God has blessed in a BIG way!

Hey there,

This is the kind of email that I LOVE to write! I wanted to tell you that our God has blessed our rescue center and street ministry sponsorship program in a BIG WAY. Are you ready for this?

As of today, that program is now sponsored in full. God has blessed us with 21 sponsors who are giving various amounts that come to a total of $1,100 per month. That’s what it is taking right now to operate the rescue center and street ministry.

We are praising God for the generosity of these sponsors who are giving on a monthly basis.

Of course, there are other financial needs throughout the year such as Christmas gifts and special projects. But having the basic operating cost covered each month is definitely a game changer.

Below are some recent pictures from the rescue center and street ministry. Please continue to pray for the vulnerable children and adults who are being introduced to Jesus each week through the hard work of our Filipino team.

Blessings,

Travis Sharpe

                   

Full Report from the Augusta, GA Resource Clinic

We had a wonderful day in Augusta, GA at Garden City Rescue Mission. The resource clinic was truly a blessing for everyone we served as well as those of us who were busy doing the serving.

The director of the Mission, brother Patrick Fiestel, did a great job of having the facilities in tip-top shape when we arrived. Many of the men who are on the program at the Mission worked all day helping us set up and run things. The Lord was so gracious in all of it!

Brother Kenny Marr delivered a powerful message during the worship service. There were dozens of prayer request cards filled out and our evangelism team counseled and prayed with each one. Praise God that 16 souls received Christ at the clinic.

Howard Dye of Dye’s Southern Catering prepared a delicious meal of BBQ, slaw, hash and rice, and peach cobbler for dessert. One thing is for sure, Howard will always provide a good meal and keep us fed!

We want to extend a BIG thank you to all of our hard working leadership team and volunteers who came out to make today’s event happen. These awesome events truly are team efforts and we are thankful that God has blessed us with faithful servants who love people. Also, special thanks to the local churches in the Augusta area that gave and served to make the clinic possible.

Here’s a total of the clinic results

Salvations- 16
Attendance- 176
Volunteers- 125
Hygiene- 114
Birth certificates- 47
Clothing- 97
Reading glasses- 58
Bibles- 33
Haircuts- 47
Medical care- 21
Meals- 259
Children’s Area – 4
Here are a few pictures. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for lots of great pictures!

Full report from the Baltimore resource clinic

This past weekend was full of adventure, mishaps, sickness, and success as we held our first resource clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. Many of our team members were stricken with sickness before and during the event. Several vehicles broke down and one was even broken into at the hotel. But here we are a few days later, and everyone is excited about what God did. We are ready for the next one!

We partnered with Charm City Church, led by pastor Mike Kemper. He has been ministering in the worst parts of Baltimore for several years and his heart is for the homeless, drug addicted, mentally ill, and anyone who needs help. His church is comprised of precious people who have been rescued by Jesus and now serve each day to help others.

Pastor Kemper preached the message and the people hung on every word. He used several real-life stories from his own difficult past. Connecting on a personal level, he then brought in the Word of God and shared how that Jesus can save anyone who will come to him. Several people responded during the invitation time coming forward for prayer and salvation. By the end of the day, at least fifteen people trusted Christ to be their Savior.

Our medical team did a wonderful job of caring for people with all types of physical problems. Doc and Kim worked patiently listening to patients about their many ailments. As they carried out their examinations, they shared the love of Jesus with people who otherwise, may not have been able to see a doctor.

As usual, the haircut tent and hygiene tent were busy all day long. We had plenty of barbers and hair stylist this time and that was a big blessing. A free haircut for someone who is homeless or living in poverty can be a difference maker in  many ways. Most of all, it gives a boost of confidence which is definitely needed.

Chris and Lisa Russell joined us again to head up the clothing tent. They serve selflessly and share the gospel with everyone who comes through their tent looking for clothes. Some come in believing their greatest need is a new wardrobe, but leave understanding that their biggest need was Jesus.

