CULPEPER — An Orange County couple is raising awareness and support to feed the world’s hungry while ministering to their souls.
Ray and Barbara Parks began hearing first-hand about the suffering from those in Christian ministry Barbara had met through a series of missionary trips to Africa, Mexico and Central America.
The global pandemic brought even more devastation, with many people continuing to struggle with shutdowns, unemployment, poverty, hunger and high rates of suicide, according to a release from the Parks.
“Called to missions and evangelism for many years, Barbara knew she had to do something to help,” the release stated.
The couple began gathering donations from family and friends and sent them to contacts where hunger was a critical issue, specifying that funds must be spent only for food. Subsequent support grew to the point that more formal management and administration became necessary.
From the desire to help grew Stand in Faith Ministries, incorporated in 2020 as a legally recognized charitable organization. A board of directors oversees the group led by Ray Parks as president and treasurer.
Stand in Faith Ministries works with a growing network of pastors and evangelists who share both food and Christianity with people in need, inside and outside the church. It currently supports 34 food programs in nine countries, including two schools, two orphanages and a ministry to the deaf.
Accountability for the use of funds is key, and detailed activity reports are required, the release stated.
This food ministry operation already has seen amazing results and acts of kindness. The Parkses shared about a Rwandan food ministry evangelist who found a young woman and her baby on the street.
“Homeless and without food for the third day in a row, she was contemplating suicide. The evangelist gave her food and told her about God’s love for her. He took her home to live with his wife and four children,” the release stated. “He called the Food Ministry, asking for additional help. The young woman was shocked that Christians thousands of miles away would care about her or send her money for a bus ticket and clothing for her baby and herself.”
Stand in Faith Ministries is asking for prayer and financial support to reach people in crisis. More than 700 people have responded to the outreach in the last year as indigenous pastors and evangelists have reached out with compassion, food and messages of hope and salvation.
During the month of June, a major donor is offering to match (dollar for dollar) all donations. Those interested can support the effort through PayPal at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a check to: Stand in Faith Ministries P.O. Box 549 Gordonsville, VA 22942.