Bro. Denny’s Trip to South Dakota-Full Report

Hey everyone!

If you read our most recent Ministry Update than you saw that Bro. Denny Mitchell took a trip to Rapid City, South Dakota, to meet with Pastor Eric Schafnitz to bring help and hope to the homeless.

The missionaries already there

Pastor Eric and Sister Dawn and their family are missionaries called to the Native American reservations. Just this September, Pastor Eric led the very first service of 1st Nations Baptist Church, their brand new church plant.

The work that was done 

Bro. Denny spent the week working hard to assist Pastor Eric searching the streets for those who are unsheltered and in need. They went out Tuesday through Saturday of that week finding people who were cold and hungry. They gave away items such as blankets, toboggans, coats, hygiene kits, and care packages filled with snacks and water. They invited people to church on Sunday and witnessed to everyone they met about Jesus Christ. They even ended up leading a woman to the Lord while she was on her break from work.

Bro. Denny noticed a difference from the homeless community in Rapid City compared to the others he has served in. For example, he and Bro. Eric could not find any homeless camps in the area like are common in most places he goes. He learned that the homeless there tend to stay mobile, traveling back and forth from the two reservations that Rapid City is located between. And if they should stay the night there, they will leave no trace by cleaning up all their trash.

Something else that Bro. Denny was not familiar with is the severe opposition from the gangs there. In other cities where Bro. Denny has gone, the local gangs recognize and even appreciate it when people are giving help to their people. But in Rapid City it is nearly the opposite, to the point that there have been threats against Bro. Eric and his family.

The growing church

For their mid-week service and their regular Sunday services, Bro. Denny was given the privilege to preach. Thursday night after Sister Dawn and the children sang and Bro. Denny preached, two Native Americans recognized their need for Jesus and were saved!

That Sunday marked the 10th service for 1st Nations Baptist Church and it experienced great blessings also. After taking the time that week to care for people and to invite them to church, they had a record attendance of 17 people come in to worship and be refreshed by hearing from God’s Word. Praise the Lord!

 We are very grateful and happy that God has allowed us to partner with them and be a help as they have a burden to reach the homeless in that community of Rapid City.

Special Opportunities to Give!

 
The Gift Catalog
 
If you have looked on our website or follow us on Facebook I am sure that you have seen us mention our brand new Gift Catalog. It tells of many different ways you can give to help others! It also gives you good information about each UI ministry highlighted in the catalog.
 

If you haven’t already seen or received a Gift Catalog you can click here and go straight to our online version.

Children Christmas Fund

We are very excited for our big Christmas Party for our meal center children in the Philippines! It’s going to be so much fun for these kids and a great blessing for their families with the gifts we are planning to give.

The total funds for this event is $5,000.

Ministry Update 12-5-17

Hey everyone, we hope you all had a great Thanksgiving this past November!

Bro. Denny in South Dakota

Just yesterday Bro. Denny Mitchell of our Unsheltered International team traveled back home to Virginia all the way from South Dakota where he worked and ministered with Pastor Eric Schafnitz to the homeless native Americans in Rapid City for the past week. Great things happened! The love of Jesus was shown and the needy were cared for. The Word of God was preached and souls were saved! We are looking forward to sharing all about it in the next few days with a full report coming your way.

Pictured above is Pastor Eric talking with a few people who have just received care packages from himself and Bro. Denny.

TGIF is Going Strong

Since our first night back in August of this year, TGIF has been blessed greatly as a ministry to those in the streets of Bacolod City, Philippines. That first night we brought in 23 guests to be fed and refreshed and now on an average Friday night, we have no less than 30. It has grown so much that two extra bath stalls are being built so we can be sure that every guest has a chance to shower before they change into their fresh, new clothes.

Our clients love to come to the Rescue Center every week to get help and comfort. Sister Liza, who leads this ministry with her husband, Pastor Antonio, even said, “They are all excited for Friday night! They feel like they belong.” What an amazing thing to hear. Not only are their obvious needs being met through a meal, shower, new clothes, and medical attention, but they know how loved they are by the care being given to them.

Checking In

Our Unsheltered International-Philippines street ministry team really makes an effort to keep good relationships with our clients. One of the main ways they accomplish this is to visit them during the week when its not one of the scheduled evenings to go out. Especially when there is an extra need of a client.