The kitchen crew and servers, along with everyone else who worked all the other resource stations did a fantastic job serving throughout the entire weekend.

We are especially thankful for the group of twenty-seven who came from Fellowship Baptist Church in Canton, OH. They not only served with us, they also brought many supplies for the event.

Here are the totals for the event.

Guests- 198
Volunteers- 139
Meals- 350
Salvations- 15
Birth certificates- 16
Reading glasses- 27
Clothing- 72
Bibles- 48
Haircuts- 34
Medical care- 41

Hygiene- 129

Thanks again to everyone who helped in any way to make this resource clinic a success. Our next one is in Augusta, GA at Garden City Rescue Mission on August 10th.

If you would like to help us financially with the resource clinic ministry, you can donate here.

Successful Auction and Baltimore Bound

This past weekend, the Lord truly blessed our BBQ and cake auction fundraiser here in Cullman, AL. We gathered together at our ministry warehouse and enjoyed a great meal and time of fellowship. We want to say a special thanks to Johnny’s BBQ for providing the delicious meat and everyone else who brought sides and desserts.

After dinner, the cake auction began and it was tons of fun. Several of the homemade desserts brought over $300 and one sold for more than $400! We all laughed and bid against one another and when it was all said and done, over $8,000 was raised for the ministry.

Special thanks to everyone who made these special desserts for the auction. We could not have done it without you!  Next year’s date has already been set for July 18th so mark your calendars for that!

Baltimore, MD Resource Clinic

Most of our team left today headed for Baltimore, MD where we will be holding our third resource clinic for this year. We are partnering with Pastor Michael Kemper and Charm City Church for the event this weekend. We are praying for 300 people to attend. This will be our first year in Baltimore and the team is excited to begin a new relationship there.

We would ask that you pray for souls to be saved and the safety of our team as we travel from many states and converge together this weekend.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support that makes our ministry happen!

Blessings,

Travis Sharpe

Philippines Medical Mission Trip 2020

We have a wonderful opportunity planned for a medical mission trip to Dapitan City, Mindanao, Philippines. Here are some preliminary details:

Dates of the trip: April 27 – May 8, 2020 (these dates could adjust a day or two depending on flight schedules)

Cost: $3400 (includes airfare, lodging, meals)

Team leader: Pastor Todd Crusenberry, Unsheltered International Board Member and pastor of Community Baptist Church in Bristol, TN

Who can come?

At least 10 team members are needed for this trip. It will be a medical trip so doctors, nurses, physician assistants and nurse practitioners are greatly needed. Non-medical participants are also needed and will be able to do things such as assist the medical team, soul-winning, VBS with the children, etc.

Travel details

The team will travel on April 27-28, 2020 and arrive in the Philippines on April 29th. The next day will be a day of rest, refresh, and organization for the medical mission days. There will also be an additional day of shopping and fun on one of the days of the trip.

What do you need?

You will need a valid passport and you will need to be in good health for traveling. Each participant can carry one large suitcase for your clothes and one carry on and a personal item such as a backpack or purse. You might be asked to also bring a suitcase for medicines or supplies.

How to sign up

Download the medical mission application below and mail to Unsheltered International, PO Box 2625 Cullman, AL 35056.

Application For Medical Mission Trip pdf

For more information about this trip, you can call (Ph# 423-646-8760) or email Todd Crusenberry at toddcrusenberry@bvu.net.

Please read: Matching Funds Request

Hey there,

You may have already heard about our fundraiser that is coming up in Cullman, AL on July 20th. It’s going to be a fun get together with some of our local supporters and a few out of town guests as well. We will be having a BBQ dinner (with delicious BBQ provided by Johnny’s BBQ here in Cullman) and a cake auction.

We did this once before and it was so much fun. Several people got in a bidding war over the cakes and by the end of the evening, a little over $4000 was given to Unsheltered.

Prayerfully, there will be lots of people here this time and they will fight for the cakes again!

