Summer Camps Come to an End
As August 1st hits the stage, our July camps have come to an end. Zip lines, climbing walls, soccer in an open field,
swimming, a water slide, rope lines, and more were all part of the fun. Every student who attended camp heard an age appropriate message from the Bible, and they received lots of love from each Bible study leader too. Summer camps are always so much fun. Already, many are looking forward to next year.
Everything service provided through Mission Arlington® is free, and summer camps are no different. The camps were also divided into three age groups: 1) younger children (ages 5 – 3rd grade); 2) older children (4th – 6th grade), and 3) youth (7th – 12th grade). Here is how the attendance looked in each of these categories:
We are grateful for your support!
Altogether, 1,121 students attended a Mission Arlington® summer camp this year. Nine (9) of those students accepted Christ.
We love the privilege we have of walking alongside so many of these young people all year long, but the camps are especially a meaningful time together.
We are also grateful for your constant prayers, donated time, and financial support which undergirds the ministry here, making these camps possible. You are a blessing to us!
Of course every team, no matter how big or small, is important. Yet, there are also groups who act as a kind of “special team” in that they have a unique skill set, and/or they plug-in to help us “make a difference” at just the right time. Here are a few examples from this week.
Mission 58 began in the heart of Ron Evans, the pastor of the “Church Under the Tree” in North Dallas. They sent eight different youth groups adding up to hundreds of students who served at Mission Arlington® this week. Most of the students led “Rainbow Express, and 1 of their teams served on our campus, helping with work projects here at the Mission.
Dallas Baptist University provides a camp for high school students which they call “Servant University.” This camp mixes morning collegiate experiences with afternoon hands-on ministry projects, and fun activities in the evenings. 120 international students from this camp served with us on Tuesday afternoon. Their energy and enthusiasm of these high school students from several South American countries not only helped us get a lot of work done, but blessed many people along the way.
Ten adults from a Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) team came to serve for an afternoon with us. Their group was in town for a training conference in Grapevine, and we had the privilege of being their outreach partnership for the week. This team was especially helpful, and Darren, the team Mascot, endured the hot weather dressed in his suit while so many people had their pictures taken with him.
We are so grateful to live and work in the middle of a community of people who give their time and their abilities to help others who are less fortunate. Specialty teams like the ones mentioned here are a lot of fun, as is every group that comes to help. Thanks to each of you who give, volunteer, and pray in order to make a difference here. We are honored to walk this journey with you.
In the middle of so much happening here – from our front room to the donations about back, and to 45 different Rainbow Express® sites this week alone, July is the month for camps.
We had our first camp this past Saturday. More than 250 children (4th, 5th, 6th graders) came, and it was so much fun. In partnership with Camp Thurman, the campers enjoy a host of outdoor games – including rock climbing, zip lines, slap dodge ball, and swimming, and more. The young people enjoy a healthy lunch cooked by the Mission and delivered to the camp.
We have six more camps coming in July, seven altogether. The camps are divided into three different age groups: 1) younger children (K-3rd grade); 2) older children (4th-6th grade), and youth (7th – 12th). The younger kids camp, affectionately titled “kiddie camp” happens on Tuesday nights in July, and the others occur from 9:30 to 3:30 on Saturdays.
The children who attend these camps attend our Mission Arlington Bible studies and congregations®. The families of many of these students would not be able to afford a camp like this. For this reason, our camps are provided at no charge. We can do this, because of your constant, faithful support.
Please pray with and for us during this month of camp experiences. This past Saturday, at our first camp, seven campers started a new relationship with Christ. For some of us, it will have been a great experience, but considered “just another camp.” For these campers who met the Lord there, however, it was a day that will never be forgotten. We pray that these camps will be just what our Lord desires, and that we won’t miss one young person who needs encouragement and support.
Thank you so much for your prayers, your help, and your gifts. You are making a difference in the lives of many young people across our community.
