MainKids Camp Out 2016: Part 2

June 23, 2016

By Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Camp Out is coming to a close and we are filled with sadness to leave our
friends and this beautiful, beautiful place! It has been such an amazing
camp filled with God’s presence at every turn. Here are a few highlights
from me and then highlights from the boys!

Since worship is our central theme to Camp Out, we have one worship
service each day we are here. On Tuesday, Rachel Moore was our preacher
for our midday service and the girls lead in every aspect of the service
from tolling the hour to singing “Little Lamb” as the offertory anthem to
praying, reading scripture, and ushering. On Wednesday, Suzann Herrmann
and the boys led the evening service at the water. Suzann preached on
looking up and finding God wherever we are. The boys sang Amazing Grace
and ended the service with a joyful “I’ll Fly Away”. As is our tradition,
on the morning we leave, we will have our final Camp Out worship service
outside at the giant cross here at Artesian Lakes. Anna Rader is our
preacher and the camp counselors lead in worship. All of our worship was
based in Psalm 92 this year.

MKCampout2016FWe played at the playground, played capture the flag, hiked, swam, flew
down the slides into the lake, and shopped at the gift shop for candy and
souvenirs. In between all of the fun, we talked about and practiced
different disciplines for personal worship. Amanda Villasenor talked to
us about what the Bible says about personal time with the Lord and how
she practices journaling. We made our own journals and journaled
throughout camp. Emily Westerburg talked to us about the importance of
devotion time and how she and Mr. Trey do this together and separately.
We also talked about ways to ask for prayer from our friends and ways we
can pray when we can’t find the words and when we only want to share our
thoughts with God. We made teeny, tiny prayer boxes, lit candles, and
prayed for each other.

MKCampout2016E

And now highlights from the boys:

I loved everything about this camp. My favorite parts though were playing
with my friends, swimming, free time, and seeing wildlife. –TrevorMcLaughlin

I love camp because we can have fun. My favorite part in camp is the
slides and seeing wildlife. -Ulysses Paredes

I liked naming the wildlife. That is my favorite thing. -Cody Sawyer

I love swimming with my friends and spending time with my friends. For
swimming, I love the slide! -William Fowler

My favorite thing here to do is Circle Time and free time. -Timothy Kutz

Quiet time is my favorite time at camp. -Marco Campos

My favorite part about MainKids Camp Out is hanging out with my church
friends. I love playing tag, swim, and do a bunch of other stuff. -Lee
Fowler


MainKids Camp Out 2016

June 23, 2016

MKCampout2016DBy Dolores Rader, Minister to Children

Our fourth and fifth graders are at a point in their lives when they are ready to exercise their gifts of leadership and to dig deeper into the practices of corporate and personal worship. Camp Out at Artesian Lakes is the perfect place to safely and boldly lean into these two ideas. Below is a sentence or two from each of the 9 4th and 5th grade girls on what their favorite aspect of Camp Out is, but before you read on to their favorites, let me briefly share some of my favorites.

I love that we bring high school youth to serve as the perfect role models to the children in how we lead with a servant’s heart. They work REALLY hard and at the same time swim and play games establishing relationships to ease the transition to the Youth Group, sing songs around a campfire introducing them to Youth music and traditions, and sit side by side in worship praising and praying together.

One of my other favorite elements of Camp Out is our tradition of “Circle Time”. Every child, youth and adult gets the opportunity to sit in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the rest of us, where we each, one by one, sisters and brothers, boys and girls, best friends and new friends, offer a sincere blessing which begins “What I like about you is…”. It is a beautiful gift of affirmation to receive and a empowering gift to give. This tradition is life giving and life transforming.

I could on and on about all of my other aspects of Camp Out, but for now hear straight from the kids and counselors themselves…

 

My fav part of camp is riding the horses. It’s fun. #horses

Gillian Tinsley

I love to ride things mainly horses, and Lily G. Hot coco in my mouth is the best! J Playing games in circle time is great!

Isabella Campos

MKCampout2016A

During camp, everyone has a secret helper. Their secret helper is extra nice to them and pushes them in the right direction.

Elaina Mays

The absolute best thing about camp out is the opportunity to watch each and every child be authentically and completely themselves! We have the BEST kids!!

Amanda Villasenor

I love the outside space at Artesian Lakes. Our house is huge, and I love how big our living room is. #lake

Lily Gribble

MKCampout2016B

I loved the pool another favorite is the slide and finally the store the best of all the three!