For example this past Sunday after attending and serving at her church, staff member Lovely Javier went to check on a young client who had been stabbed in the ankle by a banana stick. She took the time to clean up and bandage his wound, trying to keep it safe from the dirty, infectious environment in which he lives.

Here you can see Lovely in her Unsheltered International shirt during street ministry.

Special Opportunities to Give!

The Gift Catalog

If you have looked on our website or follow us on Facebook I am sure that you have seen us mention our brand new Gift Catalog. It tells of many different ways you can give to help others! It also gives you good information about each UI ministry highlighted in the catalog.

If you haven’t already seen or received a Gift Catalog you can click here and go straight to our online version.

Children Christmas Fund

We are very excited for our big Christmas Party for our meal center children in the Philippines! It’s going to be so much fun for these kids and a real blessing for their families with the gifts we are planning to give.

The total funds for this event is $5,000.

Full Report from New Orleans

We are very thankful for the great response today at our resource clinic in New Orleans. Groups from Mississippi, South Carolina, Indiana, Alabama and others came together to serve and the Lord added his blessing to it all.

We served meals, cut hair, provided medical care, gave items such as clothing and Bibles and much more. We also had singing and preaching and a real emphasis on evangelism.

Prior to today, Denny Mitchell with Unsheltered International and Paul Stensrud with Exit 0 spent many hours out on the streets meeting hundreds of people and inviting them to the event. Paul also brought many snack packs and other supplies that they gave away while inviting people to the event. We are grateful for everyone’s involvement.

Here are the totals from today

Guests- 155
Volunteers- 158
Salvations- 8
Resumes- 2
Birth certificates- 20
Reading glasses- 31
Clothing- 91
Bibles- 51
Haircuts- 27
Medical care- 36
Meals- 468

Snack/hygiene- 112 (Over 100 additional snack packs were given by Exit 0 beforehand)

We appreciate those of you who faithfully support our ministry with your prayers and also financially. You have helped us accomplish great things for God’s glory! Below are some pictures from the day.

Bristol Resource Clinic Report

What a great day in Bristol at the resource clinic!

Special Dedication to Eddie Crusenberry

The lot we used was dedicated in memory of our great friend and champion in the faith Eddie Crusenberry.

Many in the community had needs met and heard the Gospel as well as saw it acted out through our many volunteers. We were blessed to have so much help in this event. Thank you to every one of those who came out from different churches and ministry organizations such as Soup for the Soul and Exit 0 for this great day of doing God’s work.

Results from day:

  • 3 saved!
  • 289 guests 
  • 149 volunteers 
  • 1 resume 
  • 40 birth certificates 
  • 85 reading glasses 
  • 3 ECC 
  • 145 clothes 
  • 43 Bibles 
  • 59 haircuts 
  • 25 medical 
  • 159 giveaways 
  • 22 churches involved

God sure is good!

To see more pictures you can click this link and find them on our Facebook page.

 

Beyond the Wall by Travis Sharpe

The rusty barbed wire sat loosely atop the crumbling, graffiti covered, hollow block wall. Taking care not to step in the urine, human feces, or trash, Lovely leaned through the broken bamboo gate and called for the children.

I watched patiently, but wondered if it was an exercise in vanity. Who in the world would be in the dirty, nasty, empty lot behind this wall? From the street, on this side of the wall, there were dozens of people walking by, most of them coming from the eatery at the end of the block. There were also college students coming and going, still in their uniforms even though it was after nine pm.

The street side of the wall was bad enough, in fact, as we pulled up, I noticed a young lady squatting beside a power pole with her shorts around her ankles. Like the other young people who call the streets their home, the base of the wall was her default bathroom. Thinking to myself, I said,  “If it is this dirty here in the open, what must it be like beyond that wall? Could there really be people living there? Are kids living there?”

But to my surprise, after Lovely called out once or twice more, the children began to emerge. One older boy walked through the bamboo opening. Some of the thin, energetic, younger boys bounder over the top of the wall with what seemed like no effort at all. The teenage girl that had been squatting when we first arrived suddenly re-appeared, wanting to shake hands- which I did.

