Serving God by Serving the Needy
When the pastor of FUMC, Bullard approached Hazel to lead the church mission program, she knew right away that she wanted to begin close to home. With a passion for the suffering, and a meager $200.00 annual budget, Mission House was born. Hazel quickly realized that $200.00 per year was insufficient to meet her neighbors’ many needs, so she shared her vision with her community. Miracles followed as volunteers joined her in service, and donations poured in to help bridge the gap in funding.
For the first few years, Mission House’s ministry was small – a feeding program that met the needs of seven or eight families each month and a food pantry. But Hazel soon discovered that God wanted Mission House to be more.
God’s Direction in His Miraculous Provision
One cold winter day, a man stopped by the church to ask if Mission House might have coats to fit his four sons. At first, Hazel wasn’t optimistic. After all, Mission House ran a feeding program, not a clothing closet.
Then Hazel remembered some bags of donated clothing that had been in the floor of the food pantry for months. She brought the bags out and placed them on a table in front of the visitor. “Here,” she said, “you can look through these to see if you can find anything.”
One after another, the gentleman pulled four coats from the bags … each a perfect fit for one of his sons.
Hazel saw God’s direction in the midst of His miraculous provision. She began a clothes closet ministry that day, and asked Katherine Bunce to lead it.
The miracles didn’t end there for the clothing ministry. One day in the middle of winter, the inventory of clothing dropped dangerously low. Katherine stepped into the closet, and bowed her head in prayer.
“Father, this is your closet. Please fill it.”
Within an hour several people arrived with large bags of clothing donations. God had miraculously provided again, but He was far from finished. In fact, His plans for Mission House were bigger than Hazel and her army of volunteers could have ever imagined.
God Goes Before Us – The Mission House Clinic
In 2006, God grew Mission House through the establishment of the Mission House Clinic in the former FUMC church parsonage. “We created makeshift room dividers by hanging bedsheets on wires,” Hazel said. “We had a donated exam table, one doctor, and one nurse practitioner.”
Today, four doctors and several nurses are joined by other volunteers to provide medical care to more than 1,400 patients each year. Local dentist, Dr. Brandon Allen, has offered his services at the clinic as well. Each week patients have access to psychiatric under the care of Dr. David Self. This fall Mission House and Clinic will host an official grand opening for their beautiful new facility that will house all three ministries – food pantry, clothing closet, and clinic under one roof. It is beyond anything Hazel could have imagined.
“When I walked in the doors of our new building for the first time I just kept repeating, ‘This is all God,’ Hazel said. “This ministry has taught me that God truly goes before us. He knows what we need before we do.”
Article written by April Canick and published by the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church on August 9, 2017, available at the following link:
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