INCUBATE, STORIES

I Was Hungry, You Gave Me Something To Eat

Melissa Peralez   |   March 05, 2019
Melissa Peralez and Benigno Peralez, Glowing DovesMelissa Peralez and Benigno Peralez, Glowing Doves

Last September, the NBA Incubate Initiative welcomed its largest SENT Seminar cohort yet! The annual four-day training opportunity equips Disciples social entrepreneurs of faith for leadership and change as they nurture emerging health and social service ministries. This project, Glowing Doves in San Benito, Texas, aims to feed the community spiritually, mentally, and physically by teaching them to grow and cook healthy fruits and veggies and by providing counseling to those in need.

Glowing Doves was developed with the thought of feeding the hungry. I was given the inspiration while I was on vacation with my family. While having lunch at a place recommended to us, I noticed a man pacing back and forth outside and he looked hungry. I decided to purchase him a meal, as I gave it to him I noticed the smile on his face was big and the happiness he had was glowing. My passion in life has always been to feed the hungry, and with a culinary arts degree, why not give back?! The joy and happiness of those who aren't able to provide for themselves, for one reason or another, is the reason I want to provide these services. Healing of a community can bring people back to the feet of Jesus. A community that has faith in Jesus is one that is hard to defeat. One of my main inspirations is Matthew 25:35 "for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.” I truly believe that the hungry are angels of God, and sometimes Jesus himself, and no one will ever know for sure; so I try to help every person I can.

The SENT seminar was a wonderful experience for me. I was given a lot of resources and I was able to meet many unique and interesting people. It gave me an opportunity to refocus my attention fully on my program, rather than my attention being shared with my secular job. My main goal is to make this program my main focus and only focus; I want to make it my career. I desire to be able to focus mainly on my spiritual life and my nonprofit organization, and not have to work a secular job. Although my program offers a spiritual aspect, my main focus is healing and nurturing families. By offering resources that boost healing, as well as other resources, the spiritual aspect will fall into place. Not many people feel worthy of being spiritual when they are broken or in need; whether it is financially or health wise, people feel that they need to fix the outside before they can fix the inside, or they need the strength that the resources provide to be able to focus on the spiritual. I also feel that, sadly, people have been hurt by the church, so they do not want to be involved in the spiritual aspect of anything. By providing physical and emotional healing, you open the door to spiritual healing as well. My goal in life is to try to feed the world, and I am starting in Raymondville, Texas, where there is a lot of need with the closing of the Wal-Mart and part of the prison being closed, which has caused a big portion of the people in Raymondville to be unemployed. For Hispanics, healthy eating is not the norm, which is why I want to teach them and myself that eating healthy is not only possible and delicious, but also affordable and easier to make than people think.

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The NBA incubates new ministries, supporting social entrepreneurs of faith who are serving their communities in a variety of innovative ways and empowering these Disciples-led health and social service projects to focus on growth, impact, and sustainability. Learn more at nbacares.org/incubate

View 2018 SENT Seminar Album
2018 SENT Seminar
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