Students in our community have the opportunity to participate in Mission Arlington’s basketball leagues every Saturday in February and March, and it is so much fun. Bible study leaders pick up a van or bus at our downtown offices on Saturday morning, then gather students from their homes and bring them to play in our basketball leagues. More than 50 young people join in each week.
Historically, organizations have produced various reports and surveys about the connection between sports and the health of students. Of course, the physical exercise is good for the health of children and teens, but there are other benefits as well.
For example, students learn how to win and/or to lose in a safe environment. They learn what it means to play on a team – to pass the ball instead of taking the shot. Some believe, of course, that the discipline and dedication it takes to play sports also impacts other areas of life later on.
An additional benefit is that students learn and practice the basic skills of the game which give them a head start for sports participation in other arenas later in life. Each year, our volunteer head coach explains dribbling, passing, and other terms the students will need as they grow in their knowledge of the game.
The Mission Arlington® Difference
On a Mission Arlington® league, the students always have fun. Observers will see a lot of smiles and laughter throughout the practices. Also, each session begins and concludes with prayer, and biblical devotions are incorporated into each practice.
The heart of our work with children and youth isn’t the hope that these students will be leading the league in later years, but that each one knows how much God loves them, and they are important to the Lord, and to us.
Our Saturday competitions are exercises in fun and constant encouragement. You can see instruction taking place in the context of phrases like “Well done” and “Good job!” We are so grateful for each volunteer coach and every Bible study leader who give their Saturdays to make a difference in the lives of students.
Please keep these events in your prayers through February and March. We are grateful for you.
“First Mondays” are an important day for the Mission Arlington® family. For many people, of course, “First Monday” refers to Canton, Texas, and their famous trading zone which happens on the first Monday of each month. It means something completely different here.
Our Initial Approach
Many years ago, a patient could gain access to our dental clinic any given day on a “first-come/”first serve” basis. Yet, the need was so great, that many people waited all day without getting in to see one of our volunteer dentists. People were understandably frustrated, and we were too.
Our Second Attempt
At that point, we decided to take another approach. Anyone who fit the parameters of our care who needed to see a dentist could sign up at any time when they came through our “front room.” The need for dental care was so great, unfortunately, that those “front room” appointments began to be a year to 18 months, and sometimes even two years out. We found ourselves saying to adults experiencing dental pain that they could see our dentist, but not for a long time. We were doing our best, but it didn’t feel good to anyone.
At 8:30 a.m., on the first Monday of every month, potential patients of the dental clinic can call our dental hot line number (817-860-4474). We take as many new patients as possible each month. We have nearly 60 dentists who volunteer with us each year at varying levels of frequency. In 2018, we treated more than 1,300 patients over 3,600 times, so we have a strong and active clinic. Even so, the number of people trying to get through on those First Mondays is way more than the number of slots we have available.
As you pray for the Mission, would you remember to pray for the Lord to prompt more volunteer dentists to come and serve. The family of dentists in and around our community who provide support are amazing, generous, and dedicated. They work long hours in their own profession, then donate their time and skill to help the lest fortunate through our clinic. With each new volunteer, however, we are able to help so many more people. Please join us in asking the Lord for more dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers.
Spread the Word
If you are a dentist with some potential extra time coming up, please give us a call. Debbie M. at 817-704-6141 can help get you connected. If you know someone you think would be a great help to the people here, please spread the word about our clinic. You never know how the Lord can use your voice to make a difference.
We are grateful for the privilege we have of serving with each of you in this community.
The Arlington Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration reaches its 30th year of “building harmony,” and “celebrating diversity” in our community. After a weekend of celebration filled with noted speakers, special tributes, student scholarships, Step competitions, mixtures of poetry, jazz, and so much more, volunteers come together in a “Day of Service” on Monday to serve throughout their community.
Instead of a day off, our community is encouraged to make it a “day on,” serving others to make a difference across our community. The Mission Arlington®/Mission Metroplex® family is thrilled to be one service partner among many on this day.
Volunteers can join the opening ceremonies for the day, which includes a continental breakfast and t-shirts for the first 300 people to arrive, by arriving at 400 W. South Street at 9 a.m. on Monday morning, January 21st. The Arlington Martin Luther King, Jr. team will sign you in, and get you your assignments and tools for the day. For more information about this weekend, check out the official website here.
Mission Arlington® will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. If you aren’t able to make it by 9:00, but can come earlier or later, then please come on down to serve. Come by yourself, bring a friend, or come with your team. There is so much that you can do to help others in need throughout this community. Come ready to work hard, and to have the most fun ever.
We look forward to seeing you here.
A new year is just around the corner. Where did the old one go? Life seems to move more quickly than ever. We are so grateful for our partnership with you through each turn, and for the confidence we have of walking this journey together as the new year unfolds. We want to invite you to join us in a couple of ventures as we say goodbye to 2018 and hello to 2019.
