kara kistner

Rebuilders of walls, restorers of streets

CORPUS CHRISTI - Impact City Church in Corpus Christi was planted by Felix Trevino, a worker at Valero Refinery, and his wife, Sara, as a response to a need for a missional church in the community of South Texas. They are a part of the Corpus Christi Baptist Association and a member of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

"This was a fairly new concept to the culture of South Texas," said Felix. "There weren't too many churches at the time who were focused on building a body of believers on small groups and disciple making versus mass evangelism and the seeker friendly attractive model."

Along with working countless hours a... [continue]

Understanding Intentional Interim Ministry

DALLAS - The interim period between one pastor leaving and the next pastor arriving can be a special time of God moving in a congregation. Instead of sitting back and waiting for the next person to arrive, the interim time creates a wonderful opportunity to address issues, questions, concerns, vision and the church's health.

Throughout Texas Baptists there are a total of 88 trained Intentional Interim Pastors, 25 currently in training and 10 active pastors in the Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE). Whether a church needs a traditional interim pastor or an intentional interim pastor, Texas Baptist's Intentional Interim... [continue]

Pray without ceasing

Morgan Wallace, sophomore at University of North Texas, was sitting at the prayer table for an hour or so when she noticed a guy with a backpack awkwardly speed walk by their tent. He took a quick glance at the tent and continued on his way. But then the guy stopped, turned around and walked up to Morgan.

"He asked me to pray for his dog and walked away again," said Morgan. "But he only got a few steps when he turned around again and said to me, "No, let's do this right, let's do this right here', and we prayed for him on the spot."

During the month of April, the University of North Texas in Denton, the University of Texas at... [continue]

Hundreds attend training in Hong Kong

In August 2013, Michelle Chan, minister to children at Kowloon International Baptist Church (KIBC) in Hong Kong, attended a children and family summit at Dallas Baptist University. Here she felt her understanding of the roles Sunday School teacher and children's minister were renewed and refreshed.

"I was more aware of my role and vision as a Children's Minister and it is more than just a job behind the desk that deals with lots of administrative works," said Chan.

After the Summit, Michelle was burdened for her Sunday School workers back at KIBC. She desired for them to share both the experience and training she received... [continue]

Come as you are, boots and all

Anyone who has ever visited Greenville, Texas, for a buck out, roping, high school rodeo finals, barrel races or any kind of equine event, knew what the "blue barn" was, or better known as the "Horseman's Club".

For many years, the Horseman's Club was known as the bar to watch the arena events. For the last few years though, the location was vacant, but in 2012 it went on sale again.

That all changed in July 2012, with a core group of 12 individuals and the sponsoring support of Bull Creek Cowboy Church, American Fellowship of Cowboy Churches, Hunt Baptist Association and Texas Baptists, the building was contracted and purchased and... [continue]

On mission in South Africa

SIBASA, South Africa - "I believe that when biblical principles are put into practice then the biblical results can be expected," said Joe Fields, pastor of New Beginnings Church in Lewisville. "We are mandated by Christ to go and make disciples; if we do our part, Christ is faithful to do His part."

In February 2013, Fields and his congregation at New Beginnings Church were blessed to partake in a mission trip to Sibasa, South Africa. During their stay, they were able to evangelize to all walks of society; senior citizens, youth and children encountered the love of Christ and Field's team shared about salvation with all.

"We walked... [continue]

Growing to live through hunger offering

GUADALAJARA, Mexico - Hands in Service, an organization that receives funding from Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, provides family garden workshops through missions and churches in the poverty belt around the city of Guadalajara and other communities, as well as in rural areas. These workshops help train and educate people to grow their own food to provide better nutrition at a lower cost.

Family Gardens is a project designed and carried out in cooperation with Manos Hermanas, in Guadalajara and numerous other areas where space is available to train and optimize intensive gardens to benefit those in poverty to help them feed their... [continue]

Eager to learn in Juarez

JUAREZ, Mexico - In 2013, Phil Miller, director of Bible Study/Discipleship, and Daniel Rangel, director of River Ministry and Mexico Missions, traveled to Juarez, Mexico, to bring attention to the growing need in the churches to receive training on teaching and sharing the gospel with others. The main focus of the training was how to have an evangelistic Sunday School.

"Being in Juarez, anyone can see that the need is there," said Miller. "The churches have the need to learn."

Pastor Jose Angel Hernandez, River Ministry Coordinator in Juarez, discussed with Miller and Rangel during their first visit that the people of his... [continue]

Reaching Christians in a new method

BROOKSHIRE --- In winter of 2010, after two suicides and 20 drug overdoses from students at Royal High School, Pastor Bobby "Tre9" Herring was asked by the assistant principal of Royal High School and a local missionary if there was anything he could do to reach the youth of Brookshire.

With numerous prayers and support, Herring began with an in-school hip hop assembly motivating and encouraging students to be themselves and make positive choices. That evening he and his wife, Amanda, led an outreach concert in the school auditorium with over 100 students responding to the altar call.

A couple months went by and in early 2011... [continue]

Hunger offering inspires others to give back

FORT WORTH - This year churches are holding a special offering on Mother's Day to support the Mother's Day Hunger Offering. By uniting the efforts of Texas Baptists, we can raise $1 million this Mother's Day to end hunger one mom at a time. One mom that has received help from this offering is a woman named Kay Schmenk.

Kay Schmenk is a 73-year-old who has been participating in the Senior Supplement Program, a monthly feeding program at Northside Inter-Community Agency (NICA), since 2006. She lives off of her Social Security check each month of less than $700.

