Every other Saturday, the kitchen at Harvest Valley Church is full of people packaging over 300 meals to deliver to people in the Valley.
It began as a way to bring meals to those without during the Easter season around the time COVID-19 first hit the Panhandle, By God’s Grace Mobile Meals has since grown into a ministry serving home-cooked, to-go meals every other week, and has become a launching point for a larger umbrella ministry called 11.13 Ministries.
“I was actually on a bike wondering how we could feed people for Easter dinner. That was when COVID was just beginning. We’re just beginning to feel its impact then,” Larry Massie, organizer of the ministry, said. “It was only going to be a one-time deal, but then resources came, (and) we’re just able to do that more frequently, which is delivering meals to people who are homebound or otherwise every two weeks.”
Massie said that the first time the ministry delivered meals back in April 2020, they served 85 meals. On this past Saturday, Jan. 9, they served 376 meals. In fact, the ministry served its 5,000th meal since it began in April 2020. The meals are free, and those who would like to receive one do not have to meet any qualifications or requirements.
But that is just the most visual part of 11.13 Ministries, Massie said. Other missions under the 501(c)3 non-profit include rent assistance, food boxes and clothing funds. Massie said that they get referrals from private citizens, local churches, all local law enforcement entities, local media and local support agencies.
“One other thing about 11.13 Ministries is we’ve been collecting coats, jackets, winter gear and non-perishable food items since November for handouts locally — everything we do is local,” Massie said. “We also hand out blessing bags.
“I take that 11.13 Ministries van and drive around town with these blessing bags that have toiletries in them, as well as food that will get people through a day, a day and a half, two days maybe. If I see somebody who needs a meal, I’ll stop and visit with them and ask if they would like one of these blessing bags.”
As the ministries continue to grow, those who work closely with Massie have discovered how much work he puts into it and to what lengths he is willing to go to care for those in need.
“He looks after people if they need something or just to lift their spirits or check in on their well-being,” Shanna Halstead, director of the Scottsbluff County Volunteer Center, said. “They (Massie and his wife) believe everybody was created in the likeness of God and everybody deserves respect and to be taken care of. It doesn’t matter who it is.”
“He doesn’t just deliver the meals,” Oregon Trail Community Foundation executive director Cathy McDaniel added. “He sits and prays with them, talks to them and checks on their soul. And that’s, I mean, that’s huge.”
Volunteers for the mobile meals or any of the other ministries heed the words Massie often says: “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve.”
Massie said that the goal of this organization is to provide hope and assistance to those in need, which is why he called the non-profit 11.13 Ministries. He said it comes from the Bible verses Jeremiah 29:11-13, which is when God reminds his people during the Babylonian exile that he is always there, even in the midst of uncertain circumstances.
“Our hope is that other servant hearts would find a service niche in a mission under the 11.13 umbrella that best suits their God-given gifts—be that spiritual, physical or financial,” Massie said in a press release about the non-profit. “The purpose of 11.13 Ministries is to put God’s love into action by providing spiritual, physical and emotional aid in its many forms to people in need, to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to bring glory to God.”
Each meal served through By God’s Grace Mobile Meals costs a little over $3, and private donations, along with some funds from other organizations, fund about 20% of the meals. If you would like to make a donation, refer someone for a meal or other need or would like to volunteer, contact Massie at 308-225-1827 or visit the website at https://www.harvestvalleychurch.com/bygodsgrace.html. 11.13 Ministries is not affiliated with any other church, ministry or entity.