March 2019


Cows bring transformation for Macedonian communities


By Abby Hopkins

In rural, economically depressed communities in Macedonia, one cow can go a long way.

Macedonia Cow Bank is a Texas Baptist Hunger Offering supported ministry that aims to serve these communities by providing cows to local farmers and pastors. Jeff Lee, director of the organization, began the ministry when he was introduced to a local who wanted to farm.

“The purpose of the cow bank is to help other local farmers and pastors through loaning a cow to them so that they can help their own family, sell the milk, or give the milk/cheese/butter to the congregation,” Lee said.

Lee and other staff identify potential applicants, meet with them to ensure they will work and do the job, then provide a cow when the applicant is ready. Recipients then repay the loan by giving back the first calf.

Last year, a group of local pastors approached Lee and requested help. Macedonia Cow Bank gave the pastors six cows and have seen successful results. The pastors have started selling milk and have used profits for outreach in their communities....

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Texas children are dying in unsafe Texas homes


Our Texas governor said something during his State of the State address in January that should not have been shocking, but still it is. “Last year, more than 100 children died in our Child Protective System.”

It should not have shocked us because this is not new. In fiscal year 2017, Texas had “172 confirmed child abuse and neglect-related fatalities,” according to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. And that was a decrease from 2016, when 222 died.

Here are the death totals from 2010-2015: 227, 231, 212, 156, 151, and 171. That’s 1,542 deaths from 2010 until the end of the Texas fiscal year Aug. 31, 2017. We are now 18 months beyond that point.

As Gov. Abbott said, “The primary goal of government is to keep its citizens safe and secure.”

We are not doing that well enough. In 2017, 238,600 children were assigned for investigation or “alternative response” by Child Protective Services. That is a lot of children. That’s 3.18 percent of the 7.5 million Texas children....

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