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Spring Cleaning

Psalms 105: 3b “. . . .so that your youth is renewed like the eagles.” Children serving at Mission Arlington

Spring Cleaning really is a “thing” in our community, but it isn’t only a local phenomenon.  Spring Cleaning occurs in many cultures around the world. It refers to a kind of “deep cleaning” people do each spring.  You may not know this, but advice about Spring cleaning is abundant – from tips, checklists, and guides to simple shortcuts.  You can find the information almost anywhere and everywhere. If you haven’t started your spring cleaning yet, you might be just a little behind.

At Mission Arlington®, we know that the cleaning season is underway in our community, and that it has been for some time.  As you clean out closets in your home, or your business, you have been donating items to people who could use something special for their home.  Around this time every year, our donation bins stay full, and the line of cars coming through never quite empties.  We love it, because generosity is in the air, and the way you give continues to bless us. When you come by to “drop off,” you are always such an encouragement to us. Thank you.

Spring Cleaning  can also refer to a person or organization who is “getting their affairs in order” before a big event or a new season in life. For Christians, Easter is a time that many revive or rededicate themselves to faith. 40 days before Easter, Lent begins. This is a time when many will set aside something of value to them to focus on Christ and his journey to the cross. Easter can truly be a way for some people to begin their journey of faith, and also for many to renew their commitment to Christ.

Easter is an important time for the Mission Arlington® family too. In this season, we host an Easter Store, designed to bless families with specific needs for this season. On Thursday of holy week, we gather youth from our Bible studies for a Maundy Thursday service, one designed specifically for them. On the Saturday before Easter, we host what we affectionately call the “World’s Largest” Easter egg hunt.  And on Easter Sunday morning, our congregations gather with faithful believers here at home and all across the world to commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.  This is a season, we pray, when many can come clean before the Lord and to have a fresh new start.

We are so grateful for each and everyone of you who give, volunteer, and pray for us – not just in this season, but all year long.

Date Published: March 31, 2017

Boots on the Ground

A Rainbow Express during Spring Break last week.  Student groups from across the country came to share God’s love with thousands of children across our community. We are so grateful for each team and every person who came to serve.

 More than 7,000 children attended Rainbow Express over Spring Break, an average of 1,764 every day. 212 children and youth accepted Christ, including a few who came with their team.  

The phrase “boots on the ground” is attributed to General Volney F. Warner who gave the phrase new meaning around 1980 in reference to the Iranian Hostage Crisis. The phrase indicates ground forces who are actually fighting in a war or conflict as opposed to other military action created from a distance, such as the Pentagon “think tanks” or air force strikes from the sky.

Through these weeks of Spring Break and on into the summer, teams of people from across Texas and around our country are landing in this community to share the good news of Christ. As we’ve watched a sea of buses/vans arrive in our city this past week (over 1,600 students), “boots on the ground” is one image that seemed relevant.  Instead of a battle, however, this large team of people had landed here to share God’s love

One of Mission Arlington®’s twin values is “taking church to the people.” Instead of waiting, or hoping, that people will come from their homes into our church buildings, we’ve believed from the beginning the believers should leave their places of comfort and take the Lord’s love into each and every home across our city. That’s what has happened here this week.

Of course, these teams are following the marching orders given to all Christians,  from the Lord himself – to go into all the world making disciples (Matthew 28: 18-20). These student groups come to lead Rainbow Express®, our version of a backyard Bible club. Children have fun, enjoying snacks, crafts, active games, music (including some silly songs), snacks, and a Bible story.

Each Rainbow Express® lasts for a couple of hours over four days. We are so grateful for each and every volunteer who leaves their comfort zone to move throughout this community to share God’s love. In a very real sense, you are the “boots on the ground,” in God’s army, to spread His love and peace in this community – one life at a time.  We love the privilege we have of serving alongside you each and every day. Many more weeks ahead.

Date Published: March 18, 2017

Rainbow Express® Begins

 It’s Spring Break at Mission Arlington®

 Spring at Mission Arlington®  means the start of Rainbow Express®. If you haven’t heard of Rainbow Express® before, it is our name for a “backyard Bible club. ” Student groups come from around the nation to help, and it is always so much fun.
  1,600 students  will arrive
here to lead these events in  93 different locations . Several groups are already here this week – serving here each morningand leading Rainbow Express® every afternoon.

What is Rainbow Express?

Each event lasts around two hours, and happens over a four-day span of time in each location. Fun songs, outdoor activities, crafts, and Bible stories make up the experience. Plus, there is a lot
of individual love and attention given to each child.

Sharing Jesus

Where do these student groups stay?

