My name is Bob Herrod and I’m in a program called Teen Challenge. Here is my story:

When I got here I was pretty messed up in the head. I had agreed to go to Teen Challenge.  Not knowing what this place was, I agreed to try the program because I was now homeless.  My mind was not accepting that I was homeless, but the reality is, I was. I kept saying to myself this is not happening because just 8 months ago I had a house; a place to call home. And I lost it all.

I began to drink more and soon I was in trouble with the law. I was trying pretty hard to get a job, but nothing was happening, and my money was drying up. I knew I was in trouble when my money was completely gone and I owed court costs and fines. Still living out of my car, I knew soon I would be going to jail for not paying my fines. That’s when Tom Slavin with Mission U-Too offered to help me in a way that no one has ever offered me before.

Tom told me about Teen Challenge and what it was all about. He suggested for me to consider going into the program.  So, I looked into it. I was very skeptical of what it entailed. I must have read over the program format a 100 times before I was willing to give it a try.  What I gathered from reading about the program, it’s a very controlled atmosphere and required a lot of self-discipline in order to get along with others, and it was a Bible based faith program. It’s also a place where troubled young adults come to try and get their life back together through prayer and Bible study, manual labor, and other work related jobs in and out of the facility.

I have been here going on 7 months, since January. I have found Teen Challenge to be a very interesting life style. Not one I ever envisioned going thru, but none the less I am here, and adjusting to the program the best that I can. I did not come here because I wanted too. However learning about the Bible for the 1st time in my 50 plus years on earth, has been an awakening to say the least. Everything I was afraid of, I’m still fearful of, but I do understand the concept on why we are here on earth and our purpose on earth.

The counselors talk about the level of Christianity I am now, and what I should be upon graduation time. I am “A Baby in Christ” which is ok with me, because babies learn very fast. I like reading the Bible and what I’m learning about man and how weak we really are.

Human nature is not far from being a wild animal. We have characteristics of being wild like untamed creatures. We act like untamed creatures a lot in our daily lives, especially when we react to situations abruptly and it causes ourselves more unnecessary aggravations. The Bible on the other hand, teaches us to be patient and to think before talking, and to listen rather than be heard; to say things that are of encouragement rather than being demanding and negative. The Bible also teaches us how to live our lives through Jesus Christ and how to be more like Him. We need to be obedient to God, and to seek his guidance in everything we do, and we need to pray to Jesus.

I am learning that if I stick to the bibles life living concepts, and commandments, my life will continue to change considerably for the better. I can feel myself better in my mind, body, and soul. And when I forget to do these things on a daily basis, I feel convicted and I feel like something not good is going to happen.

The word of God is like food for our peace of mind.  It nourishes our souls and creates peace over our lives. But without the word, it makes us hungry!  We need God’s word, just like we need food for our bodies. We need a dose of God every day for our well-being. And if nothing else, His word is an amazing thing; it makes you feel God and feel good.

I am Bob Herrod and I am in transformation

by Jonah Beyer, Mission U-Too President

Have you ever looked at a ministry or nonprofit and asked yourself, is what they’re doing really making a difference? Maybe you have looked at Mission U-Too and said “there goes those crazy people giving away free burgers, what is the point of doing that week after week?”

Free BurgersI can personally tell you the point is simple: this is what God has told us to do. The humbling part of ministry is when God allows us to see the work that He’s doing when we are obedient to what He’s told us to do.

As we build relationships within the communities we serve in each and every week, we get to know the people that we serve. This is not always the most comfortable or easy thing to do. Sometimes you place judgment on the people that are coming for food wondering if this person really needs it? When are things going to change with them?

Two Homeless Friends

You may remember me sharing about a couple of homeless guys that we have been getting to know for the past two years here in Bastrop. These two men are both heavy alcoholics and are more comfortable living in the woods, where they do not have any responsibility and can also drink as much as they want. God has continued to use these two men to teach me, a few of our volunteers, and supporters like you, to love unconditionally and how to meet people where they are at, instead of where they’re not.