Kiran Harper

One thing that I love about Camp Out is swimming. I also love the Gratitude Cafe. I also love circle time.

Lily Durden

The absolute best part of camp is quiet time when all my friends come in my room and we have a snack party and talk. It is nice being new to the church and getting to know everybody. I love circle time a lot. I also enjoy swimming.

Jessie Horton

One thing I like so far in camp is hanging with my friends. Another thing I like about camp so far is Gratitude Café. The last thing I like so far in camp is the swimming and the alligators.

Kayden Nickel

 

One of the many things I love about Main Kids Camp Out is Gratitude Café. First thing in the morning, everybody in the house gathers to make crazy drinks – topped with sprinkles and whipped cream, and talk about the many blessings for which we are grateful. Gratitude Café allows us to really reflect on the joys in our life, from tangible objects to our friendships and opportunities. This daily morning ritual fills our hearts with thanksgiving and prepares us for the day.

Anna Rader

MKCampout2016C

My favorite things about Camp Out are:

-Swimming in the lake

-Circle time outside

-Free time

Rachel Kee

My favorite thing about Camp Out every summer is watching the development of every child’s leadership skills! I have especially loved so far this week seeing both the fourth and fifth graders be and grow into incredibly mature and thoughtful members of our church family, and I am so excited for the future of the youth group and the church in the hands of such open-minded and knowledgeable Christians. The respect and care for which each and every child treats their peers and counselors and their unrelenting curiosity and joy has made Camp Out this summer an unparalleled experience!

Elysa Tulek


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 3

June 14, 2016

By Isabella Baar-Hill

As a member of the music and dance team on the mission trip to Peru, I teach the kids songs and dances to perform for their parents and friends at the end of the week. Breaking through the language barrier, we learned specific Spanish words that are often used in teaching music and dance. During our second full day in Peru at OSA, we presented the children with the theme of Cultural Exchange; we worked from American & Texan perspectives so the kids got a taste of our culture. During dance, we played many rounds of musical chairs (a game I’ve quickly learned they LOVE). We only played English music because that’s what we know and brought with us. While others led the game, I played and stopped the music, watching the kids from the side lines. I began to notice that the kids were quietly singing and humming along to our English songs, words they couldn’t have known. I realized these kids were subconsciously, and joyfully learning our culture in ways we had not planned.PeruSummerBlogDay3During the music classes, Carey took time to teach and translate words we could use in common enabling us to bond with them in a unique way. I was reminded of how excited the kids were two years ago when I came when they would ask how to say things in English and I’d attempt to teach them. This was a new and eye opening experience because I was accustomed to being their student, struggling to learn Spanish. Their willingness to overcome our foreign language and pronunciations with attitudes of joy is a gift I will carry home with me. Their openness to a new culture despite the struggle is inspiring. Every moment I spend with these kids who show such eagerness to learn despite failure, makes me strive more and more to be like them.

Isabella Baar-Hill completed her Junior Year at Houston Christian High School. She is the daughter of J Hill and Hillevi Baar.


Peru Mission Trip Summer 2016 Day 2

June 14, 2016

By Drew Barkley

Day one of VBS. We’ve spent weeks preparing songs, dances, crafts, games, stories, etc. all for today. For my team, recreation, we had thought about the games we wanted to play with the kids and how the games could relate to the daily scripture and theme. We even prepared back up games in case we had to call an audible, or had extra time at the end.

This is not my first Peru trip, and certainly not my first time leading a group of kids, even in a foreign language. Each time I’m working with kids whether it’s at VBS, here in Collique, or working at a camp, I always try to have everything prepared and ready to go for day one. However, I seem to forget that no matter how much I prepare ahead of time, I will NEVER know what to expect each day.

PeruSummerBlogDay2As the OSA kids came in for the morning session, I found myself thinking, “Am I REALLY ready for this?” For me, I’ve had enough experience to know that the answer is “no”. Yet knowing that I’m not really ready doesn’t stress me out or worry me. I’ve learned that as long as I keep a positive attitude and a willing spirit, I can help and serve wherever and however I’m needed. So today I feel like I did just about everything: told bible stories, led games, ate deformed PB&Js, and learned how to assemble a wooden penguin (which was a lot harder than we expected). To some, my day of running around being a leader, an interpreter, and a teacher sounds chaotic and exhausting. Truthfully, days like today are why I come on trips like these. I get to have an abundance of such diverse experiences all in one day. It’s my hope that our youth continue to dive into to the work we have started this week and find the same joy I do in working with the people of Collique. 

