Senior citizens of the Farmhaven community gathered last month for the first time to receive a hot barbeque lunch at the Upper Room Outreach Ministry's debut event. The feeding program, which is a small but vital part of a larger ministry, is held at the Farmhaven Volunteer Fire Department and is available to all men and women aged 62 or older in North Madison County.

The program is the brainchild of UROM founder Andre' Lee, Sr.

"We just want to invite senior citizens to come out once a month for a day of food, fun and fellowship," said Andre', a member of the Farmhaven community. "It's the third Saturday of every month from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m."

"Saturday was our first day to start, and it was a blessing," said Feona Lee, wife of the local minister and mother of three. "God allowed us to feed 100 people."

Both she and her husband work full-time jobs on top of parental and pastoral duties.

"He had been praying, and God laid on his heart to be able to be a blessing to others," Feona explained. "This is something that he has had a desire to do for a while now. The vision has come to at this point, and I want to do whatever it's going to take to stand by him."

The couple founded UROM just last year in order to provide information and services to at-risk communities to meet the needs of the population and subsequently reach success.

Though he is now a minister, Andre' said, "I used to cater food. I have a love for cooking, and I decided to take my cooking abilities and really bless people with it rather than try to sell food."

When the going got tough on Saturday, UROM volunteers got innovative. Upon hearing that many senior citizens were home-bound, helpers developed a "meals on wheels" service to deliver barbeque plates to the homes of those in need.

"That was not originally the plan, but after we got there, we just had to readjust," Andre' said. "I got a crew together that were willing to deliver it, and we just got some names of people in the area."

"It's a blessing to be able to help somebody else," Feona said, though she admits that the transition has not been easy.

"I know that everything is not always peaches and cream," she said, "But we have three boys, two still at home. We want to teach them how to give back."

"We feel like the more we give, the more God will give unto us," she said.

Her husband agreed, noting that helping someone get from one day to the next and seeing them smile was possibly the most rewarding part of the experience.

As the feeding program continues, the UROM will expand to other areas of Madison County. At next month's event, there will be a health clinic in conjunction with the feeding program.

Blood pressure examinations, weight checks and informational pamphlets will be available to the public.

Those interested in learning more about the Upper Room Outreach Ministry can call (769) 220-3241, email uroministries@yahoo.com or send mail to P.O. Box 907 Canton, MS.