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October 17th, 2017

Flagler Estates Weekend Outreach Summary

Flagler Estates Staff and Teams: 

  • Prayer Ministry: led by GAD- Teri Stephenson, CMJ- Worldwide; CA- Worldwide, ARDF- Christine Jones, All Souls and Servants of Christ Prayer Ministries, Mt. Olive and First Baptist (Woodstock), all our volunteers and their supporting churches!

  • Care Bags: Team of 6-10 led by The Rev. Dorie Head, responsible for loading 26’ truck at World Relief, unloading and packing care bags at All Souls 

  • Mt Olive Baptist: Office staff, organization and administration, Invitation cards, Bible donations, financial assistance, food and water donations, on the ground staff and volunteers, prayer and counseling at HQ tent

  • All Souls: Office staff, organization and administration, Bible donations, financial assistance, food and water donations, care bags, on the ground staff and volunteers, prayer and counseling at HQ tent, prayer coverage, housing teams

  • Redeemer: prayer coverage, housing teams

  • Church of our Savior, Jax. Beach: 1 volunteer 

  • Christ’s Fellowship, High Springs: 1 volunteer

  • Living Waters (Anglican): Pastor Sam conducted Sunday Service

  • Holy Cross, Charleston, SC: 12 Cooks, mobile kitchen, all food and meals for weekend, personal food, cash and Bible donations, evangelism and prayer

  • The House, UT Chattanooga: 44 Volunteer Christian College Students from all denominations gave up their fall break to serve seven hours a day, enthusiastically, without reservation, revealing Christ’s great Love in action!

  • Media: 91.3 the Joy FM

  • HQ Tent: Maries Tables and Tents

  • Others behind the scenes: IrmaRelief.faith banner, porta-potties, printing needs, etc., etc.

 

Results: Crunching the numbers-

  • 350 Care Bags distributed: (1 per family of 3-4= 1000-1500 people)

  • 100+ families helped: limbs and tree removal, lawn mowing, fence removal and flood damage 

  • 150+ meals served to residents over 3.5 days, eat in and take-out

  • 400+ meals served to volunteers and staff

  • Untold numbers prayed with and ministered to?

 

When one considers the myriad of issues that may have been, we can only Praise God for pulling every aspect of this, His Ministry together. We are grateful most of all there were no injuries, no accidents, no bites, no heat exhaustion, sunburn or worse.  

Administration/Implementation: Administration was tapped and could hardly keep up both in preparation and execution during the weekend. God provided three essential assistants for ground operations: Jeff and his wife Mary from Mt. Olive and Wade Fallin from Atlantic Beach. Several others came to assist at various times and places providing needed support for portions of the weekend. Help with administration was both appreciated and needed.

Care bags:  An estimated 400 care bags were either filled at All Souls or subsequently on site by teams of volunteers. About 50 were not distributed over the 3 day weekend.  Each care bag contained an invitation card to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior on one side and an invitation to attend the local church on the other.  

This ministry proved a vital part of the outreach to all who came to the HQ tent and outreach teams alike.

Food ministry: These numbers are an approximation.  I imagine Darren’s figures to be more accurate.

Plates prepared for staff and volunteers: 400

Plates given to residents, dine in and carry out: 150

 Additional food donations & bulk food given by Holy Cross with left-over water was returned to All Souls for use at the Washington Heights project the last weekend of October.

 Tent ministry: Unbeknownst to us Friday Morning, Tent Ministry became a vital tool for reaching residents of Flagler Estates from the onset. Providing: Emotional/Spiritual counseling with prayer offered to all who came by the HQ tent. Everyone who came received a care bag.  While there is no way to record exact figures I believe an additional 100 care bags were handed out after signing up for help or receiving prayer.

 Prayer and Evangelism, (i.e., telling everyone about their Lord Jesus) was another crucial ministry. It was incredible to see everyone engaging with visitors over meals.  From noon on Friday before we kicked off and had the interview by 91.3 our Team of Cooks from Holy Cross, many volunteers and staff could be seen and heard witnessing over a meal and throughout the day; (see tent ministry photo of Kurtz Smith attached). 

Prayer was happening Everywhere; Inside and outside the tent! In the chow line, at BuzzMart, in the cars while driving, at outreach sites and of course with everyone our teams met and all they were able to engage with. 

Sunday Worship Service: Was led by The Rev. Samuel Horowitz. Many denominations were represented in the readings and serving Communion to 70 staff and volunteers plus 15-20 guests.

Media: 

Radio: 91.3 The Hope FM did a live broadcast/facebook video on Friday, advertised and follow-up interviews throughout the weekend and again Monday morning.

Facebook: advertising through Flagler Estates News and Events, Frederic Sterry Smith, Mt. Olive Baptist, The House, 91.3 The Hope FM, and others.

