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“You are not a burden”

Phylis' Story | Mission U-Too

“What, a free burger? What do I have to do to get a free burger?” said Phylis who is paralyzed from the waist down. When we told her nothing tears began to flow down her face. 

Phylis was in a terrible car accident several years ago and it left her paralyzed from her waist down. She lives by herself in the government subsidize housing in Bastrop. One of our Bastrop sites is set up down the street from her front door. As you can imagine life is a challenge for her, not to mention she feels like she’s a burden. 

Most of you know how it feels to feel like a burden to others. Now imagine your life having to depend on others all the time. Phylis is a believer in Christ and knows that her time on earth was not suppose to end when she had her accident. She was 1/4″ away from severing her spine in half and dying. Phylis says “she wished everyone would have a life transformation and know that Jesus is there and loves them.” And so do we!

Earlier this week at the site we saw Phylis outside by her house. We walked down to check in on her and the first thing she said was “what are you cooking today, a burger?” We told her yes and had a conversation with her letting her know she’s welcome to come every week, not just when she’s in dire need. Then we walked back to the site with her and she gave us an update on herself letting us know that she was hungry. She said she was glad to see us set up and was thankful we came down to visit her because she feels like a burden. We assured her that we miss seeing her and she’s not a burden. She told us that her ride wasn’t able to take her grocery shopping yet and she had no food in her house. There was joy in our hearts that God was using us, as this is why we were there!

Mission U-Too strives to feed people physically and spiritually. We never know the battles that are going on in the home or within one’s heart. When you are hungry physically life around feels like it’s in shambles, but when you are hungry spiritually you feel alone and empty. Phylis was feeling both and, with the relationship we have built with her the last two years, she finally felt like she could stroll down in her wheelchair for the first time instead of us taking food to her, and enjoy a hot meal in the presence of her Mission U-Too family. 

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Bastrop County Clean Up

We need your help.

It has been a long tough few weeks in Bastrop County with the recent fires in Smithville and now flooding throughout Bastrop County for the second time this year. As a result there are many people displaced and in need of a helping hand to get back on their feet.

Mission U-Too has been out supporting our community by cooking nonstop since the fires broke out last month. But right now this community desperately needs volunteers that are willing to show up and let God use them in the first stage of clean up from these fires and floods.

Samaritan’s Purse is helping coordinate these efforts for our community, and now more than ever your help is needed to bring aid to many people lost and hurting.

Click the button below for more details and to sign up to help.

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Fire & Flooding Relief Efforts

It’s been a tough month for the Central Texas area with the Hidden Pines fires near Smithville and the most recent flooding in the Austin area. Bastrop County has been hit three times this year alone with natural disasters that have left many people displaced and left to sort through the damage.

Now that the fires and floods have subsided the hard part begins. The cleanup. Several organizations are on the ground coordinating the actual cleanup, and Mission U-Too has been asked to serve food to the volunteers and families who lost their homes. Also as the news media covers the fires and flooding less and less, volunteers on the ground decreases, but the need stays the same.

FIRE & FLOODING RELIEF EFFORTS | Mission U-Too

Mission U-Too is committed to providing disaster relief efforts, first in our own communities and then to communities where we are called to go serve. Right now we are coordinating efforts in Smithville throughout the fire cleanup, Bastrop throughout the flood cleanup, and now in Onion Creek in southeast Austin to help with flooding relief efforts. And we need your help.

The most critical need is for donations. So far we have served over 7,000 meals and over the next few weeks we will serve many more. But in order to continue, we need your financial support to make sure we have enough food for anyone who comes for a meal. Click here to donate today.

We also need volunteers to help us over the next few days in Onion Creek. We served there a couple years ago when this area was devastated by floods, and we were asked by the fire chief to come back and serve as this community struggles with round two of flooding. We will be out there all day Wednesday and Thursday this week and need volunteers to help cook, serve, and lend a listening ear.

If you are able to come out this week, please fill out this volunteer registration form so we can best coordinate these efforts.

Thank you for continuing to lift those affected by the fires and floods in your prayers. Cleanup is a long road and can be very difficult physically and emotionally for all of those involved. Thank you also for praying for Mission U-Too as we are sent out to these locations.

New Children’s Ministry in Bastrop

We love seeing God speak vision and calling through people who serve at Mission U-Too. A few months ago one of our dedicated volunteers, Carol Palermo, felt led to start a weekly children’s ministry at our Bastrop North community, and so she did.

Carol started serving alongside Mission U-Too in July 2014 and has experienced quite a transformation. This past May, she caught a vision to start reaching the children during our weekly meetings.

Bastrop North: Children's Ministry | Mission U-Too

Carol said, “God has placed on my heart to do a children’s ministry within Mission U-too who serves the local community by feeding people not only physically, but spiritually also. With a goal, to continue to share the love of Christ with the kiddos who come to Mission U-too and to try and give them Hope in Christ like never before. Opening their hearts to his love and showing them a love from their peers that could only say Jesus is the light within them.” 

It’s only been a few months, but this ministry is making a big impact. In July three of our kids prayed and accepted Christ. We love seeing God move in our communities!

