A new study from Hunger Free America finds that food insecurity is snowballing nationwide. The number of people who self-reported as being without enough to eat has nearly doubled from last year. Thanks to you, Frederick does not suffer as much as most places. While spiritual hunger is harder to quantify, it is no less overwhelming.
When people file into the dining hall for hot, nutritious meals, Teri Kwiatek is focused on their spiritual nourishment. Teri is our Outreach Coordinator, and she organizes the ministry team volunteers who sit with our guests who come in for breakfast or lunch. Of course, Teri also participates.
“I love sitting down and having conversations with people. Sometimes I get a chance to pray with them.” Teri is light-hearted and upbeat. Her disarming manner often causes people to open up to her, and she is an excellent listener. “When I listen to people’s stories, I ask the Lord, ‘What are you doing here, and how can I step into that?’”
Philip* confided in Teri that his rent was due, but he was broke. He told her, “I need a job, or I’ll be kicked out of my home!” He was grateful when Teri prayed for him. The next day, he bounded into the dining hall, exclaiming, “Teri! You won’t believe what God did! I got a job!”
Teri had seen Marcus* come into the dining hall frequently, but one day his demeanor was more serious than usual. “Teri, I’m in a spiritual battle. I need prayer.” When Teri prayed for Marcus, he broke down and cried. Teri knows that he comes to the Mission for truth.
“People come to eat here because it’s a safe atmosphere. They can escape, sit down, and enjoy a meal in peace,” observes Carlton Hill, who oversees security in the dining hall. “When our ministry team sits with the people here, they must be led by the Holy Spirit. They may face all kinds of issues.”
Teri and her ministry team strive to be led by God. They become familiar faces, and the community that comes for food learns to trust them. You, along with our staff and volunteers, make a real impact on the lives of people in Frederick—physically and spiritually.
*Not his real name