Pastor Ronald Cunningham’s seen all of it in his 45 years of ministry. However his present mission is not about serving heat meals, it is about serving neighbors in want.
LANCASTER, S.C. — They name it the Better New Hope Soup Kitchen however individuals within the metropolis of Lancaster know the place they will go to get a full-course meal and a few inspiration.
Pastor Ronald Cunningham has seen all of it in his 45 years of ministry, together with 30 years as the pinnacle of Better New Hope Christian Heart in Lancaster. He says the soup kitchen was constructed from a imaginative and prescient and his effort to fill an enormous gap in Lancaster by serving greater than sizzling soup.
“Individuals requested me, ‘Why did you wish to do a soup kitchen on this space?'” Cunningham mentioned. “And I mentioned as a result of it is wanted.”
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He says he wasn’t positive how he’d discover the sources to construct it, however knew if he did, individuals would come. It took a leap of religion however it’s seen blessing after blessing from the neighborhood.
“Individuals in the neighborhood have been listening to what we wished to do with the previous constructing … it had asbestos in it, so we needed to tear it down,” Cunningham mentioned.
That was 2006. Now, 16 years later, beginning at 4 p.m. 4 to 5 days every week, the doorways open and neighborhood members pour in to get a meal.
“A few of them, that is the one meal they get all day lengthy,” Cunningham mentioned.
It is a spot for individuals to sit down, speak and generally discover the companies that finest match their wants.
“We’ve a number of the space businesses, and do blood stress checks, flu photographs, something that they might help them with, they do,” Cunningham defined.
Even COVID-19 could not deter them, as they handed out meals from the door and have steadily elevated their giving. They handed out 40,000 meals in 2021 and 52,000 final 12 months.
Though meals is their outreach software, Cunningham says the mission is to take care of the entire individual.
“We go round to totally different areas and do ministry and soup kitchen actions,” he mentioned. “I’ve had individuals inform me, ‘We look ahead to this each day, have you considered the weekends?'”
Based mostly on the interactions between the individuals, the meal served every day warms the center and the soul. Cunningham says that is the aim, to proceed to fulfill the wants of the individuals of Lancaster.
“The Lord has been opening doorways all over,” he mentioned.
Cunningham says the outreach is at all times supported by the neighborhood and if you would like to assist, donations are one of the simplest ways to maintain their mission going. Click on right here to be taught extra data.
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