Over the years as we’ve gotten to know these two men, they have also gotten to know our hearts and we have built a trust with them. It takes time to build trust and a relationship, especially when you have been hurt by family members. Mission U-Too strives to build trust and relationships with every person we come in contact with.

Don

Jeff is one of the men that has been living in the woods for the past 10 years. He comes every Monday night for a burger and he stays for a bible lesson and asks questions. He is one to listen to what God might have for him, even though the alcohol continues to have the best of him. For the past couple of years there has been many times where I have gone into the woods to their camp, where Jeff and Don live. I have also found them hanging out under one of the bridges in town. The location of the men doesn’t stop me from sitting down with them and their buddies and opening the Bible and we begin studying together.

Breaking Points

I constantly wonder when is something going to change for these men. At what point is something going to break and relieve them from the bondage of alcohol? I don’t know nor is it my job to know, but it’s our job as believers in Christ to love our neighbor as yourself and to show the unconditional love of Christ. Jeff has been close multiple times of going to rehab and wanting to kick his habit. But every time I get the green light to take him, he allows his addiction to take over and to hold him back. Every time the opportunity arises, it allows Jeff to get a little closer to recovery.

This past February, on a Saturday morning, Jeff had too much to drink. As he was hiking over the bridge on 71 (he normally crosses to head into town), he stumbled into oncoming traffic. After nearly getting hit, he backed up to the side rail, lost his balance and fell 25 feet to the street below. A witness reported the fall and a short time after a police officer arrived at the scene and took one look at him and said “this guy is not going to make it” and flight for life of Austin was immediately called. Jeff was unconscious and put on life-support. The first CT Scan showed multiple skull fractures and internal bleeding in his brain. It was not looking good for him.

Ripple Effect: The Best Friend

In the meantime his friend Don called me Sunday evening saying he heard that Jeff fell off the bridge and wanted to know more information. As I explained to him about Jeff and that we needed to pray for him, he asked me if I could meet him at McDonald’s in a couple hours. I agreed to meet him at 10 o’clock Sunday evening. As I arrived I noticed other homeless men sitting around. I walked over to Don and gave him a hug and began to give him an update on Jeff. During the conversation the other homeless men came and sat by us wondering what was going on.

As I sat there, I had a very frank and stern conversation with Don asking him how much more it was going to take for him to quit drinking and at what point will he choose a different way of life. He openly talked to me about his addiction and life details. Because of the relationship Don and I had, he felt a close friendship, trust, and genuine love that I had for him. If I were someone else, our conversation would have sounded a lot different.

Ripple Effect: A Young Man

During our conversation at McDonald’s one of the homeless men piped and up and started asking questions about Jesus. Mind you, I have never seen this young man around the area before. So I asked him where he was from and he told me he currently moved here from California. I tried to engage in conversation with him but he held me at a distance. He kept coming back for more conversations and I could tell he could see something different in me and that this guy (me) cares. It wasn’t me that he saw, it was Jesus that he was seeing and I was being the tool to share Christ’s love. Jesus was beginning to target his heart.

It was cold and rainy this very night and I wasn’t able to leave them on the streets. I put three of them in one hotel room. I drove them to the hotel room and checked them in and Don asked me to come up to the room to pray with them. I can never pass up the opportunity to pray with someone. After I finished praying I walked outside to leave, the young man from California had followed. I told him this Jesus I was talking about earlier at McDonald’s is real. That Christ desires a relationship with you. The young man gave me a blank stare and he didn’t know how to respond. I asked him if he would read the Bible if I give him one. He said “yeah.” He could not believe that I would give him a free Bible to keep. He had asked where he should start reading and my response what The Book of John. I prayed with him and then left the hotel.

