It’s been a tough month for the Central Texas area with the Hidden Pines fires near Smithville and the most recent flooding in the Austin area. Bastrop County has been hit three times this year alone with natural disasters that have left many people displaced and left to sort through the damage.

Now that the fires and floods have subsided the hard part begins. The cleanup. Several organizations are on the ground coordinating the actual cleanup, and Mission U-Too has been asked to serve food to the volunteers and families who lost their homes. Also as the news media covers the fires and flooding less and less, volunteers on the ground decreases, but the need stays the same.

FIRE & FLOODING RELIEF EFFORTS | Mission U-Too

Mission U-Too is committed to providing disaster relief efforts, first in our own communities and then to communities where we are called to go serve. Right now we are coordinating efforts in Smithville throughout the fire cleanup, Bastrop throughout the flood cleanup, and now in Onion Creek in southeast Austin to help with flooding relief efforts. And we need your help.

The most critical need is for donations. So far we have served over 7,000 meals and over the next few weeks we will serve many more. But in order to continue, we need your financial support to make sure we have enough food for anyone who comes for a meal. Click here to donate today.

We also need volunteers to help us over the next few days in Onion Creek. We served there a couple years ago when this area was devastated by floods, and we were asked by the fire chief to come back and serve as this community struggles with round two of flooding. We will be out there all day Wednesday and Thursday this week and need volunteers to help cook, serve, and lend a listening ear.

If you are able to come out this week, please fill out this volunteer registration form so we can best coordinate these efforts.

Thank you for continuing to lift those affected by the fires and floods in your prayers. Cleanup is a long road and can be very difficult physically and emotionally for all of those involved. Thank you also for praying for Mission U-Too as we are sent out to these locations.

Since Thursday, Mission U-Too has served over 700 meals each day to victims, evacuees, volunteers, and first responders from the Hidden Pines Fire in Bastrop County.

Every day we have served breakfast, lunch, and dinner to anyone who needs a meal. We’ve also sent volunteers to deliver food to local hotels where evacuees and victims have been staying.

There are many hurting and anxious people who are unsure what to expect, not knowing if they lost their home or wondering if anything is salvageable from the fire damage. It is a confusing and difficult time, and our team has been there to lend a listening ear to anyone who needs it.

UPDATE: BASTROP COUNTY FIRES | Mission U-Too  UPDATE: BASTROP COUNTY FIRES | Mission U-Too

We plan to continue serving at the Smithville Rec Center through Wednesday, with the possibility of continuing to serve even more in the days following as well.

Right now donations are critical. When we first set up to serve we had much of the food donated from various local sources, but now Mission U-Too is completely covering all the food costs. And we don’t want to run out of food.

To give, simply click here and make your donation today. Your financial support is greatly needed and appreciated.

We also need more volunteers to serve. If you are able to volunteer, please fill out the volunteer form below and let us know what times you are available. That way we will be able to better schedule and serve our community well in the following days.

And, of course, continue to pray for the victims and evacuees as they struggle to make sense of everything, for the volunteers as they serve the community, and for protection and wisdom for the first responders as they fight this fire.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of support you have already shown, we really couldn’t be doing what we are doing without you.

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Update: It’s been a few days since we have been serving, and we could still use your help. Click here for more information.


As the governor declares Bastrop County in a state of disaster, the Mission U-Too team is setting up to serve in one of their very own communities. This is our home and these are our neighbors, and we can’t think of any place we’d rather be serving right now, especially because this isn’t the first time we have done this right here in Bastrop County.

Right now we are setting up at the northeast corner of the Smithville Recreation Center serving food to first responders. Our plan is to be out here as long as we are needed, serving food and lending a listening ear to anyone who needs it. But in order to serve well, we need your help!

Here are some ways you can help serve first responders, evacuees, and victims of the 2015 Bastrop County fire.

Donations – We need your financial support to cover costs of food and other expenses for our team while we serve. Since we plan to be here into next week we definitely could use your support. Click here to make a donation today.

