Ministry update 2-26-21

Today’s ministry update is all about the Village project and where we are at this point. To say the least, God has been blessing in a big way.

Earlier this week April and I went and met with the manufacturer who is going to be building our tiny homes. (We will purchase the unfinished homes from them and then utilize volunteers to complete everything on the inside.) We talked about sizes and designs, color schemes and materials and much more.

The visit gave us a lot of good information and we were also able to get an updated quote for the first four buildings that we plan to order. With the lumber price increase that we have seen in the past few months, our new quote is $12,995 per building. We are projecting that each home, including purchase price, will cost about $42,000.

I was able to speak with the engineer who is designing our site plan last week and get an update on his progress. He is hoping to have us a first draft any day now. As soon as we get this first draft, we will be able to sit down and really see what the possibilities are for the property.

One question that many have asked is how many homes we are planning to build. I wish I knew! Those are some of the details that are completely dependent upon what the 17 acre property will allow with the wetlands and other challenges. I am really excited to see that first draft.

Next steps

The purchase is complete on the half acre lot with the old church building and we are starting to do a little work there already. Tomorrow we will be fixing the plumbing in the bathrooms and we have been moving junk out already this week. The building needs cleaning and new soffits and facia boards all the way around. New windows are needed also. This building will be our maintenance shop and I would like to add a 30×30 addition onto it. That would give us all the maintenance room we would need for the next little while.

After that, we will be looking to move the new office building on site and get it all set up and functional. There will be many needs for this such as building the pad, building steps and a porch, plumbing, etc.

After the shop is ready, and the office is up, more infrastructure work will be done and then it will be time for the houses! Of course, there will be unknowns and variables just like with any development project but we think this will be the progression of the work.

Thank you for praying and asking God to lead us and guide us through this awesome project!

Ministry Update 2-22-21

This weeks ministry update is all about our ministry in the Philippines. As you know, Unsheltered International Philippines does two main things: Ministering to children through the meal centers and ministering to the homeless through the rescue center and street ministry.

The challenges brought by COVID have had a very real impact on these ministries, however, our team has persevered and adjusted in order to continue preaching, teaching, and practically helping those in great need.

 

From Mindanao, Pastor Raul Remada reported to us recently that the Lord has really been good to them so far in 2021. They have started a new mission work in a place called Diboloc. They were able to baptize two men last week and there are Bible students and other pastors helping in this new ministry.

Their meal center had 176 in attendance during January with 13 salvations. Here are a couple meal center pictures.

 

 

 

From the Bacolod City and Talisay area, Merliza has reported recently that  they have had great challenges due to recent flooding that began on January 1st.  She said that despite the floods, and COVID, God is still reaching his creation with the gospel message.

The Christmas gift giving was a huge success, they were able to start a new church at the meal center in Handumanan, and commission four new pastors. The street ministry is also going well. They have been busy for the Lord! Here are some of their pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ministry Update 2-8-21

We are so excited about how the Lord is using his people to supply everything needed for the Village, our tiny-home community for the unsheltered that we are building here in Cullman, AL. I’d like to share some of these blessings from the last ten or so days.

First, Winston Home Builders in Double Springs, AL, contacted us about a 28’x60′ office unit they had. This commercial grade unit, was built several years ago but never sold. It has never been used and they asked us if we would be interested taking it as a donation. Of course, we were happy to say yes! We are planning to use this as our first office at the Village property. It will give us a place for administration and management and save us thousands of dollars.

Along with the office, the same business gave us a tractor-trailer load of sheetrock. This was left over material they no longer needed. We plan to use the sheetrock for the tiny homes!

We were also blessed last week with a generous memorial gift in honor of Mrs. Melanie Parker. Melanie loved our ministry and prayed for us often. This special gift was used to purchase an additional lot near the Village property and also a 4×4 heavy duty truck.

It would take a long time to tell you the whole story, but God had all of this planned out and we are thankful for his goodness and the generosity of the givers. There is a 1200 sq foot building on the lot that we intend to use for a shop to help support our building efforts. The truck will be put to use not only at the Village property but for whatever else we need.

Coming up

Our annual live fundraiser is coming up in only five weeks. It will be Thursday, March, 11th. This is our one big fundraiser we do every year that helps us to keep our doors open. In order to continue our projects, such as the Village, we need to have a successful fundraiser.

We have already had several people make pledges. To be honest, that’s how this one really does good. We work hard in the weeks leading up to the live share-a-thon style event to raise as much as we can. The goal this year is $100,000. We are praying for $80,000 to be pledged or given before before March 11th.

You can read all about this on our website by clicking this link.

http://www.unsheltered.org/2021-live-fundraiser/

Thank you for taking the time to read our update and for your prayers and generosity.

