A carnival atmosphere pervades Southwell Park in the Houston suburb of Spring Heights, Texas, one Saturday each month. The event, called “A Day in the Park,” offers children and adults a respite from the drug trafficking and crime that has been a part of their community for years.
It also offers hope to the community through the efforts of nine area churches whose members are becoming more visible and covering this neighborhood with prayer.
New Life Community Christian Reformed Church in Spring, Texas, is one of those churches.
Guilda Adams, a member of New Life, said, “This idea came to life through a series of divine encounters that led to an effort by the community churches to roust the drug trade from its spiritual stronghold.” Adams helps organize and run A Day in the Park.
Rev. John Medendorp, pastor of New Life, spent the past two years prayer walking with an elder in the Spring area; their hearts were eventually drawn to Spring Heights.
Medendorp connected with Rev. Frank Callaway, pastor of Truevine Baptist in Spring Heights, who had been organizing other pastors in the area to reclaim their community for Christ.
Attendance has grown from 50 in August to a few hundred in October, and the venture is making a difference, according to residents.
“May God bless you! I can sleep again at night now because they [drug traffickers] are not outside my window all night anymore,” said Verisey Booker, an elderly resident of the neighborhood.
“It seems to have gotten better overnight,” said Sara Samuels, another elderly lifetime resident of Spring Heights.