Posted on : Friday February 16, 2018

It was the first snow of the season, and temperatures were dropping when Faith Baptist Church, Glen Burnie, members Janet Hayes and Kathy Snow drove up to the little clearing in the back of Harundale Plaza to set up tables, food, and folding chairs. Several other women joined them to lend a hand. A line of men, women and children were waiting, some for an hour, many with shopping carts, several with canes. Some stepped out of line to unload cars and help with set-up. It’s a weekly occurrence. The ladies, in sun, wind, freezing cold, and even the snow, arrive faithfully to serve food to those in need.

“If we can get our cars there, we’ll be there,” Hayes said.

There’s a short Bible reading and a time of prayer and blessing of the food before the line moves forward. Most of the heads bow, people are respectful. When the “Lord’s Prayer” is recited, most join in.

Hayes began and leads the “Hands & Feet of Jesus” ministry, sponsored by Faith Baptist Church. FBC Member Kathy Snow is the co-leader. They’ve moved around a bit over the last decade, but the little spot they’ve settled on seems to be perfect, she said.

Hayes, Snow, and other volunteers prepare the food—huge containers of chili, spaghetti, soup, and other hot foods. There is always bread, sometimes fresh fruit, and pies and cakes. Other volunteers help form a serving line.

As often occurs, what began as a tiny ministry has greatly expanded. At least six other churches now are involved, as well as several other community groups and individuals who just want to help.

Josephine Rock, a member of Linthicum Baptist Church (LBC), began showing up soon after the women started meeting behind Harundale. Rock founded the non-profit, “Churches of Glen Burnie & Beyond.” She and a few helpers bring clothing and housewares and set up across from the food line. Now, the two groups work closely together, with Rock bringing food and the food ministry volunteers giving her clothing. LBC helps, providing a coat bin, and members help by donating clothing.
“This is something I feel compelled to do,” Rock said. “It’s not mentally easy. A lot of people don’t come out of that rut, but I have a passion for it.”

Son Rise Fellowship Ministries, Jessup, arrives once a month with a large group to serve food. In warm weather, they bring tents, fry fish, give away lots of goodies, and crank up the music.

Another local group, BMore Caring (BMC), attends twice a month to bring hygiene kits, food, Bibles, blankets, and other items. There’s even a van that shows up with free pet food and many quickly line up.

In addition to meeting the physical needs and sharing the Gospel, Hayes said there are friendships being made. She and the other volunteers have gotten to know the people who come to the ministry on a regular basis. Hayes rejoices when they get jobs, or homes, and she hurts for them when they’re broken. She held and comforted a young man after he was attacked and waiting for an ambulance. She’s left food for people she knows on the side of the road, near their tents. Recently there was a mourning as volunteers learned of a young woman’s death as a result of being homeless and addicted. The girl used to come to the feeding ministry, and Janet would give her clothes since they were close in size.

In the midst of it all, there’s joy in the spirit, as Hayes related, “I was talking to God while we were there on Saturday, and I just wanted to jump up and down. It had to be the joy of the Holy Spirit. I was so excited with happiness to be there with those people, just to see them getting hot food. They’re standing in line and I’m here with them. I wish I had a bigger bowl for them. I wish I had more for them,” she said.