Starting this Saturday, May 1st, the Mission Arlington® family will host “Fun Days,” designed especially for our community’s children & youth. We will do this each Saturday through May 22nd., from 9:00 a.m. – Noon, and it is going to be so much fun!
Bible study leaders will gather early on Saturday morning to pick up vans & buses, to then make the rounds picking up and transporting the children to this fun-filled, outdoor event.
Once there, the kids will get to play baseball (on a beautiful field built just for them), soccer cages, kick ball, whiffle ball, slap dodgeball, and an amazing playground for the younger children too.
For all of you who constantly pray for and provide support to Mission Arlington®, would you keep this event in your prayers? If you are interested in learning more, or perhaps you know a family or young person who might want to participate, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information.
Saturdays in May are going to be so much fun! Thank you so much for your constant support.
This past Sunday, Fielder Church did something extraordinary. They closed their doors. That makes quite the headline, doesn’t it? At a glance, the provocative tagline makes it seem like something with the church went horribly wrong.
Instead, the true story is exactly the opposite, because while the church figuratively closed the doors of its church building, the church itself – God’s people – spread out all across our community to “make a difference.”
Instead of gathering for Bible study & worship at one of their three campuses, one thousand (1,000) people from the Fielder family “served the city,” blessing so many people along their way.
In partnership with Mission Arlington’s Bible study teams, the Fielder family dispersed to over fifty (50) different locations across four cities (Arlington, Grand Prairie, Dallas, Fort Worth).
These teams held “kids clubs,” served lunches, trimmed trees, passed out flyers, played fun games with children & youth, and did so much more, all to share God’s love, while simultaneously blessing/encouraging the volunteer Bible study leaders and teams who serve in these places every week.
We are so grateful for the partnerships we share with churches across the DFW Metroplex, but especially this week for our friends at Fielder church, their support all year long, and the amazing & special efforts from last Sunday.
The Easter Season is a significant time for Christians around the globe, and it has always been a special week for the Mission Arlington® family. Here are the results of a few of our ministries from this past week.
Historically, our Easter Store has been a place where families from the community come to receive free Easter supplies – baskets, and all kinds of fun items for Spring and the Easter Season. This year, because of the continued influence of COVID-19 on volunteers, and the concerns about gathering, we held an reverse Easter store. Instead of people coming to a central location to receive items, our Bible study leaders took the Easter supplies, baskets, and more out to 528 different homes across our community. 1,850 people received these precious supplies. What a blessing.
Maundy Thursday Service
This past Thursday evening, on Maundy Thursday, 234 junior high & high school students came together to worship at a service designed just for them. These young people attend Mission Arlington’s weekly Bible studies, which are spread out all across our community, but last Thursday they joined together as one strong family of believers. They sang together, and they listened to a challenging message calling them to live faithfully for Christ. They took the Lord’s Supper, served by other youth, and then they slipped into small-group discussions around a meal provided by the Mission Arlington® family. Seeing that many young people together at one time blessed so many. We continue to walk with them, and to pray for them as they make their way.
Good Friday Services
Many from the Mission family gathered for worship on the evening of “Good” Friday in a couple of locations. “Good” Friday is designated that way, because we know how the story turned out – with the Resurrection of Christ, but some still refer to this day as the real “Black Friday,” because of what was done to Christ on the cross. People attending these services honored the Lord for his gift of Salvation.
Easter Egg Hunt
On April 3rd, the Saturday before Easter, we hosted our annual Easter egg hunt, and it was so much fun! Multiple “bouncy houses” were filled with children flying high. Families sat around picnic tables enjoying a great meal, free of charge, and outside in the atmosphere of a beautiful pre-Spring day. Colorful Easter eggs lined six lanes on a large field in central Arlington, where children gathered so many eggs (filled with candy) to take home. It was so much fun to see all of the smiling faces, and not just on the children who enjoyed the event, but on the faces of their parents, grand parents, aunts & uncles who joined them for this family-friendly, outdoor event. A total of 3,196 children (with their parents) joined the fun.
Easter Sunday Morning
On a quiet Easter Sunday morning, people gathered in one of Mission Arlington’s 364 Bible studies and congregations to worship a risen Lord. Thousands of people attended these places of worship on Easter Sunday.
We want you to know how grateful we are for each of you, as we serve in this community together. Thank you so much!
Rainbow Express® begins again next week, and we are so EXCITED!