4th Annual Live Fundraiser Details

Preparations for our 4th annual live fundraiser are coming along great and our team is getting excited (not to mention a little nervous also).

Today, I have some details to share with you about the fundraiser.

  • The date and time is- Thursday, March 11th, from 6-10pm (eastern time).
  • It will be a Facebook live video broadcast from our board of directors meeting in Gatlinburg, TN.
  • It will be on the Unsheltered International Facebook page.
  • There will be a link to follow on our website www.unsheltered.org.
  • Travis and April will be the hosts. Several of our team will be contributing with some “on-air” time.
  • We plan to tell some exciting stories from the mission field, give lots of updates and answer questions from viewers.
  • Our goal is to raise $100,000.

Of course, since we are a 501(c)3 faith based organization, we depend upon donations for our operations. This event will be critical to our first two quarters success in 2021 and I hope you will partner with us in that success.

Here is how you can help us meet, and even exceed the goal

  • Pray with us for open doors and God’s provision as we talk to potential donors.
  • Pray that the Lord would give us a large and engaged viewership on the evening of the broadcast.
  • During the broadcast on March 11th, like and share it to your own Facebook timeline. This will help others to see it.
  • Call in during the broadcast with your special gift to the ministry.

There is a way to help BEFORE the broadcast also

We are calling on our faithful partners to make their donation or pledge BEFORE March 11th. This will help us to go into the night of the broadcast with part of the $100,000 already raised. Last year, about $18,000 came in during the broadcast but more than $40,000 was given beforehand.

With that history in mind, we are asking God to provide about $75,000 BEFORE March 11th. We had several very generous gifts last year from churches and families and business that really helped. Please consider how the Lord would use you to help us go into that night with all of the $75,000 raised!

How to give before March 11th

  • I (Travis) would love to speak with you personally about your gift. I know that giving is very personal and for that reason, I want to give you my cell number. You can call me to let me know what you want to donate, or for more details. 256-385-1679
  • Go to unsheltered.org and give with your credit or debit card. There is a large banner on our homepage that is for the fundraiser so click on that.
  • Mail check to Unsheltered International PO Box 2625 Cullman, AL 35056. Just mark fundraiser in the memo section.

Thank you very much for reading, praying and giving!

Ministry Update 01-19-21

Now that the holidays are behind us, we are back hard at work doing our best to make a difference each day. Speaking of making a difference, I thought I would share a very special Christmas blessing that our Philippines team was able to be apart of on Christmas day.  After the church service that morning, Pastor Ner and his team wanted to check on their precious homeless clients. Merliza, Pastor Ner’s wife, writes:

“My plan is to buy 30 orders of Spaghetti with chicken but when we were at the window of  the “drive thru”, we need to wait not less than 30 mins for our order. But since, we will have Christmas fellowship with some Church members at 3:00 pm, we need to minimize our time! And Unexpectedly, I ordered 50 orders of Hamburger and it was already available! This time, our priority are those people with mental illness and the vulnerable ones! But God also knows my desire! As we are roaming around the City, we saw many people sitting on the sidewalk in front of the Regional hospital! I was informed by a fellow Pastor’s wife working in that hospital, those people have patients in that hospital with critical condition and some are patients waiting for available rooms. That’s why, I wanted to bring additional meal every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for them!  50 pieces of Hamburger and fruits is not accidental order! I’m sure, it is God’s way to extend His compassion to these fellows and to make them realize, somebody cares! Thank God for always moving in so mysterious ways!  May we all have a  MERRY CHRISTmas and Blessed New Year”

The heart’s of our Philippines team never ceases to amaze me. I have included a few pictures from that morning .

Live Fundraiser

Our annual live fundraiser is scheduled for March 11, 2021. That evening from 6-10 pm EST, we will be broadcasting live on our Facebook page and there will be all kinds of great information, stories, testimonies and more. We will be sharing some future plans and letting you know what all God has done through our ministry.

Most of all, this is our biggest fundraiser of the year and we are asking the Lord to provide $100,000 that evening. I hope you will make plans to join us for this exciting event!

Thank you

We appreciate you following our updates and staying connected with us. Please remember us as well as those we serve in your prayers each day.

Save the Date!

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 began Phase I of our 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 2021 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. Be watching for more details to come in the near future.

Thanks for saving the date and praying with us!

Christmas for the children

For the last five 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 150 kids who will benefit from these blessings of food, clothing and other items.

The picture above was taken at the Christmas party last year. Pastor Ner is in the white shirt and mom and her kids were happy to receive our gifts.

We plan to send the funds over to our Filipino team on the second week 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 $30 per child and their entire family will benefit from the gift.

Would you be willing to help one, or a few families enjoy these blessings this year?

To give your gift online click here.

