Fort Worth Metro Ministry Using Trailer to Bring Hope to the Forgotten
April 26, 2019
When you have been in the trailer business for 30 years youhave seen trailers used in hundreds of different ways. This may be the mostimpactful.
The Calzada family in Fort Worth, Texas is using a 24-footstage trailer to bring hope and resources to families in need and has servedthousands of people through their weekly ministry, an annual shoe donationprogram, and an annual Thanksgiving turkey donation.
FortWorth Metro began 26 years ago with a mission to impact the city ofFort Worth with hope and bring lasting change to generations. Ruth and BuddyCalzada, along with their two children, hope to see the generational cycles inthe inner city of Fort Worth be broken in children and their families byproviding them with hope and resources.
“We basically meet the tangible needs of the people, whetherit's groceries, food, clothing, things like that,” Ruth said. “We are alsofaith based, so we meet a spiritual need. We bring hope and basically just tryto encourage kids that are overlooked because of where they come from. We bringhope to people who feel like they are forgotten.”
Many ministries or churches bus people to their ministrylocation, and Fort Worth Metro tried that at one point, but the Calzadasrealized that the people they serve need to know how to function and live anddo life where they are at. And that meant bringing the ministry to them. In doing so, theirmobile ministry serves as the church for many of the people they serve.
“It’s very unconventional because we just pull up in a bigold trailer with a stage and we set up and we preach, but we are their church,”Ruth said. “Literally. It’s the only church they get and they call us theirpastors, so the ministry is the trailer.”
In recent years, as their ministry expanded, the need for abetter trailer grew. The Penske truck they were using was over 12 years old andbecoming dangerous to operate on a daily basis. A donor reached out with anoffer to fund a new trailer and the Calzadas met with a local trailer company,but came away unimpressed with that company’s passion for the job.
“I felt like he was just doing a job. I wantedsomeone who was going to have the heart for what we were doing and understandreally, truly what we were trying to do with this trailer,” Ruth said about hermeeting with the other trailer company. “I wanted someone who, when they werebuilding the trailer, was going to pray over the trailer and be passionateabout the ministry.”
Ruth’s husband, Buddy, turned to the internet to search fortrailer companies and came across Advantage Trailer. The experience could nothave been more different. Within a couple hours of sending an inquiry, theCalzadas received a phone call from owner Dan Webb expressing his desire to be a partof their vision. Within 24 hours they had a mockup and pricing.
The donor funded a quick trip to Chicago to visit Advantageand meet with Dan in person, and that meeting left an indelible impression onthe Calzadas.
“I’ll never forget it. He was so excited about what he wasgoing to get to do and I knew this was the place,” Ruth said. “I just knew. Whenwe walked through and shared our vision he didn’t write anything down. He wasjust soaking it in. I was like ‘Okay, I’m sure he’s got this,’ and sure enough,he nailed it. He nailed it completely.
“Even on the spiritual side of it, he had his home grouppraying because we were trying to raise funds for a truck to come pick up thetrailer,” she continued. “Dan had his home group praying for us! I mean, whodoes that, business-wise!? He was not just building a trailer. He wascompletely, fully vested into what we were doing, so it was an amazingexperience.”
The Calzadas’ experience with Advantage Trailer illustratesexactly what we preach as a company. When we say we build dreams, we mean it.We know that if a customer is looking for a trailer they’re going to bepassionate about what they intend to use it for, and therefore, we need to havea passion for their vision as well. If not, we can’t give them exactly whatthey’re looking for.
In the case of the Calzadas, the chance help a ministrybecome more efficient and established fit right in with our core value ofserving others.
The trailer is outfitted with a sound system, lighting, andstorage space for toys, candy, and giveaways, allowing Fort Worth Metro to pullinto a neighborhood, open up, and start serving the community.
“We have two main inner-city project housing neighborhoodsthat we go into every single week,” Ruth said. “Because we’ve been doing it for26 years, we obviously have generations of kids now that are coming. Kids thathave grown up and have kids of their own now bringing their children to ourprograms.”
In addition, Fort Worth Metro hosts an annual Soles 4 Soulsprogram in which they wash feet, pray over them, and put a new pair of shoes onthem, something they have been doing the past six summers, resulting in over6,000 pairs of shoes donated. They also give out more than 500 turkeys eachThanksgiving to families in need. And the Calzadas aren’t interested in slowingdown any time soon.
“Eventually, we would like to add another area, but rightnow we just don’t have the means to do that,” Ruth said. “Our biggest goalright now is to do what we’re doing this weekend. Every chance we can, any timea church, a school, or an organization calls on us, just to be there. Iwouldn’t mind if every single day I had to open the trailer for some kind ofoutreach, to have it used for making a difference and making an impact.
“Basically, I’d like to reach every single corner of ourcity. I’d like to see this trailer go into every area of this city, everywhereit possibly can, just to be able to make an impact and make a difference.”
Asked what she would tell someone else who is interested inpurchasing a trailer, Ruth didn’t hesitate.
“They need to go to Advantage and don’t go anywhere else,”she said. “They just need to stop looking. You guys know what you’re doing,you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and the best way I can describe itis it’s not just a job. You’re fully invested in every trailer you build, andit’s more than just putting nuts and bolts together.”
Ruth and her family have dedicated their lives to servingthose in need throughout Fort Worth. They’ve already made an enormous impact on the lives of those in need, and with a vision of reaching the entire city, they will no doubt continue to make a difference. We are honored to play a small part in this ministry and will continue to pray for lives to bechanged because of it. Will you join us?
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