Monday, September 16, 2019

Enlarging Our Tent.... Making a Bigger Impact in Our Community and Our World

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Want to join me in making a difference? I'm raising money to benefit God's Share Program, Inc., and any donation will help make an impact. Thanks in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to me.

More information about God's Share Program, Inc.: We supply resources to Christian missionaries in the U.S. and Internationally. These resources are then distributed again free of charge to nationals to meet their most basic of needs.

We are currently out of space and need to move to a larger facility. We operate a thrift store to help fund our ministry however, we offer our items at truly thrifty prices so everyone can afford what they need. 

The funds we are raising are for the down payment for a larger facility. Closing date is set for 9/27/19. 

Currently the thrift store is pushing out the ministry which hurts my heart. We also are having to turn away larger donations of items because of the lack of space. We truly need a larger facility.

So a little more about God's Share Program...
This ministry means a lot to me because I am the founder. I founded God's Share Program in 2003. We started out serving 7 missionary families that I knew. Over the years we have served over 150 missionary families. This means we have met basic needs of literally thousands through the supplies that we have sent. Each item sent serves as a tool to meet a need and help a missionary build a relationship whereby they can share the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.

In 2009 in the middle of a recession when I found myself with no income God led me to open a thrift store. A thrift store would help fund the ministry plus it would give us a building to house our ministry. God is so faithful. Even in the midst of a recession and in the middle of a slow summer because the area we live in has a huge snowbird influx... we were able to meet all of our financial commitments. We just celebrated 10 years at our current location. We leased the building for 6 years and then raised the money for a down payment to purchase the building. We offer low prices so everyone can afford what they need and maybe even what they want. The thrift store has also afforded me an income. My husband of 2 1/2 years also works full-time in this ministry. We survive on one salary plus a two-day salary at a fair rate. The two of us together make less than the national average of one person. Our goal is to put the needs of the ministry before our own. 

We had 2 containers at our property that we used to keep excess donations in plus one we used for furniture, large tools, etc. The city changed their accessory building ordinance so the containers had to go. This has hurt our thrift store business quite a bit. The fact is our 2200 sq ft. property with 11 parking spaces just doesn't get the job done anymore.

We have stepped out in faith! We put our building up for sale. We signed a contract on a 5,000 square foot building that is just 3 blocks west of our current location! Since we call our thrift store the North Ave thrift store, how cool is it that God opened up an opportunity to get a building on the same street! No name change needed and our customers will be able to find us quite easily. 

It is not in our budget to lease the building. We can finance it for nearly half of the monthly lease price. So we actually need $32,500 to close on 9/27/19. The owners are offering financing. They have been gracious in only asking for closing costs to purchase the property. All together, we have raised $6, 680. So we still have $25, 820.00 to raise. I put the amount at 5,000 because I didn't want the goal to look too daunting.... We also have a fb fundraiser going which reads $29,000 and that might just have looked too 'pie in the sky'... I don't know. If we sell our building we would have the closing costs but we just can't bank on that happening in time for the 27th. Even if we do sell the building all monies raised will go towards the principal of this new facility. 

Our ministry verse is Hebrews 13:16 "don't forget to do good and to share......"
if you find it in your heart to share with us to meet this huge financial need so that we can continue to share with missionaries and people around the world and possibly have a bigger impact, we would be ever so grateful.

Friday, August 30, 2019

We held our 3rd Missions Matters Service last night. I cannot describe what a blessing it is to hear from missionaries in this setting. We give them 45 minutes to share their heart and share about their ministry. It’s just simply amazing the testimonies we have been privileged to hear.

Last night I shared at the service about where we are at on our expansion project. Our missionary speaker for this Thursday, I have known since about 2005-2006. So he has known us since our most humble beginnings. Before he even heard the update on the project last night he had in mind to share with us Isaiah 54:2-3. “Enlarge the place of your tent, And let them stretch out the curtains of your dwellings; Do not spare; Lengthen your cords, And strengthen your stakes. For you shall expand to the right and to the left, and your descendants will inherit the nations, And make the desolate cities inhabited.”

