We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodrigo Vargas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rodrigo, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
God gave me a vision that I just could not stop thinking about… a vision that felt more like a burden to help people in this great city. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it, day and night.
I realized that Houston is vibrant, diverse, beautiful and thriving. Yet I saw so much pain on the streets. I would drive and pray for our city for years and would see homelessness, poverty, broken families, addiction and human trafficking all over our city.
I was once a suicidal drug addict. Addicted to cocaine and xanax at one point I tried to overdose and it was the prayer of my wife Sara that saved me. After I entered rehab and while I was still in detox, I had an encounter with God. I asked Him to help me and if He did I would do whatever He asked me to do.
I knew by 2011 that I was supposed to help people by connecting them to God. This is when the vision of Union Houston began to be birthed in my heart.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been an entrepreneur, business owner, real estate broker, mortgage broker, real estate developer, eCommerce Director, Recruiter, Sales Manager, youth pastor, prison minister and now Lead Pastor of a vibrant and diverse community called Union Houston.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would have him stay at the Four Seasons DT, and take him to restaurants like Vic & Anthony’s, Hugo’s, Xochi, Cuchara, The Pit Room, Hay Merchant, Blood Bros BBQ (Alief kids making some amazing bbq) Coffee shops like Siphon, Blacksmith. The Art Museum, Hermann Park, Menil Collection.
You should definitely feature Blood Bros bbq.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ufff. There are many people. I would say #1 is Jesus (I know that sounds cheesy but just allow me to explain). I was literally in rehab with cocaine still in my body when I prayed “Lord save me and I will do what you ask me” – My sponsor was a person that helped me. Pastor Tome Elmore, Pastor Brandon Barber, Mike Barber (ex-Oiler Tight end). And a book by Erwin McManus “The Barbarian Way”
And last but not least and I would dare beside Jesus the most important recognition is to my wife Sara Vargas for her faith, her prayers and her courage not to leave me.
Kayla Salazar and Inez Guerrero
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