By Abby Hopkins
“Mommy, you did it.”
A woman who had been struggling to get her GED heard these words at graduation coming from her daughter. Now, she is taking college classes and will occasionally visit the ministry that helped her get there – Mineral Wells Center of Life.
Mineral Wells Center of Life, a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering partner ministry, began in 2011 to reach its community. Since opening, the ministry has been able to offer a variety of services from GED (high school equivalency) classes to food distribution to job training programs and more.
Executive Director Cindy Maness said the center’s ministries have recently expanded.
“You never know what the need is going to be,” Maness said.
Hunger Offering funds are used to provide food and personal hygiene items to homeless people in the community. The ministry offers a food pantry every Tuesday and Thursday for people to receive groceries once a month; serves hot meals every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; and hands out “go” bags every Wednesday and Thursday.
The center meets physical needs, but Maness said their number one priority is sharing Jesus Christ.
“We want to give them a hand up, not just a hand out,” Maness said. “They think they’re coming for (just) food or a meal, but we’re getting to share the gospel with them.”
Each morning, the ministry begins the day with prayer and devotionals, and Maness said some people will come in specifically for that time. She said the most special moments are when people come into her office to let her know they are now her brother or sister in Christ.
“I may not always be help them financially, but I’ll always pray and share Jesus with them,” Maness said. “And not just me, everyone here.”
Maness said the joy she feels as a part of the ministry is overwhelming.
“It’s a great place to be,” Maness said. “I go to work with anticipation. ‘Okay, God, how are you going to show up today?’”
The Texas Baptist Hunger Offering partners with 117 ministries around Texas and the world that seek to break the cycles of poverty and share the gospel. Give online here.