I found it interesting as he mentioned the missionaries we serve would be like the descendants in our case, inheriting the nations. What we do at God’s Share Program is all about strengthening the arms of the missionaries to fulfill what God has called them to do. Even though we are distributing supplies our goal is to see souls added to the Kingdom all around the world. The supplies we send either meet basic needs or provide encouragement. Both are great tools in building relationships with nationals thereby providing increased opportunity to speak into their lives, sharing hope, sharing the message of Jesus Christ.  Personally, I don’t have any “descendants” that I can invest my life into. But I have invested my life into missionary work around the world. It was a great analogy Neil shared.

So I met with our mediator/realtor. This is really a unique story as to how it even came about that we are considering this building. I knew the current tenant was moving out months ago. We were given opportunity to pick up donations from there. Donald suggested we look into it. I said no. Yep, I didn’t even give it a second thought. A couple weeks ago, we received a call from the realtor’s wife to pick up donations of items left in the building. When the realtor told me how much the monthly lease had been for the previous tenant, my response was, ‘that is not in our budget’. He offered to show us around any way. I have to say generally when I tell someone that, the conversation ends. The realtor has served as a mediator between us and the owners of the building. I can say I have truly felt God directing each step every day. Wednesday, I found out that one of our volunteers who passes that building twice each week, had also talked to God about that being a great building for us. God has been very gracious to me being slow to come around to His thinking…..
The city has chalked up the zoning issue to a “scriveners error”. They are re-doing their maps to show the location we are looking at purchasing as OP which is what we need to have a thrift store on the premises. This is good news. It will allow us to move into the building sooner. The larger sales floor space will open up opportunities for more sales dollars. The larger building will allow us to enlarge our impact in our community and in our world. We will be able to have a ‘showcase’ hallway full of pictures and country flags to show the community how they are making a difference around the world with their thrift store purchases. I have to say I have never felt such a ‘disinterest’ in the area of missions by the Christian community. I have shared this with others and they have all agreed. It’s just not the same as it used to be. (This is NOT directed at those of you receiving this e-mail, please do not think that.) However, I feel like God is opening the door for us to raise up a remnant of missions minded people to increase the harvest in Zephyrhills and beyond in these ‘last days’. I never chose to be in Zephyrhills, but God has placed me here. So I need to not only be content here, but I need to look to why God has me here and live it out for His glory.

So this morning I sit here with a contract to sign. I know I must sign it. You see it’s gonna take a lot of faith and a lot of work to see this expansion project through. Just thinking of what it will take physically, emotionally and spiritually makes me want to stay where it is “safe”, at a location where I know what we can do financially. However, “safe” is only in  God’s will. I truly know that it is God’s will that we expand the place of our tent. He is opening the door to a great opportunity on the same street. If you have to move a business, the same street just blocks away seems pretty perfect to me. To stay where I deem it is “safe”, if it is not God’s will…. Well then it’s not safe.

Once I sign the contract we could close by 9/27/19 or earlier. Yay! This is the perfect time to move, before our busiest season hits, and in time for the busy season so our winter customers will know where to find us. But that means we need $32,500 in less than 30 days. We currently have $3250.00 towards this project. I could save every penny that comes in the door, but God called us to serve missionaries. Hoarding supplies to save money… well that is not God’s will. We just shipped out 9 shipments this week for missionaries in the Philippines, Hungary, Thailand, TX USA, Japan, Cape Town SA, Zambia, Mali and Canary Islands Spain.

Thanks again to all who are praying with us. I have walked out on the proverbial “limb of faith” many times, so this isn’t my “first rodeo” so to speak… I am thankful I am wiser so I guess I have to say I am thankful I am older… (smile) but it is still stepping out into the unknown….. trusting God to provide and uphold.
Bless ya’all. To those of you living in Florida, prayers as we prepare for Dorian.


