Providing Food and Water to the Nations – Columbia Metro Connection – Episode #009

Welcome to the Columbia Metro Connection, a podcast where you can go to get valuable, relevant, and quality resources for you and your congregation.
 
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     The Columbia Metro Connection is sponsored and supported by the Columbia Metro Baptist Association and the almost 100 partner churches that support the ministry of the CMBA.
 
    This week’s episode features Pastor Jimmy Hanf.  Pastor Jimmy is a part of Concord Baptist Church in Lugoff, SC.  Pastor Jimmy and a team of volunteers make a difference on the first and third Wednesday of each month to help the hungry and the hurting through the ministry of the Concord Baptist Church food pantry. This Kershaw County church that has 65-70 on a Sunday morning is helping over 100 families, which represent over 500 people each month.

Hosts for this week’s Podcast:

Highlights:

If you set your mind to allow the Lord to lead you, you can do a lot of great things for the Kingdom!
 
Smaller membership church doesn’t mean small mission.
 
One of the first steps for a church to get involved at a school is to go and talk to the principal and found out what their needs are.
 
80% of the sicknesses in Peru are caused by the people not having adequate resources for clean drinking water.
 
After providing the people in those villages with a simple six-inch water filter from Sawyer Water Filtration the illnesses are cut down dramatically.
 
Our prayer was that people would have a spiritual awakening and this time we baptized seven in the piranha invested water and a total of thirteen made professions of faith.

Contact Pastor Jimmy Hanf:

Concord Baptist Church

Agua Es Vida

Show Transcript: CMBA Podcast 009 – Providing Food and Water to the Nations

TopicProviding Food and Water to the Nations

Chris Reinolds: Welcome to the Columbia Metro Connection, a podcast where you can go to get valuable, relevant, and quality resources for you and your congregation. The Columbia Metro Connection is sponsored and supported by the Columbia Metro Baptist Association, and the almost 100 partner churches that support the ministry of the CMBA. Hosts for this week’s episode are George Bullard, the director of missions at Columbia Metro Baptist Association, strategic leadership coach, lead missiologist, and virtuoso of all things church-related. JayWill Wilson, teaching pastor at Generation Church, urban missionary and radio host at Urban City Radio. And I’m Chris Reinolds, lead pastor at Killian Baptist Church and founder of chrisreinolds.com.

This week’s episode features pastor Jimmy Hanf. Pastor Jimmy is part of Concord Baptist church in Lugoff, South Carolina. Pastor Jimmy and a team of volunteers make a difference on the first and third Wednesday of each month to help the hungry and the hurting through the ministry of the Concord Baptist Church food pantry. This Kershaw county church that has 65 to 70 on a Sunday morning are helping over 100 families, which represents over 500 people, each month. Concord Baptist Church defines the majority of churches across not only South Carolina, but our country, rural and small. Regardless of that reality, this smaller membership church has set its sights on making a kingdom impact.

George Bullard: Well Pastor Jimmy Hanf we’re so glad to have you with us today. I really wanted us to have this podcast with you as a follow-up from the article that we wrote on you back in January I believe it was, because I think the ministry of your church, your personal ministry and other things like that, is a story that many of our churches need to hear. Thank you so much for being here, the pastor of Concord Baptist Church, and the leader of Agua es Vida. We think it’s great what you’re doing.

Jimmy Hanf: It’s good to be with you. I would say our church is the … I guess the example, not example, but the medium-size church that sometimes churches say “We’re not big enough to do anything.” We have 60 or 70 that come to church, so if you set your mind to it and allow the Lord to lead you, you can do a lot of great things for the kingdom.

Chris Reinolds: Absolutely.

George Bullard: You really can. That’s great. Well that’s the spirit. We have another church in the association that has a much similar spirit, Crooked Run.

JayWill Wilson: Yeah.

Chris Reinolds: Oh yeah, absolutely.

George Bullard: A church where we’ve talked to that pastor before. Smaller membership church doesn’t mean small mission, it just means you happen to have a smaller membership.

Chris Reinolds: Absolutely.