BaptismOver the next week I ran into him multiple times. Each time I would engage in conversation encouraging him to find a job and to keep searching. He would tell me a little bit more about his life and that he was here because of his girlfriend and baby moved to Bastrop to be close to her family. He proceeded to tell me that his girlfriend wants him to go to church with her. I encouraged him to go with her and little did I know it was the same church that my family and I attend. I walked in the following Sunday and when he saw me a great joy had overcame him. I encouraged him to listen to what God had for him. After the service I asked him what he thought. He looked up at me and said, “we didn’t meet by accident did we?” He asked me if  there was more to this and I confirmed to him there was. You see, God was beginning to work on his heart and was revealing Himself to this young man. I was just a vessel to give him a glimpse of hope. About a month later, he made a decision to give his life to the Lord and was baptized that following Sunday.

Ripple Effect: The Doctor

We went to go see Jeff a few days after his accident and he was a little out of it, but awake. The doctor said she didn’t understand how he could be coherent because when she looked at his second CT Scan his condition was worse. She was not expecting much of a recovery. Jeff proved them all wrong! He woke up conscious and aware of his surroundings; he knew what year it was, and he knew who he was! It’s a miracle that Jeff is out of the hospital and doing well. The only explanation we have for Jeff’s healing is the power of prayer. God protected my friend.

Ripple Effect: The Police Officer

The officer that found Jeff was truly amazed. He was amazed by the fact that Jeff was going to make a full recovery and also the fact of how much we genuinely cared for Jeff. You see, the officer has been chasing these men the last several years. The homeless men would get tickets for trespassing, public intoxication, and multiple complaints of inappropriate activities. Despite their destructive lifestyle of living on the streets, this officer could see a genuine love I have for these men, which led him to wanting to know more about our God.

Mission U-Too is nothing more than a tool to live our faith out loud, with the world, so people can see the unconditional love Christ has for us and them, in a way that is visible to our communities, and people that live in them; working to do life together. When we go out of our way and be obedient to God just like He has told us to do, He will move the lives and hearts of the people around us, and there is no telling how far the ripple effect goes.Jeff and Jonah

Two weeks later Jeff is out of the hospital and looking for work! And many other people have seen the love of Jesus playing out in their lives. Truly Amazing.


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 Christine Farquhar, Mission U-Too

I believe it has been difficult for me to give my testimony because of the impact that Jesus has made, not only on my life, but my entire family’s life, through Mission U-Too. I see things much different than just a single encounter with one person or one moment. I have been honored to serve at Bastrop South, Bastrop North, and Round Rock location’s.  I have served with disaster relief efforts in both West, Texas and Moore, Oklahoma. I also assist Mission U-Too in some of the many administrative operations that take place.  Therefore, I have seen first hand how Mission U-Too works with integrity, covers every decision in prayer, and does not waiver from the word of God.  I could end my words with this being a testimony.

I am one of Mission U-Too’s biggest advocates.  I love what and who it stands for, Jesus Christ!  In Mark 2:17, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  I never thought about this scripture much, until serving alongside with Mission U-Too. Another verse that come to me is “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” Luke 9:23.

These two scriptures are really talking about me and my life currently.  I found out that I am the sick and the sinner!  I need Jesus’s healing and I need to take up my cross daily to serve Him.  When I moved to Bastrop in June 2012, I saw the need for a “Mission U-too”; unfortunately,  it was for my own selfish gain. I wanted to fix and help people in my own power.  What I learned, is that I am a tool and witness, to be used for the  gospel of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the only one that can fix and heal people, but ultimately their Savior!  That means I have to take up my cross daily. You might ask, “What is your cross?” I define this as my pride, arrogance, selfishness, judgmental attitudes and the list goes on.

I was asked in November 2004 if I would sell everything for the ministry of the Gospel.  My answer at that time was I do not have enough faith; therefore, Lord give me the faith to sacrifice everything. In September 2013, my family placed our house and everything that goes with it for sale for the ministry of Jesus Christ.  At this point, nothing has sold, but I know in my heart that whether it sells or not Jesus has me in the palm of his hands.

I have learned through the ministry of Mission U-Too that its not the material things that we own that gives us true joy, hope, faith, peace, and most importantly love, but it is the God who loves us enough to sacrifice His entire life on a cross.  He abandoned heaven to come to earth, so that he could become like you and me.  He loved us so much that he came to earth to have a wretched body, so we would understand that Jesus knows what its like to be human and everything that comes with that: emotions, stress, hurts, losses, etc…

How can I not sacrifice everything for someone who loved me that much?

