“In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, would I have told you. I go there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” – John 14:2-4 (NIV)
By Andy King
KUMC U.M. ARMY Coordinator
When I read these verses about “mansions,” I often imagine a magnificent, grand home with an enormous foyer, huge bedrooms and all the trappings a mansion might offer. Even though we strive for the same here on earth, I believe Jesus is sharing this as what His followers will receive in heaven one day.
The great thing about U.M. ARMY is I get a chance to move away from the blessings of Kingwood to realize what others have, or more likely don’t have in this world. It’s a reality that can be unsettling at first, but I soon find that the clients who we serve are not unsettled at all. They share a faith that is stronger than anything we encounter most days in the Livable Forest, and I soon became aware that I’m the one who is being served.
I start to see that for the clients it’s about having young people milling around their home for a few hours each day and engaging with them when so often no one ever visits. It’s sharing a sack lunch a youth made for them and being part of a devotional, which reminds them what a community of faith is all about. For many clients, they recall that they can make a difference in young people’s lives by sharing their faith and how God supports them daily.
Amazingly, I quickly realize the “mansions” are not the material scenes pictured in my mind, but more a place where loving spirits gather, sharing God’s love constantly. These “mansions” Jesus prepares for us are filled with those who focused on His teachings and strived to be like Him each day. Jesus prepares these places with the spirits we encounter at U.M. ARMY, spirits who are living their time on earth with their focus on sharing their faith in Jesus Christ and not on material items they don’t have. Their faith is contagious and something I treasure every year I attend.
It’s very rewarding to see participants shed their worldly views and begin to encounter Jesus in meaningful ways.
“U.M. ARMY has had a huge impact on my life. The love from the adults, both clients and participants, and God during the week is unreal and can’t be explained through just words. I can truly say from my own personal experience it’s life changing. You have to have great people that are surrounded by God in your life. The love you get from adults, fellow campers and clients at U.M. ARMY is awesome. Their hearts are open to hear your testimony and they fill you with God’s word and their love.”
– Matt Ellis, current senior at Atascocita High School
- our Church to continue supporting U.M. ARMY through active participation, prayers, and financial support;
- our youth and adults to continue growing with a deeper, meaningful understanding of the greatness of God’s love, knowing that through His power anything is possible;
- those who participate in U.M. ARMY will feel the love of God and His presence in their lives through this mission.
Did you know:
- U.M. ARMY’s Mission Statement reads: provide Christ-centered, quality youth work camps that serve people in need, and promote spiritual growth and leadership development in youth.
- U.M. ARMY is committed to helping those in need who have neither the physical nor the financial means of doing needed home repairs themselves.
- U.M. ARMY’s primary focus is on low-income, elderly, and disabled individuals.
- U.M. ARMY provides opportunities to grow spiritually and to develop leaders.
- U.M. ARMY began in 1979 when 36 youth and adults from Houston-area churches decided on a mission project near their homes.
- Donations accepted through the KUMC Church Office; please designate U.M. ARMY in the memo line of your check.
- To find out more, visit https://www.Kingwoodumc.org/umarmy
- Or contact Andy King, KUMC U.M. ARMY Coordinator
- cell – 832-540-2722
- email – firstname.lastname@example.org
See previous posts of the Mission’s Lenten Journey:
Week 1: Feed My Lambs
Week 2: Joy in the Harvest
Week 3: Society of St. Stephen
Next Week: Living Water International