Jane and Mike first started serving with Mission U-Too in November 2015. We first met them a month earlier when they stopped to get some food from our disaster relief team as they were nervously waiting out the Hidden Pines Fires in Smithville, TX where they lived.


Mike and I began serving with Mission U-Too November 2015. It was our first Sunday evening serving at the Bastrop North location that I noticed a young woman moving down the service line receiving her food and condiments. She maintained no eye contact whatsoever and in fact, had tears rolling down her face, staring downward as if she wished to remain invisible.

I watched as she progressed to the end of the line and took her food to sit alone, with her red plastic cup. I was moved by her obvious sadness and was very uncomfortable that she sat alone, head lowered. I broke away from the line and approached her and in a futile reflective statement I had learned from years of psychotherapy training, I recall saying, “I can see that you’re sad.” I asked her if I could pray with her and she nodded.

Regarding prayer as something intimate and private, I had never done anything like this before, which speaks to God’s stretching us beyond our felt comfort zone to empower us in anything that may be part of His plan.

Disheveled, a bone thin body worn from years of addiction and domestic violence, wearing flannel pajamas, her name was Paula. She revealed she was “dying”, she couldn’t stop drinking, telling of her body failing and succumbing to advanced alcoholism, and held up her cup in almost a question of ‘what are you going to do?’ as she told me it contained her vodka drink.

I listened as she talked and eventually we were joined by two other Mission U-Too ladies who prayed with us and accompanied us across the street where Paula resided to assist her, at her request, in pouring out her bottles of alcohol. She knew drinking was killing her and agreed to allow Mike and me to drive her to an AA meeting that evening. The meeting room was darkened by the time we arrived, so we took her with us to an ice cream shop where other Mission U-Too folks had gathered and once again she could feel acceptance and support from our group.

Weeks later our hearts smiled and our awe of God’s gracious intervention magnified as we watched Paula eventually come back across the street to step into the Mission U-Too service line to help prepare and serve meals for others. She grew in spirit and health in her recovery and was named as a line chief of the serving line, which she manages now with confidence and grace. As Mike and I experienced the calling to serve Mission U-Too after their ministering to us in a time of emotional distress, so Paula had come to serve the very ones among whom she had so many months ago been one of.

Paula’s life has not been easy. She’s struggled with alcoholism, spending time in prison, serious health issues, abusive relationships, and being estranged from many people in her family. All of these challenges made her feel isolated and depressed, and she truly believed the lie that she was not worth anything.

After her first meal at one of our Mission U-Too sites that all changed. Check out the video above to hear Paula tell her story.

Because of the help from friends like you, this past year Mission U-Too was able to serve thousands of people like Paula a hot meal and share the love of Christ across Central Texas. And we hope to reach even more next year. Will you consider helping to feed the need by giving generously to Mission U-Too today?

For Paula, Mission U-Too is much more than a burger, it’s about seeing the life-changing transformation because of the love of Christ.

 

“I shouldn’t have come,” Nancy said. “Why?” I asked. “Because I’m embarrassed others need it more than me, I should go.” I walked around the picnic table to sit down with her and asked her to please stay. She looked at me in the eyes and said, “Thank you for having me.”

Nancy is a 55 year-old single woman who resides in Smithville, TX. She lives in an efficiency apartment and is on housing assistance. Nancy heard about Mission U-Too from her neighbors who attend regularly, but it took her 4 months to join us. She recently started coming because her grandson is staying with her for the summer, and they were both hungry. For physical food and spiritual food.

“I have a fixed income and can barely feed myself. I now have my grandson with me who needs to eat more than I do.” Nancy and her grandson took home three burgers and three hotdogs each and some extra food for the week since she wasn’t sure when their next meal would be other than the free lunch for the children of the community.