How cannot I not sacrifice everything for Him when He is the only one that will never leave me nor forsake me?  This world has nothing in it that brings me true and pure unconditional love as the Love of Jesus Christ!


Christine Farquhar started serving with Mission U-Too in 2012 at our Bastrop South site. She quickly connected with the ministry because of her heart for the homeless. Not only does she serve at our different sites and disaster relief through out the country but also with administrative duties for the organization.

Send Christine a note at christine.farquhar@feedtheneed.org.

by Christy Beyer, Mission U-Too

You always here people say “don’t judge a book by the cover.” When I was younger I never understood the meaning of it. Actually I never understood the meaning of it until I became a Christian. Giving my life over to God and knowing that He sent his one and only son to die on the cross for me and not just me,  for all of us. I had a heart change for people, for myself, for the way I lived my life and for God. I made drastic changes in my life and am still making more changes.

God never gives up on us. He wants us to grow and trust Him more. He wants us to confess all of our sins even though they are forgiven. God knew we could never be perfect therefore He is our ultimate judge, not us. We are to not judge others by the cover. The cover of every person is not the truth of what is going on inside their heart. My God made all of us fearfully and wonderfully made despite our looks and the things we wear. He made us all different. He even created us to look different.

Mission U-Too brings many people from all walks of life with or without a relationship with Christ. All of them are different in their own unique way.  For as long as I’ve been serving with Mission U-Too (2 1/2 years), I have had the opportunity to meet different people and build relationships. Because of the turning point in my life and the desire to be a servant, two of those I serve are young men who have Downs Syndrome. These boys are brothers and 10 years apart in age. Even though their communication is not clear, and they look different, they are still children of God. They are made fearfully and wonderfully just like you and me. Psalms 139:14 says “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” I know full well that my two friends have a true heart for God, and they don’t look at any of us differently than them.

When Jaquim and Jonathon came to Mission U-T00 2 years ago, they would patiently stand in line waiting to be served. They would high five everyone, and call them all friends. Everyone is their friend, even God. I love watching their face light up when you ask “how is God treating you?” Their response is “Good all the time.” Wouldn’t you love to walk through life knowing that God is good all the time? These boys can’t read or write well, and most of the time you can’t understand them when they talk, but when they are passionate about Christ and what He’s doing in their life, Christ allows their words to be heard.

I am so thankful for them and the lessons they teach me every Sunday and Monday and now for the past three weeks they are attending our church and going to Youth. They understand that level of the bible. They understand what praise and worship is and they love singing, no matter whose looking at them. They give hugs to everyone, even if they don’t know them. They are also serving Sunday’s with us at Mission U-Too in the food line strategically making everyone’s burger with perfection, love and a smile.

1 Peter 3:3-4 says “your beauty should not come from outward adornment such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. instead it should be, that of your innerself, the unfading beauty of gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight.” Jonathon and Jaquim are good examples of this verse. Like God, they look at the heart and not what your wearing. They know they are fearfully and wonderfully made and never do they worry about what others think.

My prayer, is to all the readers of this blog that they know how much Jesus loves you no matter your sins or your outer appearance, what matters is your heart and your relationship with Christ. Just like my two friends, you also are fearfully and wonderfully made, and don’t allow the world tell you different. Rest assure our God is faithful in His word! The Lord has blessed me with my Mission U-Too family and I pray that wherever you live you GO and find a place in your community that you can share the Good News just like Jonathon and Jaquim, with their smile, high fives and a loving heart.


Christy Beyer is Jonah’s wife and serves by his side every week she helps with mentoring the women and family’s that Mission U-Too touches.

