Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Missions Experience Home Party

It's official! We are ready to launch.........
The Missions Experience Home Party!

Want to host a party? This is no ordinary party! This is a party where you gather with your friends, family, church family, work colleagues - whomever you want to invite - together you will learn about a specific need on the mission field and work together to met that need! Here's how it works.....

Pick the date for your party, find a project for that month out of our Missions Experience Project Catalog, pick your venue then give us a list of all the folks you want to invite. We will print your invitations and provide a list of items needed. You mail out your invitations. You do the deocorating - we can help with suggestions if needed. It can be formal or casual, big group or small. The goal is for you and your party group to collect and bring to the party the items needed for the project or you can choose to get the facts at the party and make a deadline for a collection date after the party. For those of you in Florida, Kim will come and share about the project. If you are outside of Florida we can still make this work! Call, comment or message if you are interested!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Refugee Crisis - Looking for a way to help...?

A question I have been asked a lot recently is "Are you helping with the refugee crisis?". While the refugee crisis may be 'new' to us as we watch the news and see the mass exodus of people fleeing for the hope of a better quality of life - the refugee crisis is not new to our missionaries. Over the last couple years we have been sending resources to missionaries in Spain and Austria. Missionaries there have been helping refugees and ministering to them as they seek asylum from human trafficking, poverty and war. Many missionaries are currently working closely with the refugee camps that are near them. They are providing clothing; toiletries; winter hats, scarves & gloves and so on. While meeting these most basic of needs the missionaries are also provided a great opportunity to share with the refugees about Jesus Christ. We have a few items in our inventory that will help meet some of these needs so we will be shipping out a box or two yet this week. If you have a desire to help with the refugee crisis and have not yet found an opportunity, well - here ya go! Check out the list below. You can donate the actual items or send a financial gift to help us purchase the items and/or cover shipping costs. Please designate RC15 with your financial gift.

Needs List:
Winter Scarves, Hats, Gloves
Toiletries (smaller bottles are better for shipping)
Undergarments for men, women and children (think smaller sizes)
Men's Shoes

Generally we send new items however in this situation with the number of people in need - 'like new" would be acceptable, except in the case of undergarments.....)

Stocking Stuffers Needed!

Towards the end of October we will be stuffing Christmas Stockings that will be distributed to Native American children. We still need a few items if you are interested in donating items for children living on the Reservation.....

Boys Shopping List:
18 Combs (6 for $1.00)
  8 Toothpaste (.94 each)
50 Winter Gloves (1.50 each)
43 Bibles ($1 - $5 each depending on availability)
15 Pkgs of Bounce Balls ($1.00 per pkg)

Girls Shopping List:
 1 Package of Barrettes
28 Winter Gloves ($1.50 each)
50 Toothpaste (.94 each)
34 Bibles ($1-$5 each depending on availability)

If you don't like to shop but want to help with this project, you can give a financial gift for project CS15.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Off to College.....

Yep, these boxes are off to college! One way to encourage missionaries that are overseas is to send a care package to their children who are in the U.S. attending college. We ship at least one box per school year filled with a few school supplies, some toiletries and laundry detergent. And yes, this includes military MKs!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer Fun!

Ah, summer fun..... So I hope you weren't expecting photos from the beach! No - summer fun for us here at God's Share Program is finding even more missions projects to get involved with. In fact, we were having so much fun I forgot to take pictures of all the boxes we shipped out! I did find a few pictures that I could share with you. The top picture shows boxes of supplies going to missionaries in Haiti. We learned this summer that they have opened a medical clinic. So we have been shipping them a variety of medical supplies. One picture I don't have is of the 324 flu & germ kits that we sent their way. Those were 3 light but huge boxes! We also learned that the missionaries in Haiti distribute thousands of reading glasses each year. Hey, we have plenty of those on hand so we shipped around 650 pairs to them. 

We sent 3 boxes of medical supplies that will go to a Women & Children's Hospital in Africa. 

We shipped out all our Balikbayan boxes filled with Christmas Shoeboxes for orphans at the King's Garden Children's Home plus clothing and supplies they need throughout the year. 

To our other missionary friends in the Philippines we have supplied shoes, backpacks, children's underwear and shirts the children need for school. We were also able to find some other items that were on their 'Wish List' like commercial can openers and commercial ice cream scoops for feeding thousands of children and adults. We also sent them flip flops for the kiddos, clown makeup to use in their ministry, toners for a printer, craft supplies, the list just goes on and on. Yet there are still needs to be met! If you are interested in providing an item that is on our Missionary Wish List just contact us to find out what those current items are. 

We packed up 5 boxes of supplies that missionaries in South Dakota will use for outreach at Christmas time on the Reservation. It was filled with toys, hair accessories, hats and other fun stuff. 