JayWill Wilson: So how long has Concord Baptist been involved with creating a food pantry and this type of ministry.

Jimmy Hanf: I’ve only been there- this June will be three years, but they started the food pantry 12 years ago. It just came out of a couple people wanting to do something for the community. We are a rural church way out in the middle of nowhere really, about a half mile off 601, and they just saw a need to try to help some people have some food. So 12 years ago they put their minds together and said “Let’s start a food pantry,” and that’s what we’ve done. So it’s been going along 12 years now.

Chris Reinolds: Now, y’all have got quite a bit of people that are coming and participating, about 100 families, which represents about 500 different individual persons every single month that are coming and participating in this particular ministry. I have a family of seven, so I know how much it takes to feed my family for a month. How in the world does a church of 65 to 70 people gather enough food each month to feed 500 people?

Jimmy Hanf: We have the food pantry the first and third Wednesday mornings from 10:00 to 12:00. We do solicit food from people; we have a church way over in Irmo that helps us.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great.

Jimmy Hanf: We have boy scouts that do the food drives, we have the mail carriers who do a food drive, food lion helps us.

Chris Reinolds: Oh, wonderful.

Jimmy Hanf: And then of course we go to Harvest Hope and we buy food there for like 18 cent a pound, and that’s where the majority of our food comes from. We go over there every Tuesday and we purchase the food and we bring a trailer load, and then on that Wednesday morning, the first and third Wednesday, normally there are at least 100 families, we have had 150 families that have come, and that is … seemed like they had about 550 people that one Wednesday.

Chris Reinolds: That’s great.

JayWill Wilson: Wow.

Jimmy Hanf:  That’s every other Wednesday. It normally takes a good two hours, and we’re always looking for volunteers to come help as well.

Chris Reinolds: That’s really good.

Jimmy Hanf: The way we do it, the USDA kind of suggests the ways we do it, and we’ve got a list of, “For your family of seven,” then we’ve got a list there. You get so much canned goods, so much … we have frozen food too. We’re looking for some freezers now, we need some freezers because we get frozen food so we give them frozen food as well. So we have a list of things that we give to those particular families and how big the families are.

Chris Reinolds: Well that’s good, that’s real good.

JayWill Wilson: Now, you say you have worked with some organizations like Food Lion and Harvest Hope and other organizations to get food, and I could see how it’s a … you could do a lot of ministering to the people who come to receive food, but how has it been to minister to those who actually you work with, the organizations? Are there any restrictions or any guidelines to that?

Jimmy Hanf: Yeah, the individuals … again, I’ve been there almost three years, and what we used to do when I first got there, everybody would come into our fellowship hall. We would bring them in, and then with all the chaos going on with them trying to register, we had the devotions, and it was just chaos. The people that … with the government, it was kind of government-run, they didn’t like what was going on, because people were trying to register even though we were faith-based they didn’t like it. So what I’ve done now is I bring the group in early and I bring them into our sanctuary. We have a devotion, we have prayer time, and then normally after that we ask for people if they need prayer for any particular thing then they’ll raise their hand and we’ll go to them and pray for them, even if they’re in the fellowship hall. Normally I have a guy that will come and his main thing is to go and just pray for people, and there’s no restrictions on that as long as we’re not interfering with them registering and things like that.

We had this one couple that came, and I could tell she looked real sad and all, so I sat down and talked with her, we had prayer with her, and I asked her, “Have you ever accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” And she said “No, I’ve never done that.” I said “What keeps you from that?” And she said “Well nothing.” So I went into my office and I got my bible, I went through the Roman Road with her and I said, “Is that something that you’d like to do is accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior today?” And she was crying, tears were coming down her face, and she said, “I would love to do that today.” So we had one particular lady that accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior right there at the food pantry, with 100 people around.

George Bullard: That’s good. Well I imagine your volunteers get to know some of these people because they see them twice a month. Is that extending to where some of your laypeople are being able to share witness with them or able to share lifestyle relationship with them?

