Thursday, October 3, 2013
Emma and the mission
More than one person at Mission Arlington told me – “Emma is a blessing.”
I knew that already, of course, but to hear it from people she’s working with more than 500 miles away from home made me a proud father, to say the least.
This past weekend we made the long drive to Arlington, Texas, to visit with our 22-year-old daughter.
She decided, after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, in May that she wanted to do a year of mission work before starting graduate school. She picked Mission Arlington, where she had already spent a summer.
Pam, Erin and I had never been there. We didn’t know the people she was spending her 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. workdays with and we hadn’t seen the area where she was living or her apartment. That, and to get some big hugs and share some smiles, were the purposes for this quick trip, leaving Thursday afternoon and returning Sunday.
I starting feeling more comfortable, as a dad, when I met Emma’s co-workers and friends. They were all so welcoming and nice.
Then after spending time with Ms. Tillie (Tillie Burgin), I relaxed even more.
Ms. Tillie, age 77, is the executive director of Mission Arlington, which began in 1986, and has grown by leaps and bounds.
She’s not your typical 77-year-old. She took us on a walking tour of the facilities, and we had a difficult time keeping pace. She’s high energy, to say the least. Her enthusiasm for the mission and helping others is contagious.
Today, about 175 to 200 families a day come to the mission for some type of assistance.
In August, the mission presented school supplies to 9,000 children.
Last Christmas, 33,000 children received gifts who might not have gotten anything for the holiday season otherwise.
It’s all possible thanks to a large network of supporters – individuals, families, civic organizations, schools and businessmen – fulfilling a mission to serve God and love His people.
Emma is involved in many things there. They all pitch in where needed. She has also organized the medical appliance donations – wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, etc.
We also visited an apartment complex where Ms. Tillie asked Emma and another Mission Arlington volunteer to start a Bible study.
Once the numbers for the Bible study are built up, they will also begin an after-school program there.
She is already working one after-school program with children at another complex.
It’s amazing to watch the mission in operation.
People were constantly driving through – donating items, most of which in turn go out to families in need the same day they’re brought in.
Pam and I, thanks to the help of our church family here in Holly Springs, delivered boxes of stuffing and macaroni and cheese, as the mission prepares for Thanksgiving. We also purchased some toys for the children Emma is working with in the Bible study and after-school program, thanks to some financial contributions.
It was sad leaving my daughter behind in Arlington.
But, at the same time, I had a wonderful feeling in my heart – that I’d raised a beautiful young lady who has her priorities in order – God first and others second.
News: (662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: (662) 252-3388
Questions, comments, corrections: email@example.com
The South Reporter
P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
©2004, The South Reporter, All Rights Reserved.
No part of this site may be reproduced in any way without permission.
The South Reporter is a member of the Mississippi Press Association.
Site managed and maintained by
South Reporter webmasters Linda Jones, Kristian Jones
Web Site Design - The South Reporter
Back | Top of Page