“Praying In” the New Year
The Mission Arlington® family has a tradition for New Year’s eve. After a full day of receiving donations from one of the most generous communities we know about, we finish about 6 p.m., an hour earlier than normal. At 7:00, we gather to worship and pray. We sing the songs of our heart for fifteen minutes or so, and then we pray silently. We don’t have a long devotional or a message. We simply pray. The service is open-ended, so that people leave when they are finished praying. The room empties over time, and we quietly finish the new year together. We don’t stay up late, because we will be back in the office early on January 1st, ready to serve and to help.
We would be honored if you would join us on New Year’s Eve, but even if you can’t be with us physically, we invite you to stop wherever you are to pray for God to be honored through our work, and for people to receive the care they need as we go throughout 2019.
Praying “in the New Year”
We also invite you to pray with us and for the work each day of 2019. Strategies and hard work are important, of course, and it is important to do what we do as best we can. But if that is all we do, then our work won’t have the impact it should, because it will be dependent upon our own strength and resources.
With all of our hearts, we believe that our work is fueled by prayer. Mission Arlington belongs to the Lord. The following paragraph describes the Spirit of our work well:
Mission Arlington® belongs to God. This isn’t our story, but His. He had plans in place for this Ministry and for all who work here long before it happened. He started this mission, sustains us moment by moment, and He holds our future in His hands.
As we talk about who we are it is with sincere humility, a sense of dependency and a commitment to the leadership of His Spirit within us.
You can read the full expression of the above paragraph here.
You can pray for us “in the New Year” anyway that works best for you. For one possible pattern, we suggest that people stop whereever they are at 10:00 every morning – a pause – to pray for God’s work here. In this way, we can symbolically hold hands across our community, and indeed, around the world, to pray for the Mission.
We provide suggestions about ways to pray which you can receive by joining our prayer network. You can find instructions here.
We are grateful for you.
Thank you so much for walking this journey with us. We love you, and we love serving in and with this community to care for people in need. We do pray for you as you let us know your needs. We are grateful for you, and we are excited about walking together through the months ahead.
The Need is Great and Real
Perhaps we have all been there at one point or another in our lives – when the job ended in November, or unexpected expenses made Christmas money difficult. Maybe you remember what it is like to tell your children that there won’t be much Christmas this year, or like one mom said to her children – “Santa’s sleigh doesn’t extend this far.”
If you have found yourself at that difficult spot at one point or another in your life, then you will understand the heart of Mission Arlington.® We know that you do understand, because you have provided Christmas toys, trees and bikes in an unprecedented way. Day after day, you have given, so that our community’s children will have something under their tree. We wish you could see the tears of relief and joy that roll down the cheeks of moms and dads whose children will have Christmas because you gave.
The Christmas Story
Meeting the needs of our community’s families is important to us, but there is another reason that we do Christmas like we do. We want as many as possible to know the story of Christmas encapsulated in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Christ as it was described in the Gospel narratives of Matthew and Luke. Christmas gifts will last for a season, but a relationship with Christ will last eternally. It is for this reason that you will hear Tillie say that the Mission Arlington® family “celebrates Christmas 365 days a year.” Truly, every day is another day to share God’s love as we care for people in authentic ways.
- The Christmas Store is a place where parents choose free gifts for their children. It started small over 30 years ago, but has grown to be a large endeavor to provide Christmas gifts for families in need. Last year, 33,700 children received Christmas toys, bikes, trees, and an assortment of other gifts. Though the numbers aren’t tabulated yet, it looks like this year’s store may have made our biggest impact yet. Thank you.
- Adopt a Family – In addition to our Christmas Store, we connect donors with families in need. Donors tell us how many children they would like to provide for, and Mission Arlington® connects these families with their gifts. Often, the donors get to meet the families in a sweet moment of celebration. This year’s adopt a family program was as large as ever.
- Bicycle donations – We have a team of people who take old bikes and repair them, providing new parts, until the bike is nearly new. These restored bikes are provided to children and teenagers throughout the Christmas season. The Bikes for Mission Arlington® team collected more bikes than ever before this year. Individuals, families, and other teams also brought bikes. We believe we may have given out more brand new bikes this year than at any other time.
- Angel Trees – Sometimes individuals and/or groups want to provide for a certain number of children or groups of children. The Mission family will then provide the names, ages, and Christmas wish lists for these individual children and connect the two groups together.
- Christmas Parties – Companies, civic groups, corporations, student groups and more will throw a Christmas party for Mission Arlington® children. Usually, this involves a dinner, a gift exchange of some kind, and the appearance of Santa Claus. The children who receive are always so blessed, not just by the gifts, but by the heart and the spirit of the team who gives to make a difference.
