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Meet the Staff: Steve Huerta

In 2009, during his first year on staff at Children’s Hunger Fund, Steve Huerta, Director of Gifts-in-Kind, went on a Children’s Hunger Fund home visit that is still motivating his ministry–14 years later.

As someone who had grown up in poverty himself, Steve thought he knew what to expect. However, when he arrived at the family’s home in San Antonio, Texas, he was shocked.

It was the reality of how on one side of the street there were million-dollar homes and definitely not poverty and then within a rock’s throw there were dirt floors and kids who were not eating and could not eat,” Steve remembered.

Growing up in Seattle, Steve’s childhood had several similarities to many of the children he now gets to serve. He remembers living in worn-down apartment complexes and going to bed hungry. However, like many children in the US who are suffering, Steve didn’t necessarily see that he was experiencing poverty.

Even though his family attended church when he was young, Steve did not come to faith until he was an adult. In fact, his teen years and early adulthood were marked by anything but Christ.

When he was a teenager, Steve’s family moved from Seattle to California, hoping that the change would put some distance from him and the friends who were negatively influencing his life.

At first, their idea worked, and Steve even attended church. However, after witnessing hypocritical behavior in the leadership, he stopped going again, preferring to spend his time surfing and diving into California surf culture.

Despite his friendships and worldly successes, Steve felt a deep sense of emptiness, until one day he found himself reading a friend’s Bible. Suddenly, the Lord made the truth of the gospel clear to him for the first time and the trajectory of his life changed.

“He took a selfish and consumer-driven and hard-hearted and impatient person and turned him into a patient, loving, serving, caring follower of Christ,” shared Steve.

Of course, that change did not happen all at once. However, the Lord began to take him on a journey to grow him in this way.

“In 2006, the Lord presented an opportunity for me to move to Texas, and through much kicking and screaming I finally answered and listened to Him,’ Steve said. “So, I moved from Southern California to Texas single, and a year later was married!”

After three years, Steve found himself unemployed for the second time since moving to Texas.

I just really felt like the Lord had put a call on my heart to do ministry as He had when I first moved to Texas” he shared.

Through a seemingly random email from in his spam folder and encouragement from his wife, Steve ended up applying for a job at Children’s Hunger Fund.

“I went to the first interview, and I knew that this is where I wanted to be, but there was still a process, and I think it took almost three months,” Steve remembered. “It was a process of surrendering what I wanted and my time and my desires to what God wanted but also the encouragement of my wife to stay persistent and not jump at any other job… it was the patience of waiting for the Lord and His timing and then I was hired on July 20th of 2009. Now, over 14 years later, I’m amazed that God would give me this opportunity and call me to the mission and ministry of CHF—it’s amazing”  

It was in his first year at CHF that he met a little girl on that home visit in San Antonio. The pastor that Steve was with had passed out snacks to the kids and was doing a Bible study with them.

They sat together for a while as she ate her crackers and, at one point, Steve took a photo of her.

“I think that moment encapsulated what the Lord was revealing to me,” he recalled.

As he sat with her, Steve realized that her situation was just like his was as a child, but there wasn’t a local church with food that had stepped in for him.

Having the opportunity to provide food to a local church with the opportunity to share the gospel with this little girl and these little ones who were at this little Bible study just really broke my heart, but it was also the catalyst of what God was doing in my life.

Today, as the Director of Gifts-in-Kind, Steve works to help procure and distribute donations of food and other items to be used by our church partners and like-minded organizations in the US and around the world. He loves the opportunity to build relationships in and outside of CHF, but he is most thankful for the opportunity to care for children in need by supporting the local church.

There are three things in my life that are very important to me: number one is Jesus and what He has done for my life; second, the local church and the place that has within my story and my testimony; and, finally, serving children in need through providing food, because I was that child and who didn’t have and struggled,” Steve shared, “That’s why I treasure working at CHF.”

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