When asked how we can pray for her she broke down in tears and started crying. “Now I know why I came. I have been needing prayer but have no one to turn to.” Divorced and living by herself, Nancy dwells on the past. She has never been able to talk about her divorce because of shame and people judging her. She said, “I’m tired of hypocrites and getting hurt. I need more positive people in my life.”

Now knowing that Mission U-Too is at the Smithville location every Thursday rain or shine, Nancy found a new place where she can come and be herself and feel loved and accepted just the way she is. Building relationships and tearing walls down one by one, we now have a new friendship. Confused, Nancy asked why we were doing this. “Because Jesus told us to. We’re to love you and care for you just like Jesus loves us and cares for us,” I said. She smiled.

Nancy’s story through Mission U-Too is not finished yet!

Molly serves every week at our Giddings location. Here is her story about the impact her life has had from building relationships through Mission U-Too.

Serving at Mission U-Too has been one of the best things to happen to me since moving to Texas almost 2 years ago. I remember so clearly the first night I was able to go, I ended up playing with all the kids that were there, chasing them around and laughing with them, giving them hugs and loving them. My heart had been aching for “little people” time and interaction, and God was so faithful to bring it at just the right time.

As I continued serving the people of Giddings, God began to stir my heart for them in a way I didn’t expect. So many of them were searching, I could see it in their eyes and the conversations I would have. Most of our prayer times at the end would leave me in tears because of stories I heard or just a desire for the people of my city to know the love of God through Jesus.

This past year I started going to Mission U-Too more frequently, being able to build relationships with the people there. God gave me opportunities to pray for people, love on the kids and even bring my guitar and play and sing while our guests came through the line.

Meet a Volunteer: Molly

In October of 2015, I met the Garcia family, a mom with four kids. They would come and get food and then go home, but eventually the three oldest kids would come and jump on the line to help serve while the mom would sit on the side with her 1 year-old son and just watch.

She was beautiful and her little boy was so precious. I felt an instant love for all of them and as I began talking with the mother, my heart swelled even more. She only spoke Spanish, but by the grace of God, I was able to hold conversations with her and sometimes her kids jumped in to help translate.

Meet a Volunteer: Molly

Meeting the Garcia family was a divine appointment. She immediately invited me to her home and I was able to go and visit and spend an afternoon with them, and have some of the most delicious food! Their life is not easy, but the strength God has given to them is astounding. They are so faithful to come and serve every Sunday, and now even the mother serves on the line! It’s so beautiful to see how God has put us together. He has loved me through them and I am so grateful for their friendship.

Serving at Mission U-Too Giddings has given me new eyes and perspective to see people through the lens of Jesus. God has broken my heart for the people of my community and has provided an avenue for me to take action and love them. I am forever grateful to be a part of this ministry. To God be the glory.

By Christy Beyer, Mission U-Too Volunteer Program Manager

“Search Me, O God, and know my heart” ~Psalms 139:23
Lord I pray for those who read this that their hearts are changed and convicted.

One Saturday afternoon I went to the Grand Saline Mission U-Too site to bring support and a helping hand. Through my conviction I wasn’t a helping hand. I sat at the picnic table with a boot on my foot and listened to stories of people who live in the Housing Authority area, where Mission U-Too volunteers gather to serve their community physically and spiritually.

Before we arrived at the site we had visited with site coordinators, LaRoy and Jessie. We shared a meal together and enjoyed fellowship. LaRoy and Jessie live in Terrell, Texas which is 45 minutes from Grand Saline where they serve. Picture this friends, they drive 45 minutes on a Saturday afternoon to their church to pick up supplies and tables and then over to the site where they set up and they repeat it all over again and again every week. They are committed!

A Personal Conviction from serving in Grand Saline | Mission U-Too

As I sat back and watched LaRoy and Jessie serve the community and the love they have for making Christ known in an impoverished area, something tugged at my heart. I, Christy, have been a believer and walking out my faith for 10+ years and still struggle to be bold enough in my faith to make Christ known in all the sites that I am a part of. And being the wife of Mission U-Too President, Jonah Beyer, I visit A LOT of sites!

