One Person at a Time
by Tim Sells
Over the past eight years, I have had the privilege of working extensively with the Recovery and Outdoorsmen ministries at the Impact Houston Church. While there are many aspects to this work, from providing hot meals to hungry men and women to leading groups of men in recovery centered bible studies, to connecting men, women, and families to outside homeless agencies that provide services in addition to our ministry, I would like to highlight one major aspect of our Outdoorsmen ministry. A major part of the Outdoorsmen Ministry is evangelism. Bible class and evangelism are the driving force behind our ministry to the homeless. Since April 2022 we have baptized 20+ Outdoorsmen, both men and women. I would like to take a moment to highlight one of our new converts in our homeless community.
In the month of August, on a regular Friday night at our Outdoorsmen Worship, we baptized a young man by the name of Martin. Martin is not the average nor the average looking person. As a matter of fact, Martin’s face and appearance would strike fear in most “normal” people. He is a 30 something year old white man with wide open blue eyes and tattoos from head to toe. Literally, from head to toe, including forehead, both sides of his face, and chin. You see, Martin is an Ex-convict, Ex-gang banger, Ex-drug dealer, and Ex-drug addict. Before finding Impact, he found himself on the streets with a pregnant wife and seemingly not much hope for a home or money unless he reverted back to the street life he knew well. Before giving his life to the Lord on that Friday Night in August, Martin told me that he was tired of the streets, wanted to turn his life around, and refused to be sucked back into the street life. He began to attend our daily program and our Friday night meeting. After several weeks, Martin came to me and said that he believed in Jesus and wanted to be baptized and begin a new life with God. Since Martin gave his life to the Lord that late August evening, he admitted to me that instead of life getting easier, it has been somewhat more difficult but he knows that God is with him now and he is hopeful.
In late August, Martin moved back to his hometown with his family to find work and have a stable place for his new family. Instead of finding love, hope, and acceptance from the local churches, he found people who were fearful, judgmental, and unaccepting. Discouraged and angry, he feared that he would return to his old ways, so he decided to return to Houston and Impact. In Impact he recognizes that he has a family for he, his wife, and new born to belong. Since returning to Houston, he has found housing for his family and is searching for employment as he continues to pursue his new relationship with the Lord.