By Curt Williams
Last month we began to unpack the ongoing succession plan that is slowly moving Youth-Reach into the next season and preparing this ministry for growth and fruitfulness in a generation that will present fresh and evolving challenges. You can hear more from David Williams, the future Executive Director who will step into my role in five short years from this month, in this blog post.
Here in Houston, I am excited to serve beside and witness the growth of a man uniquely gifted to labor in the Houston area. Our city is the most diverse in America, and our languages, food, music, art and architecture reflect a city that has embraced the world. Here at Youth-Reach we now have boys that reflect the diversity of our city. Over the past 15 years, we have had boys from Ukraine, India, China, Russia, Vietnam, Brazil, Romania and Guatemala.
Xavier Bright is a man who is at ease in the urban landscape and society of Houston but is also grounded in a solid theological faith that is not given to the vagaries of today’s religious culture. He is a student of the Word of God, yet also a student of the changing generational pulse of today’s youth.
Xavier and his wife Lauren have served at Youth-Reach Houston since 2015 when he first came on staff as a counselor and mentor of the boys in our care. He was later promoted to Operations Coordinator, which is a logistics-heavy position that includes personnel management and carries much more overall responsibility.
Over a year ago, after the approval of the YRH Board of Directors, he began a 90-day transition where he stepped into the position of the Director of Youth-Reach Houston.
Xavier and Lauren did not jump at the chance to take on this role in life, as they were well aware of the weight of the decision. They prayed, wrestled, fasted, sought counsel and took their time as they knew it was the Lord’s direction that they needed to hear. When they stepped up and said “yes,” it was in unity and with sober minds.
We are just as excited to have Lauren as we are to have Xavier, as we have learned that if the wife is not fully in and as passionately called, it will not work. Lauren brings her own unique style of raw compassion to Youth-Reach. It is beautiful to see how the Youth-Reach boys both love her and maybe fear her just a little.
All of this is to set the stage for a coming season where Youth-Reach is not caught off balance by new winds of change blowing through the cultural landscape of youth, religion, giving practices or ministry. We will be positioned to adapt without compromising the Word of God and to embrace integrity while being innovators in fresh ways to reach troubled kids.
As a prayer partner and supporter, you play a major role in this season, and we are incredibly thankful for you and all you bring to our team. Thank you!