In the midst of all that fun we shipped 239 lbs of craft supplies, curriculum and Christian books and Bibles for the missionaries in Cape Town, South Africa. One of the cools things about these 239 lbs is we didn't have to purchase nary a one of these items. These were all items donated to our North Ave Thrift Store that we were able to set aside specifically for this project! 

Then as if we weren't already juggling a lot of projects, we told the missionaries about our new website and how they could now see pictures of the items available for them to request from our program. The new website complete with inventory pictures was a hit! We received 8 requests within 24 hours from various missionaries around the world who wanted items that we had to offer them. Those items were pulled, packed and shipped. And it didn't cost the missionaries one cent out of their budget to receive these items. 

Well speaking of all that summer fun..... I gotta get back to work! We have a rush order that needs to be packed and shipped to Spain. Let the fun continue!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Packing Progress!

It was another fabulous Friday! We made a lot of progress packing up supplies to send to missionaries. There is 1 box of medical supplies headed to Haiti, 2 boxes of educational supplies going to Cape Town, South Africa, 4 boxes of supplies for Christmas outreach going to South Dakota and 1 box of Christian books also going to Cape Town, South Africa. And it was all packed in under 3 hours! These boxes are set to ship out next week.

Shipment to the Canary Islands

4 Boxes of supplies shipping to missionaries in the Canary Islands. These missionaries are working to start preaching points in the 26 unreached counties on the island of Tenerife. They are training and encouraging national Pastors, Pastor's wives and Pastor's Children along the way.

And where are the Canary Islands, you ask? 
They are a group of islands governed by Spain but located just off the north west coast of Africa.

A Balikbayan Box Story

So here's one definition of a balikbayan box: 
a cardboard box filled with gifts; sent by a Filipino living overseas to his family and friends back in the Philippines

Well none of us here are Filipino. Although we have not had the opportunity to make friends with the Filipino children and their families who will be recipients of the gifts in these boxes, we do have a mutual friend in the missionaries who work hard to minister and serve the folks in that area. 

The great thing about Balikbayan boxes (besides the items they contain) is that they cost one flat rate to ship no matter how much they weigh. The large Balikbayan Box is 24" x 24" x 18". We currently have 5 of these boxes filled for shipment. We will fill at least 2 more in the upcoming week.

Currently we serve 2 missionaries in two different areas of the Philippines. One of these missionaries is the Director of a children's home. She is responsible for training these children up to know Jesus, provide a roof over their head, make sure they receive schooling, clothe, feed and bathe them along with seeing that they are provided with much love. The other missionaries are a couple who see to the needs of thousands of children most of them living in poverty or on the streets. They see that the children get free dental care, offer a pregnancy program for mothers, provide nutritional meals and teach the children about Jesus. This is just a small peek into all that these missionaries do. . 

To give you an idea of items needed by these missionaries, we took photos as we packed these 5 boxes.

Large Balikbayan boxes as provided by our local shipper.

Heaviest things go in the bottom so we started filling 4 of the boxes 
by putting in 2 cases of Pedia Sure (96 cans!)

Another area in which the missionaries serve is responding to emergencies. The orange backpacks are all-weather backpacks that will be utilized by the emergency response teams.

I remember one of the missionaries posting about helping folks when their home caught on fire. So when we had the opportunity to purchase fire fighter gloves at a discounted price, we got a couple pairs to send.

Many of the children have no shoes. We ship over a lot of flip flops! 

Before taping the box shut we had a piece of cardboard on top so that nothing inside gets damaged when the box is cut open. 

 The second box....

