Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Little Good News . . . . Nothing Lost Outreach

While driving home one day a few weeks ago, the Lord spoke to my heart after hearing over and over all the bad news from the day.  He impressed it on my heart to write about stories of Hope. 

{As I type this I am reminded of the old Anne Murray song, (take a few seconds and scroll down to turn off the music player)  A Little Good News.  I just listened to it again . . . . doesn't it get discouraging hearing negative after negative all day long?!}

I put a plea out on facebook that if anyone knew of any local stories of hope, to please let me know. 

One person spoke up, "Nothing Lost Outreach."

After doing some research to see exactly what this ministry does, I made a call.  I felt awkward explaining what the Lord had put on my heart to do, but it was received graciously!

I spent this past Sunday afternoon talking, asking questions, watching, listening and taking pictures of the homeless in Escambia County and the ones that have been called to serve them.

As I drove to Ensley Baptist Church, anxiety filled my every being.  I had butterflies.  I was nervous and unsure of how I would be received.  My prayer all the way there was, "Why am I so nervous?  Why am I so nervous?  Why am I so nervous?!"

THE VERY SECOND I OPENED THE DOORS, my anxiety was gone.  God put a friend from Pine Summit Baptist Church right there in my path!  I had no idea he would be there, in fact, it was his wife that told me of he ministry!  He quickly took me around, introducing me to the many (and I mean many) volunteers.  Can you imagine my surprise, when God put someone else there I know . . . and from Olive!  Tony Olesky with the Baptist Collegiate Ministry walks in!  I could not believe it! God gave me not just one, but two familiar faces to help me walk in obedience!  I was simply in awe.

Let me give you a little history about "Nothing Lost Outreach."  The name of this ministry comes from the feeding of five thousand Matthew 14:13-21 when Jesus tells his disciples to collect what is left over . . . leave nothing (no one) behind.  It started as a burden and vision to feed the homeless once a month (February 2011) and after the first feeding, went to every week.

Between 60 to 100 homeless people are fed every Sunday.  They are not only fed a hot meal, but SERVED a hot meal.  That's right, they don't go through the line like a buffet style, they are SERVED their meal by the volunteers.  These meals are served on heavy duty paper plates and eaten with plastic utensils.  Not only are they fead the delicious hot meal, but each person is given a sack lunch to take with them.  The sack lunch includes a sandwich, fruit cup, and some sort of Little Debbie snack cakes.

The Pensacola Bay Baptist Association allows them to use their portable shower trailer that is used in Disaster Relief Situations.  Approximately 25 to 40 people take showers weekly.  One long term goal is to have a building with ten (10) shower stalls built on the property of Ensley First Baptist Church because when a disaster arrives the trailer will not be available.

Point Baptist Church plays a major role, and if I have my facts correct, partners with Ensley First Baptist Church to make this happen.  In fact, there are several partners with this great ministry! You can view the list of partners on Nothing Lost Outreach's web site.  Point Baptist Church takes clothing orders for those in need of clothes, shoes, socks, underwear.  The orders are filled and returned two weeks later in a brown bag with a first name and last name initial.

One thing that sets this ministry apart is the transportation.  Vans are taken into the homeless camps and the homeless are brought in.  They don't sit back and wait for them to show up, they go get them.  Does every one come, no.  But their numbers are growing.

Every week 40 to 50 toiletry kits are given out.  These kits include toothbrushes, razors, deodorants, toothpaste, wipes, mini lotions, mini shampoo bottles, and sometimes wash clothes.

Since this ministry started in February of 2011, they have come to see ten (10) people come to know the Lord!

Between the hour of 4 and 5, Jesus is praised by song and by word!  This past week, Tony Olesky had approximately 30 young adults there to praise Jesus by scripture readings, skits, and song.  Tony then lead us in a devotional on prayer.  My heart was blessed as just an hour before the time of worship, one of the team leaders shared that they need "pray-ers."  People to come and pray one on one with people.  When Tony stood up and said, "We are going to talk about prayer today," I was covered in "awe-bumps!"  I knew right then and there that I was in the ministry I was supposed to be in.  I will be at Ensley First Baptist Church, again, this Sunday, praying.  I will pray for whoever wants prayer.  PLEASE, if God has burdened your heart for the homeless, we need your help to come take prayer request, and to pray.

I know I have given you much information, but all ministries have a need.  I could not believe the amount of donations given and yet the needs are so many.  The Lord has been faithful in providing for them!  Some of the needs I am about to list are sold through AVON.  IF you are willing to help provide, then I will sell the items I have access to at my cost.  I will not benefit from one single penny if you will help.  I will put an asterik (*) next to the items I have access to. 

Kitchen Needs:
Chinette Divided Plates
10oz cups
Salad Bowls
Plastic Utensil Kits
Brown Paper Bags
Fruit Cups
Little Debbie Snacks
Non-Perishable Food Items
Monetary Gifts
Gift Cards to Wal-Mart/Sams

Toiletry Kits:
Wash clothes
Mini Shampoo's*
Mini Lotions*
Shower Soap*

Care Packages:
Bug Spray*
Sleeping Bags
Clothing Donations (as needed)
Men's Socks
Men's Underwear
T-Shirts (Men & Women)
Foot Spray*
Toys for Young Children

Ministry Needs:
Church van broke down; need mechanics or help with repair
A Medical Team is needed!  Someone to check feet, cuts, blood pressure, basic medical attention!  If you are a doctor, or nurse or know someone in the medical field that could come out please contact
Paul at 850-375-7396 or Pastor Jeff at 850-530-2429
Laundry Detergent (for towels and washclothes that are cleaned weekly)
Ziploc Bags for the Toiletry Kits

As you can see the needs are many; but God has provided for this ministry in unbelievable ways.

If you are available to join me in praying on Sunday, please let me know.

I have added a few pictures throughout, but am adding more below.  These faces . . . . these people, are some one's son, or daughter, mommy or daddy, or even grandparent; but more important, they are valuable and important to my King. 


PLEASE, if you are available to come serve, to pray, donate items, or provide monetarily, please contact Pastor Jeff at 850-530-2429 or Paul at 850-375-7396 and spread a little good news, today!

Continuing,to Walk in Victory,


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