How it Began
The Allan Saxe Dental Clinic began with a question: “What are you doing to help people with their dental needs?” The question was asked over 22 years ago by a kindergarten teacher who moonlighted in dental offices at night. The question was asked by Jean Cagle. The person she asked was Tillie Burgin. Tillie’s response? “Whatever you want to do.”
That conversation led to the start of Mission Arlington’s dental clinic. Jean Saxe became the dental clinic’s first and only director. Dr. Allan Saxe learned of the need and contributed the seed money to facilitate the start, and the Dr. Alan Saxe Dental Clinic was born. The start was humble enough – with one room and one chair, and few volunteers.
More than two decades later the dental clinic has 50+ dentists who contribute, along with a host of other medical assistants and volunteers who routinely contribute their time, skills, and care. Through the first two months of this year, the clinic has already treated 1,382 patients, worth about $193 thousand dollars of free care. To repeat, patients are treated at the Saxe clinic free of charge.
How the process works
When the dental clinic opened, the Mission Arlington® team was able to treat people on a “first come/first serve” basis. As the number of people needing help grew, this process became untenable. People were waiting all day for help, but weren’t able to get into the clinic. Frustration and disappointment were the inevitable result.
In an attempt to improve the process, we decided to make appointments for anyone who needed to see a dentist. People would make an appointment with us on any day that we were open to help people – meaning every day except Sunday. Before long the waiting lists were 18 months to 2 years out, clearly an inadequate solution. For people in pain, even a week can be a long wait.
Once more we shifted our process. Now, on the first Monday of every month, we open a voicemail box here at the mission. People can access that voicemail beginning at 8:30 a.m. We make as many appointments as we possibly can based upon the number of dentists available to volunteer that month, but the volume of calls exceeds by ten times or more the number of spots available. We do not like this system, but we simply don’t know how else to do it.
A Two-Tiered Approach
Once people make it through the process described above, then they become members of the Saxe Dental Clinic. The second time they need to see a dentist, they make an appointment with our dental office like any of us would do with our own dentists. In other words, this difficult process – often compared to “pulling teeth,” only happens once. After that, people can make appointments with a simple phone call.
The Need is Great
The mornings of our “First Mondays” are often difficult mornings at the mission. Because of the heavy volume, people get frustrated. When people get frustrated, and understandably so, they contact us to express that frustration. They, or someone they care about, such as a spouse or a child are often in physical pain, and our greatest desire is for each one to get the help that they need.
As you pray with us on the first Monday of every month, please pray for the people, and ask the Lord, if you would, to keep adding medical professionals to our mix. If one dentist gives a week’s worth of time, we can knock the equivalent of 3 months off people’s wait time.
We are Thankful for you!
We can be in this community day after day, because of our heavenly Father’s great love. We can also be here to care for the people because of the way this community continues to contribute financially, with their time, and with their prayers. We are so grateful for the privilege we have of walking together with you day after day. Please come see us when you can, and to God be the glory!
Thank you for your faithful, generous support! Easter Week is special by itself of course, all over the world. At Mission Arlington®, it is a focused time to share God’s love in so many ways – whether at an Easter Store, a youth-focused worship service, or an Easter egg hunt.
Here are some of the results from the events of last week:
- The Easter Store happened on the Tuesday and Thursday of Easter Week. 1,057 people heard the Easter story, then took advantage of this free bundle of Easter supplies for their family. Forty different people made spiritual decisions.
- On Maundy Thursday, 218 youth from Mission Arlington® Bible studies gathered to worship, to administer and take the Lord’s supper, and to hear a message of challenge from the scriptures; After the service, they split back into their groups, ate pizza, and talked over/ prayed about what they had heard.
- On Good Friday several Mission Arlington congregations held worship services focused on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Strong groups of people attended each of these Friday evening services.
- The “World’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt” happened on Saturday. 4,600 children (with families) enjoyed the fun. Wonderful volunteers were everywhere, and every person who attended the egg hunt was able to hear a presentation about the Good News of Easter.
- On Easter Sunday morning, volunteers spread out across our community to lead Bible studies in 349 different locations. People crowded into apartment club houses, mobile home parks, neighborhood homes to worship a risen savior. It was a beautiful and extraordinary day.
