One of my favorite things about being apart of Bayou City Fellowship is our commitment to the city where God has planted us. I remember when we were preparing to open our doors back in 2011 Pastor Curtis said we would let our city know we were there, and they would be glad for it. So when it came time to launch in Cypress my joy increased knowing our territory expanded: God was giving us more grounds to go and bless.
We have had the great privilege in the past few months to grow into community with a new city partner. Boys and Girls Country is a Christ-centered children’s home located northwest of Houston in Hockley, Texas. The heart of Boys and Girls Country is to “change the lives of children from families in crisis by loving and nurturing them in a Christian home environment, raising them to become self-sustaining and contributing adults.” Along with the cottages on their main campus there is the College and Career Campus. Here the students plan to earn a college degree or trade school certificate; enter the military or work at their first job.
To some it maybe seemed like a likely partnership. Many people in our church have existing relationships that have lasted a lifetime. One of our members is currently a teaching parent out there. One family has adopted siblings that used to call Boys and Girls Country home. And while all of these heart connections maybe made the partnership seem like an obvious one, it wasn’t until we met with them that we saw a need and they trusted us to fill it. Each time I’ve talked to a teaching parent or staff member at Boys and Girls Country I’ve heard the same thread woven into each of their unique stories of how they came to work there: God called them. They might not use those exact words but the meaning is. And while their time and place at Boys and Girls Country is a good work and a joyful job, it can also be hard. And I remembered: the community will know we are here, and they will be glad for it.
A partnership was formed.
Once a month we will do our best to encourage and breathe life into the teaching parents and staff at Boys and Girls Country. They will know they are seen, they are loved, they are prayed for, and they are appreciated. This month they welcomed us into their dining room. After serving them lunch we all sat together and visited. It was really a neat thing to look around the room and see each table filled with some Bayou City volunteers and some Boys and Girls Country staff laughing and getting to know each other. No one hurried off when their plates were clean. We all sat together comfortably almost like we’d known each other for many years. At one point I looked up and saw a group of people leaving the dining room – they were off for a tour of the cottages. A volunteer turned friend offered to come cut hair for the the girls on campus. It was our purpose to encourage them and thank them for all they do, but as I left I felt like I was the one who had been encouraged that day. I think we all did.
If you’d like the opportunity to serve Boys and Girls Country through monthly appreciation events you can sign up to volunteer by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also information available weekly in the foyer at the Cypress campus at the Global and City Outreach table.