HOUSTON?Prior to the start of the Acts 1:8 SENT Conference, some participants took advantage of a tour promoted by Houston’s First Baptist Church, the conference host.
Becky Parker, HFBC missions associate, guided the 10 participants on April 16 around Houston to experience first-hand the diversity of the nation’s fourth-largest city and the means by which Christians work to minister to the needy and share the gospel with a significant international population.
On tour were members of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, a professor from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and members from Texas churches.
First stop on the tour was Long Point Baptist Church, one of the many local churches brought under the care and support of HFBC. Part of the church’s mission is to revive declining churches like Long Point. While there the group swapped ministry ideas. Each said they hoped to get ideas on how to minister within their own communities or even plan for trips to Houston to help in ongoing ministries.
One such ministry has been to the homeless. The Star of Hope hosts men, women, and families in need of a home, jobs, work skills, and Christ. At two of the sites, The Women and Children’s Emergency Shelter and the Men’s Emergency Shelter, the group split up to serve lunch for the clients of the shelters.
Following lunch at a Vietnamese deli the group visited the Vietnamese Buddhist Temple. Although the grounds were attractive, the 72-foot-high statue of Quan Am loomed over the grounds, adding to the gloomy atmosphere of the late cloudy afternoon. Parker said she often brings mission groups to the site to illustrate the diverse population of greater Houston and the need for international missions within the state.