Just down the street from Cypress United Methodist Church, probably a mile or so is a very important place for many people in the community of Cypress, TX. This place is where people find job training, donated clothing, monetary assistance, school supplies, free Christmas gifts, and food. This place is Cypress Assistance Ministries (CAM).
On Wednesday, August 27, two days after the Cy-Fair Independent School district started the new school year, I went to visit CAM and there I met Ms. C. She came to get food at the pantry for her and her baby. I was instantly humbled when I met her. I tried to put myself in her shoes. I tried to imagine what it must be like to get up the nerve to ask for food to feed my family. Ms. C. was bright and cheerful (would I have been the same in her shoes). She was calm and gracious and even said at one point, “I don’t want to take too much because there might be someone else out there with a bigger need than I have.” Did she feel shame? Did she worry at night?
As a single mother with two growing boys, I worry about all sorts of stuff. But Lord knows that worrying about whether or not I am going to be able to feed my family is not on my radar. But God worked on me that day, and the message I got clearly from Him was, “Sarah, you have enough!” As someone who has struggled with food addiction, I was brought to my knees that night and I prayed for Ms. C. I prayed for the God of abundance to break forth in her life to provide her and her child’s every need. I thanked God for CAM and the people who work tirelessly for our community in need. I thanked God for Cypress UMC, my church that gives time, money, and pantry donations to this vital local mission and outreach. I thanked God for first Sundays at our church when we are called to give to CAM.
As Cypress UMC moves forward with Worship +2, we are challenged to find a place to serve. I know that my heart has been softened by God, to mark on my calendar first Sundays. I know that God has used even the smallest amount of faith in my life to swing open doors of grace and mercy. I will not forget Ms. C’s courage, or her willingness to step out in vulnerability and ask for help. This is my community and CAM is just minutes away from the church’s adopted schools, Adam and Millsap Elementary. Do the families of the children who are on “free and reduced lunch” shop at CAM’s food pantry? My guess is, yes they do.
“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” Brené Brown
Written by: Sarah Holbrook, Director of Connections at Cypress United Methodist Church