Drew Barkley is a recent graduate of Emory University, fluent in Spanish, and is leading our Bible Story and Recreation rotations with VBS at OSA. This is his third trip to OSA, and first as an adult chaperone.


Change…a first visit to South Main

May 15, 2014

ImageBy South Main Member Erin DuBroc

I’ve always been a lover of change.  There were no tears from me on the last day of high school — I was already half-way to College Station in my heart and mind.  Even at the conclusion of those college days my Dad told me would encompass “the best time of [my] life”, I couldn’t wait to start graduate school and get a move on.  That isn’t to say that I don’t value loyalty or enjoy nostalgia, but rarely have I experienced fear over changing circumstances.  Although, recently I started to wonder if that was wholly good.  Darn that desire to practice more self-awareness in my thirties.  

For me, change is almost always partnered with an intoxicating novelty I tend to bask in.  Novelty, that I’ve just begun to see, can do a number on my already handicapped ability to be objective.  Not that I never suffer from cynicism, but it’s not often my vice when presented with new people, a new order or way of doing things, or even a blank slate from which to create.  I usually approach change with, I admit, a fair amount of naiveté and blissful enthusiasm.  This is slightly different from my husband, of course.  How else would iron sharpen iron, right?

For example, the first Sunday we visited a new church — that I had already researched and read up on, of course — I was quickly overwhelmed with giddiness.  Rightfully so as many of the aspects of church I had deemed non-negotiable moving forward were playing out in this beautiful harmony right in front of me and to a degree I honestly didn’t know if I’d ever find in Houston.  (See, I do suffer from some cynicism.)

Between the condensed size of the congregation, inclusion of women in every aspect of the service and church leadership, emphasis on slower, more contemplative worship, and the mention of a book by one of my favorite authors being the congregational devotional for Lent (oh, and the recognition of the liturgical calendar!),  I was beside myself.  I probably teared up with joy nine times, and you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face if you tried.  I was not hallucinating, I was affirmed in my convictions (as opposed to feeling like an outsider, troublemaker and quasi-heretic), and that was only the first ten minutes.

The inclusion of children’s church, the thoughtful recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, the singing of the doxology, the heartfelt congregational responses to celebrations like baptism and infant dedications, the beyond-impressive number of unprompted welcomes we received from various members, and the fact that the pastor greeted us on our way out and said “let’s get lunch sometime”, nearly pushed me over my emotional limit.  On a scale of one to ten with my wedding day being a ten, I was probably at an 8.5.  I wish I could bottle that kind of enthusiasm and sell it.  If only, Shark Tank.

But if you were to look over to my husband during those first ten minutes, you’d see a more reserved portrait of a person vacillating between open-mindedness and nervous tics.  We were definitely on the same page regarding our desires for church, but our outward appearances and processing methods were polar opposite.  His right knee couldn’t stop bouncing, his eyes were slightly wide and his body a bit shifty sitting amidst the wooden pews, cathedral ceiling and breathtaking stained glass.  He couldn’t have been more supportive of my curiosity of this newly discovered egalitarian baptist church a mere fifteen minutes from our front door, but the man isn’t as much of a lover of change.  He analyzes first and feels later, is admittedly more pessimistic than me, and plays the role of devil’s advocate very well.  His overall attitude couldn’t be more gracious, but he’s a harder sell overall.  This used to drive me crazy and prompt a lecture about him being a stick-in-the-mud, but I’ve really learned to appreciate this aspect of his personality.

The balance his perspective brings challenges me to temper my assessment of newness with little less emotion and a bit more objectivity.  I’ve come to understand that’s not a proverbial wet blanket at all but rather a strength.   Plus, it leads to a lot less disappointment if something doesn’t end up being as perfect as those first few glances deem.  Thankfully, our marriage has been thriving despite this difference between us, and it’s been a real testament to our commitment to being true and mutually submissive partners.

If I’m perfectly honest, though, I have to make note of the fact that the type of change I love is usually the kind I can anticipate or control.  I don’t know many people who thrive on being blind-sided, so I’m sure this perfectly normal.  However, how I choose to respond to abrupt change is what I’ve also been working to improve.  Constructive coping skills don’t naturally bubble up when my expectations are challenged, and I’m tired of paying the price for poor ones.  Between the inevitable disappointments in relationships, the flat-out crazy throes of newborn-hood (which I can still remember and anticipate, even four years later), and minding the delicate balance between personal preference and compromise with my husband for the greater good of our family, it’s a worthy, if not crucial, endeavor.  Change, tumult, and sheer surprise will be recurrent companions as I journey through life, that’s for sure.


