Mandy Large was standing in her kitchen baking treats for a friend who was going through a tough time when she felt God tugging at her heart.
“God just spoke to me and said, ‘This is the gift I gave you. Go ahead. Go plant,’ she said.
Large cooked a lot growing up and said she would make treats for those who faced difficulties.
“Feeding people is how I’ve always tried to help out a bit, when I didn’t know how else to do it,” she said.
Alongside her husband, Jason, they created Sweet Butter Cheeks – a ministry that will provide a free baked treat to anyone in Rogers County who is going through a tough time.
“I cooked a lot, prayed a lot and cried a lot as we met strangers who are suffering for many different reasons and, worst of all, feeling alone,” she said.
Items that are baked and delivered include gooey dough, butter bars, old-fashioned fudge, mouth-watering cookies, specialty pies and more.
“We have a lot of different things,” she said.
Mandy said this ministry is possible because of the community, First Baptist Church and the Rogers County Farmers Market.
“They are the reason we can keep going and my heart will be forever grateful to them,” she said.
Jason and Mandy are set up every weekend from 7-11 a.m. at the Rogers County Famers Market in the parking lot of the Rogers County Courthouse.
Although order numbers vary, Jason said they receive around 150 orders each week.
“It varies,” Mandy said. “When we finally get those orders, it’s stressful. And that’s a lot. That takes time. But when I knock on that door, like that, it changes.
Mandy said they sat on the bed with a woman and prayed for her dying husband. They prayed with families struggling with drug addiction and teenagers struggling with loneliness and suicidal thoughts.
“We prayed with a father, who also showed up at the market and we were able to pray with him for his son who came home from the army with severe PTSD and is struggling with suicidal thoughts – especially after several of his friends went out. servicemen gave up fighting PTSD and killed themselves,” she said.
She said that although there have been challenges, this ministry has given her a chance to love the people of this community, who are going through some of their loneliest and hardest times.
“I wasn’t ready to sit outside with someone’s wife, literally taking her last breath,” she said. “I wasn’t ready to hear about teenagers trying to kill themselves. I have teenagers myself.
Large said she’s the kind of person who carries the weight of other people’s struggles to the point where it affects her and keeps her up at night.
“I can’t tell you how many times, especially with some people, I come home and I’m like, ‘why am I doing this?'” she said. “And then it’s, again, our community, showing up, donating, sharing their stories. And I am like that. That’s why I do this.
Mandy said the ministry is 100% crowd funded.
“We live in an amazing community here in Claremore,” she said. “This ministry is able to exist, thanks to the people here. …It is through community donations that we are able to visit people in their homes at some of the darkest and most painful times in their lives.
She said all donations go back to the mission of the ministry – which is to love people and share the gospel.
Mandy said she had served in the ministry most of her adult life. Before creating Sweet Butter Cheeks in 2020, Mandy said she felt spiritually empty.
“I myself needed to be poured out and nourished spiritually,” she said. “I also struggled with not having found a ministry where I felt like I was really making a difference and I struggled with finding a place where my whole heart was in it.”
She said she hopes this ministry not only gives people the chance to love one another, but also shows people that God gives everyone different gifts.
“We are all unique and we are all created different,” she said. “And it takes all kinds of people – with all kinds of gifts – to reach all kinds of people… You find the gifts that God has given you and you plant those seeds.