This ministry is our version of a “back-yard Bible club,” with snacks, crafts, music, games, and Bible stories. Children are ready to be outside again, and this long-loved ministry of Mission Arlington® has been (for more than 3 decades) a persistent & positive encouragement to the young people of our community. The number of student groups coming our way is on the rise, and we can’t wait to have them here, as they join us in sharing God’s love with this beautiful community.
Preparation & Prayer
The Mission family has been in prayer and preparation for Rainbow Express® for some time. Prayer for this ministry has been in our hearts and on our lips in multiple settings for the past several weeks. Our staff writes the curriculum in simple language children can comprehend, including crafts, and various teaching aids. Mission teams receive our material weeks in advance, and do their own preparation ahead of their trip. Staff and volunteers gather materials and prepare crafts ahead of time based on the need, so that everything will be ready once groups arrive.
Ready to Roll
The heart and soul of Rainbow Express is to communicate God’s love to children & teens in heartfelt, relevant, and practical ways. We’re ready, and kickoff happens next Monday morning, March 8th. We will gather children in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings, starting next week, and it will continue week after week through the Summer. The Rainbow Express engine is building steam, and ready to roll out of the station. We can’t wait!
Having said that, we also want you to know that we are mindful of the circumstances of these days. and so our student teams will lead Rainbow Express® safely, following important pandemic protocols at every point.
Rainbow Express® begins next week, but it continues multiple weeks throughout the Spring. Please pray for the children & teens who come to listen & learn. Pray too, please, for the student groups who will give of themselves and their time to serve the Lord and to make a difference in our community.
“Streams in the Dessert” is the title of a classic devotional book published in 1925, written by Lettie Cowman, a pioneering missionary in Japan and China. Cowman authored the devotional as an expression of the peace she found during her husband’s terminal illness.
The recent winter storm left snow, ice, and record power outages in its wake, along with boil alerts, burst pipes, and water outages all across our community. Large numbers of people did not have water, despite so many teams working together to get everything fixed.
In partnership with the City of Arlington and the Arlington Fire Department, Mission Arlington® received multiple pallets of cased water, delivering it immediately to affected places across our communities.
Like a streams in a desert, we were able to take the water to people who needed it most. We could be there, because you were there first, making it possible for us to help. We are grateful for you.
As we have provide water this week to meet people’s physical needs, our heart has been to represent God’s love in such a way that people will turn to Him for the “living water” only he can provide. When that happens, they will never thirst again. Praise His Name! (John 4:14).
Mission Arlington® is in need of warm clothes, blankets, coats, gloves, socks, etc. to give the people in need. The supplies you have been providing so graciously are leaving the shelves as soon as they arrive. What a blessing it is to be able to provide for moms, dads, children, and youth who, like so many, are struggling to keep warm in these frigid days of artic air in Arlington.
We will keep communicating needs through the website and Facebook page. Thank you so much for your generous, caring way of helping other people.
More people were hungry in 2020.
The 2020 pandemic directly impacted the ability of Texas families to have enough food, a phenomenon sociologist call “food insecurity.” For most of us, when food supplies run low, we consider the issue a concern related to “time management,” as one more thing which needs to “get done,” because someone has to go to the grocery store. However, it isn’t that way for everyone, and this is true especially in our own community. Reports are out this week which indicate that across every county in Texas, food insecurity doubled in 2020.
We didn’t need reports at Mission Arlington® to discover the concern, as most of you didn’t, because we saw evidence of it in our own community every day.
We provided more food than ever before.
Mission Arlington® provided food to a documented 84,637 families in 2020. This means that we provided food to people 323,571 times, a 69% increase over the year before. Every family receives a 3-5 day supply of food from us when they come in.
You made it possible!
We were able to provide to meet people’s needs, because you gave. It’s that simple. Individuals, families, churches, civic clubs, businesses of every size, student groups, young & old, and people from every walk of life provided the food – always at just the right time. We were both amazed and humbled by your generosity, humility (you always made it seem like your gifts were “no big deal”), and your sensitivity to people in need.
We can give, because you gave it first. Our largest Facebook post of 2020 was a simple request for food. You shared that post with over 100,000 people. Wow!
We believe all of these gifts are prompted by the heart of our loving God who sees and provides for people’s needs.
Thank you for your faithful generosity. We are so humbled and pleased to serve alongside each of you as this new year begins.
Come Serve With Us!
