"Show me some love." Those weren't Jesus exact words when he told the parable of the talents (see Matthew 25:14-46), but that's what he was saying.How does Jesus expect us to show him some love? Jesus encouraged us to minister to the needy among us as a way of showing our love for him. "I tell you the truth," Jesus said, "whatever you did for one of the least of these..., you did for me."
Every day at the Mission Centers of Houston they are showing Jesus some love. The Mission Centers of Houston (formerly known as the Baptist Mission Centers) is a ministry of UBA. Ginger Smith has served as the director this ministry for the past ten years. Every week they reach out to the under-resourced and under-served inside the 610 Loop in a myriad of ways ... giving out food and clothing, providing ESL and job training classes, holding after school programs for kids, week day programs for senior adults and much more.
Let me share with you some of the results of their ministry in 2011:
- Food was given to over 34,625 people (not all food is recorded)
- Clothing was given to 17,566 people
- 4,472 people received MCH services for the first time as new clients
- 552 Bibles were distributed
- 565 scripture portions were distributed
- Every week an average of 153 senior adults, 115 children (ages 4-9), and 73 youth (ages 10-17) participated in MCH programs ... that's almost 350 people per week being ministered to through specific ministry programs (not including food/clothing distribution)
How is this ministry supported? Some of the money for MCH comes through the UBA budget ... this year, 4% of all undesignated receipts or about $48,000 goes to MCH. But that's not nearly enough.
The majority of their funding comes from direct contributions from folks and churches like yours! Last year MCH received $651,589 through direct contributions and special fund raising events.
Much of the actual work of MCH depends upon volunteers. Last year 33,458 volunteer hours were recorded. What's that worth? In dollars, using standard accounting practices for non-profits, it's worth about $ 714,662.88! Thanks to all the individuals and churches, youth ministries, missions teams that serve so selflessly!
But for all the support they receive, the need is always greater than the resources they have available. Which means, MCH needs you to show them some love. They need you to give, to serve and certainly to pray for their ministry.
What are some things you can do?
- Learn more about MCH and the ministry by going to their website: www.missioncenters.org. As you learn, pray for Ginger and the ministry.
- Lead your church to adopt a specific MCH initiative like Feed 365, feeding the hungry 365 days a year (my home church--Woodridge Baptist--has been actively engaged in this great ministry).
- Attend one of the fund raising events and give. For example, I love to play golf, so I am a Gold Sponsor of the MCH Classic … a golf tournament in which all the proceeds support the work of MCH. For more information and to sign up, go to www.mchclassic.org). If you don't play golf, but know someone who does, tell them about it.
PS: For an update on what's happening at Trinity Pines Conference Center, another ministry of UBA, check their online newsletter by clicking here.