Send Christy a note at christy.beyer@feedtheneed.org.

by Jason Bray, Board Member

Those three actions along with Christ choosing to use us is what makes up a Mission U-Too community.  We can accomplish nothing outside of Christ which is why it is imperative that we pray for the unified direction of these Mission U-Too communities.  Only through prayer can Christ use us to soften the hearts of his children that are in darkness.  This is why I have listed prayer first.  Prayer is powerful, and we’ve seen it work miracles in every place Mission U-Too has been.  So I kindly ask that all of you seek Christ on behalf of Mission U-Too to continue shining light into the darkness where ever He would have us to go.

If you have ever been to more than one Mission U-Too location you’ve experienced how different each one really is in it’s own setting.  Tom in Kingsland is an outspoken individual that is constantly praying to bring Christ to those that don’t have it in his area.  Through prayer God even opened a door for him to bring Jesus into jails where they have no choice but to listen to him, awesome;)  This didn’t all happen by chance, Tom prayed, Tom served, Tom gave, and Christ did and is still going to do amazing things through Tom because Tom’s heart is after Christ.

Rebecca in Bastrop is another example of how prayer can change a person to be more like Christ.  Many of us think of serving, what that may look like for ourselves and our families, but then life happens and we get busy and don’t give it a second thought.  Rebecca fought through this battle, and Christ has used her compassion to reach many people in Bastrop.  She used to be the quietest one around Mission U-Too, and now Christ uses her to actually give the bible lesson and pray for countless people that live in that community.

Chas, George, and the families up in Round Rock have shown true expression of faith through the path that God has taken them to be involved with Mission U-Too.  They wanted to see people changed and lives infected with the love of Christ, and Jesus gave them that opportunity to serve in there community.  Now every saturday at a public school they set up and get to develop relationships that Christ will use to redeem people to himself.  Jesus makes it so easy for us to be used by him, and even more so uses us to actually do good!

WE don’t deserve any of this, nor do any of us in Mission U-Too take credit for anything that has happened and will happen.  Through prayer, serving, and giving we are excited to see how Christ will continue using Mission U-Too for his kingdom.  This is an adventure for us, and we would like to ask you to become a part of that journey beginning with prayer, then serving, and giving.


Jason Bray would lead worship for the Kingsland location when God put it on his hart to take the vision to Bastrop in2010. Thus begin the actual nonprofit being in two different towns with the same purpose. His family lives in Bastrop, Texas and is actively involved with leadership development.

Send Jason a note at jason.bray@feedtheneed.org.

 

by Chas Winckel, Round Rock Site Coordinator

We have all seen Chuck or whatever his name is.  He is the drifter or the homeless guy.  He doesn’t make eye contact or most of us hope he doesn’t. He doesn’t smell or look good. Chuck, from a life of drugs was missing his entire bottom teeth except for 2 smoked stained stubbed teeth sticking out towards his bottom lip.  His long dirty blonde hair was tied in a ponytail down the middle of his stained Iowa Hawkeyes tee shirt.  He rode up on his squeaky bicycle with that homeless look.  You know the one that I am talking about.  Alone, dejected, ashamed and sure that we were going to judge him.

His first question to me was, “Can I help you?”  You see I was standing outside of the church in Moore, Ok that we have been serving alongside for the past 3 weeks, which the storm had not been kind to us the night before.  It was about 7:00 am on Sunday morning and the storm had destroyed all of the tents. I was feeling alone, dejected, ashamed and sure that he was going to judge me.  With those four words of Can I help you the spirit of God bound us together for the day.  Chuck and I worked together all day feeding the people in need of Oklahoma.  We talked about the stories of life and the will of God and how much God loved him.  I must have told Chuck a couple of dozen times during the day how much God loved him.  It was worth the trip to Moore just to see the change in Chuck and for him to know that Jesus loves him.  Chuck will be helping the team up there serve food and helping out over the next week. Please pray for Chuck to find a job so that he can move on to what God is doing with him.

