Mission Arlington | Mission Metroplex

Stories

Abby “On Mission for Life”

Abby first came to Mission Arlington with her Kansas youth group twice when she was younger. She had been working in small ministries back home. After a missionary talked at her church, she was sure God was calling her to go and do more for him.

About the time Abby was trying to figure out where to go, “memories” started popping up on her social media of her time in Arlington while friends were also posting pictures of Arlington. So she said “Ok, God. I’ll look into it.”

Summer of 2020 became the moment that doors opened for Abby to spend a few months here.  She helped in our food pantry and at two Bible Study locations, in Arlington and Grand Prairie.  Abby valued the connection she made with people, and she loved sharing her faith.

Abby returned home in August to finish her high school senior year. Her original plan was to be a park ranger and work in the mountains, but now she feels like she will be “on mission” for life.

Abby says, “Everybody is different but they all have that same need of Christ. It’s really cool to be a part of that.”  We thank the Lord for sending Abby. She made a difference here, and we look forward to seeing how she will serve the Lord in the days, months, and years ahead.

“Be the Light”

Team Picture from "Be the Light"Shining their Light

This past April, right at the start of the global pandemic, Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® received a gift of $2,500 from “Be the LightYouth Association, located in the DFW community.  “Be the Light” is led by over 30 students from the North Texas area.

This creative and energetic team of young people teach speech and debate classes to 4th-9th graders in the community, and then donate 100% of the proceeds to nonprofits that support disadvantaged families and children in the region. Mission Arlington® / Mission Metroplex® was honored to be a recipient of this gift.

Seeing Increased Need

Because of the pandemic and its affect on families, Mission Arlington / Mission Metroplex has provided food to more than 48 thousand families (171,822 people) in the first six months of this year. This represents a 364 percent increase over this time last year, and there are no signs that the need is slowing down.

Making a Difference

Our administrative overhead continues to be a very low 1.7 percent. This means that more than 98 cents of every dollar donated here provides direct care to people in need.  The gift of $2,500 from “Be the Light” made an authentic difference in the lives of real people in need. Wow!

DBU Coffee House Benefits Mission Arlington

From left to right: Joseph Arze, head barista; Tillie Burgin; Cassie Ivey, Coffeehouse manager, and Dr. Jeremy Dutschke, assistant vice president for administrative affairs at DBU.

The administration, educators, and students at Dallas Baptist University have been strong partners with Mission Arlington through the years.  Various student groups over time have served here, and truly made a difference.

On January 17th, 2018, the University opened a new coffeehouse on the Dallas campus to great success. Managed by DBU alumna Cassie Kelemen and staffed by DBU students, the shop features classic coffee options, but also a positive and fun atmosphere which attracts, students, faculty, and staff alike.  The coffee house is augmented by two study rooms, and a corner stage with studio-quality sound and lighting for live music, itself as distinctive a feature as the coffee itself.

One feature of this special place is the desire to make a difference through the shop. For the past two & a half years, students paid a modest fee to hang a personal mug on a hook at the coffeehouse’ mug wall. This week, the proceeds from the wall – $1,750 – were donated to Mission Arlington®. The Baptist Standard covered the story.

The Mission Arlington® family is so grateful for gifts like this, because it makes a real difference in the lives of people in need. Plus, with each gift, we are able to share God’s great love, with the people who come through our front doors for help every day.

We are thankful for our partnership with DBU, but also for the gift of partnering with each of you who are here making a difference every day.  We are truly blessed!

Andrea

We don’t need anybody who just sits on the pew like Andrea, so be thinking about what missions opportunities you’d like to be involved in.”

Andrea was 19 when she went along with a friend to a new-member class about missions that long-time family friend, Tillie Burgin, was leading. She still remembers hearing the phrase above, and she knew it was true. She could do more, so she started teaching Bible Study at a north Arlington apartment complex the next week and continued throughout college, nursing school, and graduate school.

It took time for Andrea to take the step to volunteer at the Mission Arlington® Medical Clinic, but when she finally did, she knew it was the place she needed to be.

For a time, she had a job as a nurse practitioner and was volunteering at the Mission Arlington® Medical Clinic three days and one night per week. Then, as God allowed, she was able to come to Mission Arlington® full time. Now the clinic is opened five days and one night per week. Andrea is there every minute coordinating patient care. She gently guides the volunteer medical students and assist the doctors in finding the most efficient plan of care for each patient using resources across the Metroplex. The clinic has about 10,500 visits yearly, completely free of charge for the patient.