Here’s where we need a boost. We are asking the Lord to provide a business, a church, or even a couple families who would make some matching funds available to us for this fundraiser. Maybe you are the answer to our prayer?

We are seeking someone who would lets say, match dollar-for-dollar the first $1000 that is given at the fundraiser. With a generous matching funds challenge or two, the money we raise on the 20th could be easily doubled.

Think about it like this, if we raise $1000, we can serve 1,250 meals to hungry children. But if those funds are matched dollar-for-dollar, we can then take $2000 and feed 2,500 children!

If you are interested in becoming a matching funds donor for this event, please reply to this email or call our office at 256-737-0112 ext 180. Just ask for Tara and she can give you all the details. Most of all, please pray with us that God will bless all our ministries and that he will get the glory.

Blessings,
Travis

Easy, Practical Ways to Help our Ministry

Most of the time when you hear of ways to help a ministry it has a dollar sign attached to it. And that is a big part of a ministry, the monetary donations. But did you know there are also other ways that you can help not only our ministry, but other ministries as well?

 

Maybe you don’t have a big donation that you can forward to us. Maybe $25 a month would mean a tank of gas for you instead of giving to our ministry. But, do you know someone else that could help? Maybe you work for a hotel that can donate washcloths and towels to our ministry once they recycle theirs. Or, maybe you have a friend that works for a company that distributes toothbrushes or deodorant. Our most prized donations that we receive are sometimes as simple as a bag of hard candy to put in our snack bags.

Short, simple emails or phone calls that ask “can you donate” can make a huge impact.  For example, a couple weeks ago, someone emailed a company that manufactures reading glasses on our behalf. That email resulted in them donating 600 pairs of glasses to us.

That will save us over $1,200.00!!! It’s the same as receiving a $1,2000 donation.

If you have a contact that you would be willing to touch base with on behalf of Unsheltered International, please do so. YOUR contact could actually save us hundreds of dollars by donating gifts-in-kind.

Here are some things we use a lot of:
  • Toothpaste and tooth brushes
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Reading glasses
  • Razors
  • Bottled water
  • Individually wrapped snacks like peanuts, granola bars, etc.
  • lotion
  • Wash cloths
  • Hand sanitizers

 If you need additional information on what resources we are in need of click here. Or you can always call our office at 256-737-0112, ext. 180 and speak with Tara.

As always, regardless of what you can or can’t give, you can always offer prayer for our ministry.

Full Report from the Bristol, VA Resource Clinic

This past weekend we had the privilege of hosting our third resource clinic of this year. Our ministry partnered with several local churches in the area. The clinic was held at Community Baptist Church which is pastored by one of our board member’s, Todd Crusenberry. The meal for the day was provided and prepared by Joel Wray and his team from Soup for the Soul, a local ministry that has a mobile kitchen and serves meals.

Here is a full list of the results for the day:

Guests- 138
Volunteers- 113
Meals- 375
Salvations- 2
Re-dedications- 2
Birth certificates- 22
Reading glasses- 58
Clothing- 84
Bibles- 34
Haircuts- 43
Medical care- 18
Hygiene- 105
Face paint – 11

Narcan packs given – 45

Friday visitation

Friday several of our team spent all day on the streets of the community handing out flyers about the clinic on Saturday, praying, and witnessing.

Volunteer Meeting and Fellowship Dinner

Friday night Community Baptist Church was gracious enough to host a fellowship dinner for our team and volunteers. The Friday night before the clinic is our time to hold a meeting about the clinic set up, function and expectations for the next day. We are able to go over any questions or concerns that volunteers might have.

Great Preaching and Singing

At this clinic we were blessed to have The Sampson Family providing our worship and singing. Billy Sampson and his three daughters, Ashley, Sarah and Emily provided wonderful singing during the worship service. Billy’s son-in-law, Justin Williamson, preached the message to our guests. We are praising God for two salvation’s and two re-dedication’s.

                            

One of the souls saved at the clinic was Randy. Here he is pictured with one of our team leaders, Denny Mitchell, our Board Chairman, Howard Dye and another guest. Randy was also blessed with a brand new lawn mower. Pray for Randy as he begins his new life in Christ.

