Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | August 11, 2011

Bags of Books

Yesterday evening, the people of Kingsland brought bags of books filled with almost 3000 books to give to Generation One, one of our urban ministry partners. Generation One reaches out to at-risk kids in Houston’s Third Ward. Among other things, Mike and Kenzie Malkemes and their staff recruit volunteers to help tutor kids and teach them to improve their reading skills. That’s why we devoted the fourth of our five Summer of Service initiatives to collecting books for the library at Generation One. We understand that before a child can excel at other subjects, that child must have good reading skills. Essentially, children must learn to read before they can read to learn. Generation One is committed to helping kids in the Third Ward grow in their reading skills. And, we are committed to helping Generation One with resources to help the children of the Third Ward realize and fulfill their potential.

Mike also shared his personal story of how God directed him down a broken road to the place where he committed his life to Jesus Christ. Mike did not become a half-hearted follower of Christ. Instead, he jumped into the deep end of the pool and swam hard to make up for lost time. One of the things that attracted me to Mike when we first met six years ago was his vision and his faith. Mike thinks big and trusts God for great things. He has a God-sized vision for transforming an inner-city community that had become a breeding ground for violence — a place fraught with dangers and a place where Satan actively works “to steal and kill and destroy” (Jn. 10:10). It takes someone with courage and determination and the willingness to devote a lifetime in order to salvage a generation of at-risk kids. I believe that God has placed Mike in the Third Ward for such a time as this. Mike lives by the words of William Carey, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”

Once again, I am grateful for the people of Kingsland and our commitment to provide the resources that help our various ministry partners make a difference throughout our community. We understand that we cannot do the work alone but must partner with others to advance God’s purposes in our corner of the world — especially in those areas where the resources to help are more limited. My prayer is that the books we provided to Generation One will inspire a generation of inner-city kids to read and to dream and to one day attempt great things for God. The children of our community belong to all of us and we owe it to them to help them get the best education possible. Thank you, Kingsland, for caring and for helping the children who live in Houston’s Third Ward.

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