The Gospel is Still Our Main Thing

Everyone has an opinion about ministering to the homeless. Some are very good, some are not so good.

Some consider the most important thing food. For many it is housing. Still for some, the most important thing is to let people be, so that they can find their own way and make sense of life on their own terms.

As for me, I try to stay away from too many opinions. That’s right, I try to keep most of my opinions to myself. After more than twenty years of ministering to the unsheltered, I have learned one HUGE lesson.

People who are experiencing homelessness need the same things in life that we all need. And the biggest need is to hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and learn to obey his commands. Every single person on earth needs the gospel.

The fact is, everything else we give or do is temporary. We will get hungry again, homes can be destroyed by disasters and even the best ones will eventually deteriorate. New clothes will have to be replaced soon. Everything here on earth is temporary.

The fact that everything down here is temporary doesn’t mean that we ignore them. In fact, we go to great lengths to feed and clothe hundreds of needy people each year. We try to do all those things with compassion and love. We are even working on a new project to bring housing to people who have nowhere else to go. Click here to read about the plan that has been developed.

But the greatest thing we can ever do for anyone, homeless or not, is to share the story of redemption with them.

Here are the facts according to the Bible.

You can have a fine home, a wonderful family, and everything that this life affords, and still die and spend eternity separated from God in Hell.

On the other hand, you can be a poor beggar with no earthly goods, yet have Christ in your life, and spend eternity in his presence in Heaven.

It is those facts that inform my opinions and actions. Putting the gospel first is the only real way to help someone for all of eternity. That’s what we do.

How you can help

Your one last gift to our ministry for 2019 will help us continue putting the souls of men and women first. Thank you for all you have done this year, and I would ask you to consider one more gift to help us finish strong.

Please click here to give today and make an eternal difference!

Many blessings,

Travis Sharpe
President, Unsheltered International

Save the Date!

Hey there,

I am so excited to send you this “save the date” information because our live fundraiser is the biggest and best fundraiser that we do each year. Plus, it’s awesome to see God provide through the generosity of our ministry partners year after year.

Our ministry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year. We have expanded the Philippines ministry, doubled our warehouse operation in Cullman, and increased our local outreach efforts in Cullman. We have also put together plans for a new tiny-home village that is going to be a real help to people in need of housing here in our hometown.

With all of these increases in our ministry, we have set a 2020 live fundraising goal of $100,000. I know that we have a BIG God and generous partners who give because they want to make a difference in the hearts and lives of people in need. So we are stepping out by faith and aiming for our largest single day fundraiser to date.

I hope that you will begin to pray about how you can get involved with us not only in giving yourself, but also helping our team in prayer and recruiting other to give with you.

Thanks for saving the date and praying with us!

How hard work and a loving church made a difference

Homeless, hungry, and with little direction for what would be next in his life, on August 22nd of this year, Johnathan found his way to Temple Baptist Church in Cullman, AL. He was met by the worship pastor, Jaylynn Milligan, who immediately wanted to help. In exchange for a little work around the church, Jaylynn put him in a motel for a couple of nights. On the second day, Johnathan got saved. He was baptized a couple weeks later and began to attend church faithfully.

Still with no place to live, we allowed him to stay in a small office at our warehouse. He slept every night on an old Army cot and never complained one time. Next, Johnathan landed a job at KFC and began to work as many hours as possible. Jaylynn continued to mentor him and I began taking him through a discipleship book. Every Monday Johnathan also volunteers at our warehouse sorting clothes, cleaning and working with the other volunteers.
 

After weeks of patiently waiting, and working hard to save money, Johnathan was finally able to move into his own apartment in town. Several local families from our church gave him furniture and our church helped cover his deposit and first months rent.

Pictured left to right: Travis, Jaylynn, Johnathan, Tim

The job at KFC was going well but Johnathan really needed to earn more money if he was going to be able to afford his apartment and have some type of transportation also. When he learned about a plant that was hiring, he quickly put in an application and was hired. The money is much better and he is doing great in his new position. He was even able to purchase a motor scooter to get around on!

He is now working hard, volunteering with our ministry and attending church faithfully. Johnathan has been a good example of how God truly blesses hard work and patience. But he is also a good example of how a church family can make a real difference for someone who is homeless.

