In 2008, Tom decided that he just couldn’t be the kind of Christian that went to church on Sunday morning then went home and did nothing. He saw the ineffectiveness of the church to reach out into their communities, especially the community behind his own church. He organized a “block party” where everyone was invited. There was free food, kid’s games, bounce houses, a mechanical bull, a prayer tent, raffles, people gave testimonies and local bands came and played. There were tables and chairs where people could sit, fellowship, eat and enjoy the day. That provided the opportunity to meet people and learn more about them and their needs and to invite them to church. There was a good turnout and was repeated the next year.
Realizing the expense, depth of planning, the large need for volunteers and the fact that it was just once a year, Tom sought another way to reach the folks that would otherwise never come to a church service. He wanted to “feed the community” for free once a week. Following the meal would be a short informal Bible study for those who chose to stay. He received his necessary confirmation from the Lord when he attended a Hispanic church that one of his workers attended. Not speaking Spanish, he did not understand the sermon, but he learned what it was about. It was the passage in John 21:15-18 in which the Lord was talking to Simon Peter and telling him to “Feed My Sheep.” One more conversation with the Lord about leaving the funding to Him, trusting for all provision, and moving the hearts of people who claim to love the Lord and U-Too was born. The church he was attending graciously let him utilize an unused cinder block out-building on their property, several people committed to giving regularly and sizable surprise donations helped to not only feed the people once a week, but also allowed him to begin helping people with their other needs—groceries, gas, auto repairs, etc. And it continues today—the Lord always provides through people who want to be part of something that reaches people. Many folks have come and gone for the meal and the Bible study, but not one has left without hearing the gospel and how much Jesus loves them.
Later, the prison ministry developed, which is another story about the Lord moving the hearts of those who love Him and want to serve Him. Out of the prison ministry came a need to distribute Bibles to the children of the imprisoned as well as the “Freedom” daily devotional. U-Too’s goal is support anyone who has a desire to spread the word of God and the Love of Jesus.
Yahweh Jireh—The Lord will provide.
Our Servant Leaders:
U-Too Kingsland, TX
Tom is a successful home builder in the Hill Country. He has been married for 36 years, has two adult children and three grandchildren. He serves regularly at the San Saba prison; leading devotionals and having a church service once a month. Tom likes frappaccinos and playing disc golf. He has been knocked down repeatedly, been let down by people he trusted, treated unfairly by churches, but continues to serve the Lord anyway.
U-Too Kingsland, TX
James just showed up one day; he said that it looked like their was some "good things happening" and he wanted to get involved. James has been a faithful servant with his time and finances. He and his wife Donna help serve and minister to the people of Kingsland every Wednesday as well as the U-Too youth program. James is a plumber by trade and a business man. He'll tell you that stuff only matters as a means to share the gospel with lots of different people. We are so thankful to have James as a part of our servant team!
U-Too Prison Ministry
Although not growing up in church, at all, I am proof that God knows who you are before you were in the womb. (Jeremiah 1:5) He called me my entire life and I was 'saved' several times throughout childhood, never really understanding what it meant until I was 21. My life dramatically changed after I sat in front of a fireplace and gave my life to Christ (for the third time) on January 1, 1995. I was hungry and desperate for Him to fill the void I felt following a life of abuse and addiction. Although the abuse at the hands of my husband escalated, and later so did the addiction, Christ never left my side and sent someone to mentor me and show me the true meaning of Christ's love. After a traumatic split in the only church I had ever called home, my addiction grew worse on every level. I was a full blown functioning addict, holding a job, taking care of my son and managing to have some kind of life, though that void only grew deeper as my addiction did. When I finally grew desperate enough to realize how much I needed Him and was humbled enough to ask Him to help me, I was delivered from drug use instantaneously with no lingering withdrawals or side effects. It took much longer to heal from the abuse from my first marriage, but I know now who I am in Him. I am His masterpiece, created in His image to serve others and show them the love of Christ I have been shown. U Too Ministries offers me the ability to do exactly that. I am happy to be part of what they do!
I am a truly blessed woman—a sinner saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ my Savior. Throughout the 36 years of a roller coaster ride in marriage, I have steadfastly stood behind my man. Whether in business or ministry, I have supported his decisions and filled in the gaps where needed with bookkeeping, taxes, payroll, much prayer, etc. I watched as God worked in the life of my husband, transforming him into a new creature. I am blessed to have two beautiful children and three grandchildren right around the corner. I have been blessed in both no financial security and a time of abundance. God is good and has given me the abundant life. It is exciting to see God at work and to be invited to share in that work with Him. There is absolute truth in “it is better to give than receive.”
