Mercy Moment

Feeding Families, Both Physically and Spiritually

Trinity Klein Lutheran Church in Spring, Texas, used a grant to help provide food and Bibles to the community.

Trinity Klein Lutheran Church in Spring, Texas, saw a twofold need in its surrounding community: families were going hungry, both physically and spiritually.

To meet this need, Trinity began “Beans and Bibles for Mission Growth,” a project funded by a national development grant from the LCMS Office of National Mission.

Trinity used the grant to put the Word of God into the hands of low-income families in the area and provide them with physical nourishment at the same time.

Restoring Hope, Trinity’s human-care ministry, runs a food pantry that assists thousands of people each month. The ministry served almost 60,000 people in 2023 alone. This particular grant supplied the food pantry with 2,544 ten-pound bags of beans.

The grant also enabled Trinity to purchase 420 parallel Spanish/English ESV Bibles and 417 bilingual copies of My First Bible Storybook, a children’s Bible published by Concordia Publishing House.

Clients who came to the food pantry received both a bag of beans and a Bible. The bag of beans acted as a meal extender, helping families stretch resources in thin times. And included with the Bible was a flyer containing Trinity’s church service times and information about its Hispanic ministry.

When receiving help at the food pantry, many clients hear about the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classes as well as the Spanish-speaking church services and Bible studies that Trinity Klein has to offer, which are led by the Rev. Luis Martinez and his wife, Deaconess Rosy Martinez (pictured above). All these ministries lay the groundwork for deep connections and relationships between the church and its community.

A gift like My First Bible Storybook also sparks children’s interest in reading and inspires families to start reading the Bible together.

“I want to say thank you for the Bibles, especially the beautiful children’s Bible,” said Christabel Rivas, a client of Trinity’s food pantry and a student in one of Trinity’s ESL classes. “I have three children, and this gift means a lot to me and is such a blessing for them.”

Lauren McCardell, the director of Restoring Hope, remarked that the children’s Bibles have also helped many clients “have more togetherness as a family.” Gifts like these also generate interest in attending worship and participating in the church’s other programs.

“The love here [at Trinity] is clear, and the overall atmosphere is very welcoming,” said McCardell. “We want to get [the people we help] into the sanctuary and see what our church is actually like.”

“Connecting to clients was the major focus of this project. Even the smallest gesture can go a long way, and anytime someone walks in our doors, it opens up an opportunity for conversation,” said McCardell.

Trinity is currently building a separate building on its property to house its food pantry, which will allow for even more personal interaction when clients come in.

Learn More

National development grants are available on an annual cycle to all LCMS congregations, Recognized Service Organizations and districts, to help them make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches and communities.

Sarah Reinsel

Staff writer and editor for LCMS Communications.

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