Falfurrias (Texas) Church of the Brethren is one of the congregations receiving support from the Global Food Crisis Fund and the Office of Public Witness through the “Going to the Garden” initiative that gives grants for community gardens. Recently, church members reported to GFCF manager Jeff Boshart how the church’s mission is continuing. The following is excerpted from a lengthier report:
Our grandchildren CJ, Jason, and Emily picked these flowers last week. This is just an indication of what is happening here in Falfurrias. We like to think that we are getting a fresh start, and blooming. We might not be gaining in numbers, but it is clear to us that God is at work.
Our church was one of four churches that began praying and discussing the dire situation in Falfurrias. We have a lot of very difficult situations involving drugs, human trafficking, gang-related murders, and family violence. On top of all this the government budget cutbacks have added to the problem. We also have financial issues in the city of Falfurrias, as well as the county. Four churches met in December to discuss the problem. In January we discussed the different difficulties and continued in prayer. In February we discussed the importance of a spiritual solution to this dilemma and discussed forming a non-profit organization. We called it “Uniting Falfurrias for Christ.” The four churches involved are the Church of the Brethren, the United Methodist Church, the Baptist Church, and Love and Mercy, an independent church.
We were privileged to receive a grant of $2,500 from the Southern Plains District of the Church of the Brethren for the purchase of a tractor. Our church came up with $2,000 and a church family gave $1,000. We borrowed an additional $2,500 from the district at no interest and we bought the tractor and implements. We were in dire need of a larger tractor. The large amount of mowing and the plans we have for the garden made it necessary for this purchase
The garden is a new added ministry this year. With the help of the grant from the Church of the Brethren we have been able to start this ministry. We have started small but hope to expend as we learn and get added help from the community. The main reason for this project is the need in the community. We want to be a presence when things get harder and hopefully be a part of the solution to problems in our community.
We have another well on the property we would like to open up and fix as funds are available. This well will be used to water the garden and yard use. Our prayer is that this project will be accomplished by the fall planting.
We decided to walk by faith and we joined with the Catholic Church in support of a food bank. By February we supplied food to 300 people. By March we had 30 volunteers including leaders from the community helping with this effort. At our March food distribution we gave everyone who came for food a survey. We wanted to hear from their corner. We went to the least and we received a wealth of information. We will be reviewing the results and informing the residents of what they see as the most pressing issues in our community. Like the prophet Elijah in1 Kings17:7-15, we have gone to the least and in return we will gleam from the results for the Lord’s honor and glory.
Our prayer is that as the word gets out we will attract willing individuals and groups to a very important mission service. We are so grateful for the Southern Plains District and its members support, the “Going to the Garden” monetary help to get us started with the community garden, to Ono (Pa.) United Methodist Church for their generous monetary support, continual prayers, and encouraging calls, and to Gern and Pat Haldeman from Hummelstown, Pa., for helping us buy the tractor tires. The love and support during the good times and the bad is truly felt.
We continue the mission of the church which is to “Go unto all the world and make disciples as Christ commanded” (Matthew 28:16-20). We are reminded that what Jesus did most was to walk among the people meeting their immediate needs. Let us as the church of Jesus Christ covenant to walk among the people. Join us in ministry.
We would like to invite you to be a part of our church family this fall. We will have four RV spots. The hook-ups will be ready. All we ask is a suggested monthly amount, pay the electricity bill for the spot, and lend a hand in the church, the grounds, or the fall garden. Call 956-500-9614 or 956-500-5651 for more information.
-- Don and Lucinda Anderson are member of Falfurrias (Texas) Church of the Brethren.