Andrea loves working with the population that comes to the clinic. It reminds her of her first job at Parkland in Dallas. She explains, “You have to meet basic needs before people will be receptive about God.” While receiving care, people are very opened to the Gospel.

Andrea also helps by breaking down barriers to get people to a Bible Study near them. If someone doesn’t have a car, they likely have a Bible Study close by. Also, when patients realize that Andrea personally knows the Bible Study leader in their community, they feel so much more comfortable with their medical care. They know they can trust her and the clinic staff.

Andrea explains, “It’s my dream job. If there was ever a job made for me, it was this one.” The medical clinic has stayed fully open during these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, treating people from all walks of life, and making a difference.

The clinic is always in need of clerical and medical volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Mission Arlington office at 817-277-6620.

Originally Published February 12, 2017

A Community Comes Together

We have always said, and we will say it again, that our community is one of the most generous and caring communities anywhere. We are so incredibly grateful for each of you who give your time, your resources, and your prayers to make a difference here – all the time – but especially in these days. When people in our community know of a need, they respond with energy, passion, and thoughtful support. There is a humble purity about these gifts too, because the people who provide them never seem to want any recognition for their gift. They want to make a difference, and not to call attention to themselves. It has always been this way.

Here’s how our community has responded over the last several days

Many have donated to us online, so that Mission Arlington® could purchase the needed food or supplies. Some order food and/or supplies from somewhere else, so that it can be shipped here by mail. Others in our community simply drive up, check in hand, to make sure people are cared for, often even when they don’t have that much extra for themselves. Most don’t get out of their cars, but their warmth and words of appreciation mean more than we can express.

Some families and are making sandwiches at home, then dropping them off here. Many of our community’s businesses are contributing finances or in-kind donation – from food to medical supplies, and more. Churches and church groups are stepping up to pray, to give, and to help. Multiple local restaurants are making extra food and dropping off, even when they are having to find creative ways for their own businesses to survive or thrive in these days.

Neighborhoods are getting into the act as well. Concerned people within various neighborhoods share the need, and people respond with food, hygiene items, and other needed resources. Then someone from the neighborhood drops by the Mission with a truck-load full of multiple items which people need. Knowing the need for volunteers, several are stepping up, taking food to senior citizens, and to others who, for various reasons, aren’t able to make it to our place, along with many other tasks.

One local non-profit got volunteers together in multiple locations and built hundreds of nutritious snack packs (pictured above), so that we could get that food to families with students across our community. When these teams dropped off the food, their smiles told the story. There is such joy in working together to help others.

We watch in amazement at all this, so honored and humbled by the sincere and passionate generosity of this community. Sometimes, tears of gratitude come, and at other times, we quietly express out thanks to God for the expressions of love we see here every day. We are grateful for the privilege of being here to represent God’s love and yours in these days. With the old hymn, it seems that “we have no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”

Thank you so much.

Our Community Comes Together

We have always said, and we will say it again, that our community is one of the most generous and caring communities anywhere. We are so incredibly grateful for each of you who give your time, your resources, and your prayers to make a difference here – all the time – but especially in these days. When people in our community know of a need, they respond with energy, passion, and thoughtful support. There is a humble purity about these gifts too, because the people who provide them never seem to want any recognition for their gift. They want to make a difference, and not to call attention to themselves. It has always been this way.

Here’s how our community has responded over the last several days

Many have donated to us online, so that Mission Arlington® could purchase the needed food or supplies. Some order food and/or supplies from somewhere else, so that it can be shipped here by mail. Others in our community simply drive up, check in hand, to make sure people are cared for, often even when they don’t have that much extra for themselves. Most don’t get out of their cars, but their warmth and words of appreciation mean more than we can express.

Some families and are making sandwiches at home, then dropping them off here. Many of our community’s businesses are contributing finances or in-kind donation – from food to medical supplies, and more. Churches and church groups are stepping up to pray, to give, and to help. Multiple local restaurants are making extra food and dropping off, even when they are having to find creative ways for their own businesses to survive or thrive in these days.

Neighborhoods are getting into the act as well. Concerned people within various neighborhoods share the need, and people respond with food, hygiene items, and other needed resources. Then someone from the neighborhood drops by the Mission with a truck-load full of multiple items which people need. Knowing the need for volunteers, several are stepping up, taking food to senior citizens, and to others who, for various reasons, aren’t able to make it to our place, along with many other tasks.