Jimmy Hanf: A little bit, not a whole lot because most of our volunteers are in the kitchen doing the food, so they never see the people hardly, so it’s me and then a couple others at the table and they’re registering. So as far as interaction it’s me and one other guy, and then I have some other pastors that come as well. I’ve had a couple other pastors come and help, but most times other pastors are too busy or don’t want to come, or they don’t have time, but I have really become family to these people. They see me out on the street, they come up and hug me. I saw a family Sunday after church. We were out eating and we saw them and they started talking with me. Even though I’m not their pastor they always greet me and welcome me, give me hugs, so they know me whenever I’m out in the community, they know who I am and they know Concord Baptist Church.

George Bullard: Great.

Chris Reinolds: And that’s a starting point a lot of those times. You’re building this relationship with these people, and it’s on a you’re meeting physical needs level, and so when the time comes in their life that there is a spiritual need, the first place that they’re going to go is a place that they already feel comfortable, and they’re going to come back to you guys to see those needs met as well.

Jimmy Hanf: So then we have some people that will come and they need money for electricity and sometimes we’ll help. We try not to do that, we try to direct them to other places, the town of Elgin the [inaudible 00:09:01] ministers. We have a fund for people who need help with electricity, but we have helped at times but we try to steer them somewhere else from that, but we always listen and try to help them the best way that we can, because they do trust us.

Chris Reinolds: That’s good. Now, you guys are also working with the local elementary school, you’re doing something with them. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Jimmy Hanf:  Yeah. We started … I was director of missions for the Kershaw Baptist Association, and the Sacks of Love was already started when I got there, but actually Concord was already doing this even before Kershaw Baptist Association was doing it. What we do, we fill a Wal-Mart bag or Food Lion bag of food that they can take home on a Friday. We have 22 students from Doby’s Mill elementary school, and we pack the bags on Wednesday, we deliver them on Thursday, and then the school delivers these bags to these students on Friday so they can take them home with them, because a lot of these students, the best meal they get is at school, so when they go home on the weekend they really don’t have a whole lot. So this food helps them, there’s some canned goods and peaches and things like that that they can eat during the weekend that’ll help them until they get back to school on Monday. Then I think the churches in the association are helping all the schools do that, but we’re responsible for Doby’s Mill.

JayWill Wilson: I love the practical fact that you are reaching people first by meeting a type of need, especially- that’s a need that at the end of the day is a very important need, they’ve got to eat. How would you advise other churches who might be interested in this type of ministry, how could they get started doing this?

Jimmy Hanf: Now, are you talking about the school ministry or the food pantry?

JayWill Wilson: The food pantry and also trying to get plugged into schools.

Jimmy Hanf: As far as school goes you just need to go and talk to the school principal and say, “What kind of needs do you have here?” because I believe our churches need to be involved in the schools, they need to know who we are. Try to find out some needs there. The churches I’ve been involved with, we’ve had to go in crisis times and be there to pray, so that’s one of the first things I would say for a church: just to go and get involved at school. One thing we do in August, we go and pray at every school in our county. But as far as the food pantry goes, the first thing you need to do about the food pantry is pray.

Because it is a big undertaking. I didn’t really understand until I got there how big of an undertaking it is. It is a lot of work involved, and a lot of paperwork as far as … you would think with a church you’d just go and do it, but you can’t just go and do it. So pray about it, and then they can always come and see. Cindy Kirkland is really our backbone behind our ministry that we have there, and she knows a whole lot about it. You can go to Harvest Hope, maybe start asking them, USDA, and try to find out what you can do because again one of the things you need is a bunch of volunteers. So before you undertake it pray about it, and then start finding some volunteers, “Hey, who would like to take this on?” Because you can’t just have one or two people doing it, it takes a group of people.

Chris Reinolds: Well you know Jimmy the word is out about you. I don’t know if you know how broadly and widely it’s out about out, but it is that you and your church Concord, you just don’t do ministry in the Concord area and the Kershaw and Richland county area. The rumor is that you take groups of people to Peru periodically. Tell us more about that.

Jimmy Hanf: Well that’s not a rumor.