I noticed him as a large group came up which I thought were coming to eat.  He had on a Phillies cap and introduced themselves as a group from Chicago.  I kidded him about a Chicago guy who was wearing a Phillies hat and asked him how we could help him.  He said that they had brought a group over from Chicago and they had to catch a plane back later tonight and wanted to see if they could help out.  He asked what we do and I told him that we were being the hands and feet of Jesus. He then introduced himself as Rabbi Mason and we stared at each other and then hugged and I said, “Were glad you’re here.”  He then took his team and they delivered meals and cold water out to the neighborhoods.  The lines that are normally there between the Jewish faith and that of Christians were erased for that day and we stood shoulder to shoulder and served God by serving the people of Moore, Oklahoma.

The Budget rental truck pulled up into our parking lot and this boundless energy came out of the truck and the other car that was with them.  Four college age girls had driven from Tampa, Florida to make donations for the victims of the tornados.  They had felt lead after seeing the devastation on the news to help out.  They put up a website and raised over $6,000 dollars and supplies and then drove for 27 hours to deliver it. One of them went to church occasionally and the others were not Christians but their hearts were being turned by God to direct them to Mission U-too.  We had a chance to spend time with them as we all unloaded the truck and then they even served with us for a while. Then they went and bought more supplies for us and even came back the next day to spend some more time with us. They said that this trip had changed their lives and that they couldn’t wait for the next disaster.  Then she looked at me and smiled and said you know what I mean, right?  I did know what she meant.  You see it is very fulfilling to serve.

I drove home on Sunday Evening.  I was tired both physically and spiritually and even though exhaustion was setting in I felt energized by the previous few days.  I have not even touched on the incredible stories of loss and hurts and hopelessness that are felt in Oklahoma now and well into the future. These people have gone through life changing events and it will be a part of their history that will be talked about for years. To experience what Mission U-too is about please consider attending one of our local mission events.  We cook food every week for people in need, the homeless, the addicts and everyone who needs a free meal.  People come and join us at first because of the free food and then they keep coming back for the hugs.

When you feed people physically they start to trust and build relationships around the food table.  Then they become part of a family and that allows us then to sow into them spiritually.

You see we love, because He first loved us.


Chas Winckel started serving with Mission U-Too in 2011 with the Bastrop Fires. After a year of God put it on his hart to get more involved with Mission U-Too, him and his wife Laurie started our Round Rock location and serve as the site coordinators.

by Christy Beyer, Mission U-Too

Helen has been going to Mission U-Too Round Rock ever since we started. Helen has 3 boys and 1 girl. She’s married and lives in a trailer park. Her husband works off shores and comes home a few times a month. Helen caught my attention the first day I saw her. I sat with her family to get to know them more and to tell them about Mission U-Too. Helen has a huge heart for others. She will give her last egg in the refrigerator for someone to eat.

Helen had a rough up bringing. She shared stories with me that I couldn’t quite relate to because I never experienced what she did. She also ran away from home at a young age and lived on the streets. She even sold her body for money. She tells me “if I need something I know how to get it.” Helen got caught up in drugs and was running from God. Now Helen has a home and a family that loves her and a husband that treats her like his queen.

God brought Helen and her family to Mission U-Too to teach me a few things. One was don’t judge! All of my thoughts about her were negative and my thoughts were not even true. I saw a person on the outside and not on the inside. I am quick to judge people and the bible tells us God is our judge. The other lesson I learned was to love them where their at. I can’t change a person but Jesus can. Immediately because of me judging her I had a cold heart towards her.

Now, Helen and I talk every Saturday. We hug each other, and I pray for her and her family every Saturday. Helen no longer lives the lifestyle I thought she lived. Her heart is changing and God is going to do something in her life that no one can understand. I already see Him working in her because she is no longer a negative person. She’s become very loving and has opened up to me about her struggles and finances. Now she can say that all my bills are caught up even our trailer payment. She doesn’t know how it all happened, but I do. God is working! I’m excited to see what God is going to do in her and her families life and also how God is going to use her to teach me.

Helen also serves with us. If she’s not out talking to people she will be serving. Her children are also getting involved in serving the food. My heart is full of joy watching them serve their community!


Christy Beyer is Jonah’s wife and serves by his side every week she helps with mentoring the women and family’s that Mission U-Too touches.

Send Christy a note at christy.beyer@feedtheneed.org.

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.