 96 more cans of Pedia Sure... (32 lbs!)
 Backpacks! The children cannot go to school if they don't have a backpack! The missionaries will distribute the backpacks to children who need them so they don't miss out on going to school!
 Black dress shoes - that is another item that children must have in order to attend school. So the 2 pairs of shoes on the right are for school children. The pair of Dr Scholls will go to some fortunate adult woman who is need of a great new pair of shoes!
 We also added in 2 cases of toothpaste. When the children go for their free dental care that the missionary arranges, they receive a toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste. Then into the box went a couple of children's dictionaries again, for school. There are also 2 toner cartridges. Printers and copiers are great tools for missionaries. The toner cannot be purchased locally. And what good is that wonderful tool if there is no toner to use in it...
 We do our best to pack each box to the fullest. Yep, that is a pair of flip flops inside that toner box!
 That wrapped brown package in the middle is a tambourine. There is also clown make-up in this box and anointing oil. We added a few over the counter remedy items as well - items that the missionary cannot purchase in country,
 We were able to pick up some Stampin' Up Kits for $1 each! So we sent along quite a few of those for the missionaries. Since these boxes will take at least 8 weeks if not more to arrive, we also added in Christmas gifts for the missionaries. We won't mention what those are in case they happen to read this post.... We don't want to spoil their surprise!
 And on to Box 3!
 96 more cans of Pedia Sure! These will help orphans at the children's home get some extra nutrition.
 This box contains Christmas shoeboxes filled will clothing, toys and school supplies. One Christmas shoebox per child! We also added in Hot Wheels coloring books for the boys and animal coloring books for the girls. 
 Then we added in toiletries, band-aids, and other items the missionaries can use throughout the year for birthday gifts and such for the children. 
 And clothing! It takes a lot of clothing to keep all those children looking good!
We added brand new outfits to the box for the kiddos. 
 Box 4 is filled almost completely with more Christmas Shoeboxes stuffed with Christmas gifts. 
 With a few more coloring books added in...
 And more new infant outfits! Plus some birthday plates and napkins
to help celebrate all the special days!
 For cushioning we added new bath towels on top. That is another huge need for the children's home - bath towels and washcloths. 
 And here we are at box 5, starting it out with 96 more cans of Pedia Sure...
 The remaining Christmas shoeboxes went inside this box along with a bunch of toiletries (shampoo, body wash, baby lotion, baby powder, deodorant and so on...) Also included in the box was packages of diapers and baby wipes. We also added new sets of Twin and Queen Size sheets. Gotta have lots of linens for all those beds! And we topped this box off with more new bath towels and washcloths.
 There you have it! 5 packed Balikbayan boxes - with 2 more to pack next week!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Many Helping Hands = Lighter Burden for All

Here's a great picture to show one of the reasons why God's Share Program was founded. Our organization finds a need(s). We share the need(s) with those who are looking for opportunities to help meet needs by supplying actual items. This is the result! Just look at all the great items that people in one church supplied once they were aware of a specific need in a specific place. These donors will probably never meet (this side of Heaven) the children in the Philippines who will be the recipients of these gifts, but they will know that from September on they will be responsible for huge, HUGE smiles on Filipino children's faces and for that matter smiles on a few adult missionary faces as well. Even if all these items could be purchased locally by the missionary, it would take them precious time and lots of dollars to shop and buy all this stuff. So thank you congregants of Grace Church of Zephyrhills for taking an interest, sharing your time and financial resources to make a difference in the lives of so many so far away!

Friday, July 3, 2015

A Fabulous Friday!

Why is it a Fabulous Friday? Because we are accomplishing many things for our missionaries! Not pictured is Chris who is cashiering in our thrift store. Margie who is doing all the janitorial duties in the building. -and- Vickie who is doing research from CA on items we need to purchase. With their help Dusty, Barb and Kim can focus on the mission projects.

Barb and Dusty are starting to pack the Christmas Shoeboxes for orphans in the Philippines. These will be sent via boat so we have to make sure they ship out early to avoid port delays and typhoons. They have to arrive in time for the big Christmas party!

Kim is printing out shipping labels for the boxes of medical supplies shipping to Haiti and Africa and the one care package shipping to a missionary family all while messaging with our website tech so he can finish the upgrade to our website.

Top box is a care package going to a missionary family; the next 3 boxes are medical supplies going to a women and children's hospital in Africa; the bottom 2 boxes are going to a missionary starting a clinic in Haiti.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Words Cannot Express.... So, Listen to the Heart

Sometimes words just cannot express what needs to be understood. Pictures are said to be worth a thousand words. But sometimes we need something audible. A missionary recently sent us an e-mail that basically said "Hey, if you ever see a Doppler available it would be a great asset for our pregnancy program." With the heavy burdens already facing parents-to-be in areas where there is great poverty, a baby can be perceived as more of a problem. So the prayer of the missionaries is to be able to help these parents-to-be see their unborn baby as a little someone more real and therefore more of a precious blessing as opposed to a problem. Their hope is that a Doppler, a medical device that will allow the parents-to-be to listen to the heart beat of their unborn baby will help with the mentality switch from problem to precious. The missionary sent us this special request e-mail for a Doppler on June 10th. I have a friend who works at a hospital. So I sent an e-mail to this friend on June 10th as well letting him know that should the hospital decide to get rid of a Doppler I knew a missionary who would like to have one. I have to say I really thought it was a long shot. 7 days later, yes, only 7 DAYS later... this friend called to say he had a working Doppler on his desk! The missionary has a friend flying in for a visit who is willing to take the Doppler with him. So in about one month from the day the request was made by the missionary, he is going to have a working Doppler for their pregnancy program! Can you visualize it? Two sets of ears inclined towards that little pocket Doppler, and then, they hear the sound, the sound of a tiny little beating heart.....precious, precious, precious.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Forever in their Future

Today's shipments are going to Zambia and Japan.

