There's a small dilapidated church in downtown San Antonio, Texas, with historical ties to 1869. The shabby-looking structure has survived two fires and the trauma of war, poverty, and rage. Today, the ministry is setting hearts on fire for Jesus Christ as volunteers fight the epidemic of homelessness and hunger in the middle of a global pandemic.
"If COVID doesn't kill them, hunger will," said Pastor Shetigo Nakpodia of the Redeemer's Praise Church.
The pastor came to America from Nigeria in the late 90s, following God's calling on her life to pray and feed those in need. Her hands first started feeding children with special needs. A ministry that led her to purchase the historical property that is now known as Redeemer's Praise. Today, she and her team serve 300 meals every Saturday, and not one volunteer has come down with COVID.
"The Lord laid on my heart to just keep going every day and just go and feed," Nakpodia said. "Yes fear is there but I know God will protect me."
On any given day, almost 3,000 people in San Antonio are looking for shelter, food, and water. Area ministries report a 2 percent increase since last year, saying 50 percent of the city doesn't have any savings.
If you ever have the pleasure of talking to Nakpodia, you'll know her heart is bigger than most. The pastor is now running a campaign to renovate the church into what she calls a "Love Community Center," where the homeless can wash their clothes and grab a hot meal.
She also has a desire to help the homeless get their general education diploma.
"So every day love on the people, go to work, take care of your family. Don't quit trusting and believe in God, together with our faith we will overcome," Nakpodia said.
She is still raising money for the church and community center. Nakpodia made it very clear she wants to give all glory to God, thanking anyone who feels convicted to help her end hunger in San Antonio.