tillie Burgin, has been here since the beginning as has been much of this beautiful team of people who serve here day after day. We want you to know how grateful we are for your trust and for your support.

We consider your faithful gifts of time, money, and spiritual support as one of our most treasured blessings.  Thank you!

Date Published: February 2, 2016

Bible Olympics “goes for the gold!”

(6) Bible Olympics - January 23rd, 2016-1“Bible Olympics,” a wonderfully anticipated tradition for Mission Arlington®, happens every spring. This three-hour event combines creative, semi-competitive games which provide a fun way for children to learn more about the Bible.

More than 250 elementary-aged children, and some youth too, were picked up by their Bible study leaders and transported to central Arlington to participate in the activities of the day.  Those of us who were able to observe noticed how much fun the children were having – running, laughing, smiling, all the while learning more about God’s Word. Before they go home, the children will enjoy a good lunch too.

Various games included “thread the hula hoop,” balloon toss, two obstacle courses – one involving a tunnel the children crawled through, and another requiring the children to jump over a couple of kneeling sponsors.  The puppet show was a big hit, as were the many other

It feels good to spend time with these young people on a Saturday morning, sharing God’s Word. Bible study leaders, many of them volunteers themselves, knew the name of every child there – calling them by name, encouraging them, having one-on-one time, and joining in with the games whenever possible. There were hugs and happy faces all around.

Especially meaningful this morning was listening to these young people repeating various scriptures in unison, or in competition with each other. They committed some scripture to memory as well, and repeated together scriptures that many of them already knew. Scripture teaches us that God’s Word never returns empty, but accomplishes everything for which the Lord intends it. Pray with us that the seeds planted today will flourish in the lives of these children as they grow.

We thank God today for Bible study leaders who work full time jobs all week long who then take their weekend to love children and to extend His Kingdom.  We thank the Lord for those who over time donated various vehicles, so that we could transport the children today. We thank the Lord for those who give, so that we had the ability to fill those cars and vans with fuel.  Thank you for praying for us at 10:00 a.m every day, and at other times during the day, so that our work will stay purely about Him, and so that we can keep extending deeper into this community with the love of Christ.

We are grateful for the privilege we have of serving alongside each of you as we support the people of this community in our 30th year.  To God be the glory, great things he has done!

Date Published: January 23, 2016

The “pause that refreshes!”

(5) martinlutherkingdayofservice-1

Students serving at Mission Arlington on Martin Luther King Day 2015

The popular Coca-cola slogan was created in the 1930’s as a way of encouraging people to drink the well-liked beverage all-year round and not just in the warmer months. This successful trademark certainly sold more coke, but it has also been used through the years as a metaphor for politics, economics, entertainment, and multiple other venues.

On this national holiday, the slogan seems to be a good way to think about getting out to make a difference.  Here at Mission Arlington® we accept as basic the biblical principle that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). It isn’t just that we believe it intellectually, but that we see it every day in practice, as we experience it ourselves.  We see the joy that people have as they get out of their comfort zones, and work hard to help someone else.  Instead of being spent, it fills people up.  There is just something beautiful and meaningful about doing something that provides authentic help to someone else, then not caring who gets the credit.  That sentiment describes this beautifully generous community perfectly.

The Mission Arlington® family has the privilege of partnering again today with Toni Kincaid and her team at the Arlington Martin Luther King (MLK) Four Day Celebration Committee with their 2016 Day of Service. In honor of Dr. King., hundreds of volunteers from this community will partner with non-profits across the North Texas area to “make a difference.” We are pleased to be one of the partners for this community wide effort today. In addition, students from Dallas Baptist University will be here to serve, along with church groups, students from various local schools, individual families, and volunteers.  It is going to be a great day.

If you would like to come and help today, you don’t need an appointment.  We’re here until 7:00 p.m. this evening, and there is plenty for you to do.  Come join us, won’t you?  We pray it will be the “pause that refreshes,” but not just for you, but for all those who will receive the practical support your help provides.  Working together, perhaps someone else’s load will be a little lighter.

We are grateful for you.  We look forward to working with you today.

Date Published: January 18, 2016

“Baby, it’s cold outside!”

Volunteers dressed warmly on a cold, winter's day at Mission Arlington, unloading warm clothes and blankets for people in need.

Volunteers dressed warmly on a cold, winter’s day at Mission Arlington, unloading warm clothes and blankets for people in need. We are grateful for your thoughtful, generous support.

As the winter weather touches the North Texas area, or whenever temperatures drop, or the wet, cold weather is headed our way, people need warm things to wear. Warm clothing is sometimes something that people take for granted, but not in this generous community. You give generously every day here, so that others less fortunate can have what they need to stay warm.

Many of you have had old, warm coats in your closet which you have personally dropped by Mission Arlington®. Families and neighborhoods have collected coats for us, or purchased new coats and sweaters for us to give away.  Several companies have gone to the effort of purchasing pallet loads of blankets, sending them here in large trucks.

One company dropped off 1,850 blankets this week, and we’ve been busy ever since handing them out.  Volunteers are here from all across North Texas today (see the picture above), braving the cold, giving of themselves and of their time to make a difference for someone else.  It is a beautiful sight.

So, if someone tries to get you to stay inside or out of the cold, let them know that you “really can’t stay,” despite their protests, because you need to get to Mission Arlington®. 🙂

You’ll be glad you did, and we’ll be here waiting for you. Thank you!

Date Published: January 16, 2016

Will the circle be unbroken? A call to pray.

Volunteers stop the work every morning at 10, circling to pray for the mission. It is always beautiful to see.

Volunteers stop the work every morning at 10, circling to pray for the mission. It is always beautiful to see.

If you have been around us for very long, no doubt you will have heard Tillie share her conviction that Mission Arlington® “runs on the prayers of the people.” This isn’t just her conviction, but it is the commitment of all those who serve here.

We do pay attention to industry standards and “best practices” for non-profits. We know that these standards steer organizations like ours to ethical, accountable, and transparent approaches to this important work, and that this is a benefit not just to us and our supporters, but to our community.  Towards that end, we voluntarily partner with charity watchdog organizations, such as “Charity Navigator,” the “Better Business Bureau,” and ECFA, a charity watchdog group which is designed specifically for faith-based non profits like ours.

Having said that, it is also and especially true, as we say here, that Mission Arlington® is more a “movement than a strategy, more a spirit than a structure, more like a family than an organization.” This place, and this work belong to the Lord, and so we believe that effectiveness in ministry come from being connected to Him.

It is for this reason that we are issuing a sincere “call for prayer” for the work here.  Often, when an organization does this, it is a technique to communicate a need of some kind, but that is not our motive.  We are not calling for prayer because of a crisis, but because this is the bread and butter of our daily work.  If you drive through our place at 10:00 on any given morning, you will see the work stop momentarily, as we hold hands in a circle to pray.

We are asking for each and every one of you, to the fullest extent possible,  to set a daily alarm for 10:00 a.m. every morning.  Would you join us?  This would be such a great gift for our work, and for each of us personally.

Pray as God leads, of course, but we especially ask that you

  1. pray for God’s provisions and
  2. pray for God’s protection.
  3. We ask that you talk with the Lord about more volunteers to lead our Bible studies, and/or to teach in our after-school programs, or doctors and dentists for the health clinics.
  4. We ask for prayer that our hearts will always be in tune with the Lord and with people as we serve here every day.  We thank you so much for your willingness to do this.  It surely is a great help to our work. We always want to have His heart for every person who comes through our doors.

If you already pray with us each morning, thank you.  If you don’t, would you join the circle of those who pray?   May this circle be unbroken.

Date Published: January 14, 2016
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