I just got back on Saturday from my 21st trip going down to the jungles of Peru. We started this when I was director of missions at Kershaw Association, and after about a year I resigned as Director of Missions and started my own ministry, and just changed the name over last year to Agua es Vida, which means “water is life.” But the first time I went to the jungle we went to indigenous tribal people and just fell in love with it. I’ve been on a lot of mission trips, but this one really got ahold of me, just seeing the needs there and … going into villages that have never seen westerners, first time going in villages and then seeing the needs of those that are there that need clean drinking water. We found out that 80 percent of their sicknesses comes from drinking bad water.

Chris Reinolds: Oh wow, that’s terrible.

Jimmy Hanf: So I started praying about it, and I thought about doing wells. Wells are just … you can dig a well, but villages flood because the water rises 40 feet during the year, so the wells are just not sustainable. So, Solu water filter makes a little water filter, it’s about six inches long, that will filter one million gallons of water.

JayWill Wilson: Wow!

Chris Reinolds: That’s incredible.

George Bullard: That’s phenomenal.

Jimmy Hanf: So I started with that, and now we take water filters down and we give these away in the villages. We try to get 100 dollars per filter to buy the filter, buy the buckets, because they’re gravity-fed, and they work the same way the kidney dialysis machine is with the micro fibers. They’re really working too, because we’ve been back in the villages and they don’t have near the stomach problems that they used to as long as they drink this filtered water. So it’s not a rumor, I normally take about three trips a year: one in the spring, one in the summer, and one close to Christmas time, but I can take more than that if a church or a group or and organization wants to go I can make it happen.

Chris Reinolds: Now, you talk about the water situation there. How far do they have to travel, where are they getting their water without these water filters? What does that look like for them?

Jimmy Hanf: The villages are all along the amazon and tributaries, so they have water available. If we don’t give them water filters we always try to teach them, boil the water at least three to five to eight minutes depending on how bad the water is, so we teach them to do that, but then you see them out there swimming and the water’s just nasty. They don’t have bathrooms so they normally go out in the river or go close to the river, so basically they’re drinking nasty water. So the water’s not the problem, it’s just the clean water. They don’t have to travel very far, so the water filters are an excellent way. We found out the government is also providing some things that we just noticed this last week, but I’m not sure how good it is, and I’ve got to do some research. It’s a stone that the little boy is putting in a bucket of water and making a circle for 60 times and then pulling it out and then pouring a little bit of Clorox in it, so I’m not sure how well that’s doing, but if it does well then Agua es Vida will buy some of those stones and buy some Clorox and give to individuals too, because the government has given some of these villages the buckets and water filtration there, so we’ll just change gears a bit and go in that direction. But I’m not sure how good that’s working.

Chris Reinolds: Well Jimmy I knew it wasn’t a rumor, I knew it was truth and I knew it was a Godly truth for you all because I watch you on Facebook, and it seems like to me on this most recent trip that you had several different baptisms of people that came to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Tell us about how that evangelism works out for you.

Jimmy Hanf: We started and we still work with the tribal group, they call it Urarina, U-R-A-R-I-N-A, and they were an unreached people group when we first started, now they’re considered least-reached. But on this particular trip we went into a village and we preached. I’ve been in this village, this was my fifth time being in this particular village, so when we first started with these ladies and men the ladies would not look at us. Now most of this village has become believers, they hug us, they smile, still some of them don’t, but this particular night we preached and we had seven that accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Chris Reinolds: Oh wow, that’s incredible.

JayWill Wilson: Wow.

George Bullard: That’s great.

Jimmy Hanf: We baptized seven, we baptized some of the children the next morning. We baptized them the next morning on Sunday morning, the last Sunday morning, Sunday a week ago, right in the piranha-infested river. I’ve caught some nice piranha right there where we baptized, so you do it in faith!

Chris Reinolds: Wow!

George Bullard: I’m sure!

