(One LINC Partnering Church + One LINC Mission Church = One Successful VBS Day!!)
Rev. Stephen DeMik (St.John, Cypress) had orchestrated and planned a one-day VBS to be held on July, 12, 2014, in an apartment complex near LINC Mission Pastor George Adegboye's church in Southwest, Houston (Fellow Citizens In Christ). BUT, at the last minute, the apartment had an unexpected meeting arise, and had to cancel. After all the planning, this was disappointing news! Rev. DeMik did not want to cancel VBS, so he prayed and contacted an apartment complex near his church in Cypress, and quickly distributed fliers to invite children to come. He also invited Pastor George's church members/children to come to enjoy the VBS in Northwest Houston.
"God had a completely different plan than we had," Pastor DeMik said, "but we are thankful for the opportunity we had to shine for Jesus in our own neighborhood!" Pastor George's church members were blessed by this event even though, for them, it took place in a far-away neighborhood. "This is what the body of Christ is meant to be!" Pastor George said. "We who have been blessed with God's love are to share it with those who have never or barely heard this Good News! We are called to make disciples of all nations and all neighborhoods! It was a joy to be in mission together with St. John Lutheran Church in Cypress whether it was in our neighborhood or theirs."
According to LINC Church Planter, David Wray, the members of St. John did a beautiful job of sharing the message of the cross and Jesus love with all the participants. He was very impressed with the way the Gospel was presented to the children. He observed that so much can be accomplished in one day if it is well organized. David remarked, "Sometimes we get overwhelmed when we think we need to plan a whole week of VBS, I think it would be fantastic if more of our LINC Partner churches would do more single day events like this to support and encourage our LINC Mission churches! These could even be done on any given Saturday throughout the year, not just in the summer."
Jesus said, " The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest fields."
We welcome more harvesters!! Please contact us!!
For more information about LINC Houston mission opportunities/needs, please contact:
Rev. David Kim, LINC Mission Director
Dorinda Werner, LINC Mission Service Coordinator
Pastor Luciano Vega-Ayala, IBC Director for LINC Houston, is co-hosting a radio program targeted at Latinos in the United States dealing with the multiple cultures.
Just a few of the themes the show touches on include, blending cultures together, how to raise your kids within the U.S culture, the clash of different cultures, and how to deal with the issues that arise.
It is a show anyone in the public can listen to, it's a family friendly program. Parents and their children can listen in together. It pushes Christian values, but is not preaching or lecturing. It's a discussion style type of show. The audience can call in, email, or Facebook with the hosts and help suggest topics to cover. Pastor Vega-Ayala and his co-host, Lorna Virgili, don't always agree and bring to the table different view points on topics.
Currently, the show is broadcasting in 15 cities around the United States, and is hoping to grow to a larger audience.
You can find more information on Sentido Latino at their website. They also have the listening times listed there as well.
Monday, December 16, 2013--- Students from Lutheran South Academy gave a helping hand at the mission church, Comunidad de Gracia (CDG). They cleaned the worship space, the food pantry, the gardens around the church, and even some storage spaces.
The students, their parents, and their teachers have teamed up with CGD to help make it a stronger community. The students spent all morning helping out the church get ready for their Christmas Services.
The students, parents, and teachers split into different groups in order to get the most possible work done. CDG just remodeled their food pantry, so many of the students we're given the task of painting, building shelves, organizing food and toiletries, and sweeping. Other students we're given the task of yard work and pulling out weeds. Some helped shine up all the pews in the church. Others were on the decorating committee and helped put up Christmas trees.
This year the students chose to donate a decorated tree to CDG. It was placed in the main worship area. The students made the ornaments and decorations for it as well.
The boys and girls were laughing and giggling through all their hard work, which made us think that they we're really working at all... but in the end the space was shiny and full of love and cheer.
CGD thanks all the students, their parents and teachers for all the help in making this Christmas extra special and bright.
Friday, December 13, 2013--- LINC Houston's Greenspoint Mission hosted a health fair along with it's food pantry and community services day.
It was a very successful day.
Hundreds of people were able to get food for their family, but also take a moment to stop by and learn about the health care options available to them.
There was even a free flu shot booth.
Many different organizations came out to bring their information and aid to those in need.