This children’s ministry continues to serve and bless the kids at the Bastrop North site and we’d love for you to get involved. Simply contact the site coordinator for more information or just show up on a Sunday to serve.

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Prayer Request: Michele & Adrian

by Christine Farquhar, Mission U-Too Bastrop North Site Coordinator

We are reaching out to the Mission U-Too community and asking for prayer for this Bastrop couple.

Michele has a rare form of brain cancer. About four months ago she had the tumor removed from her brain. Unfortunately, during this intensive surgery she had a stroke. Because of this she lost her speech and the ability to walk.

Michele’s husband, Adrian, has diligently served Michele for the past couple months, but he is struggling with depression and their difficult situation. And understandably so. He also has not been able to work because his wife needs full time care. They are currently homeless and have been staying in a hotel room, but are needing to find a permanent residence very soon. Adrian is also struggling with making right decisions. He said, “I continue to come every week because it’s the only positive influence I have.” I asked him this past week how his walk with Jesus is, and he replied that some days it’s good and others not so much.

Please pray for both Michele and Adrian, as she continues rehabilitation and as they seek out permanent housing. At Mission U-Too this past week she cried and cried with me as I held her in my arms and prayed for her. Pray for encouragement and that they would draw close to God during this difficult situation.

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Cyndi’s Story

At Mission U-Too our mission is simply to feed people both physically and spiritually. Christ called us to meet our neighbor’s physical needs by providing a meal for them each week. Even more, He called us to share the message of Christ.

The burger is just the method, but the real change happens when people experience the love of Christ.


Cyndi

Meet Cyndi

“We are the Sutton Family. My name is Cyndi and I have four girls and two adopted daughters. I was born and raised in Bastrop. I lived a good life growing up until my late teens. I was running with the wrong crowd and got caught up in things I shouldn’t have and then got pregnant. I am a single mom on Disability Social Security because of going blind and I have migraines from the optic nerve pressure. We live paycheck to paycheck. I was downtown Bastrop and saw “free burger” signs and stopped, and have been coming back for the last three years. Mission U-Too is like a second family to me. I come for the fellowship, listen to the message when able, and for the food. It’s comforting knowing that I can get a free meal Monday nights and not have to worry about cooking. If we’re around we attend the other Bastrop site on Sundays as well. I am getting my family back into church and always tell people “God doesn’t give you anymore that you can’t handle, so just trust in Him.”


feedtheneed-final2014-tiltWith your help, Mission U-Too will continue to feed the need and provide a safe place where people can receive a hot meal each week and be accepted as they are. Even further, your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will impact more lives with the gospel.

Thank you for giving today, and making a difference in the lives of in the lives of families like Cyndi’s!

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Irene’s Story

At Mission U-Too our mission is simply to feed people both physically and spiritually. Christ called us to meet our neighbor’s physical needs by providing a meal for them each week. Even more, He called us to share the message of Christ.

The burger is just the method, but the real change happens when people experience the love of Christ.


Irene

Meet Irene

“I am Irene and from Austin Texas. I was born in Florida and raised in Austin. These are my boys, Joaquin and Jonathan and they have Down Syndrome. My boys can be a challenge and they know that I can pick up the phone at anytime and call you guys for help. I have two other children and 8 grandkids. My grandkids saw Mission U-Too cooking out and ever since then I’ve been coming. Money is tight for our family so this has been a blessing. My boys were shy when they started coming and now they serve the community. “I don’t know who would take the time to feed so many people every week: cold, rain or shine, but you are always here.” “You have given me a lot of faith. If it wasn’t for you guys, I don’t know where I would be. You made me believe in God and have faith.” I have seen a lot of good changes at the Bastrop North location. There used to be a lot of fights and police around all the time. Ever since Mission U-Too started coming out here there hasn’t been a lot of fights. I am thankful for what you do and know where to come when I need prayer.”


feedtheneed-final2014-tiltWith your help, Mission U-Too will continue to feed the need and provide a safe place where people can receive a hot meal each week and be accepted as they are. Even further, your gift of $25, $50, or $100 will impact more lives with the gospel.

Thank you for giving today, and making a difference in the lives of families like Irene’s!

[cro_button no=”DONATE NOW” col=”6″ addr=”https://missionutoo.org/irene/”]

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Carol’s Transformation

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My Story – My New Life – My Transformation with Mission U-Too
by Carol L Palermo

I was born and raised in the heart of Houston, Texas and came to Bastrop, Texas just this past January 2014.

I was raised in a middle class family with both of my parents working. I have two siblings, a sister and brother; we spent a lot of time with my Grandma Taft on the weekends and after school. I treasured my time with her. I came to hear of Jesus through my grandmother, I remember watching her sitting on the edge of her bed and taking out her bible and praying every night, and reading Psalm 23 every time we were together. I remember watching the Greatest Story Ever Told with her and crying my eyes out not understanding why Jesus had to die (I think I was at least 5 or 6). Little did I know what and how God would show me why and how he would save me when I was older. I came to Christ 3-7-04 after years of the Lord speaking and patiently waiting on my heart. I believe it was because of my grandmother and my mother’s prayers that I came to Christ. I believe that I have a purpose and that God has a plan, although I struggle sometimes wondering what it may be.

