Value in Trusting Him

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For the last month, the Love Our City campaign has highlighted different Watermark ministry partners in the impact area of homeless care and prevention. This week, you can read about how Watermark South Dallas member Burlon Leffall IIl came to know and trust the Lord, as well as his work and service with Union Gospel Mission Dallas. As you read his story, consider ways you can love our city!

Burlon, how did you come to know the Lord?

“The Bible and going to church were just part of our culture at home. I definitely had a reverence for God in general at a young age, and my parents planted seeds in our hearts in different ways. But in second grade, a teacher explained Christ and His sacrifice to me in a way that I couldn’t refuse, and I decided to accept Him into my heart.

“I was already living a Christian life, morally and culturally, so I didn’t see my life drastically change. I was always very well-behaved. I understood there was a being higher than me who cared about my behavior and what I was doing. But as far as grace, I don’t think it was very clear.

“I battled sin secretly and on my own for a lot of my life, not telling anyone what I struggled with. I think of my sin like weeds in a garden. Gardens can be beautiful and filled with flowers and fruit, but the weeds of sin can completely stunt growth and health.

“I started to really take my faith seriously in college when I wasn’t under my parents’ roof anymore. God put it on my heart that I was responsible for my own faith, and I really started walking in obedience to Him. I decided to read the Bible all the way through, and God revealed Himself to me in new ways. He makes it clear in Scripture that we hear and connect with Him through His Word and His people, so I started looking for biblical community to surround myself with. I found other believers who really cared about me and were invested in God’s Word and living it out in their lives.

“I continued to ask God to help me with my sin struggles, and He did. Through re:generation, His Word, and community at Watermark, God showed me the value of trusting Him in my brokenness. He helped me ‘weed out’ the sins that held me back from fully experiencing the joy He offers.”

What is Union Gospel Mission Dallas?

“Union Gospel Mission Dallas is a nonprofit organization that has been in Dallas since 1949. Our goal is to help people transition to independence with a Christ-centered perspective. We remember that people are made in the image of God, and through discipleship, Chapel, and small groups, we present the gospel to them and teach them the Word of God. Through the discipleship of men and women, we are watching people commit their lives to Christ first and walking alongside those people with practical life steps and resources. This is a great opportunity for so many people to be met by the hands and feet of Christ and to have hope again.

“In addition to a men’s shelter, which houses up to 400 men, and a women’s shelter, which houses about 130 women and women with children, Union Gospel Mission Dallas also has apartment complexes that are either low-income or for people who have accomplished recovery and life skills steps in our programs to transition to housing.”

How can the Watermark church body get involved?

“The first way to invest and get involved is through prayer. Please pray for Union Gospel Mission Dallas and the people who walk through our doors.

“A second way to get involved is by volunteering! We have a need for volunteers to serve in both shelters, specifically the men’s shelter. Some of these men are fathers, and many will return to situations where they need to lead, stand up, and be firm in their faith. We need people to sit, eat, and build relationships with our homeless neighbors. In many ways, we are all looking for the same hope and home in Christ.

“And even if someone is not quite ready to volunteer, they can come by and take a tour to see what’s happening around Union Gospel Mission Dallas and at our shelters. Until you’re walking through the space, homelessness might just be an abstract thing that you’ve never truly seen or experienced. There is something special about walking through and seeing what God is doing and meeting the people there who have another chance at an independent life.”

Learn more about The Union Gospel Mission Dallas.