To learn more about volunteering or helping with LINC's Community Service Programs... please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Houston, TX--- This past weekend, LINC Houston Executive Director, Mark Junkans set out on a 24 hour run to raise money to support LINC programs. Junkans ran about 120 miles, starting out in Northwest Houston and ending downtown, at Trinity Lutheran Church. After collecting one-time donations and per mile pledges, the final number comes close to 70,000 dollars.
Junkans ran or walked nearly the entire time, with allowing rest at stops along the way which included many of the churches that support LINC Houston efforts. Junkans was assisted by volunteers who helped keep him hydrated, fed, and encouraged. From the people who drove support vehicles to those who helped pace him by running along his side, he couldn’t have done it without them.
Junkans became very emotional toward the end
when he saw the crowds that had gathered to cheer him on. He crossed the finish
line with his wife and daughters holding his hand. He was greeted by friends,
family, and church members. As part of the ice cream social, he gave a thank
you speech to all those who believed in him and his organization. He said, “I am
completely overwhelmed by the support that we received from across the city for
this event. Thanks to everyone who participated: the runners who kept me
company along the way, those who donated, the whole support team and each
congregation who welcomed me and cheered me on.”
Mark said he’s feeling pretty good the day after considering he had just ran/walked the past 24 hours straight. He’s a little sleep deprived and hungry, but is doing great. He’s really happy with the way the event went. He says, “We set out to raise awareness and money for the needs in the communities we serve. To be able to raise $70k in a 24 hour period is a testament to how committed our partners are to making an impact in the city. A thank you goes to all the individuals, churches, and local businesses who contributed so that we can serve more people.”
Pastor David Kim just returned from speaking at the First Immigrant Mission of North America National Conference in Maryland. He was invited to speak on the topic, "Becoming a Self-sustaining, Generous, and Missional Congregation."
The conference was sponsored by the Southern Eastern District and the National Mission Office of the LCMS.
Pastor Kim says, "Immigration or migration is not accidental. As immigrants and refugees come to our land because of war, famine, disaster, injustice, American Dream, 'they might hear about our God and see His glory by God's grace' (Acts 17:26-27)."
He says, "God has brought us all immigrants to the USA not to just to live by American Dream but to live out everyday everywhere to accomplish God's mission by God's power and with God's given resources. "
Three quotes from Pastor Kim to take with you:
“The trouble with any church is not lack of money; it is lack of Mission Mindset/DNA, Faith/Trust in the Lord, and Creativity."
“Stewardship without Mission is Unnecessary and Mission without Stewardship is Impossible”
“FundRaising” is Faith Raising, People Raising, and Mission Raising"
Pastor Kim enjoyed his time at the conference and took away this:
"The challenge of funding missions and ministries is everywhere and among African Immigrant churches this is not an exception. God's people and leaders need to learn where they can find the resources to carry out God's Kingdom vision and mission. In the midst of all the challenges and uncertainty, there's one premise that stands true: 'Where God leads God provides.' "
Houston’s Centro de Fe y Esperanza, located in the Denver Harbor area, received some much-needed work on Saturday, August 3 as volunteers from Epiphany Lutheran Church in Pearland, TX took some time from their busy schedules to help out.
For six hours, these volunteers braved the Texas heat and humidity as they picked up trash, mowed, and weeded CdFE’s property.
They even donated mulch, topsoil, and some flowers to spruce the place up a bit.
Their hard work and commitment were certainly appreciated.
If you are interested in a project similar to this please contact email@example.com.
On Tuesday, July 30th, 13 employees from Exxon Mobil, led by Teni Suleiman, came to LINC Houston in order to assist in preparing for disaster relief.
This group sifted and sorted through hundreds of pounds of clothing, bedding, and toiletries in order to put together boxes that will be distributed throughout the Houston area as needed.
At the end of the day, Exxon’s team had assembled around 50 relief boxes; enough supplies in each to support a family of four.
In just a few hours, aid was made available for close to 200 people.
Not satisfied with that, the Exxon crew also helped organize LINC’s storage facilities in order to allow staff and volunteers to apply their effort elsewhere.
In addition to all of their hard work, the crew leader informed LINC staff that Exxon Mobil would be giving a $500 grant in order to fund future efforts.
