Never Feel Ashamed

Be a Church the Community Can Count On
June 10, 2021

LAREDO, TEX. – Dayron Batista, pastor, along with some church members from the Laredo Spanish North Seventh-day Adventist Church, regularly take their new box truck the church purchased with grant money from the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists and Texas Conference Adventist Community Services to pick up donated food for their local food pantry.

A few hours later, cars line up to receive the much-needed food. Some members, helping from start to finish, are there almost 12 hours.

The Laredo Spanish North church has been sharing food distribution for quite some time now, but when the pandemic hit the number of clients multiplied. Now, they serve 300 to 460 families each week.

My wife, Julie, and I had the privilege to see the wonderful ministry in action. Agents from the Food and Drug Administration were also on hand to perform their five-year inspection, which they passed with flying colors!

One gentleman in a bright, shiny new car would hardly speak to the volunteer taking his information. The church member asked the gentleman if he was doing okay. The gentleman replied, “I feel ashamed coming to ask for help in my new car. Just after I bought it, I lost my job. I didn’t think you would help me when you saw me in this car.”

The church member assured him that he did not have to feel ashamed and that they were there to help everyone no matter what situation they were in. The man raised his head, grinned and said, “Thank you for not making me feel judged. You have actually helped me feel better.” They invited him to return.

God has blessed the church’s efforts! The local food pantry gave them two commercial refrigerators because of the work they do, knowing the community can count on them, when needed.

Laredo Spanish North church members are doing what Jesus did! They are meeting people’s needs, helping them where they can and demonstrating to them the compassion, the mercy and the love of Jesus. Serving communities in Christ’s name is what the mission of Adventist Community Services is all about! More information at

By Marshall Gonzales, Texas Adventist Community Services Director