By Chas Winckel, Round Rock Site Coordinator

Three quick stories from Mission U too. A little girl jumped out of the truck and was headed toward the serving line. She had a hop in her step and a smile on her little 20 month old face. Her Dad wasn’t walking with the same confidence. You see, this week his employer had cut his hours by 30%. His check was small and was spent paying his electric bill. His dilemma was heat or groceries! Not only did we feed him but we also sent him home with some food.

Another lady came and got a hamburger. She was by herself. I sat down at the table to talk with her. She was grateful for the food. We talked a little bit longer then she asked if she could bring her neighbors over here to eat. She thanked us when we said “of course”, and then left and came back in a few minutes. She brought 5 children over and said that their mother didn’t cook a lot on the weekends and that they usually didn’t eat.

A father of 4 with 2 boys and 2 girls saw our sign for free food and stopped to talk to us. He said that he was a chef and that he would like to help us out when he could. We asked them if they wanted to eat, and after giving them a plate, we talked about where he worked as a chef. He had been laid off almost 4 months earlier and they were juggling to pay bills and buy food. They were so grateful for the food.

These 3 stories touched my heart. You see, these 3 families didn’t look like they needed a free meal. After spending time with them, I realized it wasn’t about the meals at all, but they just wanted to know that someone cared.

By Rebecca Barker, Bastrop Site Coordinator

I haven’t been able to put into words until now how amazing Monday night was. GOD is so good!

For whatever reason(God), I forgot to pick up enough burgers for the evenings meal. So just after we started I had to run and pick more up. I was so impatient, in a hurry to get back. Probably frustrated at the people in front of me, moving slower than I would have liked. But then I saw her, on the side of the road, in tears. I won’t lie, I thought about just driving past her to get back. But something, that still small voice, insisted I stop.

Her name was Sandy and though I spoke to her for just a brief moment in time, she changed my perspective. She was sick, in pain and stranded in our little town. On her way home to Kentucky, her car had broken down and she’d been walking for a couple of days. She had been standing in front of Walmart for 4 hours and I was the first to stop. No one else would even look at her. She needed food and help, but mostly she needed to know that someone cared and that God was listening to her cries for help.

Thanks to a sister in Christ, we were able to give her the help she needed while she waited for family to come get her.

It’s left me in awe of God’s love for all of us and His amazing ability to see and speak to us in any situation. We just have to listen, to be obedient in even the smallest of things. God is glorious!

by Jonah Beyer, Mission U-Too President

The first time I meet Allen he was dirty, stinky, and had quite the foul mouth. I was afraid to touch him and honestly didn’t want anything to do with him.

We had just started Mission U-Too Bastrop and I had no idea what I was about to learn. You see when I first started volunteering I had no problem reaching out to the people who looked just a little different than me. But a man who looked and sounded like Allen, a man I couldn’t see much hope for, I wasn’t super excited to have him around. In all honesty, I was afraid he was going to scare everyone off.

Like I said…I had a lot to learn.

I was clearly not focused on the right thing, and eventually had to face the hard question of why I was really serving at Mission U-Too. Was it really for those in need, or just to make myself feel better about doing a “good” thing?

Allen kept coming around. He even started helping us cook each week. Some might say that Mission U-Too was making an impact on Allen, which it was, but in reality Allen was making a huge impact on me.

Allen cooking burgers at Mission U-Too Bastrop

As God continued to put Allen in my path, I started getting to know Allen a little better. Every week for the next year we just loved Allen for who he was. And we began to see change. And let me tell you, I know this is not anything we could have done without Jesus; it is Him who began to change Allen.

When the Bastrop fires started Allen was ready and willing to serve 24/7. Through serving with him day in and day out I got the opportunity to learn a little more about Allen. I did my best to keep encouraging him and pouring into his life, as did other Mission U-Too volunteers. But it wasn’t until almost a year after the fire before I really started to really understand how Allen ended up on the streets.

When you serve in this environment and capacity it takes time…God’s time…time to build trust, to build a relationship, to let someone know that you really do care for them. It takes a love that is beyond yourself.

One weekend about a year after we first met Allen, we took Allen on a weekend family getaway to Houston. On this trip Allen began to open up a little more. I realized that Allen had not been mentally capable to care for himself throughout his life. In fact, his mother had taken care of him until the day she died. When she died he didn’t just lose his mother, he lost his sense of normalcy and security. At this point his uncle was awarded trust and moved Allen to Bastrop so he could help take care of him. Several years later his uncle developed Alzheimer’s, and with no other place to go or anyone to care for him, Allen found himself on the streets.

So now here is a man in his 60s with mental illness and handicaps that really doesn’t know how or have the real capability to care for himself. A man that was kicked to the curb, and no one took the time to really try and understand him, or even help him.

You see as I trusted God and pushed into Him, He begin to put people in my life to teach me how to love as Christ loves us. When we do this with a desire to praise and serve the Lord without placing judgment on someone it allows God to work. And you get to be a part of something greater than yourself.

Allen now has a place he can call home and people he can call family. We call him family. By asking the hard question and asking for a change of heart in why I was serving at Mission U-Too, God opened my eyes to see past the dirty exterior and really love someone for who they were.

As you truly care for and share the love of Jesus with others, watch as He begins to use you for His glory and His kingdom. You will be blessed beyond anything of this world.


Jonah Beyer has been serving Mission U-Too since 2010 and is the President of Mission U-Too. His family lives and serves in Bastrop, Texas.

Send Jonah a note at jonah.beyer@feedtheneed.org.

Pray for Dean as he is trying to go though a recovery program for the 4th time. Pray that he will stick it out and that he will know that God has a plan for him.

“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 hope and a future.”  ~Jeremiah 29:11