Karen Belknap is well know in the Pleasant Grove area of Dallas, Texas. Not only does she pastor a multi-cultural church that teaches the community to love others unconditionally but she also runs the most successful food pantry in the area.
Most days, if you go by 9424 Military Parkway, Dallas, Texas 75227, you will find a small church with cars lined in front and around the church building. This morning when I went to interview Pastor Karen, the line of people waiting to pick up their groceries was wrapped around the front of the church. Everyone knows, if you need food, go to the Inspired Vision Compassion Center Monday-Friday from 9-5.
When I talked with Pastor Karen, I asked her a question that is my go to question in all my interviews. What is your favorite success story? It is amazing to hear people answer this question. The people I choose to interview are very special. They don’t usually talk about all the money they make or the possessions they gained. Looking for people to interview, I always search for the people who have a heart for others and work to make their community or part of the world great.
Pastor Karen is probably at the top of that list. This is why I saved her interview for Valentine’s Day week. She has a heart for others like no other. Even if she only has five dollars in her wallet, she will take it out and give it to someone else. Every day, she looks for new ways to help those in the East Dallas area.
You may think that this is just for her church and the area around the church but this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Pastor Karen has reached beyond the walls of Inspired Vision Compassion Center. She is walking into public and charter schools to give to after school programs, the student’s families, and their teachers. Other ministries also count on the donations and other ministries give donations to the church. It is a collaboration that Pastor Karen has helped to establish in Dallas, Texas.
There are some that do not understand why Pastor Karen does this amazing work. She says that it brings her joy when little stomachs are full and little minds can concentrate in school. This all started twenty some years ago when she founded A+ Charter Schools, Inc.
One of the 5th grade students came back to school after Thanksgiving break and passed out. When she was questioned about why she passed out, she said that she had not eaten in six days. Her family did not have food so her last meal was lunch the last day of school before Thanksgiving Break. That was it for Pastor Karen. She decided there and then that no child would go hungry on her watch.
As of today, Inspired Vision Compassion Center has given 200,000 families groceries in the past year. How do they do this? Grocery stores, companies, other ministries, and regular people like you and me give donations that help them feed and clothe those who show up to the Inspired Vision Compassion Center. Does this mean the church doesn’t have to pay anything for the ministry they do? Absolutely not, this process of bringing in donations is costly.
They have to pay for the trucks that come in and take up more than the church brings in. Due to this cost, sometimes, the church does not have the money to pay for the trucks. When I asked Pastor Karen about this, she said that due to her trust in God, she has ordered trucks when they didn’t have the physical money. She knew God would provide. It is a trust in God that her family and congregation admire.
Pastor Karen is also proud of her family and the fact that all her children are involved heavily in helping the community. Whether they pass-out food, unload trucks, work in the school system, or participate in community organizations dedicated to improving the Pleasant Grove area, they each have a heart for the people.
Karen Belknap wants to share Christ with the world. She was called by God to show Southeast Dallas the way to Him. The feeding program that she has developed with her two children, Teadran and Trevelan, is just a piece of the ministry.
God has recently provided a bigger building to house an even greater ministry. They will have the feeding program but they will add training for jobs, parenting classes, nutrition/healthy cooking classes, a medical area, and so much more. With this building, they will reach more people than ever before.
Challenge: Read this article again. Sometimes, we look at dreams that might come to us and say that is too big for me. This is so far from the truth. After reading this article, you can see how taking action is the way to see your dream realized. If Karen Belknap didn’t start with small donations, they would not be able to accept the large donations they receive today.
Please, consider helping the Inspired Vision Compassion Center feed the hungry children of Southeast Dallas. Some of us didn’t even realize the suffering that was going on in our own backyard. Pastor Karen saw the need and took action and, now, needs our support. Below is a link to the church website where you can give a monetary donation. Below the church website is a link to google maps where you can get directions to the church for any other items you wish to donate.
Thank you, Pastor Karen Belknap, for your commitment to feeding the hungry of Dallas and supplying the children with toys, clothing, jackets, and anything else they need to thrive in their life. Even more, thank you for setting the example to the rest of us. The people of Dallas are forever grateful for the sacrifice you make on a daily basis.