One local non-profit got volunteers together in multiple locations and built hundreds of nutritious snack packs (pictured above), so that we could get that food to families with students across our community. When these teams dropped off the food, their smiles told the story. There is such joy in working together to help others.

We watch in amazement at all this, so honored and humbled by the sincere and passionate generosity of this community. Sometimes, tears of gratitude come, and at other times, we quietly express out thanks to God for the expressions of love we see here every day. We are grateful for the privilege of being here to represent God’s love and yours in these days. With the old hymn, it seems that “we have no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”

Thank you so much.

A Community Comes Together 2

We have always said, and we will say it again, that our community is one of the most generous and caring communities anywhere.  We are so incredibly grateful for each of you who give your time, your resources, and your prayers to make a difference here – all the time – but especially in these days. When people in our community know of a need, they respond with energy, passion, and thoughtful support.  There is a humble purity about these gifts too, because the people who provide them never seem to want any recognition for their gift. They want to make a difference, and not to call attention to themselves. It has always been this way.

Many have donated to us online, so that Mission Arlington® could purchase the needed food or supplies. Some order food and/or supplies from somewhere else, so that it can be shipped here by mail.  Others in our community simply drive up, check in hand, to make sure people are cared for, often even when they don’t have that much extra for themselves.  Most don’t get out of their cars, but their warmth and words of appreciation mean more than we can express.

Some families and are making sandwiches at home, then dropping them off here.  Many of our community’s businesses are contributing finances or in-kind donation – from food to medical supplies, and more. Churches and church groups are stepping up to pray, to give, and to help.  Multiple local restaurants are making extra food and dropping off, even when they are having to find creative ways for their own businesses to survive or thrive in these days.

Neighborhoods are getting into the act as well. Concerned people within various neighborhoods share the need, and people respond with food, hygiene items, and other needed resources. Then someone from the neighborhood drops by the Mission with a truck-load full of multiple items which people need. Knowing the need for volunteers, several are stepping up, taking food to senior citizens, and to others who, for various reasons, aren’t able to make it to our place, along with many other tasks.

One local non-profit got volunteers together in multiple locations and built hundreds of nutritious snack packs (pictured above), so that we could get that food to families with students across our community. When these teams dropped off the food, their smiles told the story. There is such joy in working together to help others.

We watch in amazement at all this, so honored and humbled by the sincere and passionate generosity of this community. Sometimes, tears of gratitude come, and at other times, we quietly express out thanks to God for the expressions of love we see here every day. We are grateful for the privilege of being here to represent God’s love and yours in these days.  With the old hymn, it seems that “we have no less days to sing God’s praise than when we first begun.”

Thank you so much.

A Man of Prayer

Jack Longgrear, teaching God's Word, in a central Arlington apartment community which he pastored for more than 2 decades. Imogene was the children's ministry leader.

Jack Longgrear, teaching God’s Word, in a central Arlington apartment community which he pastored for more than 2 decades. Imogene was the children’s ministry leader.

This article was originally published over 4 years ago, and it is an encouragement and/or a reminder that we can be a people of prayer during this difficult season in our country

Jack Longgrear was a man of prayer. His faith was his priority in life, and God used this faith in beautiful ways to provide for his family, to care for his friends, and to touch a community.


Jack passed away just before Thanksgiving, on November 17th, in 2015. Jack’s wife and kingdom partner for sixty-eight (68) years, Imogene, preceded him in death by just a few months. Just before Jack passed away, many noticed the presence of a smile, as he anticipated going home – to see Imogene, of course, but more importantly, his Lord. It was that kind of peace and joy that touched so many people across the years of Jack’s life. There was a transparency about him, so that one could almost look through him to see Christ.

As Mission Arlington® heads towards its 30th anniversary this August, we recall our beginnings of more than 3 decades ago.  Because Jack and Imogene were authentic and practicing people of prayer, God placed them into the life of Bob and Tillie as they prayed about starting what would become Mission Arlington®. There were many prayer meetings in the home of this faithful couple. In the living room of their lovely home, the Longgrears’ would pray for Tillie, and for God’s leadership in this new endeavor.  These prayer meetings went on for months, and they formed the path and the language of our work in and our heart for this community.