The High School Youth Group from St. John's Lutheran Church from Cypress is spending four days serving through LINC Houston's Mission Program. They are staying at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, which they are also helping to update with some new coats of paint. They previously served with LINC a few years back, and now are looking for a whole new experience, which is something LINC can offer.
Jon Zoch, St. John's Youth Minister, said this year he wanted his students to experience the diversity in God's Kingdom. This trip they are helping serve in multiple areas around Houston. They are helping with a Vacation Bible School, painting, and serving with different churches. They are also going on a Nehemiah Vision Tour with Pastor Kim to learn about the different religions and people who are living in the Houston area. Zoch says that it's a good experience for the students to be able to learn about and see their city.
The students have also enjoyed their meals, which aren't what they are normally accustomed to, but is more traditional Mexican as opposed to Tex-Mex. Zoch says there have been no complaints and lots of compliments.
On July 19, 2013, LINC Houston hosted a food distribution along with social services. More than 250 families were given fresh fruit, veggies, and meat to feed their members with healthy options. LINC also assisted people who needed help getting WIC and SNAP forms filled out, among other things.
Events like this wouldn't even be possible without the help of volunteers and donations. The Houston Food Bank charges a fee to bring the food out to LINC's mission center and other locations. They do not provide any of the volunteers who help unload the truck, organize the pallets, and hand out the food. This is an area where we can always use more hands.
Please consider donating your time to help with the next food pantry coming up in August. If you can't donate your time, consider donating a small fee. To do that you can click here. If you would like to help in any other way please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A few weeks ago Deaconess Perla Rodriguez attended the LWML Biennial National Convention, which is a gathering of Lutheran women from around the country who raise money for missions and then assign it to different ministries.
Perla is also the District Leader for the Heart to Heart Sisters Program, which is a group who reaches out to ethnic women and invites them to learn more about the LWML and it's goals and support for the Church.
Having a member of LINC being apart of this group is very beneficial because all people are important to God.
God has given everyone gifts and talents and within the church you find a cluster of gifts and talents that God wants to use to grow His kingdom and for His purpose.
This was God's way from the very beginning, God loves Diversity!
This was and still is Jesus' way as well, His first 12 came from different places and from different backgrounds and had different gifts and talents.
Therefore, as the Word states that we should be imitators of God, LINC takes this seriously, so DIVERSITY is LINC's only way. Matthew 28:19 and Acts 1:8 says it all.
Perla says conventions like these motivate her to serve even more, as this is a time of focusing on God alone.
She says she gets to see the need of many around our nation and meet many people, hear their testimony, and see what God is doing and has done through their lives because others spoke to them about our Lord Jesus.
She says she can see first hand the power of God in the lives of others, and it inspires her and motivates her to continue to spread His Word!
Women from a few of LINC's mission churches attended the Heart to Heart Sisters program training in Pittsburgh before the LWML Convention in order to return home and help start LWML societies within their congregations and other LINC mission churches.
After their 2-day training, they were commissioned, received their Heart to Heart Sisters' shawls and pins, and were blessed by LWML Pastoral Counselor John Hickman.
On July 1st, 2013, Pastor David Kim and Doug Osgood, the new Mission Program Coordinator, headed to San Antonio for the National Youth Gathering in San Antonio, TX.
This gathering, which happens every three years, is comprised of nearly 30,000 Lutheran youth, church workers, volunteers, and vendors.
This group gathers for one common goal: to serve and
worship God and share in fellowship with one another.
While at The Gathering, Pastor Kim and Doug operated a booth for the LINC Houston Mission Team.
For four days, youth from around the globe, some as far as Germany, stopped in for a chance to get free stuff and learn a little about who LINC is and what we do.
Church youth group leaders were invited to join LINC on their various projects in the Houston area, including Prayer Walks, Nehemiah Vision Tours, and, of course, Service Events with our partner congregations.
If you're interested in getting involved with LINC Houston please contact Pastor Kim for more information at email@example.com .
LINC Houston hosted a vacation bible school program last week along with St. John's Lutheran Church and Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel.
The event lasted three days and was packed full of kids and volunteers each night.
The students attending had a blast learning all about different characters in the bible, and even how they become stronger with God's Love.
Here are a few pictures from the event.
