Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | February 12, 2011

Change Comes Slowly

Outfitters Adult Bible Fellowship at work.

Our missions ministry has been engaged in serving Houston’s inner-city neighborhoods for the past five and a half years. In that period, we have mobilized thousands of volunteers and invested countless hours serving people in need. We have also developed some great partnerships with those who serve and minister in Houston’s urban areas. One of our favorite partners is Mike Malkemes, founder of Generation One, a ministry that reaches out to kids at risk and works to help them realize their potential. Mike keeps us aware of opportunities to partner with Generation One to repair homes, clear lots, demolish crack-houses, tutor kids, assist the elderly, and more. This past week, Mike invited us to assist three families in need in Houston’s Third Ward. Kingsland’s Outfitters Adult Bible Fellowship was scheduled to serve today and showed up early to care for these families.

One of the homes we painted and repaired today belongs to an old gentleman I first met a few years ago. He grew up in the Third Ward and, over the years, witnessed the slow deterioration of the area. However, when Mike moved in to the neighborhood and Kingsland helped to rebuild the Generation One headquarters, or “base camp” as former Marine Malkemes likes to call it, things started to change. Witnessing all of the good changes in the neighborhood prompted the old gentleman to conclude, “It’s starting to feel safe again.” We enjoy serving with Mike because God is using him to help change the Third Ward community and to make it feel safe again. Admittedly, change is coming slowly to the Third Ward, but it is coming — one home at a time. Mike knows that the task will not be completed in his generation, but he is committed to doing as much as he can to advance God’s purposes in his generation.

Each of us have the opportunity to serve God in our generation and to contribute to bringing about the kind of change that can make both the people and the places of our generation better. However, we can’t make much of a difference unless we at willing to engage with others and to get our hands dirty. But, it’s worth it all when you hear someone remark that their neighborhood is safer or you see a kid at risk find new hope in Christ. Let’s make the most of the opportunity to bring about change by serving God’s purposes in our generation. That’s all the time we have. Luke wrote, “For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep, and was laid among his fathers and underwent decay” (Acts 13:36).

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