All-in-all, about thirteen kids crossed the wall.  From eight years old all the way to late teens, these street children live part-time in the empty lot behind the wall. There, hidden from sight, they sleep, hang out, eat, and do whatever else they do. Some are runaways, some have parents that know where they are, others go home in the early hours of the morning.

Why we were there

This “wall” area, is one of the newer stops on our street ministry route. Each week, the Unsheltered Philippines ministry team takes food, prayers and lots of love to the children living on the streets. On this night we were gathering kids to bring to our rescue center for a Bible study, baths, a good meal and new clothes.

We have discovered that it takes effort to uncover the hidden people in the city. We can’t simply open our doors and wait for them to come to us, we must be pro-active and go to them. Our team is learning how to do this in a gracious and loving manner.

Are the kids dirty? of course they are. Some of them are also sniffing glue which causes their minds to not function correctly which causes them to neglect their bodies. Yes, they are often extremely dirty and extremely hard to handle. They are also extremely precious in God’s sight and extremely loved.

The bigger question is, are we willing to go “beyond the wall” to bring hope to people who are the most needy? One nine-year-old little girl who came to our rescue center with her mother last week was wearing soiled shorts and she drools constantly because of some type of disability. We love all kinds.

Do you want to make a difference?

If you want to make a difference, you’ve got to be willing to go beyond the wall. I don’t know what that wall looks like for you, but generally, they are all the same. Going beyond the wall will be uncomfortable, a little scary at times, and it won’t win any popularity contests. You will find yourself going alone at times because your friends aren’t willing to go to those kinds of places.

But in order to help people, we must go beyond the wall where others don’t want to go. It will be dirty and messy. Some of the dirt will get on you and you’ll have to learn to live with that. But when you do, you will find joy in serving Jesus through serving others. I hope you will forge ahead and find the courage to love the people who are hidden beyond the wall near you!

Here are some beyond the wall pictures from our ministry

A Little Boy Who Needed Help by Travis Sharpe

Tonight, while visiting Children and families on the streets here in Bacolod city, we came across a mother and father who were sleeping on a bed made from cardboard underneath the protection of an extended roof in front of a closed business. I want to share part of their story with you because it is very typical of many families that we meet and minister to.

The first thing that our team noticed as we approached was the large amount of “scrap” that this family had collected. Like many poor families, they make their living by collecting plastic, aluminum, and cardboard that they can sell at the junk shop the next morning. They will work in the evening hours, sometimes all night long, looking for and collecting these recyclable items they refer to as scrap.

To the untrained eye, this family might seem like they are homeless and living on the streets with no ambition whatsoever. But nothing could be further from the truth. The father, who is twenty four years old, works hard to collect the scrap that he will sell on a per-kilo basis. I was told that plastic brings about five pesos per kilo. At that rate, he would have to collect ten kilos to earn one dollar.

This family does have a home. But the money to be made as a scrapper is on the streets. If they try to return home each night like a normal working family, they will more than likely lose their bounty to the many other scrappers who are also roaming the streets at night. So, as strange at it might seem, this is a hard working family.

Consequences

One of the very sad aspects of this type of lifestyle is that it puts the mother and children out on the streets where they spend most nights in a very unsecured and unclean environment. This takes a toll on the children the most. Their little boy’s name is Dino and, as you can see in the pictures below, he is suffering from bacteria infections in his scalp. He is only six years old and yet a hard life has already negatively affected his little body. These sores are caused by the constant dirt and filth that he is forced to sleep in day after day.

His mother washes him each morning but when the sores begin, they are hard to stop. Dino’s scalp was covered with about a dozen of these sores. Some of the sores are scabbed over while some of them are open and oozing mucus and blood. Noticing his condition, our team sprang into action. Lovely retrieved a tube of triple antibiotic ointment from her bag and instructed the mother in how to use it. The mom is only twenty years old and there is a good chance she doesn’t have a good education.

Patiently, Lovely and Lola showed her exactly how to use the ointment. He became restless a few times but for the most part, slept through the treatment. We left them with some ointment and our phone number and the mother was instructed to call us if Dino begins to run a fever. If needed, we will assist them with doctors care.

Every week

Three nights per week, the Unsheltered Philippines team lovingly seeks out families who are in need of care. They minister to children, some of whom are runaways. They minister to adults, many of whom are mentally ill. Everyone they encounter is loved and cared for in Jesus name. Please keep our team in your prayers and especially little six-year-old Dino. Pray that the sores on his head will heal and that his parents will be able to climb from poverty into a better position for their family.