Some of the teams coming into town stay in local hotels, of course, but many of the 65 different groups who come need a place to stay.  In order to make it easier for churches to bring their students, we will house them in as many of our facilities as we possibly can. Staying in a Mission Arlington®  location basically means that each student will have a clean and safe place to stay where everyone sleeps on the floor. They will have access to restrooms, showers, and a small kitchen.  We provide these facilities free of charge, and they are spartan.

How you can help

The best and most important service you can offer us through this week, Spring Break, and the weeks to come is to pray. Please pray for an outpouring of God’s Spirit, for the right connections to be made between church youth groups and individual children & youth in the community. Pray for safety in travel, and above all, please pray that there will be no distractions from the message of the gospel of Christ.  We are praying specifically for people to be saved. May our Lord be glorified through it all.

We are grateful for you!

Date Published: March 8, 2017

The Power and Priority of Prayer

If you have followed us for very long at all, you will know that we express appreciation often for those who give and volunteer, and also for those of you who pray for us.

We publish “prayer circles” each week, a kind of guide for collective prayers, and we have asked that people “pray without ceasing” on the one hand, but also that those of us who pray could metaphorically join hands each morning at 10:00.

We have a beautiful sense of the covering provided for this place, because people pray. We are truly grateful.

On the last Thursday of each month, the Mission Arlington® family gathers to pray. Last night, we watched taped testimony from a worshipper at Brooklyn Tabernacle in Brooklyn, New York who had reached the heights of success in the world of fashion, but lost it all through an addiction to drugs.  It was the power of prayer in this man’s life which saved his life, and connected him to Christ. It was a direct reminder of prayer’s power, and that we should never give up on any one. No one is beyond the reach of God’s love.

Tillie Burgin, our Director, spoke to the team last night, reminding us that most Christians believe in prayer. However, she wondered  “how many know intuitively and practically prayer’s power?” ?   Our prayer time together was significant and strong.  We prayed for the Bible studies we lead throughout our city. We prayed for each other personally, and we prayed for revival to come to our city, beginning with us.

In the Old Testament, after Job suffered so much, he demanded an audience with God multiple times (Job 10:2; 13:3; 13:22-24; 19:7), God shows up and answers Job.   When the Lord finishes, Job says “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you. (42:5).

We are writing today specifically to say “Thank you for your faithful prayers on our behalf,” and to request that you continue.  Our heart’s desire is that God find us faithful and in tune with His will for our lives personally and for the Mission collectively.  May God move in and through each of us to make a difference in our homes, our neighborhoods, our city, our country, and our world.

We are grateful for your support.

Date Published: February 24, 2017

In League with Children

 Mission Arlington®’s children’s basketball leagues begin tomorrow, and continue each Saturday in February from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. 

In 2016, seventy (70) children played ball with us over four different Saturdays, adding up to a total attendance for the month of more than 400.

Children from Mission Arlington Bible studies enjoy playing basketball in a safe and fun environment

Bible study leaders drive mission vans out across our community to pick up children early on Saturday morning.  The Bible study groups form the teams, and through the years, they have enjoyed playing half court games against each other.

A couple of years ago, Jerry McCullough, former Superintendent of the Arlington ISD, and currently a Bible study teacher and team leader at one of our apartment congregations, took the lead.  The Lord led Dr. McCullough to enlist skilled volunteers from across the community, along with the Bible study teams, who would give their time and talent to coach the children.

When the leagues begin tomorrow, these volunteer coaches will lead a miniature basketball camp, teaching children the fundamentals of the game. These future basketball stars will learn how to dribble, pass, work on a team, all along getting great exercise and positive feedback from the coaches and their Bible study leaders.

Please pray with us as we gather the children through Saturdays in February. We are always thankful for your faithful support.

Date Published: February 3, 2017

Bible Olympics

A balloon game to help children learn the scriptures at Bible Olympics in 2016

We live in a day where biblical literacy is on the decline.  In fact, some consider the rate of illiteracy so alarming, they refer to it as an epidemic. From working in apartment ministry through the years, we have seen too that many people who are new to faith, or close to beginning their faith journey, simply haven’t had much interaction with or awareness of the biblical message.

Bible Olympics has been a part of Mission Arlington’s repertoire for as far back as any of us can remember. It is our effort, as the book of Proverb contends, to “train up a child” in the way that they should go.  The Olympic efforts of Mission Arlington® are designed to teach the children God’s word in creative and fun ways.

This annual event uses creative games, crafts, and loving mentors to educate children about biblical organization and content.  The point, however, isn’t Bible trivia, but introducing students to Christ, and to the transforming power of God’s word.

With free food and transportation, we are looking forward to a great day. We are grateful for your constant, faithful support. Thank you, and all glory to God.

Date Published: January 28, 2017

In the Gym

Children’s Gym Night 11/11/16

As the new year begins, many new commitments are made. Among those new directions for many is a commitment to “time in the gym,” working out and taking care of our bodies.  The Mission Arlington® family loves the new year.  Everything we enjoyed in the previous year comes around again.  One commitment we enjoy throughout each year is an event we call “Gym Night.”

