Until 2009 my eyes rarely saw Texas. I was born several states away. Hot weather is not my thing. I hate fire ants. I am not into Texas Edition pick-up trucks. During my early days in Katy I felt like a modern day Daniel exiled from the Promised Land to Babylon.
I actually moved to Katy from England, which could be argued as more of a demotion than a promotion. I missed free health care. I missed castles, palaces, and British accents. I left mild winters and even mild summers. Not many mild summers in Texas! I questioned the slogan, “I wasn’t born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could!”
A few discoveries slowly warmed my Buckeye heart. Katy has a unique Prayer Room in the Midway Shopping Center. I have never seen a business owner give up such a valued commercial space just for leaders to pray. This generosity seems to permeate Katy churches and ministries. Congregational / pastoral competition is minimized, while prayer and cooperation are maximized in Katy. This Katy Prayer Room is indeed, “…a house of prayer for all nations” (Mark 11:17).
Amazingly, this group from the Katy Prayer room is invited each fall to the Katy ISD superintendent’s office to pray for the teachers, administrators, students, and academic school year. Having moved to Katy from England where the culture is much more secular, seeing prayer in a public school is a surprising sight. A national day of prayer is also held each first Thursday in May at the Katy ISD Merrell Center. When it comes to prayer, Katy leaves the average in the dust.
Katy has other unique features that make it seem like a promised land. I have lived in several states and countries and have never seen a free health club like Peckham Park. My Yankee friends cannot believe God has blessed me with a free indoor heated pool, fitness classes, gym, and more. Katy is blessed and flowing with milk and honey (and also with money for health and fitness). Peckham Park is just one example of how Katy is a blessed city.
Katy has numerous nice churches. I have felt welcome at many of them. More than once I have visited a Katy Church, where I saw a pastor visiting from another congregation. In some towns this may be perceived as a fox visiting a hen house. In Katy, pastors care deeply for other local churches and even visit them occasionally.
I admit, I recently felt thrilled when Ohio State won the national college football championship. I even sometimes miss the crazy cold Yankee snow and weather, but Katy now has my vote. I have met our current Katy mayor and two former mayors. I have met scores of people that feel that Katy is a city on a hill—a place with Amazing Grace upon it. I admit, it is hard to resist the feeling that God is rooting for Katy.
Katy has some very interesting history. Native American Indians, cowboys, cowgirls, buffalo, longhorn cattle, rice fields, oil fields, railroads, and adventurous people have graced Katy. Yet, there is a strong sense that although our history is great, our greatest days in Katy are not in the past, but in the future. Jeremiah 29:11 seems custom written for Katy: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you future and a hope.”
I now consider myself fortunate to have migrated to Katy. The people here are first class. The amazing people of Katy have melted this Buckeye heart. Has anyone used the slogan, “I wasn’t born in Katy, but I got there as fast as I could?”