First, he got saved and baptized at our church. Next, the job at KFC came through a church member. He began to learn about the Lord and be encouraged through the Sunday and Wednesday evening services as well. His new, better paying job at the plant also came through a church member who noticed his hard work and wanted to help. Of course, many other people at church have fed him, bought him clothes, encouraged him, and even have had him over for dinner and fellowship. Most importantly, Jaylynn, the worship pastor has been a mentor to Johnathan. Jaylynn’s role with him has complimented my role and together, we have made a difference!

Basically, every good thing that has happened in Johnathan’s life over the past few months has happened in and through Temple Baptist Church working hand-in-hand with our ministry. I am so thankful for our church family and for what God has done in and through them.

Please pray for Johnathan as he continues to learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and as he works hard to support himself in this new phase of his life!

Year-end giving options

Hey there,

As 2019 is quickly coming to a close, I wanted to ask you to prayerfully consider Unsheltered International in your year-end giving. If you follow our ministry much at all, you know that God is doing great things through us to help broken people who need lots of love and help.

December is a critical month for us and your generous offering can help us finish in the black and go into 2020 in a strong financial position. With our current ministries, and our future plans for the tiny home village, we need a real boost in the general fund which has gotten a little low due to the high number of people who have called upon us for help this quarter.

With that in mind, I want to share all of our giving options with you so that you are well informed and giving is made easy. Also, please feel free to share this with family and friends who may also be interested in giving!

Our giving options

Checks

Checks can be made to Unsheltered International and mailed to:

Unsheltered International
PO Box 2625
Cullman, AL 35056

Bank draft

Our bank draft option is great because there are no fees associated with it per donation. It’s also easy because once you set it up, you don’t have to think about it again. It’s all automatic!

Simply download our bank draft authorization form by clicking here. Fill out the form and email to tara@unsheltered.org or mail to our office at the above address.

Credit or Debit card

Just visit our website by clicking here, then click on the “donate now” button to use you debit or credit card. It will take you to our PayPal page which is the company we use to process Credit card transactions.

Thank you!

However you choose to give, we appreciate it and thank God for the gift and the giver. Remember that we are tax-exempt as a 501c3 faith-based ministry and all gifts are deductible according to IRS law. Thanks for remembering us this holiday season and may our Lord richly bless you!

Tiny Home Village- Our desire in Cullman, AL

God has put a BIG dream in our hearts to help provide a real solution for the homeless crisis in our home town of Cullman, AL. Every week we get several calls from people who are in desperate need of shelter. With the closet shelter being 40 miles away, we have no good answer when there is a real need. We currently provide clothing, food, showers, clothes washing and other needs for the people who call upon us for help. But the more pressing need is housing.

We believe that God has led us to start a tiny home village in our county where we can provide safe, clean housing in a dignified manner to people in need.

Through this model, we will be able to provide help for several demographics of the unsheltered population in our county. In order for this dream to become a reality, we ask that you help us pray for a few specific requests that I have listed below.

In addition to this new initiative, we have recently learned that we are in jeopardy of losing our ministry warehouse because of the possibility of the property being sold. Our long-term vision is to have our warehouse, offices, and the tiny home village all on the same property. Please join us in praying for these great opportunities.

Our specific requests are:
  • That God would provide the land needed for the tiny home village. We are asking God to give us 10 or more acres, free of charge.
  • That God would begin to provide the necessary funds and resources to begin construction.
  • That there will be a good solution to the possibility of our warehouse property being sold and us needing to move. (It would be devastating to our local efforts if we had to move without another option)
  • Above all, please pray for wisdom as we move forward in trying to be a blessing here in Cullman, AL.

 

If you would like more information, or to make a contribution, please call our office at 256-737-0112, ext 180. Or email Travis Sharpe at travis@unsheltered.org.

 

2020 Winter Revival for the Unsheltered

 Winter Revival for the Unsheltered 2020

New Orleans, LA

 

 

 

We are excited to announce a special mission trip again to New Orleans, LA February 1-6, 2020. Once again we will partner with Pastor Terry Rodgers to reach the homeless community with the gospel. This unique mission trip opportunity will be unforgettable in many ways. You don’t want to miss it!

We will be having a special three day revival that is specifically for the people of New Orleans who are living on the streets and in the missions. We hope to encourage them with powerful singing and preaching each day. There will also be organized opportunities for everyone to minister out on the streets and under the bridges as we invite people to the revival and provide for their basic needs.