U-Too Amarillo, TX
My name is Sandy Melton I am 50 years old. I was born in Lamar CO and grew up in Stratford, Texas. I lived my adult years in Dalhart, Texas and have been in Amarillo Texas the last 4 years. I have 2 grown daughters Kayla and Katherine and 2 boys Cass and Cody and 10 amazing grandchildren. I obtained a GED and then went on and studied Dietary and Business management through Woodward College in Oklahoma. My life partner passed away Christmas Eve of last year how awesome was that to spend Christmas day with Jesus. My testimony could be a book with many chapters. I married into a very abusive relationship and kinda followed that my entire life being subjected to most addictions and abuse and so forth. My addiction was trying to manage my life the best way I thought I knew how. My parents died when I was 13; so with really not much guidance my life became a disaster. I always knew there was a God and I always had faith it just took my life getting out of control with abusive relationships and getting in trouble and being behind on money for me to finally ask for forgiveness and ask God to take control of my life and most of all accepting that free gift of salvation and starting my new life in Christ! It has been amazing having that feeling of being free at last, (even being in prison). I had never felt so free. Tom Slavin's class 'Search for Significance' started the healing process for me and I am very excited where I am today and now being a part of U-Too has began a great work for my Father.... My favorite scripture is Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you ? Be strong and courageous Do not be afraid; Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." I have no fear for I do know our God goes before us and prepares everything before we get there. Amen! I try to live by "Life is what you make it" you are the only one who knows what you are capable of... I love Jesus and plan on living the rest of my life doing whatever he needs me to do
Prayer Partners in Christ
One day, I was driving through Kingsland and saw a ‘volunteers needed’ sign to serve on Wednesday nights for free food, worship and bible study. I volunteered to cook and serve hamburgers 3 years ago and that one night changed my life. I have found a family in the U-Too Ministry servants and the people we serve. I love seeing the smiling faces of God’s children as we are able to touch their lives for Him. I have now started a Prayer Partners for U-Too Ministries praying for Women in Prisons and I would love to pray for you too. Look me up on the website and write or email me. Blessing in all things!
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
U-Too Greenville, Texas
As a child I grew up in church loving Jesus. My entire life I’ve been told I have a “calling” only to think people were crazy, what do they know? As I got older I started straying away from the Lord, getting into trouble as a teenager, dabbling in drugs and any activity I thought was cool. Little did I know I was paving my way into a hard life due to the decisions I was making. That little girl who loved Jesus so much turned into a very angry drug addict living on the streets, distancing myself from anybody and everybody who loved me. I was angry with God and I blamed Him for all my problems. I got clean for a few years had two beautiful boys, when my family broke apart once again I lost my way. To choose drugs and lifestyle over your children is the most worthless feeling in the world. Then when my boys were 4 and 5 I had enough, I was strung out, living from motel to motel, the relationship I was in was not healthy at all very abusive, every single day I was disappointing my boys even more, my family lost all trust in me and would no longer be there for me, I was sick all the time due to the things I had done to my body and I had legal problems. Bottom I had hit and hit very hard. I wanted myself back! The woman I know I can be and she was lost. Crying my eyes out standing in the middle of a motel floor I hit my knees for the first time in well over 15 years. I cried out to God begging for help. I will never forget as I held my drugs in my hand crying for help that night, I didn’t even know how to pray or what to call our Heavenly Father so I called him dude. Two weeks later I was sitting in a Dallas county jail looking at a 30 year prison sentence. Right there in the Dallas county jail I surrendered and gave my life over to the Lord and this time I did it with my whole heart. 30 years turned into 8 and I was on my way to TDCJ. While I was there I did anything I could to educate myself and learn about the Lord. He sat me still just long enough to find myself as He paved that foundation for me to find the woman I am meant to be in Christ. After 45 months in prison I was released on July 11, 2017. I had been reborn, renewed and refreshed. The Lord had restored my entire life! I’m clean, I have my boys who are 10 and 11 now and everything in my life is nothing but a blessing. Prison is where I met Thomas Slavin and little did I know the Lord was laying that foundation for me to step into my “calling.” February 10, 2018 we launched U-Too Ministries Greenville and here I am being the Woman I am meant to be serving the Lord. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to go through all those trails and tribulations because of that you have molded me into the woman in Christ I am today. Peace is not the absence of affliction, but the presence of God, when we put our cares in His hands, He puts peace in our hearts. You can change your future by viewing your current condition as a transition into a new season. The beauty is that through disappointment you gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality because strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender that is strength and that strength is only through Christ Jesus.