Growth in Every Direction
Your Donations: If you have been down or have come through the Mission in recent days, then you know that our downtown campus often feels like a small, bustling city. To the west of Oak street, cars line up to donate all kinds of furniture. Our furniture delivery ministry operates outside on a parking lot, and we are currently picking up and delivering furniture at a record pace. On the east side of Oak street, another row of cars is in line to donate household items, clothing, and food.
A crowd of volunteers on each side of the street busily unloads people’s donations, laughing, enjoying the moments to help and serve those in need. Our hope is that these lines move quickly enough, so that no one ever has to wait too long to donate, but through the month of June and now into July, the lines don’t seem to dissipate. We are so amazed by the generous kindness of the beautiful community which surrounds us. As quickly as you bring it in, we deliver your gifts to those waiting on it.
Gathered Guests: At the north end of our campus, the front room is filled with guests who have found themselves experiencing a moment of need. More than 500 people a day continue to receive food, clothes, emergency financial assistance along with personal care and an offered prayer for God’s provision and blessing. Over time, we’ve noticed that the being attentive means almost as much as provisions. Many volunteers help us care for the people every day. We are so grateful.
Full Health Clinics: We have been so blessed every day by numerous volunteer dentists, physicians, and other health professionals who give their time and talents to help people struggling with their health. Each clinic stays full almost all the time with people struggling with various health needs. We are on a record pace to serve more in these clinics than ever before. In addition, a strong team of volunteer therapists, licensed counselors, and others provide sound counsel and support through our counseling center.
Into the Community: Church student groups from across the country land in Arlington every week. They worship with and receive training from us, then head out into multiple locations across our community to share God’s love through Rainbow Express®. Individuals, friends, families, civic and corporate teams are also landing with us each day to lift the load – sorting clothes, organizing school supplies, and moving food into the pantry for distribution.
Thirty+ summer missionaries from Texas, all across North America, and around the world are living and serving with us this summer. They assist our congregations, lead summer programs, and fill in wherever they are needed – often working 10 to 12 hours a day. June evenings were filled with Rainbow Express® and revival services. The month of July finds focus in 7 free camps for children and youth.
Growing Congregations: Volunteer teams continue to teach the Bible in 349 locations throughout our community. These congregations are growing numerically and spiritually as people learn God’s word and apply it to their circumstances. Each of these congregations are busy with Christ-centered activities, funerals, weddings, and all the things that churches do. These volunteers teach Sunday school, lead music, outreach, and a host of other activities.
Our Cup Overflows: The cup which King David references in the 23rd Psalm represents the provisions and blessings which are poured out by the Good Shepherd. and blessings. The cup is our normal portion in life that God gives each man and woman as He pleases. According to one writer, this psalm made sense to the Jews, because “when they received a guest, they would intentionally overfill the cup and allow it to run over and by doing this, the guest would know that they’re welcome to stay as long as they want.”
When we say that our cup runs over in these days, it is with a genuine sense of gratitude to God for the way he provides for His people. We watch you bring in so many gifts – whether it is clothes, or food, or fans for the heat, and the tears flow easily, because we see in you a kind of love which overflows in all directions to bless others. We are truly touched and grateful.
The Need Remains Strong: When we say that “our cup overflows,” we don’t in any way mean to communicate that you should stop giving or helping. The need is as great as ever for your investment here – whether it is to teach a Bible study to children who have never heard much about God’s love before, or to answer phones, to collect and/or to organize school supplies, and on and on. We continue to need your support in a growing number of ways and times so that God will be glorified in and through this ministry as the people receive the care they need and deserve.
We are truly grateful for you!
The Fourth of July Parade in downtown Arlington is a very special event for the Mission Arlington family. The longest-running event in Arlington, this 4th of July parade has been in continuous operation since 1965.