Jesus began to search my heart and slowly started revealing some of my flaws as I sat there to fellowship. A lady whose name is disclosed said to me, “I’m not a believer, but I know there’s something more than I know and it’s bigger than what I can imagine.” I asked her, “how do you know that?” She responded, “you guys wouldn’t be out here in the 100 degree weather loving on each person with a caring smile if there wasn’t.” Then I told her it was Jesus. And she said, “I knew you were going to say that.” I then began to share a small piece of my testimony. She told me thanks for sharing and got up and left the table. She scurried on her way without me sharing the heart of what we do and why we do what we do.

Conviction folks! Did I miss the only opportunity that I had? I’m praying not. But my biggest prayer is that the seed was planted through LaRoy and I was a vessel and now God will finish it! I am a nobody, but a daughter of Jesus Christ. I’m not perfect! And I will walk in humility.

Through conversations with Jessie and LaRoy I learned that Jessie grew up believing he was a nobody. He was told that by his mother who abandoned him at a young age and then was raised by his grandparents. Jessie found hope in Jesus as a grown man and believes he is still a nobody, but knows he’s the son of The King. And Jessie also knows that God is growing Him and allowing Him to be a somebody through Him and he’s being raised up with a ministry that he can now share his story with.

And LaRoy was married to an abusive husband and because of her baby boy she knew it was time to leave. She was brought up in an addictive family and became an addict herself. But she surrendered her life to Christ in 1995, and was delivered from her personal addictions in 2007. And now she’s being raised up in a church she can call home, and through Mission U-Too where her and Jessie can serve together as a married couple and reach people for Christ.

Wow! My heart is full. Thank you Jesus for convicting me. And always loving me through my errors and flaws and allowing me to be a vessel and a seed planter. Mission U-Too Grand Saline has opened my heart completely for the gospel. Just because I wasn’t a physical help, it only means that I was a spiritual help to those that I came in contact with.

Phylis' Story | Mission U-Too

“What, a free burger? What do I have to do to get a free burger?” said Phylis who is paralyzed from the waist down. When we told her nothing tears began to flow down her face. 

Phylis was in a terrible car accident several years ago and it left her paralyzed from her waist down. She lives by herself in the government subsidize housing in Bastrop. One of our Bastrop sites is set up down the street from her front door. As you can imagine life is a challenge for her, not to mention she feels like she’s a burden. 

Most of you know how it feels to feel like a burden to others. Now imagine your life having to depend on others all the time. Phylis is a believer in Christ and knows that her time on earth was not suppose to end when she had her accident. She was 1/4″ away from severing her spine in half and dying. Phylis says “she wished everyone would have a life transformation and know that Jesus is there and loves them.” And so do we!

Earlier this week at the site we saw Phylis outside by her house. We walked down to check in on her and the first thing she said was “what are you cooking today, a burger?” We told her yes and had a conversation with her letting her know she’s welcome to come every week, not just when she’s in dire need. Then we walked back to the site with her and she gave us an update on herself letting us know that she was hungry. She said she was glad to see us set up and was thankful we came down to visit her because she feels like a burden. We assured her that we miss seeing her and she’s not a burden. She told us that her ride wasn’t able to take her grocery shopping yet and she had no food in her house. There was joy in our hearts that God was using us, as this is why we were there!

Mission U-Too strives to feed people physically and spiritually. We never know the battles that are going on in the home or within one’s heart. When you are hungry physically life around feels like it’s in shambles, but when you are hungry spiritually you feel alone and empty. Phylis was feeling both and, with the relationship we have built with her the last two years, she finally felt like she could stroll down in her wheelchair for the first time instead of us taking food to her, and enjoy a hot meal in the presence of her Mission U-Too family. 

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Meet Rebecca.