NICA, one of several ministries in Fort Worth that receives support through... [continue]

Serving in a party town

SOUTH PADRE ISLAND--- Janelle Daman, student at University of Mary-Hardin Baylor, noticed a young woman, Saira, staring at all the commotion going on in the water. It was a beach baptism. Saira was vacationing in South Padre Island for the week of Spring Break like 75,000 other college students. Janelle was there with her Baptist Student Ministry to evangelize and witness to her fellow college students.

Janelle walked to Saira and asked if she knew was was going on, and she replied,"No." God then opened an opportunity for Janelle to explain to Saira what it meant to be a Christian and know that God loves her and He died for her... [continue]

Having a heart for service during Spring Break

BROWNWOOD - Watching from the sidelines of the 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Krystal Watson, sophomore at Texas A&M University, saw God moving through the kids at Champs Camp in Brownwood as they prayed with each other before and after each basketball game.

Raj Shah, graduate student at Texas A&M University, had never had the responsibility of taking care of kids, so going into Champs Camp was definitely stepping out of his comfort zone. During that week he met a second grader named Brenden, who he struggled to connect with at first, but at the end of the week, he almost welled up with tears when he had to say goodbye.

"During... [continue]

God loves the cowboys too

Brother Harvey Abke never imagined he would receive a call from Brother Steve Johnson asking him to be the pastor of a new cowboy church Brother Johnson was starting in Caldwell, Texas.

"I have an evangelistic heart to reach people for Jesus but I started to feel complacent," said Pastor Harvey. "This church would mean I could come back home to my roots."

Brother Steve Johnson, pastor at First Baptist Church of Caldwell, attended a conference and while there God laid on his heart about reaching out to the lost in Caldwell. While at the conference, Brother Steve prayed about starting a cowboy church in Caldwell through a mission... [continue]

True love is worth waiting for

The Bible warns we should be careful of the enemy whose only mission is to kill, steal and destroy, even the innocence of our children. The African Evangelical Baptist Church's Lifted Youth of Grand Prairie is seeking to bring awareness to sexual abstinence with an event that they have hosted for three years entitled, 'True Love Waits'.

"What started out as a silly idea turned into an elegant occasion," said Adenike Adeyemo, event coordinator. "Each year the program doesn't receive the response that we hope to, but this year was by far different than any other year."

True Love Waits is an event that started over 20 years ago... [continue]

Helping a house, helping a community

WEST - After a year of rebuilding from a tragedy that shook its little part of Texas, the town of West is still remembering, but a sense of change has overtaken the emotions of sorrow and remorse. As you walk the streets, you can see lots where homes used, now being cleared of blown debris and stones. You can see houses being built and refurbished for families to return to.

"I think they are doing a whole lot better than they were a year ago," said Mike Rhodes, volunteer for Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery. "Between when the explosion happened to now, there is a huge change."

Often times, relief teams will respond to a... [continue]

ISAAC is there to help

SAN ANTONIO - Arina Popovici is the first immigrant to be assisted by the Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC) to obtain legal permanent residency within the United States. She never dreamed that she would have this opportunity in her lifetime, but with the help of the ISAAC Project, her dreams are finally coming true.

Seven years ago, Arina Popovici came to the United States from Italy as an international student. While her student visa expired, she did not want to go back to Italy because her family was already here. After residing in the US. for a couple of years, Arina married and was soon pregnant with her first... [continue]

It all starts with faith in yourself

GARLAND - On January 14th, Nayely Vallejo received a call, the call she had been waiting for for a long time. "Congratulations" is all she heard and she knew that all her praying and putting her faith in God paid off. The call she received was recognition that she had been one of four selected to serve as a National Acteens Panelist, and the only one selected from Texas.

"I began to cry happy tears," said Nayely.

With the start of her senior year, she could feel that God was going to do great things in her life. Following that one call, good news keep coming: she never could have imagined that it all started with gaining the courage... [continue]

"Toma" on Margarita

MARGARITA, Venezuela - A "Toma" is a "taking" in Venezuela, a term used for an invasion of a territory. Paul and Delia Lozuk have used this strategy for evangelism on Margarita Island, invading the area for Christ as a rescue mission. A man named Omo came out of this "toma" on Margarita.

On a Friday afternoon, the missions team divided into groups began going door-to-door to share with those who wanted to hear the word of God. A man answered at the first door. They told him the plan of salvation and he gave his life to Jesus.

As they were leaving the house, they looked to the left and saw Omo sitting under a tree, so they stopped to... [continue]

House church evangelism on the border

As he watched his three-year-old daughter, Rachel Beth, go from door to door in a small neighborhood in Laredo, Ryan Jespersen saw the love of Christ overflowing from her enjoyment of preaching to people that stopped to listen as she told them that Jesus loved them.

Jespersen, director of urban missions, and his family were members of a mission group that ventured down to Laredo over Christmas break to do mission work through a partnership with Go Now Missions, Texas Baptist River Ministry, and Hope 1:8 Missionary Initiative.

He and his wife, Joanna, along with their daughters, three-year-old Rachel Beth and one-year-old Mary Kate... [continue]

Giving their break to serve

While working the hat stand in a Ukrainian market, Emma French, a student at University Mary-Hardin Baylor, met a boy named Dennis. He was looking for a warm hat to take back to his village for another child who needed it.

"I was a little taken aback so I asked, 'This hat is not for you?' He told me, 'No, I already have one hat, I don't need another. But I know some people who do'," said Emma. "Dennis broke my heart and humbled me that day. His generous, caring, and selfless heart brought me to tears."

With his one hat, Dennis understood the true meaning of need. He was the epitome of selflessness.

"I pray for a heart like... [continue]