Sunday, April 29, 2012

a lesson from a candy bar and ice cream

Have you ever been waiting in line at a checkout in a grocery store and see a kid throw a fit because he couldn't get the candy bar that the store so covertly put next the register? I remember a few weeks ago, I was checking out at a local grocery store when I witnessed the above scenario. The poor mom said to her son, "Son if you will just wait till after we get dinner you can get an ice cream with  a candy bar in it." Like most kids would react, the little boy continued on his screaming escapade.

As I left the store I thought that poor kid, if he would have just waited he could have had candy and ice cream all in one. The sad reality is many of us are just like that poor little boy that wanted that candy bar so badly. We want our temporary desires to be filled so desperately that we fail to recognize the fact that something better is on down the road.

Join us at Mission Abilene in a few hours as we address this very topic.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Will you be one of the few?

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation."
-Robert Kennedy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

1 Dollar

Houston police say four teens have been accused of killing a homeless man for all the money he had – a dollar.
Capital murder charges were filed Tuesday against two suspects who are 18 and one who is 17 years old.
A 16-year-old girl was held in juvenile custody on a capital murder count.
The body of 32-year-old Miguel Ramos was discovered April 4 in an alley.
Houston police say the victim had been robbed and shot.

Wow, this story leaves me speechless and completely sick to my stomach. When will the violence stop? It will stop when we began to unite together and make some noise....

As you reach in your pocket today to possibly buy a coke or maybe a cup of coffee, I challenge you to grip the dollar a little bit tighter and ask yourself, "Am I truly doing all I can to make a difference?"

Make some noise.

It's Official, STV 2012

I am excited to announce 

We are going to make even more noise this year! 

What: 5th Annual Stop The Violence Movement

Where: Taylor County Coliseum

When: October 13th, 2012

Time: 9am-5pm

Please don't forget to put it on your calendar. 



This afternoon I should be able to confirm some incredible details about STV following a meeting at 11am.

Should be exciting...

Make some noise.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Story on KRBC

Thanks Kristin Anderson, from KRBC for covering our church!

"We just try to, instead of promoting a hand out, we try to give them a hand up," said Terry Osborne, associate recovery pastor at Mission Church.

Osborne is a member of a unique congregation. From addicts, to the homeless to everyday people, everyone is welcome at the Mission Church.

"We have people from all walks of life," said lead pastor Chad Mitchell. "Every single race and economic status. So that's what makes this place very special."

Today was the Mission's 15th anniversary, and the leaders have come a long way since the 35 members in a back yard for Bible study. Now they spread awareness about gang violence in the Stop the Violence program, and help various types of addicts get back on their feet.

"They just wasn't concerned where we had been and what our past was," said Osborne. "They just believed in us."

Osborne and his wife were recovering drug addicts when they joined the Mission three years ago. Their children had been taken from them, and they had been homeless at one point. But Osborne said it was the welcoming atmosphere of the church that helped him make strides in his recovery.

"I could be me, and I could be transparent and who I was. It was just really awesome to feel that experience," he said.

Now he has grown through the church and has even reached out to other recovering addicts.

"I take great pride and joy in helping other addicts and alcoholics achieve sobriety like what was given to me," said Osborne.

Osborne is just one of many success stories at Mission Church. It's people like him that help the church grow as a whole.

"It's overwhelming to see what God has done in and through this place," said Mitchell.

Services are held Sunday mornings at 10:45 am.

Friday, April 6, 2012


As you go about your day I pray that you find a few moments to pause and reflect. Pause to remember our Savior's sacrifice, a sacrifice that literally changed eternity.



15 years in the making article in the newspaper

Thanks Loretta for the great article.

By Loretta Fulton
Published Thursday, April 5, 2012
"Come as you are leave different."

That's more than a slogan painted on the side of Mission Abilene.

"That's our banner prayer," said Chad Mitchell, lead pastor.Mission Abilene, which originated in 1997 as The Mission, will celebrate its 15th anniversary at 10:45 a.m. Sunday.

The church held its first organized service on Easter Sunday, March 30, 1997, in a space created in a warehouse belonging to Love and Care Ministries. Since then, the church has grown to the point that it relocated to the present site at 3001 N. 3rd St., just a few blocks from Love and Care Ministries.

A large room with seating for 400, plus a full size band, is filled every Sunday morning, Mitchell said. Although Love and Care Ministries and Mission Abilene are separate entities, they still share a common ministry to the poor and homeless of Abilene.

"They're the outreach," Mitchell said of Love and Care, "and we're the church."

The founder and director of Love and Care Ministries, Mark Hewitt, was pastor of The Mission until Mitchell was hired in 2003.