Volunteer – Not only do we need your financial support, we need people to help serve. We are looking for people to help cook food and volunteers to deliver the food to those who need it, especially those with larger vehicles like SUVs or vans. Either just show up at the Smithville Recreation Center located at 106 Royston St, Smithville, TX 78957 or contact Jason Bray at 214.236.4446 or Jonah Beyer at 512.988.8365 if you have any questions about volunteering.

Prayer – Pray, pray, pray…we need you to pray for the firefighters and other first responders for their safety as they battle the fire, that there is minimum damage to homes and businesses, as well as for the families either evacuated or victims of the fire. Also pray for Mission U-Too and the leadership that God would use us to share His love.

Thank you for sharing and for your support through donations, volunteering, and prayer, we appreciate all of you who support what God is doing through Mission U-Too!

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by Christine Farquhar, Mission U-Too Bastrop North Site Coordinator & Donor Relations/Administrative Assistant

A few weeks ago we sent a team to Van, Texas to serve the 50-100 families that were displaced by a devastating tornado, as well as the many volunteers who showed up to help. These are a few of the stories from the people we met, and how we were individually impacted from serving there.

LAURA
Laura said that she has been really impacted because she saw how the community very much appreciated a hot meal. Especially the ones who lost everything. Laura said she knew her calling was to come serve instead of proceeding with her other weekend plans. She said that she believes this has changed her more than the people she served, and that it was an honor to serve.

JOAN
Joan and her son lost everything, and were able to provide them hot meals all week. She said, Mission U-Too helped her to focus on taking care of finding another place to live without the financial burden of food. She was very grateful that we also fed the volunteers by delivering meals as well.

BRETT
Our team was able to pray for Brett and grandchild who was in hospital with jaundice. We were there to lend a listening ear and encourage him as they dealt with the disaster and for the baby’s health.

WENDY
Wendy recently lost her job and her financial aid, but came out to volunteer and helped provide the supplies needed out of the trailer. She was overjoyed to see how we were able to provide for the community and bring unity to the body of Christ. Having the opportunity to go out and serve and pray was very impactful for her, as well as being able to make people aware of resources and serve them as much as they needed. She was excited to be able to provide for a family that had no car. She said this is what she needed, that it was amazing to watch God multiply the food which increased her faith and lit her fire again.

DAKOTA
Dakota came to Texas because his mother wanted him to get into a restoration home because of drugs and alcohol. He was struggling to feel welcome at this restoration home. We spent a lot of time with him and just rained down love on him. We shared the love of Jesus and provided transportation to get where he needed to go. DeAnnah, Our site coordinator from Grand Saline was able to share her testimony with him. He felt more love from us than he had with the ministries he was in and left with the feeling of desiring what DeAnnah had.

CHAD
As one of the leaders at Mission U-Too, it was amazing to watch a team come together and serve with Mission U-Too within the community and serve with passion and authority under Chad’s leadership. Chad was prayed over by Billy Graham’s ministry, and they said that they could see God in his face and that where ever he goes he will prosper because be has God. The people of Van have said that God is definitely using him and has designed him to lead others in the area of disaster relief.

You never know what someone is going through when they get that hamburger, whether it be loss of material possessions, dealing with anger, a new baby needing healing…they all need the love of Christ. It’s amazing to see how God impacts the people we serve as well as the people who volunteer to serve.

This past Sunday a tornado tore through the community of Van, TX leaving a wake of destruction throughout the town. Immediately Mission U-Too started gathering a team to head out there and serve the victims of this disaster. The team arrived safely in Van at 2:30 p.m. yesterday, and within 30 minutes we were cooking hundreds of meals to those displaced, homeless, and helping because of the tornado.

Tornado Strikes Van, TX

There are many needs to be met here in Van, and Mission U-Too needs your help to continue serving here!

Equipment – Currently we are using the trailer set up from our Round Rock, TX location and it has to be returned by this Friday so that they can do their weekly feeding. If Mission U-Too is to stay through the weekend we will need equipment to continue serving here. Contact Jason Bray at jason.bray@feedtheneed.org or 214.236.4446 if you have some equipment our team can use this weekend.

Donations – We need your financial support to cover costs of food, travel, and other expenses for our team while they are on the ground in Van. Click here to make a donation today.