Pastor Clemon Chapell from Sunrise Baptist Church in Gary, IN will be preaching and there will be special music during the services! You don’t want to miss out on this wonderful Spirit-filled time!

The cost of the trip is $425 per person and there are only 30 spots available. The cost will cover your lodging and most of your meals. You will still have opportunities to have some meals on your own in New Orleans!

A few more details

  • You are responsible for getting to New Orleans and your transportation when you are there.
  • All of your lodging and most of you meals are covered with the price of the trip.
  • Children under 18 are welcome but they must be accompanied by an adult.
  • A $75 non-refundable deposit is due by December 1st to hold your spot. Remaining balance is due by January 3rd.
  • Our lodging will be at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary dormitories. You need to bring twin size bedding, towels and all toiletries.

How to register

To register, email Tara Philyaw at tara@unsheltered.org. Send your name, date of birth, address, phone number, home church and pastor’s name.

Payment information

Important: space is very limited so sign up today!

Trip cost: $425

$75 non-refundable deposit is needed to hold your spot.

Balance is due by January 3rd.

 

To pay by check, make check payable to Unsheltered International and mail to:

Unsheltered International

NOLA mission trip

PO Box 2625

Cullman, AL 2625

To pay now online:

Click here to pay deposit now.

 

Click here to pay any amount now

 

Below is the preliminary schedule:

Saturday Feb 1
  • Groups arrive at various times
  • 6 pm Pizza and group meeting in the evening. This will be in the fellowship building attached to the dorms where we are staying . We will have introductions and cover over our plan for the week.
Sunday Feb 2
  • 7:45 arrive at Terrytown Family Baptist Church
  • 8 am- Breakfast for group and all guests at Terrytown Family Baptist Church. (provided by TFBC)
  • 9 am- Kickoff service at Terrytown Family Baptist Church
  • Lunch after service (provided by UI)
  • Free after lunch, no more activities for the day. This, and Thursday afternoon are your only free times to see the city, eat out, etc.)
Monday Feb 3
  • 7:30-8:30 am continental breakfast in fellowship hall by dorms.
  • 10 am- Meet at Shiloh Christian Fellowship to set up sound equipment and see the facilities.
  • After we are done at the church we will hit the streets for homeless outreach. We will split into groups and go out to pass out snack bags and invite people to the revival which will start the next day.
  • We will provide items for a bag lunch. Make your lunch when you eat breakfast.
  • 6 pm- Dinner for group at Grace Baptist Church with special message by Pastor Shannon Foote.
Tuesday Feb 4
  • 7:45 am- Arrive at Shiloh
  • 9 am- Breakfast at Shiloh for group and all guests.  (provided by UI)
  • Revival service immediately after breakfast (around 10 or whenever finished with breakfast)
  • Resources available after the service
  • Lunch after the resources for group and all guests (provided by UI)
  • Homeless outreach after lunch and ministry in French Quarter
  • 7 pm- Dinner for group at fellowship hall by dorms (provided by UI)
Wednesday Feb 5
  • 7:45 am- Arrive at Shiloh
  • 9 am- Breakfast at Shiloh for group and all guests.  (provided by UI)
  • Revival service immediately after breakfast (around 10 or whenever finished with breakfast)
  • Resources available after the service
  • Lunch after the resources (provided by UI)
  • Homeless outreach after lunch
  • 7 pm Dinner and chapel service at fellowship hall by dorms
Thursday Feb 6
  • 7:45 am- Arrive at Shiloh
  • 9 am- Breakfast at Shiloh for group and all guests.  (provided by UI)
  • Revival service immediately after breakfast (around 10 or whenever finished with breakfast)
  • Resources available after the service
  • Lunch after the resources (provided by UI)
  • Everyone is free after cleanup following lunch
  • No dinner provided Thursday night

 

Our team lodging will be at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

This is a beautiful campus that is safe and secure. They have their own police force and security force and it is a retreat in the middle of the city. Our entire group will be in the Nelson Price dormitory.

 

 

The revival services will be held at Shiloh Christian Fellowship.

They are opening up their facilities for us to use and we appreciate their partnership very much. This church is located in a great area for our revival. It is a short van ride or walk for the unsheltered.

 

 

 

For more information email Tara Philyaw at tara@unsheltered.org.

 

Pictures from the 2019 trip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional pictures from our ministry trips to New Orleans

 

We look forward to partnering with you!