Jimmy Hanf: And then we had a total of 13 on this trip that accepted the Lord on this trip. We went on further to a village that we’d only been twice to, and our prayer was when we go this village that they would have a spiritual awakening, because I’ve only been twice and there’s only a couple of Christians there and they don’t have a leader. They kept telling me, “We don’t have a church,” and I would tell them, “You don’t have to have a church. You just have to have somebody to lead in the worship.” And they said, “Well we don’t have that. Our preacher left and they won’t want us here, we don’t have a church, we don’t meet.” So our prayer was that God would lead us to a spiritual person to lead. So, we were doing medical; all the women and children were there and then we had a group that was playing with the children. A lot of the men were out hunting and fishing and doing whatever else in the jungle, so we had six men that were really there so we took those six men and we poured into them. We shared about the Lord and I presented a plan of salvation to them and I asked, “Who wants to accept the Lord? Who wants to allow Jesus to come into their life?” And five of those six men said “We do.”

So they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior and one man stood out to us, so we approached that man and said, “We feel like …” and I talked with the other guys that were there, “We feel like God is appointing you to be the spiritual leader. Will you take that journey?” And he said, “Yes I will.” So we gave him- it’s called a Helios. It has 200 hours of biblical teaching on it, it’s about the size of a cell phone. So we gave him a Helios so that he can learn, and also we gave him Bibles so that they can just start reading the bible, and we told him to start meeting at least once a week and use this Helios, you want to get a group of men. So that was a very successful trip there.

George Bullard: So there is literacy? They speak Spanish or what do they speak?

Jimmy Hanf: They speak Urarina, but the men speak Spanish due to trading and when they leave out of the jungle. So the men are speaking Spanish. They can read a little bit of Spanish but not a whole lot, so the Helios machine by Woodrow Kroll, he’s put these things out, so we try to give those to pastors for training. But they don’t speak … they speak Spanish, but they just can’t read a whole lot of Spanish.

George Bullard: Right. That’s wonderful though, that’s a wonderful, God-sent ministry.

JayWill Wilson: Are there many Bibles translated in that language? I’m not familiar with that language, that’s why I ask.

Jimmy Hanf: The New Testament is translated in Urarina, so they have New Testament Bibles and sometimes we will take those down there, but again the tribal people just can’t read.

JayWill Wilson: Gotcha.

Jimmy Hanf: That’s one of the issues there.

Chris Reinolds: Well Pastor Jimmy, if someone wanted to reach out to you and find out some more information about the ministry taking place at Concord or the ministry that you’re participating in in Peru, what’s a good way for them to be able to reach out and touch base with you?

Jimmy Hanf: Concord Baptist church has a Facebook page, Concord Baptist Church, and then Agua es Vida, we have a website, aguaesvida.net.

Chris Reinolds: Alright, we’ll put that on the show notes.

Jimmy Hanf: On there it’s got my phone number, my email, so you can get to me on there.

Chris Reinolds: Great.

Jimmy Hanf: And also I’ve got a Facebook page, Jimmy Hanf, and then Agua es Vida has a Facebook page, so any of those ways you can probably contact me. Contact George Bullard, he can always get in touch with you.

George Bullard: There we go, absolutely. If nowhere else, we’ll go to a nearby golf course and find you there.

Jimmy Hanf: I do work at Wood Creek Farms and Wildewood golf course, so if you want to come play golf, come see me.

Chris Reinolds: Well thank you so much for taking the time to come out and tell us about your ministry.

Jimmy Hanf: You are very welcome, and if someone wants to go, and I hear this, “When I get time,” or “When I get around to it.” If God wants you to go he will provide the time, he will provide the way to it.

JayWill Wilson: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Chris Reinolds: Right.

George Bullard: Absolutely.

Jimmy Hanf: We’ve got a couple young people wanting to go this summer and they say, “Well money’s going to be an issue.” I said “Listen, if God wants you to go he’s going to supply the money, you just continue to do the things in faith to get you ready to go.”

Chris Reinolds: Well once again, thank you so much Jimmy for being with us. And to all our listeners, thank you for joining with us and please be sure to check out today’s show notes for more detailed information about the show. Also, if you found this podcast helpful to you or your ministry, share it with others so we can get the word out about what God is doing. Until next time from all of us at the Columbia Metro Connection we thank you for listening, and urge you to share this podcast with everyone you know. It’s the good news about the Good News in the Columbia Metro Baptist Association.

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