by Rev. Andrew Moody, Organizing Pastor, San Antonio Reformed Church, San Antonio, Texas (November 2013)
Remember the Alamo? This historic landmark serves as a reminder of the missions that helped found San Antonio, Texas. The need for the gospel of Jesus to go out into “the River City” is just as great today as it was when Colonels William Travis and James Bowie fought to defend the Alamo against the Mexican army led by General Antonio López de Santa Anna. San Antonio Reformed Church put out a call for teams to come help in reaching out to their community on the northeast side of town. This call was answered by Providence Presbyterian Church in Pflugerville (Austin).
The first major project they undertook was to help clean up the portion of the facility that the church rents for worship. The ugly cracks in the wall were patched, the dirty carpets were cleaned, and a fresh coat of paint freshened up the room where services are held. The storage room was cleaned out and organized, so everything could easily be found on Sunday mornings. Outside, the deck received some TLC as team leader Michael Spranger screwed down loose boards, and the younger boys applied a coat of paint to the railing. Not only does our church benefit directly from these improvements, but we are also able to be a blessing to the Seventh-day Adventist church from which we rent.
On Saturday we held an outreach BBQ on a major street in our area. We received permission from an auto parts store to set up in their parking lot! Our grill-meister, Marshall Moody, cooked up 120 hamburgers and 160 hot dogs that we gave away! Ruling elder Dave Hall helped serve up 200 snow cones, while his wife Donna used her artistic gifts at the face-painting table.
Several people also came over from Grace OPC in northwest San Antonio to serve! Everyone pitched in to hold up signs to the cars passing by, serve food and drinks, and supervise the bounce house. Most of the locals who stopped in were surprised that everything was free and that we weren’t accepting donations.
Our literature table was stocked with lots of free books and church information. Most who attended left with a book or church card in hand. We were also able to collect contact information from many families, which allowed us to send out a follow-up letter inviting them to come and worship with us.
It was a joy to meet people in our community and to have the opportunity to serve them as a church family. We pray that this will open doors for us to develop closer relationships with those with whom we have further contact. Several of the team members were able to return and worship with us on Sunday, which was a great encouragement to our church.
We thank the Lord that we have grown closer to our sister church through mutual service and encouragement in the Lord. We are so grateful for their generosity. They have given of their resources to build up the body of Christ in northeast San Antonio. Their team helped us to successfully pull off a great community outreach event, which we had wanted to do for some time, but lacked the resources to make it happen.
They are already talking about sending a team again next year. That would be great! Keep your eyes out for short-term mission opportunities, which are posted at opcstm.org. Maybe the Lord will open the door for your church to bring a team down to the Alamo City next year.
There is always a need to reach out to others with the love of Jesus. May the Lord use our humble service to bless and build up his church as his gospel goes out to create new missions in San Antonio and to the ends of the world.
Note: This article was published in the November 2013 issue of New Horizons