A new neighborhood, a new school, and a new place without the foundation of family and a familiar community—all of us know how hard that would be for a young person. Yet one little girl's mother, Tasha, was praying and asking God to bring a church into her daughter's life, a church where she could find Christ and be a disciple in that faith.
Enter the Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Garland, a Texas Baptist church whose youth group and church body had recently been renewed in its commitment to reach the surrounding neighborhood for Christ. The youth group at Eastern Hills decided that one way they could reach their community was by having an open gym night.
The first night came and the students were knocking on doors in an apartment community near the church. At that very moment Tasha was praying, asking God that He would bring a church into their lives. A knock on the door answered that prayer.
Youth and Education Minister James Bonfoey said this about the renewed emphasis:
"This summer, the kids in our youth group really caught a vision for reaching their community. They became passionate about sharing the love of Christ with our neighborhood, and it's not just talk. They will go into the neighborhood in the heat of the day to pass out flyers about open gym, to meet people where they live and to share Jesus' love with them. They understand that missionaries aren't just overseas. They realize that they are the missionaries to our little part of South Garland, and they are acting on what God has shown them."
When a church decides it will get on to the mission of God, you never know how God is going to work. The decision a church must make is to get on that mission. They begin to work and begin to do the things God has asked of them.
Eastern Hills is currently going through Texas Baptists Community Missionary Training offered by the office of Urban Missions of Texas Baptists. To learn how your Texas Baptist church can receive training, contact Ryan Jespersen, director of urban missions at ryan.jespersen [at] texasbaptists.org or 214-828-5278