Japan's shipment includes items used for ministry in a coffee house type environment. These supplies include K cups, cookie & cake mixes and frosting. Okay to be "real" I have to say that most often folks don't question the supplies we send. But every once in awhile I get a raised eyebrow at item(s) we advertise that we are collecting. Part of our vision here at God's Share Program is to help educate people on what the needs are in various parts of the world and why. The missionary in Japan explains that "culturally in Japan coffee shops have very high standards so in order to keep their Japanese guests coming, we try our best to operate on the same cultural expected standards." In their Gathering Outreach where the K cups are used for the coffee house atmosphere, relationships are built and guests are introduced to Jesus. The Japanese people have time to fellowship and grow together in their Christian walk. So over a "K-cup" a life is changed and living forever is in their future! So if you find yourself with some extra K-cups especially Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee or Eight O'Clock Hazelnut we will gladly accept those as a donation to send to Japan. While every person who reads this may not be "on board" with this type of evangelism we have to appreciate the fact that the missionaries who serve in cultures so diverse from our own have their "boots on the ground". It is their job as called by God to find the best means and methods for reaching people with the Gospel message. It is okay to ask questions and educate ourselves as to the why. We all have to be sure that we are being good stewards of the funds that God has given us. But it is not our job to judge another persons ministry. And it's unfathomable to do so if one hasn't taken time to understand the ministry, walked in that person's shoes under the same calling, on the same land and within that culture.

Zambia's shipment contains 46 more brand new pencil bags for a pre-school. We sent over several boxes of supplies, mainly school supplies via boat in March. Those supplies are just now reaching Zambia and will be in the hands of the missionaries within the next couple weeks. The boat shipment contained supplies for 3 different schools in Zambia. The one item we didn't have enough of to meet the needs was pencil bags. The missionary in Zambia does a lot of ministry in women's prisons. Most often, women sent to prison in Zambia must take their children with them to the prison to live. So one of the schools we provided supplies for is an Officer's Preschool at a prison. The missionary is under the impression that she is the only one reaching out to this school at this time. Now we at God's Share Program are helping her to help them. Imagine being of pre-school age, living in prison and having nothing to store a few small belongings in like a pencil, pencil sharpener and erasers. (Items we most typically supply.) Through these basic needs being met, these pre-schoolers are going to experience the love of God. Through our missionary friend they will be introduced to Jesus and therefore have "forever in their future".

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today is the Day

So today is the day we sign the papers and close the deal on the purchase of our current property. I was excited to know that our closing costs "today" were only $27.71. However, this is really a skewed figure..... The reason this dollar figure is so low is because the property tax amount for 1/1/15 through 6/15/16 is credited against the expenses of our title insurance and transfer taxes. Even though we are a non-profit organization we are not exempt from transfer taxes. We can file for property tax exemption starting tomorrow however, we would not be exempt from the current tax bill since the property was owned by a taxable entity as of January 1. So, while our 'closing' costs are minimal, when property taxes are due this year we will have to come up with the $1245.00 credited to us for the first half of the year's taxes along with another $1245.00 for the taxes for the last 1/2 of the year. So while purchasing the building is a great investment for God and we will be building equity along with lowering our monthly expenses there are some quite large upfront costs that we will have to endure. It's been a tough day. I can tell the "enemy is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"... Our trust is in God and we submit this whole business deal into God's hands and literally into His name!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Opt Into Opportunity to Outfit Orphans

Every year we provide each child at an orphanage in the Philippines with a shoebox sized Christmas box filled with new: clothing, school supplies, toiletries and small toys. Generally we provide 40-60 boxes. These Christmas boxes are placed inside Balikbayan boxes and shipped via boat. Shipping costs are $340. We always ship early but this year we are shipping extra early! Due to port delays and a typhoon, last year the Christmas boxes did not arrive in time for the orphan's Christmas party. That was heartbreaking to all who provided items and packed the boxes. So our Balikbayan boxes will ship in July in 2015. Which means the month of June will be busy collecting items that we need for the Christmas boxes and getting them filled. Once we pack the Christmas boxes inside the big Balikbayan shipping boxes there is always space to fill so we also collect new: twin and queen sheet sets, bath towels and wash cloths for the children's home. Plus, we include items the missionaries can use for birthday presents for the children throughout the year. We have just 3 weeks to finish this project! We will accept donations of the items mentioned and/or monetary donations to purchase the items needed. Please mention project CSB15 when sending a monetary donation so that we can make sure 100% of your financial gift goes towards the correct project!