DATE: Monday, January 18th;
TIME: 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p. m.; (No Appointment Needed)!
PLACE: Mission Arlington® – 210 W. South St., Arlington;
WHAT: Come serve with us anytime you are available between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 18th, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Day of Service.” No appointment needed. Volunteers will assist with the sorting & separating of food, clothing, household items, and furniture – all to help ordinary people who find themselves in a moment of need. We believe that – as you bless others, you will be blessed in return.
HOW MANY? Come by yourself. Come with a team, your friends, your family, your co-workers, or civic group. We are very kid-friendly. Make it a “DAY ON” for the whole family!
COVID-19 PROTOCOLS – We are following all Covid-19 protocols. Please bring your masks. All service projects will be socially-distanced.
We hope to see you this Monday!
Christmas Toys & Gifts
Because you gave, 27,033 children from 6,487 families received toys, gifts, and over 3,500 new bikes, from our free Christmas Store. In these tough economic times (for both givers and receivers), you came through again, making Christmas memorable for so many families in need. Day after day, you dropped by with gifts, big and small, for the youngest children to the oldest teen. When most families had every reason to believe that Christmas wouldn’t be much this year, God provided, and you joined in, so that there were, in fact, presents under the tree.
In a year when safety concerns made volunteering more difficult, over 7,000 of you (young and old) still came out to lend a hand. We are so humbled & amazed by your openness to help, your sensitivity to need, and your faithful generosity. You wrapped gifts, helped moms & dads find the right toys for their children, and kept the Christmas Store full of good gifts for the children. We often hear from people in need that your attentive hearts, sensitive spirit, and gentle disposition provided encouragement as much as the gifts evoked joy. You keep finding a way to encourage people in need. We hope you know what a blessing you were – and continue to be – to so many families in our community.
Twice the Fun
A 2nd Christmas store was created this year, running parallel with the original store. With two shopping areas, wrapping stations, childcares, and an expanded stockroom, we were able to keep wait times down, while supporting social distancing for volunteers and for families in need. It was so much fun.
The Greatest Gift
Every person who came through the Christmas Store heard a special telling of Luke 2, the story of Christ’s birth. In response, 274 people accepted Christ, and another 680 people rededicated their lives to the Lord, or had a desire to know more about what it means to be a follower of Christ. In January, the Mission Arlington® family will make follow-up calls and visits with all of these who made decisions. The “Christmas Store” had many gifts for children, but the greatest gift of the store was Christ himself.
for walking with us through these days, as we turn the corner into 2021. By God’s grace, great things are ahead. We will never forget this year, and this will always be a Christmas to remember!
The Christmas Season is upon us, and Thanksgiving is in our rear-view mirror. There is so much happening that we want to share with you. First, the basic facts.
The Free Christmas Store
As you have seen published in other places, our free Christmas Store is open from December 12th – December 22nd every day (excluding Sundays), from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The last day of the Store is December 23rd, from 10:00 a.m. until noon. Mission Arlington® will be open through the day on Christmas Eve (usually closing a little early on that day), and we will be closed on Christmas Day, the only day we close all-year-long. For so many reasons, the need continues to be great this year. You gifts of new or nearly new toys makes such a difference. (For toy drive ideas, click HERE. For our “Amazon wish list” click HERE. You also may be interested to know what pandemic-related adjustments we’ve made this year.
What are the Pandemic-Related Adjustments this year?
- Two Christmas Stores – To maximize distancing, we have added a second Christmas Store this year. Our two Christmas Stores are identical, and will operate parallel to each other. Separate stock rooms, wrapping rooms, and gift areas will operate independently, as mirror images, keeping people separated and distanced. The number of people allowed into each of these stores at any given point will also be limited;
- Two Childcare Areas – We have created an outdoor space which will operate as a second child-care area, minimizing the number of children in each area.
- Protocols will be in place – We will be taking temperatures,, wearing masks, while keeping people socially distanced.
Volunteers are needed.
Understandably, many volunteers who normally would serve with us, are hesitant to do so, because of the Virus. For this reason, and because we have added a second Christmas Store, volunteers are needed as much as ever before. Volunteers help us organize and stock the Christmas Store, wrap gifts, care for children, help parents shop, and so much more. Volunteering during the Christmas Season is so much fun, and meaningful too.
Thankful for you
Your prayers, the gift of your time and energy, along with your donations & financial support, are making such a difference in and through this place. We are grateful to God for you.