A New Spirit Changing Hearts in Baton Rouge
Tucked away amongst the mighty oak trees along Sharp Road in Baton Rouge, sits The New Ruach Church. Its purpose is in its name: “Ruach”. A Hebrew word directly from Ezekiel that can mean “spirit”, “wind”, or “breath”. In these verses, God tells Ezekiel that he is going to give us a new “Ruach”; a new spirit to change our hearts of stone to hearts that are attentive.
Pastor Maria Quintero Edwards lends her attentive heart to The New Ruach Church pantry so that it stands ready to provide food for many food-insecure residents who speak English as a second language. The church provides hope for its residents who are in search of their own “Ruach” in the form of food or other means of assistance.
“We have more people coming. Sometimes it’s maybe 200”, says Pastor Maria. “It depends. We still keep things in the pantry after we do a distribution. New people come, and we continue to give.”
With the current economic situation, Pastor Maria is expecting more people to need the pantry. Pastor Maria talks with many of the people who visit The New Ruach Church pantry, and what they report to her is that there were fewer job opportunities in December and in the beginning of January. People were without work. The food received from the pantry helped them make ends meet.
“We have a lot of people come this last time. The food was gone very, very fast,” states Pastor Maria. “We have people here who don’t have transportation, so we sometimes deliver food to their houses. So, when we go there, more than once when we come with food, people have cried. They say, ‘Thank you. This is God sending us something’. I don’t have words to say but thanks to the Food Bank, for everything you guys do for so many people.”
The New Ruach Church is a Spanish-speaking agency who can assist immigrant families who do not speak English. The food pantry is but one of the services that help them. Pastor Maria and the church have helped many destitute families by finding them resources to become self-sustainable.
“It’s being a tool in God’s hands because we are not actually doing anything other than distributing what you guys give us. But it’s seeing the blessing of the Lord and seeing how God wants to bless those people who are in need, who are really needing that food. The people right now, they are still without a job, but they have food because of the Food Bank, and that’s a relief. There are no words. How do we feel being an instrument of God, being a part of his plan? I am grateful and blessed. Praise the Lord.”