As You Are Ministries is a ministry started by Mayra and Jose Montanez, owners of the Fort Scott Barber Shop.
“We were led by God to not only bring this ministry here but also to move here along with our kids and grandkids as well as our barbershop,” Mayra said. The family came to Fort Scott earlier this year from the Kansas City area.
The ministry will provide faith-based community services such as clothing, shoes, hygiene products, food, and hot/cold beverages to those in need.
And they have much bigger plans for those people who are down and out.
“We will also be building two bathrooms with showers for anyone in need of one,” Mayra said.
The ministry is headquartered above their family business, Fort Scott Barbershop, 118 E. Wall.
The next step will be to create a healthy-food pantry, in collaboration with local farmers, she said.
Then they plan to build four family bedrooms for anyone needing a place to sleep or stay until they can be placed in a more permanent situation or program, Mayra said.
The ministry started at the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020.
“We quickly realized that people were desperate for hope and encouragement,” she said.
They started on social media.
“Every Sunday at 7 p.m., we would log in to our Facebook page ‘As You Are Ministries’ and give a word of encouragement to all that would log in.”
“Through our online videos, so far we have reached 15 countries,” she said.
They began to give out Bibles.
“Quickly noticing many people didn’t have Bibles, we started offering free Bibles, of their choosing, and would mail them to them,” she said. “We’ve currently given out close to 100, (with the) price ranging from $40-$100. It’s always what the person chooses, as long as it is Christian-based so that we can be in one accord.”
“Our Facebook page is public, anyone can see it and our goal is to reach all those in need of encouragement,” Jose said. “But the faith-based community service is for Fort Scott.”
The Montanez’s attend Faith Church and go to Bible studies with one of their groups on Mondays, he said.
The family had a setback when money was stolen from them recently.
“Our funds were stolen from our home about two months ago and we are currently in the process of saving up money to put in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system and bathrooms,” he said. “The community has donated randomly so far $1,075 to help with the money stolen, we are so appreciative of that”