As Brett Hovis and his family get ready to move back to South Carolina, he took the time to write a letter to the congregation and staff of Trietsch expressing his gratitude:
Three years ago my professional career brought me to Flower Mound from Greenville, SC. Casey and I had a 23-month-old son Houston at the time, and we were the first in our immediate family to ever live outside of The Carolinas. I couldn’t even begin to type all of the emotions that went through our minds as we locked the hatch to the Uhaul and started our drive West.
We knew that once we got to Texas our first priority needed to be finding a church home and to work to establish ourselves in the community. We were living in an apartment in Grapevine and started to visit churches in the local area. Casey and I were both lifelong Methodists. Our Google search eventually took us to Trietsch.
When we got to the parking lot I remember both of us saying, "Wow this is a really big church, I don’t know if we will like it here." Little did we know we were about to be victims of a Church going, "Beyond Hello!" We were immediately greeted in the parking lot by Chris Sears. He introduced himself and invited us to come and visit his Sunday school Class.
If it wouldn't have been for this warm welcome to Trietsch, I think we would’ve kept looking for a church home due to the fact we were used to a smaller worship environment. I am forever indebted to Chris for welcoming us that day, because little did we know, our lives were about to change forever!
One of my favorite mottos in life is: "If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right." by Adm. William H. McRaven. Interesting how this correlates to the New International Version of Luke 16:10, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." I also think this motto ties in with Daniel’s sermon from last week, "Beyond Hello."
I have learned and experienced first-hand, in the last three years, that Trietsch does a lot of these little things right. I have witnessed the welcoming invitation of strangers to our church home, experienced the vulnerability of complete strangers in Newday during the prayers of the people, learned from members of Becoming Better Christians, my Sunday school class, how to love fully and unconditionally even when it is not convenient for me and I've been part of the Unshackled campaign where I learned what God wanted to do through me and through our church.
I have seen and witnessed a Youth program that has a passion for Christ and a bond like no other church I have been a part of. I have seen my son Houston make friends and learn immensely about "God and Jesus," as he says, through Sunday school, VBS and the Trietsch Enrichment Center and I am forever grateful for this.
I have also learned about how important mission work is both at home and abroad and how a church can have a motivation and a drive to support both. I have sat in sermons in Newday and in the Traditional service that pushed me outside of my comfort zone and made me research God’s word more than at any time during my faith journey.
Ultimately, I had the privilege to learn about my own spiritual gift, working with the homeless, and met a mentor in Kim Beck, who is the best example of "Beyond Hello" that I have ever met. You see I used to be the guy that saw the homeless person on the side of the road and said, "Why don’t they spend as much time looking for a job as they do begging for money? They are probably just going to use the money to buy alcohol, drugs or cigarettes."
I never took the time to look them in the eye or shake their hands or ask them about their past or their faith. Over the last 10 months I have had the privilege of walking the streets of South Dallas with Kim and meeting folks that have hit a bump in the road, but still have a love for Christ.
I was able to witness a gentleman, we call Bear, move from the streets to an apartment and have a roof over his head. The thing that Bear was the most excited about was having his own place to invite his family over for Thanksgiving. That is a Godly thing and something that all of us, including myself, have taken for granted at some point in our lives. Here is a man that has lived on the streets and was more concerned about having a table to eat at with his family over how big of a TV he wanted to buy or when was his internet going to get fixed.
I will take these lessons with me back to South Carolina and continue to see what God has planned for me and my spiritual gift in the future. If you have never participated in the spiritual gifts exercise at Trietsch, please do yourself a favor and see what God has in store for you. It will change your LIFE!
As Casey and I transition back to South Carolina we would like to thank you for welcoming our family into your church family. We are forever grateful for everything you have taught us and given us over the last three years. Continue to welcome visitors into Trietsch and challenge people to get involved in the missions and opportunities within Trietsch. Our church has a lot to offer and if we can continue to do the little things right, it will lead to the big things in God’s work.
Take time to go "Beyond Hello," because it may impact your life as much as impacts someone else’s. Thanks again for the love you have shown us during our time in Flower Mound. God Bless!
- Brett Hovis