About 40 years ago, Ken Wise decided to follow Jesus. That decision not only changed his life but the lives of many others in Greene County, Illinois.
Ken and his wife, Carla, use their voices and talents as singers to minister to people. Their ministry - Saved by Grace - reaches people through song, but also with food.
"One night, I had a vision that showed a large church and showed what I was to do in the church," says Ken. "I was shown to take care of seniors, to make sure they had a place to come for fellowship, to make sure they had food, so they didn't have to choose between food and medicine."
He shared this vision with Carla, and through a series of events they were able to purchase a building for $10. That was about 12 years ago and since then, Saved by Grace has been able to have concerts and provide addiction recovery meetings.
"It is a joy to see people sit and hear the Word and receive food," says Ken.
Saved by Grace travels on weekends, and offerings are collected at these gospel concerts to fund the ministry. They began their partnership with Midwest Food Bank in 2008 and since then have served about 367,000 hot meals. When Ken and Carla first applied to be a partner with MFB Peoria, they were told it might be more than a year before they could receive food. About a month later, they received the call that they were on the Peoria schedule.
"I was driving and was so overwhelmed that I had to stop my truck," says Ken. "I sat by the side of the road and cried and praised God. He has done much more for me than I have ever done for Him, and He is allowing me to walk by grace."
Saved by Grace is located in Roodhouse, Ill. (population 1,800), with 24 percent of residents living in poverty. They serve about 160 families each month through their food pantry.
"Our relationship with Midwest Food Bank Peoria has been fantastic. It is a blessing from God," says Ken.
Saved by Grace is one of over 300 food partners served by MFB in Peoria, Ill.