Volunteer – Not only do we need equipment and financial support, we need people to help serve. Contact Jason Bray at jason.bray@feedtheneed.org or 214.236.4446 if you are able to head up to Van in northeast Texas this week.

Prayer – Pray, pray, pray…we need you to pray for the families affected by the tornado as they are assessing the damaging and figuring out their next steps. Also pray for Mission U-Too and the leadership that God would use us to share His love.

If you could help Mission U-Too in one or more of these ways, the community of Van, TX would be extremely thankful. Thanks to all of you who support what God is doing through Mission U-Too!

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by Jonah Beyer, Mission U-Too President

AR TornadoAs many of you know this past spring we had the opportunity to travel to Arkansas after tornadoes ripped through several small towns destroying them. From there we went to Pensacola, Florida after flooding wiped out parts of their city. You may remember seeing my posts about how God moved in all kinds of ways as we served a hot meal and a listening ear to those in need.

Something else very special took place on this trip as well, you see one of the guys who went with our team found life in Christ. Brian and Erwin Cooking in FloridaBryan was not a believer when we left, but as we went out in obedience to what God had called us to do, God became very real to Bryan and began to show how big of a God He is. Jesus also became very personal and intimate to Bryan as God used the four of us to present the gospel in multiple ways during the trip.

By the end of the trip, Bryan made a decision to give his life to Jesus, and the next couple of months Jesus has continued to use us to encourage and teach Bryan what it means to follow and have a relationship with Him. We have had multiple opportunities to take Bryan out into the communities and experience Jesus moving in people’s lives. Bryan continues to serve as we provide a meal and the Gospel each week at our sites.

Brain Baptizing his girlfriendRecently, we were visiting in Jason’s garage and realized we had access to a portable baptismal that he was storing. This lead us to a conversation about having a baptism service at one of our Mission U-Too locations as a way to witness and give people the opportunity to be baptized. As we talked about it Bryan jumped right in requesting to be the first one! So this past Monday night we had the opportunity to baptize Bryan in front of the people who come every week to our Bastrop South location. Then we witnessed Bryan baptizing his girlfriend! What an awesome testimony and act of obedience this showed. I and the other members of the team can’t wait to see what God does next as we continue to point people to Jesus.

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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.

 

by Jonah Beyer, Mission U-Too President

A week ago Sunday, we watched the news as tornadoes began to rip through the Midwest. Immediately we had volunteers calling and texting asking when are we leaving? So Jason and I begin to discuss whether or not this was a storm Mission U-Too should respond to. As we were discussing, we were determining how far we go with the resources we have.

Being Obedient

The past three years we’ve been responding to disasters to provide hot meals, a listening ear, and hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have been able to learn more and more every time we go. Each disaster is different and unique. That’s the reason why Jason and I sat down and analyzed all the details that we knew about our previous experiences and capabilities. We struggled with whether or not to go, because it was further than we have felt we could be most effective. However deep down inside we felt God telling us to go. We have to obey and listen to Jesus commandment.

Disaster Relief 2014-5So we went! We started to assemble everything we would need and organized a team. By Monday afternoon we were on the road to a little town north of Little Rock, Arkansas. We drove through the night and Tuesday morning we arrived to a town right off the freeway called Mayflower. It’s where we saw the first signs of the tornado that ripped through and continued north.

We stopped at a convenient store to take a quick break. We randomly engaged in a conversation with the clerk, and she told us about all the areas that were hit and then continued to tell us about one area in particular that needed help back in the woods. It was a small little community in the middle of nowhere, so we headed down the path to search for the community. We did not find it, so we headed north to a town that we had intended to go to originally.Disaster Relief 2014-19

We pulled into a community that had so much devastation and already had a lot of people helping out. Our team attempted to set up in multiple sites and for whatever reason it just didn’t feel right. As we stopped at one site after another we kept getting pushed away. So we got back on the road and found ourselves stumbling across a little baptist church in the middle of the woods. The church received our help with open arms. Our team began to set up and cook and we saw God moving with lots of opportunities to help that local church body as they reached out to the victims and supplied a hot meal and provided a place of hope.

