BELTON — The annual New Year’s Community Prayer Service was discussed at the Care Leadership Network meeting Thursday at Helping Hands Ministry. Information also was shared by Feed My Sheep, Foster Love and other agencies and ministries in the Temple-Belton area.

The New Year’s Community Prayer Service will be 3 p.m. Jan. 12 at First Nazarene Church, 1701 Sparta Road, Belton.

This is the 19th year for the prayer service.

The final planning meeting for the service will be 11 a.m. Monday at New Day Fellowship, 510 Ave. J, Temple.

Steve Cannon, with J.A.I.L. Ministry, said the service consists of prayers for different categories, including missions and churches, community, government, education, military, health care and law enforcement.

“We try to keep the prayer service to about an hour,” Judy Morales, Temple City Council member, said.

Feed My Sheep

Staci Masson, executive director of Feed My Sheep, said the organization now has its own trailer for its furniture program.

Masson said there are people who live on the street who won’t take a job because if they leave their possessions unattended, everything they own will be stolen.

Feed My Sheep now has lockers for its clients, as long as they have a job, are being trained for a job or are in the hospital.

Feed My Sheep serves as a mail drop for about 300 people, and on Thursday, Masson said she was going to pick up some mailboxes that people served by the ministry can use.

“We want to give dignity where we can,” she said.

There’s a lot of difference for an individual having to ask for their mail at Feed My Sheep’s resource office, and being able to check on their own, Masson said.

The Thanksgiving Day meal at Feed My Sheep was a big success, she said.

Feed My Sheep has been approved as a food drop for Central Texas Food Bank.

Dan Kirkley, with Hope for the Hungry and Belton City Council, said he always has believed that shared efforts and ownership saves time and money for everyone who has a goal to help others.

Many who do mission-type work aren’t necessarily strong administrators because their strengths manifest elsewhere, Kirkley said.

Foster Love

Candace Cartwright, executive director of Foster Love, shared information about the program. 

It started when Cartwright realized that many foster children will show up at their first placement after being removed from their home with their few possessions in a trash bag.

She initiated a bag project for the youngsters, which turned into a Facebook group that evolved into Foster Love.

“Now we exist to raise awareness and mobilize the community to care for those in the foster care program,” Cartwright said.

Foster Love now has an office on Main Street in Belton where children who have not been placed can spend the night. There are conference rooms where families can meet with case managers and social workers.

 “We’re always looking at partnering with churches, not only to assist financially but to bring awareness of foster care to the community,” Cartwright said.

Working together

Karen Wistrand of Hope Pregnancy told the group she is encouraged by the many ways the different organizations that attend Care Network meetings work together and help each other advance their missions.

Gill Hollie, with the ACE program at Temple Independent School District, said that with community support ACE was able to provide Thanksgiving meals to 89 families.

Donna Dunn, executive director of the Body of Christ Community Clinic, said the medical clinic and dental clinic now serves anyone living in East Bell County.

Tasha Roberts, director of Helping Hands Ministry, said the agency provided groceries for Thanksgiving meals to 780 families.

“We do the same thing for Christmas and typically that number is a little smaller,” Roberts said.

Care Network’s next meeting will be 7:30 a.m. Jan. 9 at New Day Fellowship, 510 E. Ave. J, Temple.

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