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.

BBQ Fundraiser & Cake Auction

SAVE THE DATE!

 

 

Hey everyone, we are planning a fun party at our warehouse and you are invited!

Here are the details:

What: BBQ Fundraiser & Cake Auction

When: Saturday July 20 beginning at 5pm

Where: Unsheltered International Warehouse, 479 County Road 821 Cullman, AL 35057

How to give: We will have a bucket that you can drop in your donation of any amount (you don’t have to give to come). If you write a check, make it to Unsheltered International. There will also be a fun “live” auction of desserts like cakes and pies. (We did this once before and it was the highlight of the whole thing!) If you are out of town and want to contribute, you can use this link to do so online, or you can mail in your gift to: Unsheltered International PO Box 2625 Cullman, AL 35056.

If you would like to donate a baked item for our auction please contact Tara at tara@unsheltered.org or call our office at 256-737-0112, ext. 180.

Above all, please pray for our family, the ministry that God has entrusted to us, and those to who we preach and help.

Hope to see you there!

Below Me, But Not Beneath Me by Travis Sharpe

After a short stay in Korea, my daughter Sarah and I made it safely to the Philippines a couple days ago. Typically, when here in our second home, we have a rented house that is off the beaten path. Unfortunately, that house was recently sold and we had to find other accommodations for this trip. After an intensive search, our friends found us a 320 square foot condo on the eleventh floor of a downtown building.

 

My wife and son will be joining us next week and although extremely small for a family of four, the condo is quite nice and has a terrific view of the South China Sea. Directly across from us is the provincial capitol building and a beautiful lagoon where people spend the early morning hours exercising while it is still somewhat cool. Right behind the capitol building is the brand new, state of the art, Ayala Mall.

 

There is a nice coffee shop beside us and other businesses and homes behind us. Here we are in the heart of Bacolod City, nicknamed the City of Smiles. There is a tiny balcony on our condo that is just big enough for the air conditioner unit and one small chair. From this vantage point, eleven stories above it all, you can see for miles and get some fresh air. I like to see all the sights from here, especially early, before everything awakens for the day, and late, when the city is finally winding down.

This morning however, it was not what was in front of me, beside me, or behind me that grabbed my attention.

I was drawn to what was below me.

Directly below our condo unit, behind a bustling fast food restaurant, I saw two boys sleeping on a trash pile on one side of the parking lot, while another cluster of boys slept quietly under a large tree on the other side.

These children are well known to our UIP street ministry team because they feed and clothe them each and every week. Every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, the team makes their regular stop to check on this group of “street children”. On Tuesdays and Thursdays our team brings the children to our rescue center where they can shower, get new clothes, and enjoy a sit-down meal and Bible study.

Most of these children are extremely dirty, under educated, and sick. The truly sad thing is they have become part of the landscape. They seem to “fit in” with the dirt and the garbage and the surroundings.  For the most part, they go unnoticed. And all too often, they are unwanted and unloved.

Today, what God seemed to be impressing upon my heart was, “while these children are below you, they are not beneath you.” Or to put it another way, they are equally valuable to God as anyone else.

My prayer is that God would open our eyes and our hearts to the suffering of the world. I pray that He would help us to see as He sees and love as He loves. I also pray that God would help us to realize that although many are living right below us, none are beneath us.

Note: Our homeless ministries in the Philippines have two parts. One is called the Rescue Center and the other is called the Street Ministry. The two are inner connected and they reach the same people. The part we call the Street Ministry is when our team goes out on the streets to serve meals and share the gospel. This is where we first meet people who need our help.

After we meet them on the street, we try to get them to come with us to our Rescue Center that is located a few miles away. This happens on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we also refer to this ministry as “TGIT” which stands for thank God it’s Tuesday or Thursday! Here, we can offer showers, a good meal, clean clothes and Bible study.

These ministries are currently under-funded and we need new sponsors. You can visit this page to find out how to help.

God is Growing us!!

Unsheltered International just keeps growing. Three new board members have recently been added to our team. We have prayed for several years that the Lord would send the right people to join our ministry to help us grow. And he has! Please help us welcome to the team:

Dan Baity

 

Dan served as a Youth worker for over 20 years at Franklin Missionary Baptist Church in Darlington, MD. He enjoyed every moment of it and every aspect of it. From time to time, he and his wife Shirley would serve at the Baltimore Rescue Mission and their heart got pulled towards working in a street ministry of some sort, but did not have clear direction.

