Derek’s Story: Faith & Cleaning

Our success story today comes from a local man who was in desperate need of direction and, more importantly, faith.

No matter how hard we try to remain faithful to our beliefs, our traditions and our Lord, the world often throws up challenges that can appear insurmountable and can lead to our belief systems being put under stress. For those of us lucky enough to have a stable job and a support network we may find that the stresses of the modern world rarely trouble us, but the same, unfortunately, can not be said for everyone.

Derek is one such Christian who found himself up against it a few years ago. Having grown up in the small city of Conroe, he received average grades throughout his school years and did not receive the support that he desperately needed from his parents. Although he came from a religious family, their faith was surface level. Derek’s family attended church in order keep up appearances, but they did not engage actively with their church. Without faith in God and severely lacking any guidance from his parents, Derek found himself aimlessly drifting through life.

After falling out with his parents as a teenager, the young Derek left home to live in the ‘big city’ of Houston. Although this young Christian soul found a place to live and even a job to pay the bills, he still found himself missing a purpose. On a whim, he decided to attend is local church’s Sunday service. The church experience was completely different without his family in attendance and Derek felt a warmth that he hadn’t known before.

Whilst chatting to his new church family, Derek got talking to a local businessman who could tell that this young man had an earnestness, faith and will to be a real success. As it happens this man, a good Christian himself, was just starting a cleaning business and was in need of trustworthy individuals to join him. This turnkey business opportunity had presented itself to the man at an opportune moment in his life, a fortuitous event that no Derek no doubt benefited from. Although Derek was financially stable, he was in need of a new purpose and this is exactly what this man’s cleaning business offered him.

Within a matter of months, Derek had become a regular member of this new church. His work with the new BBQ cleaning business was going well and he had now earned the trust of the local community. Derek’s faith, no matter how flimsy its origins, was what brought him this success. By allowing himself to believe and trust in God, he was able to make more of himself and bring himself closer to his fellow man.

We wish him all the best in his future endeavours!

Festive Focus: Combat National Hunger

Being a Christian is not a passive activity, it’s an active state of mind that is necessarily backed up by action, whether that’s attending a weekly service or organising a regular meetup to discuss your faith.

We all live busy, hectic lives, some of us may have families, and the responsibilities that goes along with that can often threaten to completely eclipse every other thought that we have. The daily struggle to get food on the table is one that millions of Americans face, at this time of year it can be beneficial for those lucky few of us who do not have these concerns to consider how we can help out our fellow countrymen.

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, offering us the perfect opportunity to take an honest look at how we are exercising our faith and spreading God’s love during this most holy time of the year. As Christmas draws ever closer, you might consider taking part in one of these activities to combat national hunger: 

Volunteer at your local soup kitchen

Soup kitchens exist in cities all across the country, they offer volunteers the opportunity to make a real difference to someone’s day by helping homeless and destitute people get a hot meal. Soup kitchens are always looking for volunteers to help them out, there are dozens of tasks needed to make such a scheme function. One day you may find that you’re sourcing the ingredients needed to cook the food, other times you may be cooking the food or serving it.

Take part in a Christmas shoebox appeal

Christmas shoebox appeals have been a popular form of charity for the last few decades, they offer volunteers the chance to make a child’s Christmas really special, something that we can certainly all appreciate. The premise is simple enough: you take an empty shoebox and then fill it with small gifts for your mystery recipient. You can either choose to send your box off to a delivery centre, or you can go the extra mile and volunteer with the charity and help with the logistics of delivering all these special festive gifts.

Host a festive night of dinner and discussion

Sometimes it can be the simple things that make the difference to your Christmas. If you’re lucky enough to have food to share, then why not share it? By inviting your fellow church members or neighbours around for an evening of food and discussion, you can share your wealth in addition to encouraging meaningful discussion about the issues that are affecting your community and the rest of the country.

Proverbs 22:9//The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

Student Focused Events & Meet Ups

If you’ve recently started college in Houston and are looking for opportunities to fellow students that share your faith, then why not head to one of these fantastic student focused events?

Starting your new college life can be a trying time, you may find that you’re a long way from home and without the help of your usual support network – thankfully, there are plenty of churches and Christian faith groups that organise open, affordable events that often involve some free food – which is always a great way to market to college students! Many Christian student events are advertised throughout campuses, but you’ll also find a good deal of them online too.

If you’re feeling a little isolated, or lonely, then check out one of these events and make some new friends along the way:

L.I.F.E. Devotional

If you haven’t found a church that you feel comfortable praising in then it can be a good idea to simply drop in to a few casual meetings first. The University of Houston is home to thousands of Christian students, many of whom will drop into their regular devotional during their time studying on campus. You don’t need to be a member of the university to jump in, but it will obviously help if you’re a student.

Date: 7:30pm, every Friday Location: Student Center South Astrodome Room, University of Houston

Unique Student Conference

Gospel praise is at the heart of this exciting conference which recognises the unique aspects of every student who attends it. The mission of Unique Student is to guide young people into a life of praise whilst championing their individual gifts, talents and abilities. Their next major conference will not be until July in 2019, but the organisation regularly puts together meetups in order to welcome new students to the city.

Date: Monday 22nd-Friday 26th July 2019 Location: Houston

‘Know Your Worth’ 2018 Girls Conference

Sponsored by Young Mothers Don’t Quit, this inspirational event is just the thing to light the fire in your heart. YMDQ are a non-profit organisation focusing on lifting girls’ spirits and helping them build the confidence and motivation necessary earn their high school diplomas and achieve in college. If you’re too old to make the most of this lecture (it’s aimed squarely at teens between 13 and 18) then you might be able to help out the organisation with one of their fundraising events.

Date: Saturday 10th November 2018 Location: Emancipation Community Centre, 3018 Emancipation Avenue