I want to share with you about a new friend I have made. Ed Small is the pastor of City Church Houston and the director of the Martin Luther King Center here. The MLK Center is the oldest in the country and home to significant history and heritage for the black community in the 3rd Ward of Houston. City Church is a mission outreach to the children of the 3rd Ward—Pastor Ed laughs at the irony that God waited until he was 68 years old to call him into youth ministry! But his calling is evident through the tears that flow from his eyes as he talks about feeding children and loving them in the name of Jesus. He articulates how a track coach in New Jersey, just across from NYC, reached out to him in his wayward, teenage years. Again with tears welling up, he whispers, “He saved me!…That’s what I’m doing here.”
When I met him for the first time last week, Pastor Ed regaled me with story after story of God’s provision for his ministry, which functions with two full-time staff members, neither of whom draws a salary. He has seen strangers bring donations just in time to keep the lights on. He has seen suburban churches bring truckloads of food to help feed the children—another story which prompts his easily-flowing tears. People ask him how he pays for his ministry and he says genuinely, “God is not broke!” Many groups have come to City Church to help in a variety of ways, but as I sat with him in the shade last week, he told me how much he appreciated my listening to his story. It was evident that he valued our relationship over what I could do for him. As do I — Pastor Ed is a humble, passionate, gentle, deep man of God from whom I hope to learn a great deal in the years to come.
We took our first groups to serve with City Church this week. Through them we connected with children in Cuney Homes, a government housing project, and loved on other children in the 3rd Ward. It is a site where our groups will be able to share and experience the Kingdom of God in some beautiful ways. I am excited that our groups will be able to hear from Pastor Ed and catch his passion and heart for the children of the 3rd Ward.
-Paul Randall, CSM Houston City Director
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