Love Without Chocolate

February 13, 2012

By Rachel McCarty, South Main Member

It’s amazing that even though I’m living halfway across the world, South Main still feels like it’s a drive away. SMBC has been and always be my home away from home. I’m a fourth-generation church member and like my entire family, I bleed green and gold. I graduated from Baylor last May with a degree in Social Work. Immediately after graduation I was blessed with the opportunity to teach English in northern Thailand which is where I currently reside. I have spent this year becoming immersed in a wonderful culture, teaching and learning from precious Thai teenagers, and trying to grasp a better understanding of what I want my future to look like.

During this time I have discovered a deep passion in the area of International work and human trafficking which I plan to pursue as a career after graduate school. One living example of human trafficking that has recently received news coverage is that of child slaves working on cocoa plantations in West Africa. This part of Africa, specifically the Ivory Coast produces 70% of the world’s cocoa. UNICEF has estimated that 500,000 children are working in harsh conditions with little to no pay. Most receive no education and have been forcibly taken from their homes and families. Despite harvesting cocoa for up to fifteen hours a day, many have never even tasted chocolate. This is not a new issue. The Harkin-Engel Protocol or “Cocoa Protocol” called for an end to child slavery ten years ago. It is still unclear whether or not the protocol reduced child labor. Major chocolate companies like M&M/Mars, Nestle, Hershey, and Ferrero Rocher have given no proof of the changes they agreed to a decade ago.

As soon as I heard about the issue I knew I had to get involved. Some friends and I created a social movement called “Love Without Chocolate” that is beginning with a focus on the Valentine’s Day holiday. We are asking that people like you join our boycott of non-fair trade chocolate during the days when chocolate companies make a fortune. Americans alone purchase nearly sixty million pounds of chocolate during the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. Our hope is to raise awareness and get the attention of the chocolate industry that is allowing child slavery to continue.

Awareness is just the beginning step of social justice for these children, but change has to start somewhere. Please help us spread the word. Let’s demand change and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. To learn more about our movement and ways to get involved, please visit our Facebook page “Love Without Chocolate”.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” – Proverbs 31:8-9

Facebook page
Twitter
E-mail address:  lovewithoutchocolate@gmail.com

A few fair trade chocolate companies include Divine Chocolate and Equal Exchange.  Grocery stores like Whole Foods should also carry fair trade chocolate.

Thank you for your consideration to join this cause!


SHARE: By Cliff Nickel

April 13, 2011

Cliff Nickel was born and raised at South Main Baptist Church. He is an active member at the church, currently serving on the Outreach Committee an helping with the Church Archives.

I was in the cradle roll here at South Main and grew up watching the love and support a church family gives. My parents were not only in a very supportive Sunday School class, but they were also part of another group that gave our family support—SMUT (South Main United Tenters).  This was a camping group of several families who went camping at least twice a year together.  While growing up I remember the support when I was in junior high when my mother, Sharon, had surgery and then again when I was in high school and we discovered she was diagnosed with MS. Our church family supported our family in many ways during these times.

As an adult I wondered if my family would have that same type of support.  After getting married my wife and I were members of the newlywed class with Larry and Lecia Carroll as the Sunday school teachers.  They gave us a nice blend of bible study and fellowship. My wife and I developed some wonderful relations from that group. One couple with whom we socialized frequently were John and Beth (Kaiser) Clark. One evening we were out and ran into two other couples who were in the next class up. These couples were Lloyd and Susan Culp and Gordan and Gail Musgrove. That is when the idea first came about.

Gail (Chandler) Musgrove grew up with her parents having a “Quarter club “ that met several times during the year for fellowship. Gordan thought it would be a great idea for us to start our own. We got together in December of 1994 and started our own “Quarter Club”.  We have been there for each other through the oldest Graham Musgrove’s marriage to the youngest Carleigh Nickel’s birth ; to moving of houses to the service of baptism;  through illness to deaths of parents and family members. The Pitschmann Family joined the group and we still meet through out the year.

Being an adult here at South Main, I have experienced the same love and support that my parents did through my Sunday school class and my “Quarter Club”. These are friendships that last a lifetime.

fresh faith. vintage church.

innerloopchurch.com

 


What could you learn in Bible Study?