Communication with You
It is important to us that we provide a steady stream of communication about what happens in and through this ministry. We want God to get all the glory, and we want you to know the many ways your gifts of love and time make a difference here.
We are grateful for your constant support.
Student groups from Arkansas have been here all week, helping us fill Easter eggs with candy, along with various other work projects, but also leading Rainbow Express® each afternoon and evening. Through Rainbow Express this past week, forty different people accepted Christ.
The Easter Store
The Easter Store was especially fun and meaningful this year. Because you give, we are able to provide Easter baskets and Spring items each of the two days that this free store was open. Families came together to hear the message of Easter, beautifully shared, then they filled their bags with all of the Spring goodies inside. Altogether, 1,057 people were helped through our “Easter Store” over the two-day period.
Maundy Thursday Service
Maundy comes from a Latin word which means mandated, and it grows out of Jesus’ command on the Thursday evening of Holy week. Jesus celebrated Passover with his disciples – his Last Supper. In their conversation, Jesus mandated a new command for the disciples to “love one another.” Mission Arlington gathered youth leaders last night, as they do every Maundy Thursday. They came with their Bible study leaders from all over our community to worship the Lord, to celebrate the Lord’s Supper together, and to spend time discussing in small groups what the evening had meant to them. 218 youth attended the service.
Good Friday Services
Tonight, in several locations, different Bible study groups will gather to worship the Lord on Good Friday, a somber day of remembrance of what Christ did for each of us on the cross.
“World’s Largest” Easter Egg Hunt
Tomorrow, if history holds true, about 5,000 children (with parents) will gather for our giant Easter Egg Hunt in the center of town. The Egg hunt is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1514 Cherry Dr., behind the Grace Street Fellowship congregation of Mission Arlington®. One hundred ten thousand eggs are stuffed, taped, and ready to go. We are so eager to see all of the kids coming our way.
Easter Sunday Morning
Easter Sunday morning, Mission Arlington’s congregations will gather in 349 locations, led by lay people, blue-jeans and banjos, worshipping a risen Lord. It is going to be a great day!
Thank you for your prayers and support for our work here. Praise His Name!
The Easter Store Opens Tomorrow.
Mission Arlington®’s Easter Store began as an extension of the Christmas Store concept. The thinking was “Easter is as important, if not more so, than Christmas,” so why not an Easter store to parallel what we do at Christmas? With that thought in mind, the Easter store began.”
Our Easter Store is free of charge and open to families who would like some Spring clothes, Easter baskets, and other items for their families and homes.
Easter Store Dates and Times
- The Easter Store opens from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 22nd and 23rd.
- The store is “free of charge,” and provides families with Easter baskets, Spring clothes, and other items;
- Everyone who comes will have the privilege of hearing the Easter story shared personally and creatively.
You are invited!
If you know families who could be blessed by this place for free Easter supplies, please let them know, and send them our way – or come yourself with family and friends. We look forward to seeing you here.
We want you to be connected and stay informed about what is happening here at Mission Arlington® on a regular basis. One good way to do that is through our daily updates, provided Monday through Friday each week.
Would you like to know how many children attended Rainbow Express yesterday, or how many children accepted Christ this week? Would you like to know which events are coming next? Or, perhaps, you are looking for the most updated information, so that you will know how best to pray with and for us?
The “daily update” section of our website is just the place for you. Updated most mornings before 9:00 a.m., this page communicates the hand-written note from our director, Tillie Burgin, which she writes on a “white board” in the common area of our offices downtown. We transcribe these notes and publish them for your viewing online.
While Tillie’s note was originally created primarily for those who work here and the volunteers who lead and serve in various parts of the ministry, we’ve noticed that the readership is much wider. We’ve discovered that people all over the world join with us each day by reading the daily notes from Tillie. In case you hadn’t discovered this section of our website, we wanted you to know about it too. We hope and pray that this “daily note” is informative, and gives you a boost for your day too.
We are so grateful for the constant, faithful prayer support of this incredible community. Like these in the picture above who have circled to pray for us at 10:00 one Saturday morning, your gifts make such a difference here.
In 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.
Children’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.
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.
- You do not have to register, nor provide personally identifiable information to access any part of our website,
- The only information we collect is what you voluntarily provide for use in “thank you letters,” to send receipts, and/or newsletters.
- We do not share, nor do we sell any information with any person, organization, or other entitites;
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.
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.
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?