Tillie Burgin has been attending this parade for just about that long (minus the years the Burgin family served in S. Korea), because her father, Erman Lester, owned a Gulf full-service gas station directly across from the old City Hall, located at Pecan and Abram street downtown. Mr. Lester and his wife Bonnie hosted many citizens in those days, icing down cokes and serving them for a quarter, providing prime seats for the parade. Tillie was honored to serve as the parade’s “Grand Marshall” in 1998. The parade that year was dedicated to “those unsung heroes in our midst.”
In the mid nineties, SJ Stovall, former Mayor of Arlington, and then President of the Mission Metroplex, board started a tradition which still exists to this day. SJ was touched by the spirit, energy, and commitment of the students who gave all or part of their summers to serve the Lord in Arlington free of charge. July 4th morning, prior to the parade, became a time to serve breakfast and to honor these summer missionaries.
The Mission Arlington® family – which includes staff, volunteers, and family from our Bible studies and congregations – is gathered downtown this morning to enjoy family time around the breakfast tables, and then to view the parade. If you are in the parade, watch for us around Abram and West, just prior to your turn toward City Hall. If you are viewing the parade, drop by. We would love to see you.
When the parade ends around noon, this dedicated team of people will be at the mission to receive your donations, and to provide for people in need through the afternoon.
We love serving the Lord alongside this community for the past 31 years. Thank you for the way you give, serve, and pray to help others hear about God’s love, and to find what they need here to take care of their family. Happy Independence Day. We are grateful for you.
If you have been around Mission Arlington® for very long, then you already know that Rainbow Express® is our version of a backyard Bible club, or a Vacation Bible School.
Led by volunteer student groups from around the state and across the country, these 21/2 hour, four-day events gather children & youth for music, games, crafts, puppets, snacks, and Bible stories.
Summer Rainbow Express® began in the last week of May and will continue through the first weeks of summer. In the first days of the second week, nearly 700 children have attended already.Wow!
As these student groups fan out across our city, our ministry at the offices downtown stays strong. You are dropping by with food, clothing, and furniture from early to late. Volunteers are taking the furniture out to people who need it as soon as it arrives.
Hundreds of people are waiting in our front room for care every morning and throughout the day. Twenty+ student missionaries are embedded across the community leading summer programs every day with children & youth, and revivals are being held several nights each week through June.
We are humbled and honored to serve the Lord alongside each of you. A growing number of people stop to pray for this ministry every day at 10:00. Your prayers, your gifts, and your time are such an encouragement to us. Thank you. You are making a difference in this city.
Each summer, Mission Arlington® hosts revival services in several locations across our community. Our Bible studies and congregations join together for food, fellowship, worship, and community outreach, beginning in June, but continuing through the end of each summer.
Guest preachers and musicians will share with the people what the Lord has placed on their hearts, and every person will have an opportunity to begin or to renew their faith journey.
These two-to-three-day experiences typically begin with free food and fellowship around 6 p.m. The revival services start at 7:00 p.m. After a song or two, children 8 years of age and under get to enjoy Rainbow Express – with crafts, games, music, and Bible stories.
Revivals are great ways to experience God’s love, to worship the Lord freely, to enjoy the laughter and hugs from other believers, and to invite people interested in discovering a new faith journey to a safe place where they can learn more. Plus, put plainly, these revival services are a lot of fun.
If you would like to know more about our revival services, and/or if you would like to attend, click this link for our 2017 calendar to find dates and times. Or, you can call us at 817-277-6620, and we’ll get you the information you need.
Please pray with us through the summer, so that these won’t merely be revival services, but also an opportunity for revival itself to spark – in such a way that it becomes a fire which spreads through the land.
We are grateful for you!
We are excited to share that our first Summer Missionaries arrive here this Sunday evening. “Summer Missionaries” are high school and college-aged young people who work at Mission Arlington® for part, or for all, of the summer. Instead of taking summer jobs to get ahead financially, these students serve with us as full-time volunteers. Just under thirty are scheduled to live and work here through the summer.
These talented and energetic students are committed to Christ above all else. For this reason, they leave the comforts of home to spend their summer here – working with the Mission family to serve the children and youth in our community.