March 8, 2011

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the wise Michelangelo said, “I am STILL learning.”  No matter who you are, you can still learn a little more about the Holy Bible.  One of South Main’s best time is during our Bible Study on Wednesday nights.

For the remainder of the spring, we are studying the Gospel According to Mark.

Mark is the earliest Gospel; the first written account of the life and ministry of Jesus. It was written by John Mark, who was Simon Peter’s translator and is likely a summary of Peter’s preaching. John Mark’s mother was a house-church pastor in Jerusalem and his uncle was Barnabas, Paul’s missionary partner. So John Mark grew up in the church in Jerusalem, went on Mission with Paul and Barnabas, and was apprentice to Simon Peter. What an incredible vantage point for sharing the life of Jesus with the world.

Please join us at South Main Baptist Church in the Fellowship Hall on Wednesday evenings any time after 5:15 for supper. Prayer time runs from 6:15 until 6:30 and the Bible Study runs from 6:30 until 7:15. We hope to see you there.

fresh faith.  vintage church.

innerloopchurch.com


New chances. New life. New futures.

February 23, 2011

By Kevin Sinclair, Minister to Youth

I’ve seen two things recently on which–I think–God wants me to reflect. These two events represent, on one hand, the paradoxical spectrum of work that we ministers do from time to time.

First off, let me say, have you ever had one of those weeks where you had like three things you HAD to get done, and by Thursday you realize, due to other metaphorical fires that need extinguishing (Tom Ehlers, a firefighter, is one of my all-star youth leaders, so I feel as though I should specify the figurative, imaginary nature of MY fires), you have not done any of those tasks? Yep. That is what I am talking about.

Armed with a cup of coffee and the best intentions, I set out to complete my task: DiscipleNOW logistics, an exhaustive email to Host Homes and Leaders, and Curriculum, Curriculum, Curriculum! In the words of the great poet, Meatloaf…two outta three ain’t bad…right?

As the morning rolled along and I crafted my emails and work, like Michelangelo if he had an Apple Laptop and was writing emails, and I received a distressing email from my beloved former church colleague, now turned city-wide colleague, the always marvelous, Chelsea Wade, who is now doing extraordinary development work over at SEARCH Homeless Service. It was the day of their GED Graduation service, and Erin Conaway was commissioned to offer the invocation. The pianist for the service canceled at the last minute, and they needed not only a keyboardist, but a keyboard itself. Fortunately, the ever-resourceful Thomas Coker had an extra electronic keyboard in his office that he allowed me to take to Chelsea. After dropping off this relic from 1994 of an instrument (Hey, it played notes at least!), I left SEARCH. A hour later, poor, sweet Chelsea discovers that her now back-up keyboardist has canceled, and asks if I can bring my guitar and play a little. Erin and I rush to my house where my trusty guitar, affectionately named Hudson by my friend Chris August, the previous owner, and I see my new accordion. “Hmm, I wonder…” I pick up my accordion and play, without a blemish the first half of pomp and circumstance, and then fumble through a few notes. Surprising as it might seem, I am not so bold and brash to carry an instrument I can barely play (I am getting there, but not quite yet!), to a graduation service and blare out tunes on my accordion (Yet to be named, btw).

We arrive to the service, and in walk the graduates. Two young men enter from the back wearing green graduation robes and hats, followed by many others who are being promoted to the next level within the program. As the teachers and also Mike Feinberg who started KIPP and Yes Prep (If you don’t know what these are, google them) rose to spoke, a sense of affirmation and pride swelled in the room. I can’t speak for everyone else in the room, but the dining area at SEARCH, for that moment at least, became holy ground…a place of second, third, fourth, possibly even seventy times seven chances…a place of resurrection and salvation. One woman rose to tell her story, a story of abuse, addiction, failure, and ultimately victory and redemption. She ended by saying, as simply as I have ever heard, yet more profoundly than all my seminary classes combine, “When I was going through recovery, my sponsor always said, ‘I know it’s hard, but with God all things are possible.'”

New chances. New life. New futures. Who could ask for more for these young men?