A youth group from Atlanta, Georgia is helping some of LINC's mission churches this weekend.
Friday they assisted vacation bible school at Immanuel Lutheran Church and helped Pastor Ben with Unveil Church.
The group split up and headed out through the neighborhood handing out fliers inviting people to attend Unveil's Summer Bash which on July 21, 2013 at 11:45am located at 306 East 15th Street, Houston.
He challenged the young people to talk about their faith and ask the people they met if they would like to pray.
Believe it or not, many of the folks they met were more then willing to pray with them.
They plan to help out with another VBS while they are here.
This past Friday, Pastor Kim led the summer youth group on a Nehemiah Vision Tour.
This was the first time visiting different religious spaces and worship sites for many in the group.
The first stop on the tour was a Hindu Temple.
We learned a little about the Hindu religion.
The young people were able to ask questions about Hindu and see how they worship. They also got to notice the differences between Hindu and Christianity.
The next stop on the tour was a Jewish Synagogue. The synagogue they visited had a Torah from the Czech Republic that survived the Holocaust.
This was an interesting visit for many of those attending since Jesus was also Jewish. The young men and women were able to ask questions to a Rabbi. One of the questions was how they view Jesus. Another interesting thing the kids found intriguing; was the reason for having two kitchens and how it helps prepare kosher meals.
After visiting the Synagogue the group took a break for lunch, and lots of water. The Houston heat didn't take a break for the tour.
When we finished lunch we headed to a Vietnamese Buddhist Temple.
They have a 72 foot tall statue of the Loving Mother Quan Âm. The statue is considered one of Houston's seven wonders.
We were taken on a tour of the grounds and gardens by Linda. We met a Buddhist monk. We learned a little bit about the life of Buddha. Linda also challenged the group to try quieting their mind to demonstrate meditation.
After we visited the Buddhist Temple, we made our way to an Islamic Mosque.
This was an interesting visit. Everyone had to remove their shoes, and the men had to sit separate from the women. One of the members then gave us a brief description on what it meant to be Muslim. He also took questions from the group. Some of the questions were how they view Jesus and the bible, how do they get to heaven, and do they believe in an afterlife.
After visiting all the different places, Pastor Kim then spoke with the group about being a missionary to all sorts of people even in their own community. He told the youth they don't have to travel far to spread the Good News. He stressed the importance to find common ground and not be disrespectful in order to effectively share the Gospel with people of different faith. He also pointed out some of the differences between all the religions we visited today and Christianity.
See below for more photos from the group's tour. Everyone had a great time, and you can tell by all the fun they are having in the photos.
LINC Houston started a summer program this week for young men (ages 13 and up).
It's being lead by LINC intern, Chris Benavides.
So far this week they have helped with community service projects such as yard work and also participated in a bible study with a theme based on the new superman movie.
They are hoping to continue the program through the whole summer.
If you know someone who would be interested in joining please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The guys are having a lot of fun and the group has already grown in it's first week.
If you're bored come on out to the Mission Center in Greenspoint.
LINC's Chief Financial Officer, David Thomas, and Intern Chris Benavides both celebrated birthdays this week.
So we thought we would congratulate them with some cake!
They both had a great time and appreciated the thoughtful gesture!
The summer young men's group also helped with the fun!
Enjoy the photos.
LINC Houston has a summer intern starting with us. His name is Christopher Benavides. He is a student at University of Texas: San Antonio studying informational systems. He is joining the LINC Team at the Greenspoint Mission Center and is already busy.
He is hoping serving with LINC will help him grow in his faith as well as sharing it with others.
He is organizing a young men's group (age 13 and up) that will spend some time hanging out with others playing basketball, making new friends, helping with community service projects, and bible study.
If you or a young man you know is interested in the group please contact email@example.com
LINC Mission Church, Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel is trying to raise money for new musical instruments for their ministry.
Saturday, June 1, 2013 they hosted a car wash and BBQ. Many members of the church volunteered to help. They had members washing cars, grilling fajita meat, and making popusas.
They are very happy with the turnout. Pastor Nelson Hernandez was very excited about the opportunity to raise money for their mission, and also for the chance to enjoy some fellowship with his community.
They used LINC's Mission Center in Greenspoint for the event. If you are in need of space for an event please click here for more information.