Then one fine Spring day they joined with the Unsheltered International Team in Coatesville, PA as they were conducting a Resource Clinic. He and Shirley saw the positive impact the Resource Clinic was having on the community. “We got to know Travis and the Unsheltered International Team a little better and felt lead to join their efforts as best we could,” Dan says. “We made Travis and the Unsheltered International Team objects of prayer. Little did we know they were praying for us as well! I am truly humbled to be asked to join this team on a more official basis and look forward  to serving for years to come.”

Currently Dan and Shirley attend services at Emmorton Baptist Church in Bel Air, MD. They have three children and six Grandchildren.

Email: baity91@zoominternet.net

 

Johnny Rockefellar

Johnny and Jennifer Rockefellar live in the Harlem, GA area and are active members of Old Union Baptist Church where Johnny has been serving as an interim pastor. They have joyfully supported Unsheltered Internationally for many years and have participated in resource clinics and two trips to the Philippines. Johnny works with a local company in Augusta, GA and devotes much of his free time to serving in his church, preaching and mission trips.

Johnny’s Email: johnnyrock1@comcast.net

 

Mike Gurley

Mike and Leanne Gurley have supported Unsheltered International for many years. They have given to help the ministry in many different facets including mission trips and fundraisers. Mike owns a small business and they make their home in Harlem, GA and are members of Kiokee Baptist Church in Appling, GA.

Mike’s Email: mikegurley@aol.com

 

We are praising God for his provision in our ministry and for these men of God he has sent to work along side us for his Glory.

Thank God It’s Thursday

Merliza Ner is the wife of Pastor Antonio Ner and the leader of the street ministry for Unsheltered International Philippines. Merliza and the rest of the UIP team serve the homeless, runaways, mentally ill and other vulnerable children and families.

Merliza’s tireless work ethic and servants heart shines through in all she does. She truly cares for those whom no one else cares for. The following is an update she shared on Facebook recently that really touched my heart. These are her words describing just one portion of one evening of their ministry.

Thank God it’s Thursday!

Thank God It’s Thursday! Thank God for the opportunity to serve to 19 precious souls in our rescue center! Thank God It’s Thursday and we had the privilege to serve good meal, prepare their hygiene and most of all, untiringly sharing the Gospel and God ‘s love. Although we have a good attendance for tonight, some are asking if we still have street ministry! But because we are already used to share TGIT to our street ministry, we will still go out to reach the other homeless roaming around the busy street and downtown area of Bacolod. Our clients are also excited for our food delivery and so very thankful.

Because it’s campaign time for the upcoming election, most people are asking if we are running for a politics. We told them that we are Christian and wanted to share God’s love to them.

As we continue looking for new contacts and needy, we saw Celine, aka Amor, lying on the sidewalk. So thankful that our team is always on the go, not only first aid kit is on our bags but also extra tops or shirts, just in case! Amor is almost half naked so Sis. Rama gave her a t-shirt. Amor also enjoy talking with Richard.

We are also looking for the lady with no name but we did not see her and we conclude maybe because of the rain that’s why she is not there in her area. She is a person we met last week but she would not speak and would not tell us her name. It was clear that she was suffering from some type of trauma or mental illness.

But the heartbreaking scene was on our way back home. I saw a naked person not sure who she/he is. I requested Bro. Julito, our driver to make a U turn to help that naked person.

But to our surprise, it was the lady with no name. We only have extra shirts on our bags so I requested again our driver to make a U turn going to downtown area and we will buy a legging for her. At first, she is uncomfortable when we go closer to her maybe because she is just covering her naked body with a small piece of old sack. But when we showed her the clothes that we have for her, i can’t explain her face. Again, she is very hungry and thirsty. I think, she is suffering trauma. When we said “bye for now”, she don’t like to look at us. I requested Pastor Tuazon to pray with her.

We covet your prayers for this special ministry.

We covet your prayers for God’s continues provision for this special ministry.

We need more prayer warriors for these precious souls.

Wow!

This is just one example of why we love the partnership that we have with Mrs. Ner, Her husband pastor Ner, and everyone in Unsheltered International Philippines. They are the real deal. When you support our Philippines ministry, this is where it goes. Thank you for your prayers.