Local News

Nov 1, 2013 4:06 PM by Jennifer Lira - jlira@kristv.com

Veterans for Venison: Field of Dreams Christian Ministry

CORPUS CHRISTI - A husband and wife have made it their business to help local veterans and they're doing it in the most down-home, no-frills, South Texas way.

They're providing food and ministry to some of our areas bravest and most deserving men and women.

If there are two things that bring people in South Texas together, it's good food and good ministry, and on a ranch in Duval County both are available to military veterans.

"This is a ranch that God provided for us to use for what we're going thru and these guys as well, and they come and we enjoy looking at them work, they have conversations, they share their stories with us and it's a blessing," says Horacio 'Tuto' Rodriguez of Field of Dreams Christian Ministry.

After years of helping the less fortunate, Elisa and Tuto, founders of the Field of Dreams Christian Ministry, decided to bring their focus closer to home.

"We started going into Mexico, but then it got bad with everything that's going on over there. We just stopped. And one night, my husband just got up and he said, God's telling me to feed our veterans here in the home front," says Elisa.

With their new effort, Venison for Veterans, they collect donated deer from private ranches and then invite area veterans to come and get it.

"I'm grateful, I'm just grateful that God put me to do it, and I enjoy doing it. I wait for October, November, December, to do this and it's been a blessing all the way around us," says Tuto.

"When it's all over, we've donated about 1,000 to 1,500 heads of deer that we've all donated," says Elisa.

Each vet skins and packs up their own deer - all free of charge. While they're at it they get a chance to take-in some ministry as well..

"It's more than just giving meat to people, it's more than just helping people out, it's about showing people Christ," says one veteran.

"I was in the US Army, I did two tours in Iraq in 2004 & 2009, and now I'm here helping in this ministry. I believe it's a good cause, and I'll help as much as I can," says veteran Frank Sanchez.

The free deer meat is a tremendous help for some of these vets who've fallen on hard times.

Navy veteran Christine Massey served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I'm unemployed, so I really don't have any kind of income coming in right now, so it helps with meat and food."

Christina and her boyfriend, also a Navy veteran, will take home a total of six deer. That's enough to feed them for an entire year.

"We can make sausage, we can make jerky, we fry it, stew, chili, everything, deer lasagna."

Adrian Trevino, a Marine Corps and Army veteran is enjoying his second year at the ministry. "Tamales, it's one of the best things to make is tamales and some jerky and cook some guisados with it."

Elisa and Tuto don't get paid to do any of this and they admit it's not always easy. "Sometimes it gets hard, like how are we gonna get the truck, who is gonna pay for the truck, but at the end, God sends somebody to pay for the truck."

For more information, visit http://fieldofdreamsministry.yolasite.com/

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