In 2008, the Lord broke my heart for the poor and began to shape my calling in ministry. In an effort to live out what God was speaking to my heart through the Scriptures, my best friend and I started a small ministry called Project 25:40 (from Matthew 25:40) to raise money and help impoverished people get food and clean water. We partnered with established ministries and sent goats and chickens overseas and also dug water wells. We experienced success in this and my heart was on fire like never before.

A few years later, my mentor introduced me to his new ministry to grow wholesome food for those stranded in the ‘food desert’ of South Dallas. South Dallas is one of the most broken, forgotten, and marginalized places here in my home city of Dallas. In the face of the opportunity to serve this present need and spread the gospel, I couldn’t say no. Since 2014, I have been raising chickens, milking goats, and making disciples in one of the toughest parts of Dallas.

As I serve at Bonton Farms, I have had the great privilege to see many of my fellow parishioners from Christ Church Plano join me in this effort. Gail Mallory, Larry Holmes, Stewart Lovett, John Battey, Dode Worsham—and many others—come down and bring bikes, clothes, and food. Others support the work with their financial gifts, their faithful prayers, and their genuine encouragement.

A few weeks ago, my friend Mark Smith and his family came with their regular delivery: a car full of water bottles and granola bars for the people we serve alongside on the farm. I introduced them to our new baby goats—they fell in love (and so did the goats!). Seeing their smiles, I was reminded again that when we answer God’s call to serve others we join in the joyful work for which we were created. We make God’s kingdom known to the lost and least, and we find our own hearts filled and our own passions ignited.

It’s my prayer that everyone would experience God’s love as they love and serve others during this Lenten season.