Monday, August 26, 2019

We have outgrown our current facility. This post will give you an idea of the current square footage we have to use verses the potential square footage in a building just a few blocks down the road. This is a great opportunity.  We call our thrift store the North Ave Thrift Store. With the potential 'new to us' building being on the same road we can keep the name the same. Our thrift store is important to our ministry as it covers overhead expenses so that we can use donated funds to go directly towards ministry use. We have been abundantly blessed with donations for our thrift store. We need the bigger space so the thrift store will no longer infringe upon our working area for our missions endeavors. It will also provide a safer working environment.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

It's been awhile since we have posted anything. We are just busy with what God has given us to do. There are not enough laborers right now to help. We did just return from taking a mission team to Uganda. We met a lot of children. We took in 10 suitcases full of school supplies. Plus another suitcase of soccer balls and one with blankets. These are a few of the children that benefited from the backpacks we carried in. New brightly colored backpacks! We continue to ship supplies into various countries to strengthen missionaries' arms with the resources they can use to meet basic needs while sharing with children and adults about Jesus.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Check out all these wonderful handmade hats! Several ladies have made it their mission to keep us stocked with hand crocheted hats for our mission projects. Many of these hats will go to Native American Children in the USA

Saturday, April 8, 2017

So maybe you have heard of God's Share Program.....
You may have even been in our North Ave Thrift Store or donated items for it....
You may know that we supply resources to Christian missionaries around the world....
But do you know what truly goes on each day behind the scenes....
Here's just a little insight...
These pictures were taken 4/8/17 so this is up to date info!!!

These shelves are filled with items that have been priced and are patiently awaiting a volunteer to stock them on the sales floor so they can find a new home...
 These are items that have been donated. They are awaiting a volunteer to free them from their boxes and bags so that they can be sorted, priced, hung etc.

 These shelves are full of items needing a price label. When these shelves are full, there is no where to place new donations coming in.... This is where most of our backlog happens in regards to the thrift store.
                                 There are almost always boat shipments to the Philippines in process...

 These craft supplies are waiting to be typed onto a list that will be e-mailed to the missionaries. Once the missionaries choose the supplies that they need, they will be boxed and shipped. Did you know that odds-n-ends craft supplies can be used to teach children and adults about Jesus!?
 We are always backing boxes for air shipment.....
            And for that matter ground shipment to catch a ride on a sea container...

 Here's our Project Board.... Missionaries are eagerly awaiting requested supplies....

And there is e-bay packing to do.... e-bay sales fund a lot of our shipping postage...
 and speaking of e-bay.... these are items waiting to be listed...

these items have been separated from our regular donations so they can be researched to see if they are e-bay worthy...
These are the gift bags that are waiting to be stuffed with goodies.....
The recipients of these bags.... the ladies at the Special Touch Get Away where we will take a one-day mission to give them all a Spa Day...     

 And 4 times a year we print, fold, stuff, label and stamp a missionary's newsletter...

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Where have all the Winter Months Gone....

Looking back it's been months since we have updated our blog. Below are a few photos representing what we have been up to during that time. 
  • stuffed and shipped 100 Christmas stockings for Native American children
  • Sent supplies to Africa for Christmas outreach
  • sent supplies to Austria for refugees
  • supplied 4 complete flannelgraph sets to Thailand, Africa, Ecuador and Spain
  • picked up truckload after trailer load of donations for our North Ave Thrift Store
  • took advantage of many clearance sales at various stores in two separate counties to be able to supply socks and underwear for missionaries to distribute to so many children in need
  • put a shipment of supplies for an orphanage on a boat headed for Zambia
  • added a couple new missionary families to our program
  • did some extra shopping for a local US based missionary family for Christmas who needed a little extra encouragement
  • provided ministry supplies to missionaries in Belgium for a new creative type Church plant- they are winning people to Jesus through the use of Board Games!
  • held several 80% off sales at our North Ave Thrift Store to pass on the blessing of the the abundance of donations we have received
  • shopped for supplies for Christmas care packages for missionaries
  • packed and shipped Christmas care packages
  • received shipments for missionaries in the Philippines and then covered the international shipping to get those items to them in country
  • shopped for ministry supplies missionaries need for upcoming training and encouragement conferences for MKs, PKs, nationals they have trained as Pastors and Pastor's wives 
well you get the idea.... it's been busy! Next I will be updating our project and current needs list. We have lots to do in this upcoming year! Our big maintenance issues like roof, A/Cs and a truck are out of the way so let's do up our missions projects bigger and better than ever!