By Kristen White
Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union
Fourth in a series of Eliza Broadus Offering impact stories.
It is a beautiful afternoon in Stearns. In the café, you can hear the tinkling of water glasses, see people laughing and eating a full meal, including fresh yeast rolls, just like they would in any other restaurant across the United States. Except this one is free. Run solely by volunteers who greet customers, pray with them, and cook food that is donated, The Lord’s Café exists to meet the physical and spiritual hunger of people in Eastern Kentucky.
Henry T.* serves as one of The Lord’s Café hosts. A couple of years ago, Henry’s house was extensively damaged by fire. He began eating lunch at The Lord’s Café because of his limited resources. He got acquainted with Grant and Gina Hasty, who oversee The Lord’s Café, and soon told them about his need. Through this friendship, Henry has met Christ, made connections to get the help he needed for his home, and has experienced the joy of service.
The Lord’s Café is just one of the many social ministries of Crossroads Community Baptist Church, a church plant started in 2010. They also provide baby care items for a local pregnancy center, hygiene, cleaning supplies and adult care items for three adult care organizations, clothing, tutoring, day camps, recovery programs and a laundry ministry. They also match mission teams with construction/home repair projects.
God called Grant to plant this care-focused church in 2010, and he has seen the best and worst that ministry can bring.
“Sometimes when we close the door to The Lord’s Café on Friday, we are completely out of food. We have no idea where Monday’s meal will come from, but it comes. We have never had to close because of a lack of food. I call it a modern day loaves and fishes. God does miraculous things when we lean forward and trust Him. Mission teams flood in to meet needs and change lives in the summer. But there are days of great discouragement, too. We need more churches that understand our calling to encourage and help us on a regular basis,” Grant said.
Crossroads Community reaches out to what Grant calls “dechurched” people. These are people who once attended church, but were asked not to come back because of life issues, the way they dressed, or other reasons. Some people served by The Lord’s Café and other Crossroads ministries have overwhelming needs and are deeply troubled. Grant admits it is hard to know how to respond. The goal, however, is showing people the hope of Christ in practical ways. “We can’t fix every problem, but I believe when people see us meeting their physical needs, then addressing their spiritual needs with Scripture, people experience what life in Christ looks like and fall in love with Him,” Grant said.
The challenge to reach people in Stearns is great. The Eliza Broadus Offering makes a difference by assisting with church planting, but with hundreds of people served through Crossroads’ ministries each week, resources, supplies and mission teams are always welcome.
Chuck McAlister, Kentucky Baptist Convention Evangelism and Church Planting Team leader, said, “This year, we have seen the birth of several new churches, including new ethnic works. Many people are experiencing the transforming power of Jesus Christ through these church plants. We continue to thank God for the partnership we share with WMU and faithful support through the Eliza Broadus Offering.”
KBC has set a God-sized goal of planting 50 new churches in the next year, including church plants on several college campuses. Pray for these new churches as they lead more people to encounter Jesus.
Pray that God will provide bountifully for The Lord’s Café and other ministries of Crossroads Community Baptist Church. Ask God to allow people in eastern Kentucky to hear a clear explanation of how Jesus can save and set them free from addiction, child abuse, poverty and spiritual darkness.