Also, this Friday is going to be special because we will be opening our rescue center and inviting many families to come for a good meal, and a worship service. We will also be providing showers and clothing to anyone in need. Please pray for success and that God would bless these efforts.

One more thing

Have you got your copy of our new book yet? 50 Practical Ways You Can Help The Homeless is full of simple, yet effective ways that you can use to help someone today. You can get your copy at Amazon by clicking here.

An Unforeseen Outcome of the Sunday School Lessons

Within these past two weeks after our return, we have had the opportunity to go to six of the fourteen meal centers established here on the island of Negros. While visiting the meal centers we were able to experience the impact that has already been made with the Sunday School curriculum we developed this past year.

The children now know many of the basic teachings of the Bible, such as Creation, the love and promises of God, Salvation and prayer, which has been the lesson topic of this month. The memory verse that they have learned to go with July’s lessons is 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”

As amazing as it has been to see the children’s growth through the lesson plan, it has been even more amazing to see the growth that it has caused in our meal center teachers. The majority of the church members who volunteer at the meal centers are between 13 and 20 years old. The teacher whose meal centers I went to Saturday morning is 16 year old Jenny. Jenny teaches and serves at three separate meal centers every Saturday.

I started to ask her some questions concerning the Lesson Plan. “Is it easy when translating from English to Ilonggo?” “Do the children enjoy the illustrations with the lessons?” etc. She had only great things to say about it, but what stuck out to me was her reaction after answering the questions. Jenny told me, “I really like teaching the children about prayer, but I am just so excited about the lessons for August! We will learn about the first sin with Lucifer and also about the fall of man and I cannot wait!” This showed me that she has been reading ahead, studying and preparing before she brings it to the children and that she has truly been blessed by this new way for her to share the Gospel.

We are praising God for the incredible results, both expected and unexpected, of this new curriculum. It continues to be more of a success than we could have imagined!

Not only do our meal center children and teachers in the Philippines have access to this great resource, but so do you. Click the link here to download a free copy of Children’s Sunday School Lessons.

Ministry Update 7-21-17

As you probably already know, we landed down here in the Philippines last Friday. We were greeted with a warm welcome from our friends and church family. They always go out of their way to make us feel comfortable, loved and wanted. We appreciate them so much for that!

 

With our first week now under our belt, we are once again re-oriented and hard at work. I preached last Sunday morning at our partner church, Crossroad Community Baptist, and Sarah sang a special beforehand. There was a good crowd and it was really good to join them again.

April has been working to get our home up and running and also getting the kids school things in order so they will be ready to start in a couple more weeks. Alyssa has been working in the meal centers and helping in children’s church.

I was very blessed to find that our street ministry team has been working hard and consistently to help the street children and homeless families who live on the streets. They are continuing to visit three nights per week bringing meals and hope to so many people. On Tuesday, I was with them and we stopped to visit with some adults that were sleeping on the sidewalk. I struck up a conversation with one of the men and he wound up trusting the Lord as his personal Savior. He is 53 years old and has said that he will attend church with us this coming Sunday.
 
A few months ago, we started a new meal center about two hours away from our house in a place called Toboso. It is operated by Pastor Jezer and Graceway Community Baptist Church. Pastor Ner and I went to visit them on Saturday and had lunch with them before they headed out for the meal center program. They are doing a fantastic job and ministering to several dozen kids each week. Please pray that God would provide sponsors for this meal center so that we can continue to help the kids in Toboso. You can find out more about this meal center by clicking here. 
 
This week we mailed out three more of our children’s Sunday School lesson books to local pastors. These one year lesson books are extremely valuable to children’s ministries and we are happy to provide them free of charge to pastors here in the Philippines. We have also made this available as a free resource to download from our website so if you know of a church that could benefit from them please share our website with them. The link to download the lessons is http://www.unsheltered.org/blog-post/free-resources/
 

Thank you very much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. We are honored to be your missionaries serving those in need. We can receive phone calls and text messages through our Magic Jack phone number as long as we have internet signal. Our number is 256-620-7561. We would love to hear from you! But remember, we are 12 hours ahead of EST so the best time to call or text would be early morning or late evening.