That night we ran into town to get a few supplies and on our way back we realized that the road the lady at the convenient store pointed us down was the community she had mentioned that needed help. It was exactly the spot where we needed to be.

You see, we had our own motives within our flesh. We desired to go into an area that was hit hard and had a lot of devastation and a lot of attention. But our God wanted us where He wanted us; and we didn’t listen right away. However the coolest part is, regardless of whether we listen or not, He still guided us right to where He wanted us to be.

The Spirit Moving

Disaster Relief 2014-22That first day after serving and driving through the night, the team was tired and our bodies where ready to crash but our Spirt was leaping with joy of all that was happening on the trip. We sat down and opened our bibles and searched after our God for what He wanted to teach us. As we shared our testimonies and God’s work with one another, I began to see God move; not just in the people we got to reach out to, but in our team also.

As God continued to move in our hearts, the church member’s hearts, and in the victim’s hearts, we were all filled with joy as we served and loved on those in need. This was even a local community that needed a bilingual speaker to help us communicate with them. Their homes were completely destroyed and members of the church had been trying to connect with the community for several years. God used one of our team members who is bilingual to help make connections as we delivered food and invited them to come over and get some much needed resources from the church.

I watched the members of the church welcome the victims with open arms. I saw God moving in the lives of the people. We built some incredible friendships and I look forward to crossing paths again.

The Journey Continues
Disaster Relief 2014-24

As we were coming to an end with this community Thursday afternoon, the question arose about another disaster in Florida. We were exhausted and tired and were ready to be home. Our team battled with their own flesh, and God said again, Go! He also provided a way for one of our team members, Jason, to fly back to Texas. The remaining four of us continued on this journey that God had for us. So we headed to Pensacola, Florida where flooding occurred all over the city.

Our team pulled in Friday morning looking for a place to set up. We really didn’t see anything right away so we showed up at a church to talk to them about the need in the local community. The community they mentioned was a community where the church members lived, and the flooding prevented the church’s disaster relief team from responding right away to the needs of others in the community. As we went out into the community we saw people working and food being served. We asked God to show us where He wanted us because the needs were already being met there.

Disaster Relief 2014-102As we drove around town we spotted a small apartment complex of about 80 units half of which were underwater. It had been three days since the flood and we were the first to arrive on the scene for the people from the apartment complex. We began to set up and cook burgers while others were visiting with some of the people. They accepted our team and we saw the disaster and they continued to endure and receive. They shared their hearts and problems the community was facing. Some were saying the community is very poor, I don’t have much, I don’t have insurance, there’s no where to receive help. It burdened my heart.

Our team began to pray together and feed them. As we began to serve, one of the first families that walked up was a lady named Joy. She asked if I could pray with the family. Immediately Joy broke down and was weeping. They were trying to pick up the pieces that they lost. The next people who confronted me was a gentleman with his daughters and grandkids and I asked how they were doing. He told me that he lost his wife two years ago to the day! He is trying to stay strong for his girls and asked if I could pray for him. He immediately broke down in tears.Disaster Relief 2014-108

As we continued to love and serve in this community God also brought to our attention several other communities that needed support as well and sent several of our guys to deliver some boxes of meals.

We continued to serve in these communities and God began to remind us and convict us that none of this was about us; that it was all about Him. We began to ask ourselves how will these needs be met when were gone. God showed us that we had to point these people to Him, we had to get out-of-the-way so as they asked us where were from and who we are with, we would simply tell them Jesus Christ. The people began to feel God’s presence and we were able to pray for them. Then they knew they could trust God and us. The next day Salvation Army and Red Cross finally arrived as we began to pack up our trailer. Salvation Army assured me they would help give out vouchers for clothing and help with other resources these families needed. As we pulled out of the community I was reminded of a verse in Proverbs that says to be the voice for those who can’t be a voice for themselves. (Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.)

