This Is Missional Living


2012-11-25 14.58.05A big part of what RighTrak Industries does is promote and demonstrate missional living. Willie isn’t a project or a candidate or a client; he’s a child of God, and to many of us he’s a friend. If we are to be the hands and feet of Christ, then he’s someone we should embrace and love. This means inviting him–and others like him who might need a lot of help and support–into our regular, daily lives. The “mission” isn’t necessarily in China or Haiti or Africa, though it certainly might be. More often than not, though, the mission field is right here in our own community, and the mission is to share life experiences with people who could use some of God’s love, expressed through us.  As the Building 429 song goes, “By His wounds we have been healed; and in our love He is revealed.” Enough preaching. On to the fun stuff!

In the month since Willie started with RighTrak Industries we and he have had quite a bit of fun. After the West U Rotary’s Veterans’ Day flag deployment, David and Willie traipsed around West U retrieving the flags that had been put out the week before. (The West U Rotary Club’s biggest fundraiser is a flag subscription program. West U residents can subscribe for $50 per year per flag and have members of the club put one or more flags in the subscriber’s yard on 4 holidays during the year. In fact, if you live in West U and want to sign up go here!)

On the weekend of Thanksgiving David and his father, Lance, took Willie to a par 3 golf course and had a ball (pun intended) chipping and putting to their hearts’ content. No talk about ending poverty or making this or that change in Willie’s life–just regular ol’ talk, plus, of course, lots of unsolicited golf tips for the one hitting at the time from the other two who were not. The mosquitos were terrible, but the three of them had a good time just enjoying each other’s company.

2012-12-14 11.47.59Frank has also been spending quite a lot of time with Willie. A week or so ago they went to the movies together and saw Red Dawn. The reviews from Frank and Willie were so-so. Then over the weekend Frank took Willie to lunch to a Mexican place where Willie apparently had a lot of fun as this was the picture Frank sent David from the restaurant. Frank suggested maybe Willie should give up the car washing business and join a mariachi band.

It turns out, besides being a really nice, really personable guy, Willie is quite the chess player. Once a week or so Matthew will join Willie at Taft Street Coffee for a duel. We won’t embarrass Matthew with the details, but it’s safe to say he’s not won a game against Willie yet.

Willie is also a rabid Texans fan, so Chelsea invited Willie to watch the Texans-Colts game with her at a BBQ tailgate party at Trinity’s early childhood center. It was a good game, but the hard labor Willie has been doing as part of his community service got the better of him, and he was nearly asleep by halftime.

This isn’t about plugging a guy into a structured program someone came up with and that we all follow. It’s not about affecting change with a 10-step process and pre-defined goals. It’s about invitation. It’s about earning each other’s trust and having real, meaningful, positive relationships. At least one of the RighTrak volunteers is in contact with Willie, by text and/or phone, every single day. “How was your day, Willie.” “How are you doing?” He’s learning not only that we are here to help him (which, by the way, is a very difficult thing for someone who has lived ont he streets) but also that we want to be his friend. The challenge to be issued to Willie will come in time. Much has been and will be given to Willie, and soon much will be asked of him as well, but for now we’re just helping a friend in need.

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