Pueblo, Colorado … Pueblo First Seventh-day Adventist’s Angels of Kindness program is serving a need for the less fortunate in Pueblo. On the second Sabbath of every month, a group of volunteers prepare a warm, fresh meal for those in need in the Pueblo area. They set up tables and chairs at the local Mineral Palace Park near the center of downtown and those that have fallen on hard times come to fellowship and enjoy a warm meal with our volunteers.
“Some 14 years ago, a church member had a dream to help the homeless population in Pueblo in some tangible way. He recognized that meals were not being served to the homeless on weekends, which left many of these individuals hungry,” said Christy Kraus, Pueblo church communication director. “This was also a population that was not easy to access as they tended to stay in the shadows of the community,” she commented.
In the last couple years, Calvin and Suzanne Bennett have taken leadership of this program. The ministry is run only by personal donations either in funds or food.
In addition to providing the hot meal, they hand out sack lunches, giving them another meal for later. The ministry provides clothing, sleeping bags, tents, backpacks, hygiene items and first-aid supplies. Once the “felt” need is met, volunteers share prayer and a listening ear, as well as Bibles and reading material.
“We average 60 people at each meal, sometimes reaching over 100. A few years ago; we realized there were so many in the community that might not be homeless, but still needed warm meals and assistance, so the name changed from feeding the homeless to “Angels of Kindness: where all are welcome”. We have families with little children, young adults trying to find their way and elderly individuals looking for food and fellowship,” Christy explains.
Pastor Anton Kapusi joined Pueblo First Church in the Spring of 2019 and was overwhelmed by how many church members meet in the park and by their responsiveness to this ministry.
“We need to do all we can to meet the needs of those hungry for warm meals, even if it means multiplying the ministry in other parts of the city and on other weekends,” Kapusi said.
We have seen so many miracles in this ministry, Calvin Bennett comments. “Just like when Jesus fed the 5000, we have had times that we knew we didn’t have enough food and yet there is always enough. Being in Colorado, we never know what the weather will be like. We have experienced snow, rain and wind that miraculously ceased during the time we were serving the meal and then started up again when we were done,” he explained.
The church receives a permit from the Pueblo Parks and Recreation Department to provide this service and the Pueblo County Health Department continues to give us a permit, even though many other church groups have had theirs rescinded. Besides the blessing of helping others in our community, seeing God’s miracles, and spreading the love of Jesus; this ministry has strengthened church fellowship and some church members have become more active in the church. The ministry has also brought new individuals into our community of faith.
“We know that God is the power behind this mission and sharing his love is the motivation. Serving people in our community is a continual reminder that Heaven is our home and we are not there yet,” adds Christy Kraus.
—Christy Kraus, text; photos by Anton Kapusi