By Ryan Brown
(DALLAS, Texas) – For Val Delacruz and the other volunteers at the Goslin Care Center at Cliff Temple Baptist Church, it looked like another normal Thursday trip to the North Texas Food Bank. But one thing this ministry has taught him, he said, is to never be weary of a miracle.
[caption id="attachment_1288" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Marsha Mills, director of Goslin Care Center, works with a client. The Goslin Care Center covers needy families in the surrounding five zip codes of the church."][/caption]
“Some days we go to the Food Bank and they hardly have anything, but I thank the Lord today because we brought back almost a thousand pounds of chicken,” Delacruz said. “That's a big plus right there.”
The Goslin Care Center, a ministry of Buckner International located in South Dallas, provides low-income and homeless families in the surrounding zip codes with food and hygiene supplies. Though the center has undergone many changes since it began in 1947, most everyone agrees it has transformed.
“There has been a food pantry of some sort here for over the past 60 years,” said Marsha Mills, director of the Goslin Care Center. “The community and church has changed over the years, so we needed to change with it.”
Mills, who started working at the Goslin Center four years ago after retiring from teaching, said she and her volunteer staff have continued to provide for the of the community in any way possible.
“We were once in a 100-year-old fire station which was burned down, but within hours over a hundred people from the church and neighboring churches, as well as the community, came out to help us move into a portion of the church’s fellowship hall that we’re in today,” she said. “So what Satan used for evil, God used for good.”
The Goslin Care Center has operated in collaboration with Buckner for three years. It’s named after church member Virginia Goslin, who is know, to this day, for her service to others.
“Before anybody had ever thought of a program providing food for those in need, she started this program,” said Carolyn Wacker, volunteer and member of Cliff Temple. “She was at one time the youth director many years ago, and people still know Virginia Goslin as a very fine Christian woman who worked hard, had a great personality and was able to build up this program to what it is today.”
The Goslin Care Center continues to serve inner-city, low-income children and families through an after-school program, food pantry, counseling services, spiritual and financial enrichment programs as well as with the newest addition of the clothing shelf, which according to Wacker, has begun to spread among the community.
[caption id="attachment_1289" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Buckner staff Val Delacruz counsels volunteer Eric Grandados. One of Delacruz's passions is ministering to the kids in the community."][/caption]
“We just started in the first of June and we have already provided clothing for over 250 people,” she said.
With volunteers like Wacker and others, Mills said the Center could not be what it is today.
“When the community thinks about this church, these members are the faces that come to mind,” she said. “We wouldn’t be here without them. Ther attitudes, and the way they deal with these families through their gentleness, openness, and willingness to listen, it just speaks volumes for this community.”
Delacruz said giving food to needy families not only blesses the families, but the volunteers, too.
“Viewing the glowing faces of the kids saying, ‘I got this candy; Mom, look we got milk.’ Just hearing expressions like that. It’s seeing those simple rewards of being able to help someone. That’s what this ministry is all about.
“Cliff Temple is not just an agency,” he continued. “It’s a place where people not only get material food, but spiritual food. We pray for people. We pray with people. It’s our mission to see the spiritual needs that they have, too.”
For more information on how to volunteer at Cliff Temple, contact Marsha Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 942-6407. To make a donation to this ministry, call Buckner Foundation at (214) 758-8050.
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