Can anyone tell me where September went? Seriously, I blinked and it is time to send out a note to those who have made our 2016 possible and an enormous success. In reflecting on this year’s goals and accomplishments, it is overwhelming to see the amount of change not only in the ministry of Mission: Possible! Austin (MPA), but also in the east side of our city. Compared to previous years MPA continues forward with a budget reduced by $250,000. Even though we have a smaller staff, there has been significant growth in youth and adult program relationships.
Together with our consistent donors and volunteers, we have seen God’s hand at work in Nikos Camps. We are praising the Lord and are so very thankful for the prayers and donations of our ministry partners; 2016 Nikos Camp expenses were fully funded! This year, 200 campers were served, 10 churches were directly involved, 20 additional churches and organizations indirectly supported camp, 15 new families were reached and 50 adult staff helped make this all possible!
MPA is within 3/4 of a mile of six major low-income housing developments that include hundreds of children and families that fall outside the church’s reach. We currently minister to more than 175 children and families at these locations. Located at the very heart of east Austin we have the privilege of serving the homeless individuals that live on the streets around us.
MPA has formed alliances with several non-profit organizations that provide services to our community at large. Much of their success is possible, as the Lord has graciously allowed us to provide space in our 12th & Chicon community at a fraction of East Austin retail cost. Through this “Collective” of ministries, it is possible to provide:
- Juvenile offenders ministries, while incarcerated and after time served
- Community and school transformation groups, in schools and at MPA
- Family and Pregnancy resources
- Child and Youth development activities
Recently we have been blessed with two new programs. “Sparks For Success” is a program that exclusively serves the children of inmates through music appreciation and instrument tutoring. “Second Chances” meets on site seven days a week from 5:00 – 10:30 P.M. serving individuals with drug addiction issues. While this program has only been in operation for just a few weeks, over 285 individuals have been served. Second Chances has served some out of town visitors that heard about this much-needed program while attending Austin City Limits! We are so encouraged by this success; only the Lord could produce such overwhelming results.
As we look to the near future, we believe God is asking us to bring together a local body of Christ to become a church of irresistible influence to our eclectic, multi-ethnic community. We are moving forward with the construction of staff housing that will allow our staff to live and serve this community more effectively in this community-focused church. The natural extension of MPA is to become an outreach church serving the dynamic cultural diversity of the central east Austin community and the hundreds of young people who will grow up on the east side of town.
Pray for us as we move towards this exciting reality over the next 5 years. This is only possible with the prayer and financial support of God’s people. We are praying and working hard to incorporate the ministries of MPA into the fabric of this new church. MPA will continue to provide our connecting venues for this new church as well as churches in the greater Austin area. Our two foundational ministries, Church Under The Bridge and Camp Nikos, will continue to serve our city ministering the transformational power of the reality of the Gospel to the least and last of our city.
Isaiah 61:1-6 describes the reward of those who “rebuild…restore… (and) renew” the city. It is the city who bestows on them their titles–“And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.”
As the end of 2016, approaches do prayerfully consider supporting the Lord’s work at Mission: Possible! Austin. Year-end giving is critical to our on-going ministry. Thank you for your prayers and generosity.
As always, His peace and our deepest appreciation,
Tim Pinson, Sr.
Executive Director, Mission: Possible! Austin