I believe I found one of my purposes with Mission U-Too and serving.

The impact Mission U-Too has had on me is amazing to say the least. I started serving with Mission U-Too this past summer and thought that I would go and serve dinner to others that were in need, but didn’t realize how much in need I was in and how seeing the faces of the people we serve every week would lift me up and help me to see that we are truly a family in Christ Jesus and here to seek and save those that are lost and in need whatever that may be. This is not about being better than someone else, this is not about having more than the other person, this is about people longing for something more and Christ drawing their hearts to him through a burger or a hot dog and Mission U-Too being the vessel to offer that opportunity.

For us that serve with Mission U-Too maybe seeing that even in this world and all of its sadness, we get a glimmer of hope and peace when we see each other every week and seeing how Christ is transforming those that we walk alongside of and serve. There truly is a sparkle in those that I serve and I have chosen to believe in them when the world says, “no they aren’t worth anything.” I know the value of each person now and the impact that each of us has to one another.

I choose to believe in Jesus and his love because I see changes and transformations going on in the hearts of those that I serve and work alongside of in Mission U-Too. My transformation came when I laid down all of my assumptions of people and places and truly served and loved from my heart, the way Jesus asks us to. “We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19.

Don’t look at the man, look at his heart.

Christ gave me a gift this summer and that is the family of Mission U-Too and those that I serve. I am truly grateful to Jesus for this opportunity and outpouring of his love on me through this season of my life.

My name is Carol Lynn Palermo and my life has been blessed because of Mission U-Too.


Carol Palermo is a volunteer at our Bastrop location.

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Finding New Life

by Jonah Beyer, Mission U-Too President

AR TornadoAs many of you know this past spring we had the opportunity to travel to Arkansas after tornadoes ripped through several small towns destroying them. From there we went to Pensacola, Florida after flooding wiped out parts of their city. You may remember seeing my posts about how God moved in all kinds of ways as we served a hot meal and a listening ear to those in need.

Something else very special took place on this trip as well, you see one of the guys who went with our team found life in Christ. Brian and Erwin Cooking in FloridaBryan was not a believer when we left, but as we went out in obedience to what God had called us to do, God became very real to Bryan and began to show how big of a God He is. Jesus also became very personal and intimate to Bryan as God used the four of us to present the gospel in multiple ways during the trip.

By the end of the trip, Bryan made a decision to give his life to Jesus, and the next couple of months Jesus has continued to use us to encourage and teach Bryan what it means to follow and have a relationship with Him. We have had multiple opportunities to take Bryan out into the communities and experience Jesus moving in people’s lives. Bryan continues to serve as we provide a meal and the Gospel each week at our sites.

Brain Baptizing his girlfriendRecently, we were visiting in Jason’s garage and realized we had access to a portable baptismal that he was storing. This lead us to a conversation about having a baptism service at one of our Mission U-Too locations as a way to witness and give people the opportunity to be baptized. As we talked about it Bryan jumped right in requesting to be the first one! So this past Monday night we had the opportunity to baptize Bryan in front of the people who come every week to our Bastrop South location. Then we witnessed Bryan baptizing his girlfriend! What an awesome testimony and act of obedience this showed. I and the other members of the team can’t wait to see what God does next as we continue to point people to Jesus.

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Jonah Beyer has been serving Mission U-Too since 2010 and is the President of Mission U-Too. His family lives and serves in Bastrop, Texas.

Send Jonah a note at jonah.beyer@missionutoo.org.

 

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Praying for Others

by Rebecca Barker, Bastrop South Site Coordinator:

About two years ago, I met Sandra.  She was having a bad day, struggling with several different issues in her life. Between her children, husband and work, she was overwhelmed.  That evening I had the first opportunity to pray with her.   We prayed about everything, even the smallest details.  This began a weekly blessing, for both of us.  She’s said many times how her week is not complete without our time together, she HAS to have her prayer.

When Mission U-Too moved locations, she didn’t know where the new location was.  I didn’t see her for probably 4 months.  It felt like a void.  You see, by spending time praying with and for her, I was blessed.  I have seen so much growth in her walk with the Lord and the pure joy that radiates from her, that I have become encouraged in my own walk. God has shown me how faithful He is to us through our prayers and our persistence in them. God was teaching me as I served her and I truly felt that our time together was for both of our growth.

Sandra had heard through a friend where the new location was.  God led her back to Mission U-Too!  And the time we’ve spent praying has been even more amazing.  I didn’t think it was possible to radiate even more joy than she did before.  What’s so amazing is that her life is not much better than it was when I first met her.  God is definitely moving and answering prayer, but Satan is hitting her harder and more viciously than before, too.  But through it all, she simply loves the Lord and trusts his timing and seeks me for prayer on Monday’s. Sandra has been so incredible to watch her grow in her walk even against the attacks.


Rebecca Barker started serving with Mission U-Too in 2010 when we first began to spread to other cities.