Throughout the day we offered our free resources to all the guest. Clothing, birth certificates, personal hygiene, reading glasses, medical screenings, and Bibles were a blessing. Sometimes something as simple as checking a person’s vital signs can lead to them obtaining more vital medical help that they were unaware was even needed. The resources are intended to help with things they might be missing because of homelessness or poverty.

We want to thank all of the selfless volunteers, churches and organizations who made this great day possible. Without their help we couldn’t have pulled all this together.

Here are some other pictures from the clinic.

           
           

New Sponsorship Program

We are always looking for a way to connect our donors with the people we serve on a daily basis. It’s our desire that our partners be well informed so that they can be in constant prayer for the vulnerable people their gifts are helping. We also want you to be able to see how you are making a difference.

With those thoughts in mind, we have developed a new sponsorship program for people who want to give on a monthly basis and help us expand our ministry to homeless children and families in the Philippines. This ministry has two parts, the rescue center and the street outreach.

But when you become a sponsor, you are sponsoring them both. 

You can see all the details about these ministries by clicking here. But let me just say this, when you give to this ministry, you are giving to sustain some of the most broken and vulnerable people there are. We serve runaway children, homeless families, and everyone in between.

Just a couple days ago, Travis was on the streets in Bacolod City and met Mildred. She is homeless and sleeps every night in front of a large Catholic cathedral. Mildred is very sweet and depends upon food from our street outreach team for survival.

 

The many children that we serve is sometimes overwhelming. The Sharpe family has spent the last month in the Philippines and they got very attached to several of the kids. These kids live right outside the hotel where the Sharpe’s were staying. In the picture below, the Sharpe took several of the kids to Chow-King, a popular fast food restaurant.

 

They did what they could while they were living close by, but the time has come for the Sharpe’s to return home to the states. The good news is that through the new sponsorship program, you can donate and ensure these same children have not only food and clothes, but also the hope of the gospel.

Here’s where we are now

As of this writing, we currently have five monthly sponsors. There combined monthly gifts total $315 per month. Our monthly budget for the rescue center/street outreach is $1000 per month.

So how have we been making it? We have made it by God’s grace and his provision. Money from various fundraisers has been applied to cover the costs. But it’s time to meet our budget and we are asking for new sponsors to jump on board and help us with this critical need.

How the sponsorship program will work

Once you sign up to be a monthly sponsor, you will receive bi-monthly email updates with pictures and a brief commentary about what has been happening in the ministry of the rescue center/street ministry. We will do our best to keep you well informed and up to date with current happenings and needs.

There are three easy ways to sign up and begin your sponsorship. You can give through PayPal with your own account or with a debit card, you can choose our bank draft giving option, or you can send a check each month. All of these options are listed below.

Sponsorship amounts are given monthly and can be $25, $50, $100, or an amount of your choice.

How to get started now

First, thank you for reading and praying. Thank you also for helping. For less than $1 per day, you can make life much better for those we serve. below are the options for getting started.

To start your sponsorship through PayPal, click the link below.

Give with PayPal

To start your sponsorship through bank draft giving, see instructions below.

All you need to do is download our bank draft form by clicking here. Fill the form out and mail to our office at:

Unsheltered International
PO Box 2625
Cullman, AL 35056

For assistance, call Tara Philyaw at 256-737-0112 ext. 180. You can also email her at tara@unsheltered.org.

To start your sponsorship by sending a monthly check, see instructions below.

Make your check payable to Unsheltered International and put “rescue and outreach sponsor” in the memo section. Mail your check to:

Unsheltered International
PO Box 2625
Cullman, AL 35056

Please include your email address for regular updates.

Thank you

Again, thank you for your prayers and support. As we work hard on this end, it’s comforting to know that we have partners holding the line on the other end!

