H.I.S. Bridgebuilders Houston, Texas Branch
In 2012, Pastor Mike was in Houston receiving treatment at the Medical Center. He wanted to go into the inner city of Houston and find a location to minister to people while he was there. The Third Ward is one of the six historic wards of the city. It is located inside the 610 Loop, immediately southeast of Downtown Houston and to the east of the Texas Medical Center. As he was driving around Third Ward, he was questioning the residents about the housing development in the community. He found out the location and the name of the apartments, Cuney Homes.
After having a conversation with Ms. Sheffield, who was at time the president of the Cuney Homes resident council, he met Claude. Claude was signing up some children for the YMCA summer program at the Cuney Homes community building. Pastor Mike struck up a conversation with Claude, and began to share the Gospel with him. After giving his life to the Lord, Claude agreed to meet with Pastor Mike every Tuesday for discipleship purposes. Knowing that in a few weeks he would have to leave Houston, Pastor Mike began praying for someone in the community who could continue walking with Claude. Pastor Mike describes the encounter in his own words:
"On the way out the door, I met a young man named Claude, who is getting his GED and then wants to be trained for a job. Immediately, the Lord connected our hearts, as his story is exactly like that of Rodrick and Clifton, who are like sons to me. I placed my hand on his heart and began to tell him that nothing would change until he totally surrendered his heart to Jesus. There in the hall of the community center, he prayed a prayer, surrendering his heart to Jesus. I told him I would meet him the following Tuesday at 1:00 to talk, discuss life, and the Word of God. We have met every Tuesday for the last five weeks. Each week the Lord has added more young men to this group and this past Tuesday, some of the young men brought their Pastor to meet us. When I met Pastor Cofield, there was an immediate connection. We discovered, after just a few minutes, that he was mentored, and led to be in Houston, by my mentor in the city Dr. E.K. Bailey. Nineteen years ago E.K., who is now in heaven, was driving through this same neighborhood and felt convicted by the Holy Spirit to call Pastor Cofield to pray about being the Pastor of a church in the Third Ward. This church has grown from 150 members to almost three thousand, and is just minutes away from where we have been ministering. I want you to hear from this Pastor and these amazing men from the Third Ward, about what God is speaking to them regarding our potential to work with them. Mike Buster, who is on our Board, summed up the meeting well, by stating, “Only the Lord Himself could have orchestrated what I witnessed today.” The pieces to a Houston BridgeBuilders were miraculously revealed. The people there have been praying for many years for us to come.” Please join us in prayer for the people here and for God’s wisdom and guidance regarding this opportunity. I can only say in closing that we are humbled beyond words by how the Lord is moving in this time and that all the praise goes to our great God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” Ephesians 3:20"
BridgeBuilders is now being operated in Houston with the help of Chris Johnson, Jairo Camarena, and Pastor Cofield. These men are taking great strides to empower the people of the Third Ward to change their neighborhood for the glory of God.