Out of the Spotlight

Disaster Relief 2014-61These locations Christ placed us at were tucked away and out of the spotlight. As we searched for where we needed to be we thought we needed to be somewhere we can make a large impact in the way of numbers. Especially because of traveling so far, and the capability we had to feed. That is not what God had in store for our team. He wanted to break down our pride and selfish desires. He still trusted us enough and guided us to the perfect spots where we could make the biggest impact. The only reason why the entire trip happened the way it did, was because myself and the team allowed God to have full control and to guide us on this journey to the places we needed to be. God continued to teach us to walk in humility. The trip was not about us, it was about His glory and His love shown to His people.

Please continue to pray for Mission U-Too and how God might be leading you to get involved in your community. So that His name would be made know!

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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.

 

Our Mission U-Too team has made it safely to Saltillo, Arkansas. Check out this video for an update from their first day serving.

Thank you for continuing to pray for our team as they serve food, lend a listening ear, and share Christ’s love to the people affected by this devastating tornado.

Mission U-Too can still use your help to be prepared for the next time disaster hits. To give simply click the button below and designate your gift to disaster relief.

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This weekend tornadoes pounded Oklahoma, Iowa, and Arkansas, killing 16 people and leaving hundreds homeless. And more storms are on their way.

These devastating storms remind us that tornado season is in full swing. Tornado season is typically March through the end of May in what is referred to as Tornado Alley. During these months, Mission U-Too is on high alert and ready to get on the road at moment’s notice to provide some relief to people displaced by these disasters.

This weekend’s event is no different. Mission U-Too is packing up a team and will be heading up to Mayflower, Arkansas, one of the towns that were the hardest hit, this evening.

Thankfully we are prepared for this disaster. But as tornado season continues on and with hurricane season around the corner, we need your help to be prepared for whatever disaster may strike next.

We need prayers for safety, provision, and for the people devastated by these disasters. And we also need financial donations that we can rely on when we have to move quickly in a time of disaster.

Can you partner with us and help Mission U-Too prepare to provide disaster relief by giving a gift today? Any amount you can give, whether it is $10, $100, or $1,000, will help us be prepared and quickly serve devastated communities across our nation.

We also appreciate you keeping our team leaving for Arkansas in your prayers this week. They will be serving food to many hurting people directly affected by these storms. Pray for safety and for comfort for those who have lost their homes and maybe even a loved one.

Again, we are so thankful for you, our Mission U-Too family, and for your support in our weekly communities and in times of disaster. We know God will show up big.

To make a donation today, simply click the button below and designate your gift to disaster relief. Thank you so much for your support, now and in times when disaster strikes.

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A week ago floods ravaged through some parts of Austin, devastating homes and putting many lives on hold. The hardest hit area was a poverty-stricken neighborhood in the Onion Creek area.

For the past week the families in this area have received little support, many don’t have insurance and have no idea how they will recover. Families have been living in their ruined houses trying to make do, but because of safety hazards they are being turned out of their own homes and don’t have any place to go.

Today the Mission U-Too team is packing up and heading over to Austin to offer support to this community. We need your help and we need your prayers. Here are a few ways you can practically help:

Donate – We need burgers, buns and all the fixings. Contact Jonah at jonah.beyer@feedtheneed.org or 832-524-5614 if you can help with this need. We also need financial donations.

Update: These are some items we are currently in great need of—Pancake mix, Eggs, Tortillas, Cheese (shredded and sliced), Butter, Lettuce, Pickles, Onions, Buns (hotdog and hamburger).

Volunteer – Not only do we need food to serve, we need people to help serve. We are setting up right in front of the Onion Creek neighborhood off of East William Cannon near Crossroads Christian House—5201 E William Cannon Dr, Austin, TX 78744—and will be there until Sunday. If you have any questions please contact Jonah at jonah.beyer@feedtheneed.org or 832-524-5614 today.

Update: We are now set up in the neighborhood of Onion Creek at 7444 Onion Creek Drive if you want to come and help us serve.

Prayer – Pray, pray, pray…we need you to pray for the families affected by the flooding as they are assessing the damaging and figuring out their next steps. Also pray for Mission U-Too and the leadership that God would use us to share His love.

We appreciate your support as we serve the community of Onion Creek in Austin. We know that God will show up.

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