Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Matthew 25

Tomoka Christian’s Food Pantry was the beneficiary of more than two tons of food through the May 8 Boy Scout Food Drive. Below is a report about the drive from Ralph Zellers, who graciously donates his time to coordinate TCC’s Pantry.

“The Pantry was blessed with at least 27 volunteers. All that attended worked on picnic tables in the heat, receiving 195 tubs of donated food from 10 different postal routes. According to Postal Supervisor Bill Klein, each tub equates to 25 pounds of donated food. Doing the math, that equals to 4,850 pounds of food received! The volunteers separated the donated food into categories such as meat, fruit, glass, vegetables and miscellaneous condiments. We then boxed and stored the food for future distribution to Pantry patrons.”

Thank you to all who stepped up to be the hands and feet of Jesus despite the temperatures!

Ralph also shared some fascinating information about TCC’s Food Pantry and the help it is providing to local families.

1. The Pantry has about 32 regular volunteers that operate it throughout each month.
2. The Pantry feeds 35 to 45 families each week. (Most families average three people per family or approximately 160 families and 480 people on the average four-week month.)
3. Other sources of Pantry food include donations from the TCC Mission Wall basket, Publix Supermarkets and Second Harvest Food Bank.
4. To date this year we have received 24,902 pounds of food from Second Harvest at a cost $3,163.53 or an average of $158.00 per week.
5. The Pantry also serves three other ministries: The TCC kitchen, the Palmetto House Ministry and the Homeless Sandwich Ministry.

FYI: The Food Pantry is open each Saturday from 3-4:30 p.m. Those wishing to volunteer are invited to contact Ralph Zellers at (386) 672-6438.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Acts 1:8

We received a thank you note and photo from the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan for a recent shipment of items that members of the TCC family donated. This military unit completes about three humanitarian missions a month. They visit an orthopedic clinic, a children’s hospital, a school for girls and women, a girls’ orphanage and refugee camps. At the camps, most of the refugees live in mud huts, tents or buildings made of rubble.

The letter said: “Your donation of clothing, toys, and school supplies are given to local Afghans. During any one visit, we can serve as few as 10 families to as many as 230. Each family receives several large plastic bags filled with clothing socks, shoes, hats, gloves and blankets …”

“It is your generous donations that make these trips possible. As you can see from the pictures (above), our trips put smiles on their faces.”

Thank you to Andrea Gilbert, TCC’s coordinator of the Afghanistan project!

In the photo at right, Tomoka Christian children led by Panda Rodriguez display clothing and supplies they gathered for the Afghan drive. They surprised Andrea with them — and $90 the children gathered through a month of offerings — on a recent Wednesday. Thank you to Panda and the children for showing God's love to those they'll never meet.

Note: Donations of clothing in excellent condition are being accepted at Tomoka Christian for a future shipment to Afghanistan. Please place them in the Afghanistan basket in the Café.

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

Friday, May 21, 2010

Psalm 139

Tomoka Christian values the sanctity of life and supports five or so different pro-life organizations. But one, called Hope, Help & Life, was launched by three ladies of our own church family, Renee Stump, Bree Littleton and Barbara Beute. The organization participates in local, state and national pro-life awareness events and rallies.

The ladies are excited that they recently received official IRS designation as a charitable organization, called a 501(c)3. This is a big deal, because it means that Hope, Help & Life now can receive donations that are deductible to the fullest extent of the law. This designation also puts the organization in a much better position to receive grants, as well.

Congratulations, Barbara, Bree, and Renee!

FYI: Hope, Help & Life’s address is P.O. Box 4117, Ormond Beach, Florida 32175. It is online here:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Power of Love

"For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 4:14-15

I received an e-mail from Jennifer Colella, who leads Tomoka Christian’s ministry to strip clubs called Power of Love. She and her ministry team went on an outreach on Friday. “Each time we go out, we can see the hearts of the lost being drawn closer to God,” Jennifer said. “Little bit by little bit they become more comfortable around the 'church ladies.’ They engage us in conversation and we can see God building the trust necessary to open the doors for relationship.” Below is Jennifer’s report from the night.

We had such an exciting outreach Friday night. God's favor was amazing! At the first club, as we waited for permission to visit with the girls, a young lady approached us and began a conversation with us. She told us she wanted out of the business and is only there to complete her college education. She went on to tell us that her father was a preacher and had died of a rare disease and hasn't been to church since he passed away. She explained that she wanted to complete college so she can work with children who died of the same disease her father did. She seemed to be struggling deeply with her father's death and with God. Once we received permission to pass out the bags, we gave her a card and invited her to call us and suggested meeting for coffee so we could talk some more. Please pray that she would be moved to call us and be willing to meet with us outside of the club. Pray for God to provide the income she needs to be able to leave the business. Please pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to soften the manager’s heart. Pray for the other employees to come to know Jesus as Savior, and for continued favor at that club.

At the next club, most of the ladies were new, but the bartender recognized us and stretched her arm out over the bar and asked if she could have a bag. She said: "I'm not dancing tonight, but I still want my bag!" We laughed and happily handed her a bag. The atmosphere overall was unusually very heavy. On the way out we chatted with the new owner, who thanked us for coming and wished us well. Please pray these women and men would come to know the saving grace and healing power of Jesus Christ.

At the next club, we began passing out bags and on the way out of the dressing room we gave a bag to a young lady who seemed to be in a hurry but curiously searched through the bag asking a lot of questions. It was the first time we had met her, she'd only been working there about 4 months. We told her there was a card in the bag with contact information if she needed anything or had any questions. At the bar we met a woman who was very friendly and grateful for the bags. She said she regularly attends church but she looked very weary and in need of the Lord's comfort. Please pray for both ladies to know God's truth and surrender their lives to Jesus.

At the next club, we began passing out bags and one of the ladies at the bar cheered: "Hey, it's the church ladies!" as she smiled and reached for her bag. Everyone was very friendly and seemed happy to see us. We talked with one woman in the dressing room who thanked us for the bag and explained that she had a daughter who was having a birthday tomorrow and said she was going to give her the bag as a present. On the way out, we handed her an extra bag and said: "This one is for you." She smiled and gave us a hug and thanked us again. We stopped at the DJ booth to give the DJ a bag of treats. Please pray for the women at this and all the clubs who have children. Pray for God's protection over those children. Pray for the Father to provide the financial relief these mothers need to support their children without having to work in the strip clubs. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the male employees towards God and His Word.

The end of the night led us to the doors of a club that only allows us to leave gift bags at the door for the ladies. We were again denied permission to pass out bags, but we left the bags at the door with the manager and one of the dancers. Although the manager always seems to be bothered with our persistence in delivering gifts to the ladies, our hope is that the women will know we have not forgotten them. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the owner, managers, dancers and other employees at that club. Pray for God's will to be done in that place. Ask God to have mercy on the lost inside those walls and for the saving grace of Jesus to transform their lives.

As we closed out the night, we were in awe of God's immense favor and the power of God's Spirit working to soften the hearts of the lost we so desperately want to see know His love.
Note: If you want to help ensure that this ministry can expand the number of filled bags to distribute, you are invited to donate 3 to 4 ounce bottles of new, quality scented body wash, lotion & sprays; fashionable jewelry (bracelets, earrings and necklaces); and new make-up of all sizes and brands (samples OK). Donations may be deposited in the Power of Love basket on the Mission Wall in the Cafe. Jennifer may be e-mailed here.