Christmas for the children

Hey there,

For the last four years it has been our joy to help provide food and presents for the precious children who are enrolled in our children’s meal centers in the Philippines.

April and I have had the opportunity to be there for some of these celebrations and it is so awesome to see the happiness on their faces as they receive these gifts that are so rare to them. This year, our team has selected about one hundred kids who will benefit from these blessings of food, clothing and other items.

We plan to send the funds over to our Filipino team on the first of December and we need your help to make it wonderful. A gift of any amount will be a real blessing because these children are very poor and their families, for the most part, cannot provide special things during the holidays.

Our team has all the plans in place and they will begin to purchase everything that is needed as soon as we send the funds. A great idea is to consider adopting a child or two as part of your own Christmas giving this year. It will take $40 per child and their entire family will benefit from the gift.

Of course, we really appreciate anything you can do to help make this Christmas more of a joy for these kids. I’ve included a few pictures of past Christmas celebrations for you at the bottom!

To give your gift….

  • with your credit or debit card please click here.

  • by check, please make check payable to Unsheltered International and mail to:
    Unsheltered International
    Po Box 2625
    Cullman, AL 35056

  • by bank draft, please download the bank draft authorization form here.For more information please call Tara Philyaw at 256-737-0112, ext 180. You can also email her at tara@unsheltered.org.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Meal and Fish Fry

Hey there,

I want to tell you about two very great events that are right around the corner. Both of them are happening on Saturday November 23rd.

Free Thanksgiving meal

First, we have a Thanksgiving meal for our local community here in Cullman. This is a free meal that we will be delivering to anyone in need on that Saturday between 11 am and 2pm. We have put out the word locally and people are already calling us to get on the list.

For this, we will need volunteers to help us deliver the meals. Lots of manpower will be needed so please help if you can. Simply call Tara at 256-737-0112, ext. 180 and let her know you want to help serve that day.

And, if you know someone who might need a meal delivered to them, they can call the same number and request a meal. I hope that many people are blessed by this outreach.

Fundraising fish fry

THEN, later that evening, we are having a fish-fry right here at our warehouse to raise money to purchase some badly needed new tents for our resource clinic ministry. Howard Dye is coming over from Georgia with his mobile kitchen and the fish, hush-puppies, and all the trimmings will be cooked fresh on site!

If you have ever had his cooking then you know how good it will be. We have an opportunity to purchase several tents from a tent company that is going out of business. These tents are greatly reduced in price and we need to raise the money quickly so Howard offered to come do the fish fry in an effort to help meet this need.

The fish fry will be at our warehouse from 5pm-7pm. The warehouse is located at 479 County Road 827 Cullman, AL 35057.

I hope you will spread the word about both these events and come on out and participate. The meal will bless people on that day and the tents will bless people at all of our resource clinics in the future.

Of course, if you are out of town, or cannot make it but still want to give for the tents, you can use the link below or the address at the bottom of this email.

Click here to give!

Thanks so much for your help!

Full report from New Orleans 2019

This past weekend marked our last resource clinic for this year. Once again, we ended the season in New Orleans partnering with Pastor Terry Rodgers and Terrytown Family Baptist Church.

Friday, the day before the clinic, Steve Battles and Paul Stensrud led a team of over 30 people who spent the day out on the streets ministering to the unsheltered population. They gave out hundreds of snack bags, passed out flyers, prayed with many people and even provided some medical assistance. Their hard work really paid off the next day when 159 people showed up for the resource clinic that was held at Shiloh Christian Fellowship.

During our event we had great weather and all of the guests were happy to be there with us. Many of them stayed around all day enjoying the food and fellowship. April and Shaun cooked hotdogs and chili and that was a tremendous hit. We had 90 volunteers and several of them helped to serve the meal.

The service was full of people and Pastor Terry preached a great message. By the end of the day, five people trusted Christ as their Savior.

The most popular resource was the clothing. For more than an hour there was a long line waiting to take advantage of the free clothes. Many people were looking for winter outfits, blankets and jackets.

It was a great day for sure and we appreciate all of the help from everyone who participated. We will be going back to New Orleans in February for our winter revival and we still have some spots open for that trip. If you are interested in coming please let us know and we will get you signed up!

Here are all the totals from our day.

5 salvations
159 guests
90 volunteers
320 meals
58 medical
45 Bibles
25 birth certificates
113 Hygiene
84 reading glasses
40 haircuts
108 clothing

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