The apostle Paul points us to a statement Jesus made which still rings true today – “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:38). The interesting truth is that the people who give aren’t necessarily rich themselves, giving out of an abundant overflow of stuff they wouldn’t need or use anyway. In fact, most people who gave to help others this season gave from their heart, out of genuine love, and often sacrificially. Yet, as we saw the tears fall, and the smiles grow large, we knew that the givers themselves were truly being blessed.
A Merry Christmas
If caring for others makes Christmas Merry, then truly this will be a Merry Christmas all across our community this year. Thank you so much for loving the Lord and loving people like you do. On Christmas morning, as you open the gifts around your tree, and celebrate with your families, please know that you’ve made a difference here. Children who would not have had a Christmas any other way are opening their gifts too. That is truly a gift of love.
From our family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas
Our Christmas Store opened to the public today. Hundreds of families came through the store, receiving love, encouragement, and lots of gifts for their family.
A Generous and Kind Community
We have been preparing all-year-long for this day. You have given throughout the year to make today possible, and you have done it in extraordinary ways. For example, young children across our community have given their toys, so that other children could be blessed. Parents have purchased one gift for their children, then doubled down on another gift to bless someone else’s child. Companies have parties and various gatherings, but instead of Christmas gifts for each other, they choose to supply gifts for children in need. Churches, civic groups, and corporations gather toys, so that children will be blessed. It’s a story that has as many renditions as there are people, each one beautiful in its own right and worth re-telling.
The Difference You Make
We wish that each of you could see the smiles on the faces of parents as they exit the store, arms filled with wrapped gifts for their children. The smiles, the Christmas greetings, and the expressions of gratitude sounded throughout the halls of the store today, and it was extraordinary to experience. We know that the acclamation expressed to us, was intended for you. We hope you know it too. All of us working together can make a difference in the lives of ordinary, but very real people at the very point of their need. We are grateful to be one part of such a generous community.
You may be surprised to know that we have adults who come by from time to time who remember the days when they were children – in families experiencing a momentary hardship where everyone knew Christmas would be scarce. Then the gifts showed up around their tree, because someone they didn’t know gave to make a difference. Years later, those stories still bring tears to the eyes of those children – now grown men and women. The beautiful thing too is how often it creates in them a desire to give back, or to pay it forward.
The Road Ahead
The Christmas Store will open again on Monday, December 10th. It stays open every day through December 22nd, excluding Sundays, always from 10 to 6. Christmas gifts and toys are always needed, and volunteers too. If you and your family want to come, please come on in whenever you are available. You don’t need an appointment. If you are bringing a group, we welcome you too, anytime you are able to serve. Give us a call, or drop us a note, and we’ll get your team on our schedule.
Please keep us in your prayers through the days ahead. We are grateful for your support!
Thanksgiving brings us together. All across our nation, families come home, gather around the table. Our differences become smaller than what unites us, and we often recognize, even when times are tough, how blessed we are.
Thanksgiving at Mission Arlington® is as much a spirit as it is an event. We see in one place, and in one morning, what we experience all year long – from a community which gives more than it receives simply to bless someone else in need.
Perhaps some of us have been there when times were tough, and the price of a turkey was too much for the family to afford. Many know what it is like to wish someone had cared for them in their moment of need. We hear it every Thanksgiving from some one – “I used to be the one receiving this meal. Now, I am here to give back.” They want to make sure that others never have to be hungry and alone on Thanksgiving morning, so they drive from all across the DFW Metroplex, give their time, spend their own money to purchase the food.
Others have been blessed all along, and haven’t necessarily known a need like this, but they bring their children to serve, because on this special holiday, the parents want their children to know how blessed they really are. Perhaps the children don’t have every toy and technological tool that they want, or the newest clothes, but they have more than they need. As they deliver the Thanksgiving meals with their families, the children experience the rich blessing of service to others and love for all without a need to know the details. “Thanks for letting us bring our children” is a refrain heard often, among the crowd.
For many, this day at Mission Arlington® has become a family tradition. They meet other family, or they come with a team, and they have been serving in the Thanksgiving line for 10 or 15 years in a row. They will often say to us “Do you remember when?” and mention some detail of a Thanksgiving day gone by. Years ago, a few volunteers got up at 3:00 a.m. to make coffee for the Thanksgiving Day volunteers. The year before had been cold and wet, and they wanted people to have a hot cup of coffee to drink. It took most of the night to make 5,000 cups of coffee. That particular Thanksgiving morning was very warm, and people had already stopped to purchase their coffee on the way in. We did give away a lot of coffee on that day, but we also had quite a bit left. We still smile about those days.