Easter Sunday service at Mission Abilene is likely to be a little different from what most folks are used to. The church may have one of the most diverse congregations in Abilene, with various ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds represented.

Someone who walks in off the street might be offered use of one of the showers available and a set of clean clothes before church starts.

"Some will come in suits and ties, and you'll see some with backpacks on their backs," Mitchell said.

The church, just like its parent Love and Care Ministries, stresses service to the city's neediest residents. For that reason, it is attractive to college students and faculty, as well as to the clients served by the church.

Mitchell, 32, holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Hardin-Simmons University, and he is typical of other students who are drawn to the church and its service ministries. A 1997 graduate of Abilene High School, Mitchell heard Hewitt speak when he was a student.

He listened to Hewitt's own story about how he was called to start Love and Care Ministries and how God had helped him in his personal journey.

"I felt compelled to come and help," Mitchell said.

But it took another year for him to actually make the commitment. He happened to stop by the tent revival that Love and Care Ministries sponsors each year and saw Hewitt there.

"The next thing I knew," Mitchell said, "I was grabbing sleeping bags and things for the revival."

He began attending the church regularly and became a staff member. His journey is typical of just about everyone who starts attending Mission Abilene. If you attend the church, you serve, Mitchell said. That service often results in remarkable transformations.

"We empower the least likely," Mitchell said, "the unlikely."

Today, Mission Abilene is much more than a church that draws 400 people on Sunday morning. During the week, its rooms are filled with volunteers from various organizations and agencies such as the International Rescue Committee and Child Protective Services.

Addiction recovery meetings and sessions for abused women are scheduled throughout the week. On Wednesday evenings, young adults under the leadership of Heath Henderson go to three nearby apartment complexes to hold outdoor services for the children who live there.

Other groups routinely conduct a "suds ministry" by handing out bottles of detergent to people in laundromats. Still others sometimes take loaves of bread or other gifts and leave then on the doorsteps at neighborhood homes.

"We just do various things to say we're here," Mitchell said. "We want to be a lighthouse in the community."

That light not only shines on the neighborhood, it also draws people from all over town and all walks of life. Henderson, pastor to young adults, holds both bachelor's and master's degrees from Hardin-Simmons University. He was used to a traditional church service when he first attended Mission Abilene.

"It was probably the most different church I had been to," he said. "I consider it to be kind of a cultural melting pot."

Henderson had two close calls with death in his younger years, one from an illness while in high school and the other from a car wreck. He was a passenger in a car driven by a friend who was drunk, Henderson said.

"I walked away and he didn't," Henderson said.

It's a story he now uses in his job as a prevention specialist with the Abilene Regional Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. The wreck happened in July 2001, the summer before Henderson entered HSU. It also was two months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Those two events together were devastating to Henderson.

"I kind of gave up hope," he said, and remained in that state until age 25. That's when he discovered Mission Abilene.

"I found hope again," he said.

That's a sentiment shared by many Abilenians who have passed through the doors of Mission Abilene the past 15 years. Because the church serves the poor and homeless, its resources are scarce. Members who can give more, do, but offerings are usually a few coins fished from pockets.Knowing that, member Brian Holamon was thrilled when a special offering for a project he started netted $1,400 in pocket change. He wasn't shocked, just thrilled. He knows that the church members are as generous as their means allow.

Holamon, who owns God's Care Lawnscapes, has been a member of the church almost from the beginning. In 2002, Holamon took a trip to Brazil with his father and had a revelation. He fell in love with the country and has returned every year since.

He connected with a missionary there, with the intention of sharing his love of Christ with people he met. But he eventually realized just telling people about Jesus wasn't enough.

"God was teaching me the value of relationships," Holamon said.

He learned that villagers needed access to clean drinking water and began a project that he now calls Living Water Brazil. Last September, Holamon installed two water purification systems in the city of Primeira Cruz.

In February he returned and installed two more. The cost of each system, including customs fees, shipping, and installation is about $5,500, which comes from donations.

Holamon said he was drawn to Mission Abilene because it emphasizes service work at home and in distant places like Brazil.

"It was a church that actually did something," he said.

As it continues to grow, Mission Abilene will do even more, its pastor, Mitchell, said. The church already is cramped in the building it moved into eight years ago. Mitchell won't predict the future of the church, but he has no doubt it has a great future in store.

"There's no telling what can happen," he said.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pray for Dallas!

I sent a text message to my college roommate who is a Dallas Police Officer to check to see if he was okay after the tornado...
This was his response...

"Luckily we weren't hit but our church is the central donation location for the city. Some places are real bad. We got a lot of help"

Please pray for DALLAS!