Giving children a fighting chance

I believe that no child should EVER have to live on the streets. But here in the Philippines, that’s the daily reality for thousands of children. Most of them have a family, or at least a partial family. Most of them have some sort of house to go to late at night. But it’s never a good situation.

Many of the children I have personally met are being raised by young parents who themselves were born and raised into a life of making their living on the streets. They might sell face cloths or help park cars. Some beg for money and others collect scrap plastic and cardboard to sell at the recycle shops.

They lack education and the resources necessary just to be healthy, much less enjoy a normal childhood. They get sick easily because of their living conditions and the younger children are eventually lured into drugs and crime by the older, wiser ones. Worse yet, many of the young girls are being sold over and over again as sex slaves. It’s like Satan has laid a perfect trap through poverty.

While I absolutely love ministering to these precious young souls, I am also thoroughly disgusted with the conditions that parents, authorities, and local government allow these vulnerable children to exist in.

Here’s how our team is giving underprivileged children a fighting chance.

Sharing the gospel

Without a doubt, the number one act of compassion that we can do for anyone is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with them. Every time our ministry team goes out, they are aware that the the greatest need is salvation. That’s why everything we do is centered around the gospel.

Many children and adults also, are drawn to us because of the food or the clothes or maybe just the love that our team gives. But those things are just the beginning. Behind every other compassionate act is our desire to explain that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. Our team members hand out gospel tracts, preach, and have one-on-one conversations. Every year dozens of children hear about Christ for the first time because of their efforts.

Serving nutritious meals

Three times per week our team hits the streets with meals. That’s the outreach part of the ministry where we give food to current clients and also seek to meet new ones. Two times each week we bring children to our rescue center for a sit-down meal.

If we had more funding, and more team members, we could provide meals every day of the week. But for now, we are serving when we can and our meals help to supplement what little bit of food they get during the week. Sister Merliza, who is in charge of the meals, always tries to make each meal nutritious so that it nourishes them as much as possible.

Providing showers and clean clothing

Every Tuesday and Thursday when children come to our rescue center, they are given personal hygiene products, a clean towel and clean clothes. We have four showers for them to use. These aren’t traditional showers like we have in the states, rather they are simple rooms with buckets of clean water and a dipping pail.

This type of bathing is what is common here and it doesn’t scare the kids. We have brought streets kids to our home before and they were literally scared to death of a regular shower that rained down water from above.

Some of the clothing and hygiene items are shipped from the states and some of it is purchased here locally. Last night I met a little boy about ten years old who had on nothing but an old pair of shorts and a dirty t-shirt that was about four sizes to big for him. A bath and clean clothes sure does go a long way!

Motherly love

We have four mothers who work in our rescue center and street ministry team. Merliza, Jovelyn, Melanie and Rama work hard every week to not only help with the physical needs of the children, but also to provide the motherly love that is usually missing.

They are able to guide and mentor with that special kind of love and intuition that only a mother has. They know when to comfort and they know when to discipline. They know when a hug is in order and they know when a stern talking to is important.

Medical care

Our team members always carry backpacks with first-aid supplies. When they encounter a child who has a would or some other type of problem, they are quick to assess the situation and apply the proper care.

There have been many instances when the situation was severe and the child needed professional medical attention. In those cases, we coordinate with local health offices, hospitals, or doctors and take the necessary steps needed to protect the child from further complications.

We have helped kids with tuberculosis, pneumonia, bacterial infections, open wounds and more. Over the years, several lives have been saved due to the quick action of our team.

In conclusion

Our team is not perfect, and we want to do much more than we are currently capable of. These children need love and protection twenty four hours a day. We fully realize that in order to see the results we long for, much more will need to be done. We will need to address their home life and education especially.

But one thing’s for sure, we are in the fight with them. Trying our best to give them a fighting chance!

I’m asking you to join us by becoming a monthly sponsor. For $25 or $50 per month, you can have a part in rescuing these children from their sad reality. Please consider your part today.

Click here for more information. You can also contact Tara at our office at 256-737-0112 ext. 180.