Ministry was a big part of Jack’s life.  He spent time with his family members weekly teaching various ones the Bible, and he took great care to write letters of encouragement to those of us in ministry here at the mission. Jack and Imogene put their faith into practice, becoming the team leaders of an apartment congregation in central Arlington. Jack pastored that congregation for more than two decades. His signature opening declaration each and every Sunday was “This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24). Jack meant it, and everyone felt it.

Jack and Imogene Longgrear

Jack and Imogene served on the Mission Metroplex® Board of Directors for more than 25 years.  The January before Jack’s death (2015), that board started the year with a prayer retreat (as is its usual custom).  Each member of the team read a book entitled “Drawing the Circle,” a book about prayer written by pastor Mark Batterson.  Jack shared at that prayer retreat how, even in his 90’s, he was intending to grow in his prayer life.  He was “drawing circles” in his home around people he cared about and for the mission and ministry of Mission Arlington.®

Everyone who heard his testimony that evening was touched by Jack’s confession. It is possible that we have had no greater prayer warrior on our behalf than this precious man.  We treasured his friendship, and we miss him much, but we are grateful for the foundations which were laid early on, and for all of those who are taking Jack’s place in the “circle of love” around this place.

As our country, our county, and our community undergo the difficult days of the Corona Virus, may we remember Jack’s example. May the Lord find each of us as faithful as we serve Him in these days. We are grateful for you.

Donated Car Supports Family in Need

Tillie Burgin, center, with Victim’s assistance team member (left) and Britney Smith (right). They are standing in front of the donated vehicle which is being given to the Smith family.

This past December, a man fleeing Arlington police officers crashed his pickup truck into a pole, subsequently flipping that truck into an Kroger parking lot in Arlington. The crash totaled the only vehicle of Kroger employee Tim Smith whose SUV was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  Smith and his wife Brittney have five children, and this was their only car.

Concerned about this family, the good people in the Victim’s Assistance department of the Arlington PD contacted Mission Arlington® to see if we could assist in providing this family a car.  Because of the generosity of our community, through the years, people provide automobiles to us, so that we can help out someone who is in a difficult circumstance.

This afternoon, we met with the Victim’s Assistance team and with Ms. Smith to provide her with a car for their family.  Watching her face light up, and then seeing this mom of five drive off in her newly donated car brought smiles to everyone within sight.

We hope it does to you too.  We are grateful for you.

College Student Makes a Difference!


[Editor’s Note: Allison Sodek is a college student who volunteered with Mission Arlington® over her Christmas Break. She served with a team of students deployed by Go Now missions. This is her story, originally published here.]


Over Christmas break, I served as a Go Now missionary at Mission Arlington. God used me in miraculous ways on the mission field, which included Him using my spiritual gifts of compassion and evangelism.

On the mission field, I was able to bring three people to faith through sharing God’s word and the Gospel. In the Bible, Jesus always meets their needs before sharing the Gospel with them. And that was my goal the entire time on the mission field. And God taught me how to be more compassionate towards people and how to bring people to faith through the use of the salvation prayer.

Here are the stories of the three people I brought to faith:

A woman came into the mission needing various things. I shared with her the Gospel and she seemed to understand it very well and to be very receptive. She explained to me that she wanted to be baptized again, dive into the Bible more and recommit herself to God. In a sense, she wanted to be reborn. I led her through prayer and connected her with Mrs. Tillie, the executive director of Mission Arlington. It was really exciting to see how other godly people planted that seed in her heart to come to me and confess that she wanted a relationship with God and to be reborn and put me in the place to lead her through it.

A Hispanic woman came into the mission. She spoke fairly good English. She needed various things. After filling out the forms with her to get the things she needed, I asked a question to gauge where she was spiritually. I could tell by the way she answered that she didn’t really know what I was talking about. I then asked her if I could share the Gospel with her. She said “yes!” I shared the Gospel with her through the use of the Three Circles model. She was very intrigued by it and never took her eyes off of me and the paper I was using to explain the Gospel. After I was done, I asked her if she wanted a relationship with God. I asked her a few times to make sure she was genuine about the decision. She kept on saying “Yes!” I then explained to her that I’ll lead you through prayer, but you also have to repeat after me because in the Bible it says, “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” I led her through prayer and got her connected with an apartment church and gave her a Bible that she could read on her own.

There was an African American man who came into the mission. He was a student at UTA. He came needing clothes, food and furniture. He was very open with me. He told me that he wanted to recommit his life to God. I led him through prayer and got him connected with an apartment church and gave him a Bible.

Allison Sodek is a Go Now missionary who served in Arlington over Christmas break.

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