Speeding Ticket to Baptism

October 24, 2023

KEENE, TEX. – Texas Adventist Community Services’ (ACS) warehouse in Keene, Tex., relies on volunteers and donors to help prepare and finance clothing kits and cleaning buckets that are distributed to those in need. Many people behind the scenes have volunteered for decades, washing and folding clothes and adding cleaning supplies to five-gallon buckets or creating hygiene kits. From elementary-age to retirees, there are things all ages can do. Other volunteers come for a short time to complete community service requirements. That was the case for Debra Manning, who called in February 2022 about community service time for a speeding ticket. 

Quiet and a hard worker, Manning continues volunteering even though she fulfilled her community service hours more than a year ago. She enjoys the volunteer work and the new friends she made. When she started asking questions about spiritual things, volunteer Janice Mauk invited her to join a Wednesday Bible study. Apprehensive at first, she soon accepted the offer. 

Manning had volunteered at the Texas ACS depot for a year and a half when she received a flyer promoting a Revelation of Hope seminar presented by Southwestern Adventist University theology student Abigail Minett in the Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church chapel. Interested in going, she asked Mauk if she would go with her. Mauk and other volunteers jumped at the chance to go with Manning to the meetings. 

During those meetings, Manning decided she wanted to be baptized and publicly show her love and commitment to the Lord. It was such a beautiful day that Sabbath morning when we attended the Keene church to see Manning give her heart to the Lord. 

She is an amazing woman, always willing to help when and where she sees a need. Manning has been a blessing for us, especially when churches or youth groups volunteer on the weekends. 

And to think, it all started from a traffic ticket! We never know the plans the Lord has in store for us.

Thank you for remembering Texas ACS in your year-end giving. There are multiple ways to give: marking a tithe envelope through AdventistGiving.org or Texas-ACS.org or mailing a check to Texas ACS, P.O. Box 35, Keene, Tex. 76059.

Your prayers, volunteer time and financial gifts help us be the hands and feet of Jesus as we work with communities to become better and stronger.

By Bo and Deborah Gendke

Texas ACS Directors