The laughter and love which spills over all across the city is extraordinary to experience. If you would like to be part of it, please join us. We start at 8:00 a.m. It may be one of the best Thanksgiving day experiences of your life. All glory to God.
See here for more details.
We hope you enjoy this 3:20 second video of the Fall Festival from another year.
Fall means Fall Festivals at Mission Arlington®, and we are so excited. No one can say exactly when our Fall Festival began, because it didn’t begin as one big event like it is today, but as several smaller events across our community led by individual Mission Arlington® Bible studies and Congregations.
Until several years ago, the scattered and smaller events made more sense. As the number of individual events grew, along with the attendance at those events, it seemed best to create one large Festival located centrally in Arlington. And that is just what we did. Take a few minutes to view the video above, and you’ll get a sense of how much fun this event is for every one.
Now, we have almost 3 thousand children (with their families) attend each year. Though it isn’t required, many of the children dress in creative and colorful (not scary) costumes. Parents get to spend an afternoon with their children in the outdoors, away from the TV and other forms of technological entertainment. This is one of the most FUN events of the year.
Here are the details for this year’s festival:
When: Saturday, October 27th, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.;
Where: 1514 Cherry Lane, near the intersection of Fielder & Pioneer Drive (303);
What: Food, Carnival Games, Bouncy Houses, Fire Trucks, and a giant Hay Ride; The children play carnival games (bowling, fishing, miniature golf, bean-bag toss, face painting, and so much more), and win fun prizes. There are two sets of bouncy houses outside which require some climbing and sliding ability. They hay ride may be the most popular attraction at the Festival each year. Children load into a wagon filled with seats made of hay bales, and they are carried twice around a huge field in a trailer pulled along by giant tractors. At the end of the day, as long as their isn’t an active fire anywhere else, the children get to meet firefighters and tour their truck.
How Much? Everything we do is FREE.
How You Can Help
- Individually Wrapped Bags of Candy are needed. Please bring the candy to the Mission offices anytime up to the start of the Festival on the 27th.
- Volunteers are needed to help with carnival booths, serve food, staff the bouncy houses, and to set up or clean up. If you (and/or your team) want to volunteer, give us a call at 817-277-6620, and we’ll get you set up.
Last year, nearly 3,000 children (with their families) enjoyed this event, most of them dressed in creative and colorful costumes. Come join us, won’t you?
North Texas Giving Day
The North Texas Giving Day happens again on Thursday, September 20th. This is a special day for participating Non-Profits in the DFW region, and it is powered by the good people at the Communities Foundation of Texas. Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® has been pleased to participate in this experience for the last several years.
How Does it Work?
The 2018 “Day of Giving” happens over an 18 hour window, between 6:00 a.m. and 12:00 a.m. on Thursday, September 20th. When you contribute to us through the North Texas Giving Day LINK, the Communities Foundation of Texas will add to your gift, multiplying its impact. This means that your gift goes farther than it would with a direct contribution here.
If you are going to be “out of pocket” for some reason on September 20th, you can schedule your donation in advance through the same LINK.
Your Gift Will Go Farther & Make A Difference
- Our administrative overhead continues to be at 2.3 percent. This means that almost 98 cents of every dollar ministers directly to people in need.
- Between 500 – 600 people a day come through our front doors for help six days each week. We provide emergency services for families in crisis, including food, clothes, furniture, and emergency financial assistance. Our medical and dental clinics treat hundreds of people each month, and we do a great deal of work with children & youth all year long.
- You can discover more about our services , our “hours of operation,” and/or our contact information at the corresponding links.
Grateful for You
Your gifts on this day through the past few years have been an encouragement to us, and also have made a significant difference in the lives of the people we serve every day. We are grateful for you.
9,000 students have received supplies so far.
You provide what students need.
We are so amazed by your constant generosity. So many individuals and teams collected school supplies, bringing in exactly what we needed day by day. Others sent funds to purchase supplies. Still others found creative ways to give. It has been so much fun to see the joy on your face as you drop by, school supplies in hand.
We are always so encouraged and blessed by your generosity, and we wish that every one of you could see the smiles on the children as they receive the supplies. By the time school began this Fall, we had provided more supplies to more than 9,000 students, and that number continues to grow.
We flex to meet those needs.
For various reasons families aren’t able to sign up for their supplies by the time that school begins. Many families have parents who are determined to purchase the supplies for their children instead of receiving them from us.
Other families have just lost their job or experienced a hospitalization of some kind which puts them behind in providing the resources they need for their children’s education. When something does fall through (as it could for any of us,) the Mission family is so glad we can be here to help, and do do it with the kind of encouragement and support that any of us would want for ourselves or for people we care about. We will update you as the final numbers come in.
We get to do it together!
We love the privilege of doing what we do here every day, and we especially love walking this journey with you! Thank you so much!