By LOIS KINDLE
Folks needing sustenance and a helping hand will find both in the parking lot behind Ruskin’s Thriftway Plaza on Friday, Oct. 23.
Thanks to a partnership between The Lord’s Supper Soup Kitchen mobile ministry and Feeding Tampa Bay, an estimated 200 residents who are hungry or homeless can drive through or walk by a vehicle stocked with free food, fresh produce, breads and meats. Masks and social distancing will be required.
This is the local outreach for the ministry since it founders, Joyce Hamilton, 56, and her husband, Terriance, 51, relocated from Elizabethtown, Ky., to Apollo Beach last November. Both are longtime ordained ministers.
“We had to get settled before resuming our ministry here,” she said. “We ended up building a home in Waterset and moved into it in April.”
The Lord’s Supper Soup Kitchen Mobile Ministry is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit started in 2013.
The Hamiltons both retired from the military. Joyce, who was deployed to Iraq in 2003, served for 22 years. Terriance served for 20 years and completed three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Joyce served another 10 years as a military civil servant, while her husband went into law enforcement.
They have five children, two grandsons and three granddaughters, and are now members of The Crossing Church, Southshore Campus.
The Hamiltons were called to their current mission.
“Before going into the Army, I was homeless with two small kids for a whole year,” she said. “We lived in an abandoned building in Brooklyn.”
She joined the Army in 1985 to get away from an abusive relationship.
“I heard God’s voice telling me in a dream to go into the military, and I never looked back,” she said.
Then, in 2013, Hamilton had another dream.
“We were living at our last duty station at Ft. Knox, Ky.,” she said. “I was retired, and Terriance was still active duty. That May, I dreamed the Lord said, “Feed my people. For the next 30 days, while I was researching and planning, he was rebelling.”
The Lord hadn’t told him that, she said.
After a pastor prayed over them and told them they must come in line with her vision, Terriance came on board and the couple formed their nondenominational ministry.
“I’ve been a soldier and a deputy sheriff,” he said. “God so blessed my life, so I can be a blessing to others. He speaks to me now.”
For three years, The Lord’s Supper Soup Kitchen was in a brick-and-mortar building, and then the Hamiltons went mobile.
After moving to Apollo Beach, the couple connected with Feeding Tampa Bay, which is supplying between 6,000 and 8,000 pounds of food to fill a 26-foot trailer to help them resume their efforts in South Shore.
“We don’t turn anyone away,” Hamilton said. “And we treat everyone with dignity and respect. Our mobile ministry can pop up anywhere. We’ll go wherever there is a need.”
For more information, call 270-317-0596, email email@example.com or visit https://www.facebook.com/thelordssuppersoupkitchen.