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‘Mission’ accomplished in Madisonville program

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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 11:21 am

A mission for change continued in Madisonville last week.

Mission Madisonville, a faith-based initiative designed to help Madisonville youth, took place through a variety of events in town June 11-15. Last week’s event marked the third year that the Madisonville program has been in effect.

The Exchange Church, based in Kellar in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, operates Echo Student Ministry, which has overseen the Mission Madisonville project over the years. The primary activity has been a vacation Bible school at Lance Street Apartments.

Last Wednesday evening, though, the Mission included the Change the World Concert at Madisonville High School’s auditorium. The front lobby of MHS was packed with attendees prior to the auditorium doors’ opening at 6:30 p.m.

Texas musician acts Bryce Cole and Craig Rigney were accompanied by the Chris Allen Band from Boston. They sang songs of praise and faith and had lyrics displayed on monitors for fans to follow along. The evening had the feeling of a typical rock or pop music concert.

During an intermission of music, the audience was spoken to by Zach Schroeder, student pastor at Echo and Madisonville. He told the crowd of a trip he and his cousin took a couple of weeks earlier on the Brazos River. A storm then barraged the area and sent Schroeder and his cousin running for cover. In the midst of the most severe portion of the storm, Schroeder was pleasantly amazed when his cousin loudly started to pray to God for safety and so that the storm might passed. The experience is one reason why Schroeder told the crowd that one way the world can be a better place is through Christ.

“When I was writing this whole thing, I kept on thinking … what will it take for (people) to change the world? What will it take for them to work together, to grow together, to love together, to live together, to share Christ together? What will it take to change the world? Their dependency on Christ. That is the only thing that we need, is to become dependent Christians.”

Schroeder and his followers, though, are doing their own part to help those in need through the vacation Bible school they had at Lance Street Apartments. Madisonville’s Josh Schwarz helped organize the event in advance of Echo’s arrival.

The Bible school was every day last week. There was a recreation area for physical activity, a tent for story time regarding passages from the Bible, a dance station, nursery for infants, and arts and craft. Schwartz was pleased with the turnout which he estimated to be close to 200 children. He was also ecstatic at the number of young volunteers that were also participating.

“There’s probably 60 teenagers here who are out here serving and making all this happen,” Schwarz said. “It’s because of their obedience to God’s will that they’re out here pouring into these kids showing the love of Christ.”

Elsewhere, Mission Madisonville conducted vacation Bible school at Crossroads Cowboy Church. Members also cooked crawfish for residents at the House of House rehabilitation facility in town.

“Those guys at the House of Hope, they’re always running around serving others,” Schwarz said. “It’s the perfect opportunity for these teenagers to go there and serve them.”

The week ended in a blowout Friday night with food and refreshments for anyone wanting to come, thus concluding Mission’s third year.

“I’m so blessed to have what God has given me,” Schwarz said. “Not everybody has that, and I just want to share that.”

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