The Waters Houston 2020
Houston is the largest city in the state of Texas, fourth largest in the United States, as well as the sixth largest in North America, with an estimated 2018 population of 2,325,502 (inside city limits). Located in Southeast Texas near Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, it is the seat of Harris County and the principal city of the Greater Houston metropolitan area, which is the fifth most populated metropolitan area in the United States and the second most populated in Texas after the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, with a population of 6,997,384 in 2018.
Comprising a total area of 637.4 square miles, Houston is the eighth most expansive city in the United States (including consolidated city-counties). It is the largest city in the United States by total area.
Houston’s economy since the late 19th century has a broad industrial base in energy, manufacturing, aeronautics, and transportation. Leading in healthcare sectors and building oilfield equipment, Houston has the second most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality within its city limits.
Nicknamed the “Bayou City”, “Space City”, and “H-Town”, Houston has become a global city, with strengths in culture, medicine, and research. The city has a population from various ethnic and religious backgrounds and a large and growing international community. Houston is the most diverse metropolitan area in Texas and has been described as the most racially and ethnically diverse major metropolis in the U.S.
According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 73% of the population of the Houston area identified themselves as Christians, about 50% of whom claimed Protestant affiliations and about 19% claimed Roman Catholic affiliations. Nationwide, about 71% of respondents identified as Christians. About 20% of Houston-area residents claimed no religious affiliation, compared to about 23% nationwide. The same study says that area residents identifying with other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism) collectively made up about 7% of the area population.
Lakewood Church in Houston, led by Pastor Joel Osteen, is the largest church in the United States. A megachurch, it had 44,800 weekly attendees in 2010, up from 11,000 weekly in 2000. Since 2005 it has occupied the former Compaq Center sports stadium. In September 2010, Outreach Magazine published a list of the 100 largest Christian churches in the United States, where 5 of the churches listed are located in Houston. According to the list, Houston and Dallas were tied as the second most popular city for megachurches.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Flexibility is the key! All participants are asked to remain flexible and open to the opportunities for “being” and “doing” what the Spirit provides. Ministry and outreach activities are customized to the community’s specific needs and are specifically determined closer to the time of the trip. Our goal is to best partner with the community we are going to serve. Please keep this in mind when discussing trip details with potential participants!
**Customized trips are available.
Due to logistical reasons, needs/criteria of a specific ministry, and/or cultural practices, it’s likely things could change from day-to-day; often at the last moment. The key is to be flexible, because more than anything, we want God to do HIS work on this trip through us. We need to be open to where He is leading us. We have a saying, “Blessed are the flexible, for they will not get bent out of shape.” The range of ministry opportunities can be a daily mixture of the following:
- Street Evangelism
- Prayer Walks (Praying with members of the community as we walk the streets)
- Urban Plunge/ATL (Hitting the streets in search of God moments)
- Children’s Ministry
- VBS Ministry
- Homeless Ministry
- Food Prep and Distribution
- Construction/Renovation Projects
Mission Centers of Houston
7629 Avenue F
Houston, TX 77012
- Air Mattress & Sheets or Bed Roll/Mat
- Pajamas (See clothing guidelines)
- 3-4 changes of clothes that can get dirty (Please review the clothing guidelines on the last page)
- Bandana or hat
- Lightweight rain jacket (optional)
- Knee length shorts
- Underwear, socks
- Walking shoes
- Shower shoes
- Bar soap, shampoo, razor, shaving cream
- Deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste
- Wash cloth, towel
- Brush or comb
- Hair ties, headbands, ponytail holders
- Extra glasses, contact lenses, cleaning solution
- Moisturizer, nail clippers, file, Q tips, Kleenex
- Camelbak or water bottle
- We recommend a Camelbak because it holds more water, is easier to carry around than a thermos or water bottle and it takes care of the backpack. Off brand water bags have a tendency to burst, so check reviews before purchasing.
- Do not fill this up prior to getting to the airport. They will make you pour it out or take it.
- If you prefer a water bottle, I recommend a Nalgene. They are durable and can take a hit.
- This comes in handy when you have Bibles, snacks, cameras that you are lugging around all day.
- Bible, journal & pen
- It’s a good idea to journal your thoughts while in the field. Write down what God spoke or revealed to you so you can reflect later.
- Small first-aid kit
- Insect repellent (20% – 30% DEET is sufficient)
- Battery operated fan
- Extra batteries
- Granola bars, snacks, drink mixes
- Extra money for snacks & souvenirs
- Camelbak or water bottle
It is important to remember that when you are on the mission field ministering, you are representing God and local missionaries. Modesty is the key to all clothing you decide to bring with you. If you are questioning whether or not you should bring it, then you should probably leave it at home.
- Bring something modest to sleep in.
- No short, tight, or clingy clothing.
- No low-cut tank tops or tank tops with straps thinner than one inch.
- If you cannot raise your arms above your head or touch your toes without showing your stomach or lower back, leave it at home.
- Shorts must come to the top of the knee. Capris and gaucho pants are great options!
- Skirts and dresses should be below or close to the knee.
- Make sure clothing is not stained and/or torn. You do not have to wear your best clothing but make yourself presentable.
- Bring comfortable closed-toe shoes for walking and ministry.
- Toms/Bobs/Chacos are a great option
- Tennis shoes work great too
- These are guidelines… We do not expect you to go out and buy all new clothes just to serve for a week. Jesus says come as you are, and so do we. Do your best to follow these guidelines. We will not be clothing Nazi’s. However, trip leaders have the final say on whether or not clothing is appropriate, and they may ask you to change should they deem your attire inappropriate.
Below is a sample schedule of what a typical day could look like; however, I cannot guarantee any day will look like this. Due to logistical reasons, needs/criteria of a specific ministry and cultural practices, it’s likely your schedule could change from day-to-day—and often it can do so at the last moment. The key is to be flexible, because more than anything, we want God to do HIS work on this trip through us—not our own. We need to be open to where He is leading us.
“Blessed are the flexible; for they will not get bent out of shape!”
- 06:00 AM Wake Up
- 07:00 AM Breakfast
- 08:00 AM Quiet Time / Get ready for the day
- 09:00 AM Morning Ministry (Be prepared for anything)
- 12:30 PM Lunch (PBJ’s, chips & water)
- 01:30 PM Afternoon Ministry (Be prepared for anything)
- 05:30 PM Clean Up/Chores/Showers/Free Time
- 06:30 PM Dinner
- 07:00 PM Group Debrief
- 09:00 PM Showers/Free Time
- 11:00 PM Lights Out