Wednesday, April 16, 2014
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Local unique nonprofit combines hunting, veterans, gospel to spread hope

Kristine and David Haehn have created a unique nonprofit organization with the purpose of serving wounded veterans.

Hogs for a Cause, a cooperative ministry with Hope for the Hungry, was founded in 2010 with the goal of providing recreation for wounded veterans while spreading the Gospel.

The organization is located in Belton and allows veterans to participate in feral hog hunts.

 

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas has a feral hog population of approximately 1.5 million, with the highest population densities in East, South and Central Texas. The hogs cause millions of dollars worth of crop damage for farmers.

After the hunts, the hog meat is smoked and the Gospel is shared over a meal. The meat is also donated to struggling families.

"The whole purpose is to get the Gospel to the people," Kristine said.

David has served in the Army, Marines and National Guard as a contractor for the government. His wife said while he was gathering statistics on wounded solders for the government, he realized "these people are people and not statistics."

The Haehns interacted with a wounded veteran who told him he had no hope. She said at that point "David really felt like the Lord put it on his heart."

The last event took place in 2010. Kristine said they smoked about 5,000 pounds of meat. She said no events have taken place recently because David has been working in Afghanistan, but they plan to start up again in July.

During the hunts, the hogs are baited in designated areas. Kristine said everything is set up so it's easy for the wounded warriors.

"We take smaller groups," she said. "In the past, David takes five or six or eight people on the hunt."

The group takes a gas grill and freezer trailer with a generator for the meat. Because the hogs are nocturnal, the hunts take place at night. They bring thermal and night vision scopes and make DVDs of the hunts to give to the participants. Kristine said David is working in Afghanistan to raise money for the expensive equipment. She said they are also trying to obtain a giant smoker on wheels.

After the hunt is over the meat is cooked and the hunters get to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

"When we are having recreation time with the hunters, we give them the Gospel," Kristine said. "We tell them that their hope is in Jesus Christ."

The Haehns have big plans for the future of Hogs for a Cause. Kristine said they are hopping to get 50,000 pounds of wild hog meat and get the Gospel to 50,000 people. They are working to set up an entire curriculum styled for church groups and organize events at churches. They are also hoping to begin disaster relief.

"Our very far out vision is to start here in Belton and go all the way to Florida," she said.