While they are here, these students will listen to and pray with people in our front room, organize and distribute food from the pantry, knock on doors out in the community inviting people to various events, lead summer programs with children and youth, and serve on teams within the various Bible studies and congregations of Mission Arlington® – – and a lot more.
These missionaries come from within the Bible studies of Mission Arlington®, from many cities across Texas, and from multiple states across North America. In addition, five of the students who serve here this summer call South Korea home. In partnership with Go Now Missions, and Korean Baptist churches, these International students will serve here for the summer.
At the end of this season as these dedicated young people have come and gone, they leave behind a field of spiritual influence in the lives of our community’s children and youth. Simply put, we are all better because they have come to give their lives here. The Mission Arlington® family is better because they have come, and we pray for them as they go. Their lives will be different too. (Read the testimonies of a few here, here, and here!)
As the Lord prompts your own heart, would you join us in prayer as these students arrive? Pray for them, and for their influence in and through the months ahead.
In geography, confluence stands for the “meeting of two or more bodies of water.” In one sense, it means the point where a tributary joins a larger stream. In another sense it refers to the place where two or more streams come together to become the source of a new river altogether. The Ohio river, for example is created out of three smaller rivers flowing into it.
Mission Arlington® is one of many places across our city where the principles behind confluence seem so apparent. In a very real sense, we are the ones who stand in the middle. As we say so often, the strength of what the Lord is doing here represents the energy, care, and generosity of a beautiful community. You give through us to others. We receive your gifts, and then we give them away to people in need. We are truly “twice-blessed.” Add to this that our ministry runs primarily by volunteer support, and you realize that not only does our community give the gifts, but you also participate in the organizing and donations of those gifts to people in need. To use a scriptural analogy from Ecclesiastes 4:12, “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Through the past few days, we have seen the confluence of so many different strands of our community intersect here – often on the same day – to make a difference in the lives of others. This past week, on a single day, volunteers from Nielsen, Mutual Liberty, Keller Williams, and Alcon/Novartis joined hands – no longer from separate companies, and no longer “Mission Arlington” or “the community,” but all one, a mighty force for good in the center of our city. It was extraordinary to watch, and a joy to be a part of. Add to that a multitude of students from Arlington Collegiate High School on a single day, and hundreds from Ousley Junior High each day this week, and the picture comes together.
In just a few days, we will be joined by young people from across our country, and a few who are coming here from around the world – summer missionaries who will spend the summer here, investing their lives for a season. Beyond that, student groups from every corner of our country will arrive in our city, joining forces to share God’s love in every part of our own city. An incredible stream of God’s love will flow through our city all summer long.
Day after day, we are honored to be here, to walk this journey with you, and to represent you as we love the people for whom you have sacrificed to receive help. Even deeper still, we want faithfully to honor our Lord, whose love was proven on a cross so long ago. The drops of mercy which flowed from Calvary have formed a mighty river of unstoppable love for all who will receive it. All glory to God.
For the 11th year in a row, Charity Navigator – the “largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities” nationwide – awarded Mission Arlington /Mission Metroplex® it’s 11th annual 4-STAR award.
The 4-STAR designation is the highest honor the respected charity watchdog bestows, placing us in the top 1 percent of charities they rate nationwide.
We are humbled to receive this honor once again, and we appreciate so much the faithful, sacrificial support of this community. You can view their annual report about our work here.
In a May 1st letter, Michael Thatcher, the President and CEO of Charity Navigator, says that this honor indicates to the public that we adhere to “best practices,” and that we “execute our mission” in a “financially efficient way.”
According to Thatcher, Mission Arlington /Mission Metroplex® “exceed industry standards,” outperforming “most other charities in America.” We are humbled and honored by this designation.
We can be here, now in our 31st year, because of the way you constantly give your time, prayers, and financial support day after day. When you give, we are able to give it away.
We believe that the honor we have received through this designation is a credit to the heart of a great community who cares about people in need.
We are grateful for the privilege we have of walking this journey with you.