9 Ways Our Ministry Has Expanded

Many people have recently asked me if our ministry has changed. They see that we are working overseas and involved in new projects and understandably the wonder. This post is to address that question.

Our ministry has not changed, but it has expanded.

When I first started out in the mid to late 90’s, my ministry was primarily to homeless adults in the Augusta, GA area. We built a rescue mission there called Garden City Rescue Mission that is still doing well today.

We added a women and children’s division with the help of my mother and some dedicated volunteers.

April and I left there in 2009 because we sensed another calling. We had the desire to do the same type of ministry (homeless ministry), on a larger scale. We wanted to, one day, work in other states and other countries.

We have been pursuing that goal since 2010.

Here are some ways we have expanded since 2010.

1. We formed our current ministry, Unsheltered International, in 2011. This was to be the new non-profit ministry that we would build and work through.

2. We began to take mission trips to other countries, in order to learn more about foreign travel and foreign mission work. We have been to Costa Rica, Honduras and the Philippines in the last 3 years. We have learned very much from some very good people.

3. We have begun to also focus on helping other missionaries to the homeless get started. When I first started this in 1996 there was no one that I could look to for help. Most of what I did was trial and error. Therefore, I now spend a lot of time assisting other missionaries. I have a real burden to help plant more ministries to the homeless through other missionaries.

4. We expanded our ministry in 2011 to include disaster relief operations. From 2011-2013 we were very involved in this and we were blessed to help thousands of people in several states. We have now, however, scaled back in that area because our overseas ministry is growing and there is just not enough people and resources to accomplish everything we want to do. We had to focus a little sharper. We do plan to continue disaster relief overseas as we can.

5. We have developed ways that we are partnering with foreign national pastors and churches to work with and through them to reach the homeless in their areas. We are currently working with a church in the Philippines. We help support their children’s meal program and we also support the missionary pastor as one of our missionaries.

6. We are now including children’s ministry as a major part of what we do overseas. That will be the primary focus of our 2015 Philippines ministry, helping homeless children.

7. I do a lot of writing on my blog now. My hope is that my writing will be an inspiration and influence other people to join in ministering to the poor and needy. I publish blogs weekly and you can sign up to receive them via email by clicking here. I dream of being a published author one day.

8. In 2014 I developed a new course called the Good Samaritan Plan. The purpose is to teach and equip churches so that they have a plan in place to help homeless people who come to their church seeking help. I have spent a good amount of time teaching this as a class. This year 95 people from 13 different churches went through the class.

9. We make ourselves available to churches, missionaries, shelters, or other organizations who want our help either starting a ministry or with training or other needs. We have helped churches in several states now. Three new ministries have been started as a result.

About our ministry in Cullman, AL

Because we live in Cullman, AL and Temple Baptist Church is our home church, we help with many needs in the Cullman area.

We do whatever we can, as we can to be a help. However, our ministry is limited in Cullman because of our involvement overseas and in other states. The Sharpe family is the only missionary family serving full time through Unsheltered International at this time so when we are out of town it is sometimes difficult to help in every local need.

To sum it up

We still focus on the homeless, poor and needy. But we have expanded to include children, poor villages, slum dwellers and others who are in desperate need of help.

Our main purpose is still to preach Jesus and make disciples. As a missionary my main goal is to spread the gospel message that Jesus saves. We place this emphasis over and above all of our humanitarian type of ministry. This world needs Christ and his forgiveness worse than anything else we could offer.

Although we started Unsheltered International and I am the President, our family still serves through Baptist Missions To Forgotten Peoples. This is the Mission Board that we started out with in 1999. Our family support is handled by them and we are extremely thankful for their partnership for over 15 years now.

God has blessed!

We have gone from focusing on one city and one group of people, to ministering in several states and countries where we are reaching out to thousands of lost people. We are so blessed to be growing in our ministry and we are excited about what the future holds.

Thank you for being a part of helping us to reach the hurting, the homeless, the lost and others for Christ.