Rebecca has been volunteering with Mission U-Too since 2010. She started helping serve each week, then became the Bastrop Site Coordinator, and now she serves on staff as the Area Manager. Rebecca has been a huge part of Mission U-Too and we are so thankful for the countless hours she dedicates to helping lead and give to our communities. So many lives have been impacted through her.

Check out this Q&A with Rebecca as she shares a little about her experience volunteering with Mission U-Too. Read more

 

Meet DeAnnah.

She is the Site Coordinator for our newest community in Grand Saline, Texas. DeAnnah first heard about Mission U-Too from Tom Slavin from our Kingsland community when he was teaching Bible studies at the local prison. Yes, she was one of the students in his class.

DeAnnah’s story is one of second chances and God continuing to draw her close to Him. You definitely will want to watch this video and hear her story.

Our Grand Saline community has been meeting since April 2015. They serve Sunday afternoon at the Round-Up Roller Rink. Click here for more information or if you’d like to get involved with this community.

At Mission U-Too our mission is simply to feed people both physically and spiritually. Christ called us to meet our neighbor’s physical needs by providing a meal for them each week. Even more, He called us to share the message of Christ.

The burger is just the method, but the real change happens when people experience the love of Christ.


Cyndi

Meet Cyndi

“We are the Sutton Family. My name is Cyndi and I have four girls and two adopted daughters. I was born and raised in Bastrop. I lived a good life growing up until my late teens. I was running with the wrong crowd and got caught up in things I shouldn’t have and then got pregnant. I am a single mom on Disability Social Security because of going blind and I have migraines from the optic nerve pressure. We live paycheck to paycheck. I was downtown Bastrop and saw “free burger” signs and stopped, and have been coming back for the last three years. Mission U-Too is like a second family to me. I come for the fellowship, listen to the message when able, and for the food. It’s comforting knowing that I can get a free meal Monday nights and not have to worry about cooking. If we’re around we attend the other Bastrop site on Sundays as well. I am getting my family back into church and always tell people “God doesn’t give you anymore that you can’t handle, so just trust in Him.”


feedtheneed-final2014-tiltWith your help, Mission U-Too will continue to feed the need and provide a safe place where people can receive a hot meal each week and be accepted as they are. Even further, your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will impact more lives with the gospel.

Thank you for giving today, and making a difference in the lives of in the lives of families like Cyndi’s!

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At Mission U-Too our mission is simply to feed people both physically and spiritually. Christ called us to meet our neighbor’s physical needs by providing a meal for them each week. Even more, He called us to share the message of Christ.

The burger is just the method, but the real change happens when people experience the love of Christ.


Floyd

Meet Floyd

“I am Floyd and this is my 4-year-old daughter, Abigail. I had many struggles in my life, and lived a rough lifestyle. I was a crack addict for many years and have been clean for 4 years. What changed my life was my wife getting pregnant with our daughter and her telling me if I didn’t change my life and stop the drugs then I needed to leave. Now looking back on my life, God was preparing for my testimony. On October 1, 1991 I fell 13 feet onto my head and almost became a quadriplegic. I shouldn’t be alive right now and/or shouldn’t be standing here.

August 10th I was baptized, and had accepted Christ a few weeks prior. I am thankful for the generosity of Kingsland and reaching out to the community. I heard about Mission U-Too from the food pantry, and have been coming here getting a hot meal ever since. My intentions on coming were selfish, I came to network to find a job, but now I am serving and sharing Christ and the hope that I found in Him. I believe the new me will affect the change that people will see in me.”


feedtheneed-final2014-tiltWith your help, Mission U-Too will continue to feed the need and provide a safe place where people can receive a hot meal each week and be accepted as they are. Even further, your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will impact more lives with the gospel.

Thank you for giving today, and making a difference in the lives of in the lives of families like Floyd’s!

[cro_button no=”DONATE NOW” col=”6″ addr=”https://feedtheneed.org/irene/”]