Each month we like to highlight an employee who exemplifies the mission, philosophy, and values of our organization. This month we are delighted to highlight Pastor Houston “Ray” Johnson as our Employee of the Month! (Photographed at a recent event.)
Pastor Ray faithfully serves as our Chaplain for the Tustin Veterans Outpost program. Ray and his wonderful wife, Laverne, live on-site at the Outpost which means their ministry is 24/7 as they live side-by-side with the veterans and families they serve. Their lives are truly characterized by the care, compassion, service, and love of Jesus Christ. Frequently, you can find Pastor Ray praying with and for other staff members or residents of our programs. Ray has been a longtime dear friend of the Rescue Mission and we are blessed to have him as part of the family! It is an honor to serve alongside of you, Ray!
Tell us a little about yourself.
My full name is Houston Ray Johnson, Jr. My wife, Laverne and I are ‘Empty Nesters’, with 42 years together (our 42nd wedding anniversary will be on September 10th). We have served side by side in parish ministry and as career missionaries in Southeast Asia. I grew up all over Texas: Amarillo through grade 6, Dallas through high school, and San Antonio, as a student. I enjoy reading and running in my free time. I attend Mission Bible Church in Tustin.
How long have you worked at the Rescue Mission? How did you hear about the opportunity?
I have worked at the Rescue Mission since 2005. I heard about the opportunity from Dr. Palmer – he has been a longtime friend of mine.
What do you love most about your job?
I love the privilege of working in a ‘common vineyard’ with so many like-minded Christians. Jim has cast a great vision for the Church to really serve. The Holy Spirit has attracted some really humble professionals to share that vision. The beauty of our setting is remarkable.
What is the hardest part of your job?
The most difficult part of this job is my own personal self-discipline.
How have you grown since you began working at the Rescue Mission?
I have delighted in the various expressions of Christ’s love. It is richly rewarding to work with the Master’s servants from a variety of denominational reflections of His love for ALL of us.
Gimme two, it’s a big book! Philippians 3:10: ‘That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death. Galatians 2:20: I am crucified with Christ never the less I live, yet not I; but the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. And mine and Laverne’s favorite verses as a couple are Ecclesiastes 4:9-12: “Two are better than one…A threefold cord is not easily broken”.
What is your motivation to keep going, even on the tough days?
The two verses I shared above; that’s why they are called ‘life verses’!
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