So as I right this on a cold evening, I took my youth bowling at Palace Bowling Lanes. To match the standard Kid’s Night Out format, we were scheduled to be at Palace Lanes from 6:30 to 10:00 bowling. In case you have not done the math, that’s 3 1/2 hours of being in the same place with a gaggle of middle schoolers and high schoolers. Now, faithful blog reader, if I’m lyin’, I’m dyin’…our group two years ago would have after about 2 hours started fussing about how bored they were or just left…but not this group. Our youth group has gone through some major maturation and evolution in the past two and a half years I have been here. It takes time to knit community, and God is doing that with us on a day to day basis. Tonight, I was absolutely floored at the camaraderie, patience, love, enthusiasm, and joy that just permeated our five lanes. Everyone being cheered for when they knocked down even one pin, and then encouraged on every gutterball.

I told some of my leaders, “Look at this. They just love each other!” The drama, cliques, and junk all left at the door…high schoolers and middle schoolers playing together and just living life and loving every second of it. I struggle a great deal to think how I can make this group closer and better.

Am I one good curriculum or night of worship away from becoming exactly who God has created us to be? I think not. I think we are, in fact, already exactly who God created us to be, but the beauty with how God sees workmanship is that the work is never complete. We are all at once whole and perfectly formed, and broken, longing for repair.

What do these stories have to do with each other. Maybe nothing at all. Maybe everything. What seems to amaze me the most about how God does whatever it is that God does is that so often the most beautiful, holy, sacred moments in life are the ones that we don’t orchestrate…we just show up with our guitar to make some music or we buy a couple of pizzas and God takes those meager offerings and before we know it, we stand in the presence of the Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.


The Family of God Away from Home

February 1, 2011

After living in dozens of different addresses (literally), who would have thought coming to Houston 3 years ago would be one of three times of life-changing personal growth. Leading up to my coming to Houston I, to my shame, had been resisting God in a specific area of interpersonal relationships. Enter Dolores Rader. Without knowing anything that was going on in my life she broke down all of the barriers that I had constructed and forced me to deal with this issue in my life through her persistent, gentle persuasion. Result –freedom from the prison of my disobedience; from the anger that churned within my soul that boiled over into hurtful sarcasm that tainted relationships. My wife continues to express surprise at the change she sees.

During the 8 months that these events occurred I spent my time here in Houston mostly alone while going to different churches on the Sunday’s I was in town. But not getting involved beyond attending Sunday morning service. Enter Steve Rader. In the caring way that he interacts with people so effortlessly, Steve invited me to spend time with the Rader family. What a wonderful gift that has turned loneliness into fulfilling relationship that comes from becoming an extension of a loving family. I continue to rely on Steve’s guidance in my interaction with the family so that I don’t overstep my welcome.

Then God called Dolores to become the Children’s Minister at SMBC. I wanted to show my appreciation to Dolores for what she had done for me by going to see her be introduced to the church. Not knowing exactly how long it would take to drive to the church I gave myself plenty of time to find the church and arrived at the end of the first service in time to hear some of Dolores’ testimony. Enter Perryman and Miriam Collins. Their genuine welcome and interest in me was a pleasant surprise. Even more pleasing was their continuing interest each week that made me feel more welcome. A bonus has been the opportunity to get to know my cousins Nancy and Dave McNeil. Nancy and I grew up in different parts of the country and only saw each other 3 or 4 times before now. What a special couple I’ve grown to love.

While attending Bible school I studied for a career in Christian Education with special interest in children’s ministry or camp ministry. Although I didn’t follow this career the Lord has used children’s ministry to bring me back into His service when I wander away that I have historically done with depressing regularity. So it seemed natural that I would work with Dolores in the children’s ministry. Problem – I need to be a member. Say what? OK, but I don’t want to leave my home church in Omaha since I’m still active there when I’m home and expect to be in Houston for only a time before returning home. Solution – become a Watch Care member. Enter the Family of God at SMBC. What an amazing feeling to stand at the front of the church and hear you commit to be the family of God to me in this place. I’ve never experience such an overwhelming feeling of support. But even more, you have kept your commitment and shown that it’s more than words that are recited. To anyone feeling like you need a place to belong and be loved; I recommend you commit yourself to this SMBC family. You’ll not regret your decision.

I don’t know how long I’ll be here. But when it’s time for me to go I’ll leave a truly enriched man; so grateful to Dolores and Steve for your love, for your input in me as a person, for inviting me into your life and family. I’ve seen you at work, in your home, at church, in fun times, in struggles. You’re real. Simply saying thank you seems inadequate. So I’ll continue “doing” to try to express my appreciation.

Blessings on each of you, my family away from home.