Prayer requests:
Please pray for sponsors for the meal center at Toboso
Pray for the gentleman who got saved on Tuesday
Pray for the children who sleep on the streets. They need a permanent loving home.
Pray for our family that we would accomplish our goals and make a difference here every day

Pray for April to remain strong and healthy

Sharpe family heads to Philippines

I hope you are doing great today and that the Lord blesses you abundantly. I wanted to take a quick moment to let you know that today (Tuesday July 11) is the day that our family is heading back to the Philippines. Our flight leaves Alabama at 9:31 central time and we would appreciate your prayers for traveling safety over the next 30 hours or so that we will be in transit.

We will be joining our Filipino ministry team and going right back to work in the ministry that we have been focusing on for the past 2 1/2 years. Unsheltered International Philippines has really grown and we are now reaching almost 1000 children each week plus adults.

Would you please help us pray about a few things while we are gone?

  • Pray that we can get registered with the Philippines government so our rescue center can open full time
  • Pray for wisdom and direction
  • Pray that God would allow us to expand our base of operations in Cullman, AL. We would like to be able to do more in our hometown.
  • Pray for our family that we would all stay healthy while overseas.

We will be coming home in mid-October and we have a pretty full schedule of meetings and ministry when we get back.  I think we have a couple open dates in December if you would like an update at your church. Just shoot us a message if so.

Well, I’ve got a plane to catch so I’m signing off for now! Thanks so much for your faithful support and prayers!

Blessings,
Travis Sharpe

Weekly Update and a mission trip opportunity

Hi everyone,

Today I am in Atlanta, GA with our Board of Directors. We are having our annual board meeting and time of fellowship. We began on Thursday evening and will finish up tomorrow morning. Please pray for us today that God would give us great wisdom and discernment as we discuss our ministries future opportunities. We have a great group of people serving on our board and I am really excited about it how the Lord is directing our steps.

In Cullman, AL

This week in Cullman, AL we have volunteers who are helping with the annual homeless point in time count. This is an annual count that is conducted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. It gives a snapshot of homelessness around the country. The results are used to determine many things such as government programs for the homeless. Although we do not receive any government funds, we do participate in order to hopefully help more people escape homelessness.

We have provided several nights in a local motel for a single gentleman who was living in the woods. He has a job but no transportation. He could go to a shelter but that would mean he couldn’t get back and forth to work. He, like many others, is working hard to overcome homelessness. Please pray for his housing situation.

Mission trip to the Philippines in September

We have partnered with Shawn Doss and Hope Missions to put together a mission trip to the Philippines later this year. Shawn will be organizing the trip and bringing the group. We will be the host and the group will get to join in our homeless ministry, meal center ministry and more!

I am so glad that we were able to set the date and get this on the books. Now, we need team members to sign up and come serve alongside of us. If you are interested in this trip, please click here for all the details and to sign up.

 

Upcoming events

I will be preaching in both services at Old Union Baptist Church in Harlem, GA this coming Sunday. If you are in the area, I would love to see you there!

The first week of February I will be going to Charleston, WV to assist a church with a brand new homeless ministry. Then, on the 5th, I will be traveling to Winston-Salem, NC to meet with another church about a possible resource clinic for the homeless in their area.

Please pray for wisdom and direction as I meet with these pastors and do my best to help them reach the people of their communities.

Special prayer requests

One of our Board Of Directors members, Pastor Todd Crusenberry, is having surgery today. This is a sensitive procedure and he needs our prayers. Please pray that the Lord would guide the doctors hands and comfort this pastor and his family.

Please pray for our upcoming trip to the Philippines. We leave on February 15th and return on the 25th. We will be taking supplies to our staff and doing a training day as well. Please pray for safety and success.

Pastor Steve Dixon (in MD) is helping a family that is homeless and also very dysfunctional. One of the family members is suffering from severe disabilities.

Please pray for an exciting fundraising event that we are planning for May. I’ll fill you in with the details once we get the date and all of that good stuff squared away.

Picture of the week

 

Our staff visited this gentleman who was living on the streets in Bacolod City.

Our staff visited this gentleman who was living on the streets in Bacolod City.

 

Thanks for reading, praying, and being involved!

 

Travis Sharpe