Website: IrmaRelief.faith, All Souls

 

Building relationships:  with Churches, pastors, outreach teams, vendors, media, BuzzMart staff and owner, and with residents were all essential to the outcome and success of the project.  God moved in a mighty way providing our every need!  Many needed items like the large HQ tent, funding for the porta-poties, the banner, etc were provided by His church or donated directly by Christian businesses.

 

Follow-up: Irma relief maintained copies of contact sheets. All original contact sheets were mailed to Mt. Olive Baptist for follow-up, prayer, ministering to emotional and spiritual needs. Many roofs need repair, walls, insulation and HVAC repairs were noted, fences blown down, etc.  It is suggested the SBC, (Southern Baptist Convention), assist Mt. Olive with follow-up for Phase 2 reconstruction. 

 

Effectiveness: This outreach project was hugely successful.  Darren Hartford from Holy Cross asked today if we would be in Flagler Estates for a couple more months? Surely there is a great need like in many places across the state- increasing exponentially as you move south.  This Christian Outreach project could be much more effective with additional resources and partnering churches.

 

By Oct 6 there were 900 claims in St. Johns County and 661,000 statewide.  Last weekend FEMA set up a registration site with free food to victims at the St. Johns County fairgrounds with 45,000 expected to attend. By Friday noon one victim who visited IrmaRelief for lunch said there was already a six month wait just to have your case reviewed.  In Sunday’s paper, (see attached), we read there have been many empty promises made to victims of hurricane Matthew- over a year ago. Residents of St. Johns County are disgruntled by Government bureaucracy.

 

By Contrast, in three days with 100 total volunteers we reached approximately 1500 people. All efforts were by Christians, bathed in prayer, offered free of charge through donations or volunteerism, costing the government nothing.  By God’s grace we made a major impact for Christ in just one weekend!  

 

Deficiencies: Two weeks ago we were informed a Church in Jax invited the teams from Tennessee to dinner on Sunday night. We later learned that church was Redeemer?  A sequence of events allowed the outreach to wrap up Sunday evening moving the final breakfast from Mt. Olive Baptist to Redeemer.  The team leaders were remiss in their efforts to leave the kitchen and church the way they found them.  A keyboard was not turned off, dishes were not washed and food was not put away.

 

Other deficiencies include:

  • More trained counselors available to minister to emotional and spiritual needs from 8am-8pm daily

  • More structure and guidance needed while recruiting teams to avoid misunderstandings.

  • Schedule, duties and responsibilities of known outreach opportunities should be sent to teams two weeks out. 

  • Aside from poor judgment yesterday morning by young team leaders the project ran nearly without flaw; by His grace!

  • We were only able to canvas and help families in the closest 500 square acres, at best. We did not have time nor the resources to reach everyone in the 10,000 acre development. There is a great deal of work yet to do without stepping into Phase 2 Reconstruction.

 

Conclusions: It was a Team Effort of all involved! God’s Church in action, ecumenical, real, honest, vulnerable Christians serving our common Lord and Savior, tirelessly!!  We were blessed by all the assistance of so very many not the least of which was a day of efforts and can-do attitude of MOB Youth Minister Justyn Keller. 

Jeff, Mary, and Wade’s efforts were indispensable throughout the weekend!

 

The tent and food ministries were unexpected blessings and a wonderful addition to all that was planned. I was amazed to see the team from Charleston fall in where needed, especially ministering to all visitors to the HQ tent, their presence and efforts were a huge blessing to all. God was gracious to provide all we needed to make it possible to effectively reach hundreds more through these two ministries. Open communication with my pastor and through All Souls “flocknotes” made it possible to gain the additional help needed to counsel visitors coming to our HQ tent.

 

The combined efforts of 100+ and the prayers of 10,000+ reaped much for His Kingdom this past weekend! Much was accomplished in this one small area of the state. Much was learned in a short period. I give our overall efforts an A-.

 

Our strengths outweighed deficiencies in this ministry outreach project. Hundreds more photos and several videos of our ministries and teams in action will soon be uploaded to the website. A link to my dropbox will be provided upon request.  I thank G-d for all our teams and volunteers who naturally, comfortably yet deliberately making Christ known to everyone we met! To God be all honor and Glory!!

 

With the blessing of the Diocese, more partnering churches and more funding (by ARDF, SBC and alike), we could take this project across the diocese and including Phase 2, (rebuilding/carpentry- like Super Storm Sandy), covering the GAD, reaching untold thousands more for Christ.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Acting Director,

Irmarelief.faith

 

 

 

Rev. Frederic Sterry Smith

Associate Director, Southeast Region

1333 Old Dixie Hwy, Suite 5

St. Augustine, Florida  32084

ric.smith@cmj-usa.org

706-329-4553

CMJ-USA.org

 

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Flagler Estates Outreach

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