Gym Nights happen on Friday evenings twice a month through much of the year. Children and youth, on separate nights, enjoy time in the gym – playing basketball, games of all kinds, and hearing a short Bible study designed specifically for them.

Last year hundreds of young people participated in these free events. They enjoy the night out, the physical activity, the time with their Bible study leaders, and they develop better relationships with their peers and also with the Lord.

We are so grateful for the privilege we have of sharing our lives with and investing in these energetic and strong young people.  While we know how much fun these kids have, the truth is that we who get to be with them on these Friday nights are immensely blessed by the privilege. There is a lot of teamwork, laughter, and love that happens on these nights.

Thank you so much for the privilege we have of serving alongside of you in this community. Your faithful, generous prayers, help, and financial support play such a big part in all we do.

If you are looking for us tonight, we’ll be in the gym.  That’s our commitment, and we’re sticking to it.

Date Published: January 20, 2017

Advancing the Dream

You can “advance the dream” by volunteering and helping others. Pictured here, volunteers on this day from 2016.

You are invited to help others on this special day of service dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  King reminded us that:  “Everybody can be great . . . because anybody can serve.” 

We certainly agree. Mission Arlington® will be open on Monday, January 16th, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We welcome walk ups and/or teams. Join others who will be here all day long – sorting clothes, food, household items and furniture.

If you are serving with the Arlington MLK Day of Service, arrive by 9:00 a.m. to the Mission Metroplex building at 400 W. South St.  We are honored to host this amazing group of people who will serve all over our community. Look for the friendly volunteers all around who will help you park and find the right spot. From there you will be divided up in multiple places to serve around the Metroplex, including Mission Arlington®.

Toni Kincaid, long-time chair of the Arlington MLK service day says that the “best way to honor Dr. King is through service and volunteering.  We agree. You will work hard, but have fun, and feel rewarded when you end, because it is always more blessed to give than to receive.

Why not “make it a day on, and not a day off? It is going to be a great day.

We look forward to seeing you here!
Date Published: January 15, 2017

Keeping the main thing the main thing!

Stephen Covey authored The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People which sold over 25 million copies. One of the principals Covey taught, is that successful people “keep the main thing the main thing.” Others have pointed out that what is true of people is also true of families, businesses, and more.

At Mission Arlington®, through 2016, we have attempted to do just that. Many people were touched by the ministry here last year:

  1. Through the Holidays:
    1. 3,000 Children attended the Fall Festival;
    2. 6,083 families and 25,869 people received Thanksgiving food, and
    3. 30,010 children (7,282 families) received Christmas gifts. 4,000 children received bikes, and 11,67 people made spiritual decisions, including 303 who accepted Christ;
    4. Easter activities ministered to 5,875 people.
  2. Nearly 40,000 families received personal & spiritual care through emergency assistance (food, clothes, household items, furniture, and financial assistance with rent and utilities).  In other words, nearly 150,000 people received care through our front room.
  3. Health Care: 1) Dental Clinic: 3,176 people treated, $968,192 of free care; 2) Nearly 9,000 office visits(8,976) received $1,182,340 worth of free medical care;
  4. Bible Studies in 349 locations with thousands in attendance each week;
  5. Children and Youth: 28,668 attended Rainbow Express in 401 locations over the Spring and Summer.  420 youth attended two rallies designed specifically for them at Easter and for a back to school event. Baseball, Basketball, and Wrestling form the three Sport’s leagues we sponsor with a total attendance of more than 2,000 this past year.

In the midst of all the ministry, we remember the difference between helping someone in a moment of need, and sharing with them the Love of God which changes a heart for a lifetime.  We also remember every single day that we have been supported by a strong and faithful community of people who give, pray, and help so that others less fortunate can find comfort and practical help.  We are grateful for you.

Thank you for walking with us through the transition from the 30th to our 31st year. To God be the glory.

Date Published: January 12, 2017

Over Thirty Years: A brief look back

Mission Arlington® turned thirty years old on August 1st of this year.   This has been another strong year for the ministry, primarily because the community which surrounds us continues to pray, to help, and to give as they have for three decades. We are grateful.

We are also grateful for our friends at the City of Arlington who put together this video about us a while back.  It is 2:08 seconds long.  In this video, Tillie Burgin, our Executive Director, takes a rare moment to look back at how far the Lord has brought this ministry over the last thirty years.

If you haven’t seen this before, we hope you enjoy it. If you’ve already watched it, then we hope it blesses you again as you hear Tillie’s heart for the Lord and for this city.

Please take a moment to read the beautiful article published on the City’s website about our work here. We are grateful every day for your support, and we are excited about the coming new year.

Date Published: December 26, 2016
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