By Abby Hopkins
In rural, economically depressed communities in Macedonia, one cow can go a long way.
Macedonia Cow Bank is a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering supported ministry that aims to serve these communities by providing cows to local farmers and pastors. Jeff Lee, director of the organization, began the ministry when he was introduced to a local who wanted to farm.
“The purpose of the cow bank is to help other local farmers and pastors through loaning a cow to them so that they can help their own family, sell the milk, or give the milk/cheese/butter to the congregation,” Lee said.
Lee and other staff identify potential applicants, meet with them to ensure they will work and do the job, then provide a cow when the applicant is ready. Recipients then repay the loan by giving back the first calf.
Last year, a group of local pastors approached Lee and requested help. Macedonia Cow Bank gave the pastors six cows and have seen successful results. The pastors have started selling milk and have used profits for outreach in their communities.
“All this money goes back into the community, church, and ministry,” Lee said. “They’re seeing a growth in their ability to do outreach. They’re very excited about what God has in store for them.”
When Lee first arrived, he said previous missionaries told him the local people wanted money without the work, but his experience has been vastly different.
“The people here, especially the pastors, they want to work,” Lee said. “They want to make a difference in their community. To see their work ethic and hear what they’re doing is really powerful.”
Hunger Offering funds support the ministry primarily by helping purchase the cows, as well as supporting additional projects, such as helping a farm get chickens or goats and helping a farm set up a greenhouse for food.
“We’re very grateful for Hunger funds,” Lee said. “Because of the work y’all do to raise funds and share our stories, we’re able to do the things we do.”
The Hunger Offering partners with 117 ministries across Texas and the world that engage in work similar to Macedonia Cow Bank. To donate to this work, click here. Also, join us for our first 5th Sunday of 2019 on March 31.