By Abby Hopkins
When a person comes to Christian Family Baptist Church for the monthly food distribution, they drive through to receive the food. However, this is changing as the ministry finalizes a weekly grocery store-type experience for the community.
Christian Family Baptist Church is a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering partner in San Antonio planning to open a new building this month. This opening is part of a larger shift in the food distribution process, where Pastor Rob Johnson said people can now have more dignified access to food.
“We will provide a more modern approach to fighting hunger and malnutrition,” Johnson said. “The plan is to continue to refine to meet new people and share Christ. We’re addressing spiritual needs and physical needs.”
The church began over 17 years ago as Johnson started a Bible study for families in the community he was serving. From there, the group grew into a church, and they were able to purchase a building in 2006.
Johnson said the church property presented an opportunity to fulfill the Great Commission and love the community by initiating the food distribution ministry.
“That’s what our food distribution is built upon -- love and the need to evangelize and connect with believers and unbelievers,” Johnson said.
On average, the ministry provides about 12,000 pounds of food to 140 families and has about 40 volunteers. Hunger Offering funds are used to purchase food from the San Antonio Food Bank to redistribute to those in need.
Hunger Offering funds “allow us to train people (and) meet the needs of those people we minister to,” Johnson said.
Each family comes from different circumstances, backgrounds, and challenges, Johnson said. This has inspired him to serve more and to bring together the body of Christ to join God in the work.
“We don’t have to see every family go from food to receiving Christ, but we’d like to think we’re planting seeds and He’s watering,” Johnson said.
Each volunteer is trained to reach other families and love each person that walks through the ministry’s doors. Johnson said he has seen whole families serve together. One volunteer family’s 5-year-old cried when they were unable to serve that day because the parents were sick.
“I’m watching people that I’m discipling grow,” Johnson said. “I’m watching families get up on Saturday mornings with purpose. I’m watching children respond.”
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.