You can also mail your gift to:
Unsheltered International
PO Box 2625
Cullman, AL 35056

P.S. Here are a few pictures from this week in our meal centers. These are some of the children who will receive gifts.

Ministry update 11-12-20

Hope you all are doing well. We have been busy here in Cullman working on the tiny-home village project and ministering to several unsheltered friends who live nearby. I’d like to tell you a few details about both.

Monday at our ministry warehouse

This past Monday was a great day of helping some truly needy people. We had four people here for showers, food and clothes. All four of them are currently unsheltered and living in cars. All of them also suffer with severe mental illness and fall into a very vulnerable category of homelessness because they don’t function well without real help.

One dear lady who came on Monday, hadn’t had a bath or change of clothes in several weeks. Our volunteers patiently and lovingly assisted her. It took more than two hours just to get her bathed and in clean clothing. We have been trying to convince her to let us help for over three months now and Monday was the first time she allowed us to really help. She got a shower, new clothes, some food, and a lice treatment. Please pray for clarity of mind for her so that the gospel can be understood.

These four friends are good examples of why we feel such urgency with the Village project we are working on. Once the Village is in full swing, we will be able to make a big dent in this vulnerable population of the unsheltered.

Village update

This week we continued to clear some trees and underbrush, do survey work, and put up our sign. At this point in the game, everything is dependent on everything else. The survey should be finished real soon, which will enable us to begin work on the master site plan. We are only clearing in small increments until we finish the site plan and have a good idea about where all the structures will go.

All of the land clearing that has been done so far has been donated. The survey work is also being donated. The Lord continues to put people in our path to help move the project along. Please pray as we have an environmentalist coming soon to look things over and give us guidance in those regards.

Please also pray for the remaining funds needed for phase one. The goal is $343,000. We have raised $23,890 which leaves $319,110 left to raise. (These numbers do not include what was raised for the land purchase.)

Our new brochure

We have a very attractive new brochure detailing this project and we would be happy to mail you a copy. We can also mail you several to be shared with family and friends. Email Tara at tara@unsheltered.org to request some today!

 

 

God bless you and thanks for your continued prayers and support. See the pictures below for progress on the Village property.

 

 

 

 

Ministry Update 10-28-20

The Lord has been blessing on all fronts here at Unsheltered International and we wanted to give you an update. Our team in the Philippines has been hard at work serving underprivileged children in the meal centers and serving the many unsheltered children and adults who live on the streets of Bacolod City.

Meal Centers

In the last couple of months, they have served over 2,800 meals in the various meal centers that we operate. We are so grateful for Pastor Antonio Ner, Pastor Raul Remada, and Pastor Jezer Manguilimutan who lead the various meal centers and operate them through their local churches.

Street Ministry

The street outreach ministry in Bacolod City is led by Merliza Ner who has an unwavering love for the many vulnerable people they visit each week. Even in the difficulty of a pandemic, the team has been faithful to share God’s love with everyone they come in contact with. Sometimes it is heartbreaking for them because they don’t see the immediate results they hope for, but even then, they serve with continued hope and optimism.

The Village at Unsheltered International

Our work on the tiny-home village land is continuing to happen. Last week we cleared a little more land as we dodged the wet weather.

God has blessed us with a local surveying company who has agreed to do the survey work at no charge. This will be a tremendous savings for us and they she be getting started any day now. Once the survey work is done, we can begin to work with the engineers on the design of the village!

We also received our brand new brochures detailing the tiny-home village project this week and are in the process of getting them mailed out now.

Thank you for your prayers and support as our teams continue to serve!

Big News Today!

Today was a monumental day for us here at Unsheltered International.

After locating 17 acres of property for our tiny-home village, and having the Lord supply the needed funds in only 14 days, this morning we were able to close the deal!

 

 

 

I want to thank everyone who donated toward the first step of this important project. God used you to make the land purchase happen quickly and in a manner that we can truly say “God did that!”

The next steps

Now that we own the property, the real work begins. We need to get some equipment in and start clearing out underbrush and small trees. The property is completely wooded so we need this done in order for the surveyors to be able to get in and do a topographical survey of the land.

This survey will then be used by a civil engineer as we lay out the master site plan. We hope to eventually have all of our offices and everything located on this property so a master site plan will aid us in making sure we are utilizing the property to it’s fullest potential.

Once the clearing, survey, and site plan are complete, we will be free to move on with infrastructure work and construction.

What to pray for now

At this point, we need to pray for a few things specifically.

1. That God would give us favor with a civil engineer or engineering firm who would donate their time to create the master site plan.
2. That God would give us wisdom as we proceed.
3. That God would continue to provide the needed funds to move through the necessary steps.

Thank you for following what God is doing here in Cullman, AL through our ministry. We need your prayers now more than ever!