Buried in a Mountain of Clothes!

(This post was written by Julie, who leads our FP Clothing Ministry)

Buried in a mountain of clothes:

As I sat in my closet and looked at the mountain of clothes, I was astounded. Surely someone could put them to good use. I was giving my closet a good spring cleaning and had enough stuff piled up to fill about ten garbage bags. Suddenly, it hit me! I realized that I’m probably not the only one who’s been in the same dilemma. Through several interesting twists, I ended up speaking with several local ministries that collect clothing to help homeless and low income people in our community.

Since Faith Promise is a big place, I figured I could collect a bunch of stuff all the time. Several more steps later, and we had a donation box set up at church and local ministry partners. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years.

Now I know what you’re thinking… Faith Promise has a clothing ministry?? Well, sort of. We get to be the support structures for some fabulous places that are already doing fantastic work in our community. We collect it, sort it, and give it away! It takes an enormous amount of inventory to meet the needs of each unique individual that walks through their doors. AND, each of the ministries we work for is already strategically placed in the downtown area, gives the clothes away free of charge, and is able to use them not only to meet physical needs, but spiritual ones as well. We truly get to be the suppliers of a lot of hope in our community, even if we are behind the scenes. By the way, we currently partner with Lost Sheep, Angelic Ministries, and Water Angels.

But why clothes?? Well, I firmly believe that if you want to share the gospel with someone and they have obvious physical needs staring you in face that you don’t address, those people aren’t going to listen to a single word coming out of your mouth. The most important need in their life may be Christ, but if their teeth are chattering so loud they can’t hear you, you are in trouble. Christ called us to go and tell and also meet the needs of those in poverty. I have gotten so much more than I dreamed because of this “behind the scenes” outreach.  I also love introducing people to these wonderful places to serve right in our own backyard. Because it’s not about fp, it’s about Christ and what he called us to do.

And here’s another reason you may not have heard about us….it’s just me and two others lugging your stuff around town, and there’s just not enough of us to go around. We have been so blessed with donations. We have gone from averaging 1-2 bags a month to almost 10 bags per week!!! Fantastic!

If you are interested in working with clothing donations on the Pellississppi Campus contact fpclothes@gmail.com. If not, I would love your prayer as we continue to reach out to those in need in our community.  Thank you so much!!

Wanna do missions in Jamaica?!

Ben in Jamaica

Hey guys,

Brad Ervin, Missions Pastor, writing to you here.  Once of the most exciting things that has happened at Faith Promise this year is that God is raising up young couples to follow His leading into full time overseas missions!  This means that these couples are ready to give up their jobs, their homes, their American Idol, their Starbucks, and the conveniences of being close to their families.  They are willing to do this because they are so smitten with the absolute immeasurable love of their Heavenly Father that they want to go and share that love with a hurting, dark, and lost world.  What an adventure!!

One way we at Faith Promise can help them is by getting the word out about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and how others can partner with them in ministry.  Please read the post below from Ben, and if you feel led, give them a chance to come share about the work God is doing in their lives with you.  Have a blessed week!!

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Ben in Jamaica

“What are you doing right now in your life that requires faith?”

Last year we were reading a book with our small group, and that question was asked. I thought about it, and I realized that throughout my life there haven’t been many times when I have really been pursuing something that requires faith. That changed last November.

My wife Krista and I have spent a lot of time in Jamaica on mission trips to the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD). CCCD is a residential deaf school for children in Jamaica who wouldn’t have access to appropriate education otherwise. CCCD’s mission is that no child will leave without a language, an education, and knowledge that Jesus is Lord. In fact, because of those trips, Krista decided that she wanted to work with the deaf as her career. She went to college and got a degree in deaf education so that she could teach the deaf. Last November I was talking to a good friend who is involved with CCCD. He expressed a need that CCCD had for missionaries. Krista and I applied, and we were accepted to join staff.  Krista will be working in the classroom, and I will be leading work teams who are there for mission trips. We know that God has been preparing us for just this. It’s exciting to be taking a step of faith. We know that without God we won’t make it to Jamaica.

CCCD is a very small organization, and because of that there are many things we need to do on our own. We are responsible for raising 100% of our own support. This money will pay for our insurance, housing, food, plane tickets, etc. Right now we are in the process of raising support to cover costs to get down there and costs once we’re there. We know that we need both God and fellow believers’ prayer and support to get down to Jamaica. We invite you to partner with us!

Check out bkbeukema.org for more information on us, CCCD, and giving.   We would LOVE to come in person and share our story, our vision, and let you know how your small group or family can partner with us!  Thank you so much!

In Christ,

Ben Beukema

The Loudest LOVE

(This post was written by Brad Ervin, Pastor of Outreach and Missions)

I have a 5 week old little boy at home.
He is our first child.
We are new parents.

For those of you with children, those three sentences are loaded with memories, both happy and terrifying! I could write post after post about all that I am learning about myself and about God during these sleep deprived weeks. About how selfish I am with my time, about how much of a control monster I can be, about patience, and at times…a little taste of what unconditional love must feel like.

Many nights, my wife and I will be laying in bed, doing our best to sleep a “whole two hours” between feeding the creature in the other room, and I’ll look over at her and think about how much I love her and how proud I am of her. Somewhere in the middle of the mushy thoughts, invariably, a cry will erupt from the other room – the “netherworld”, I call it. My wife awakens with a start…and now, the title of my blog comes into play. If I were to tenderly reach over, tap my wife on the shoulder and say sweetly, “I love you”, and then roll back over and leave her to go and take care of the dirty diaper/cold/hot/hungry/tired/grouchy baby, do you think it would make a huge impact on her? Would she be telling me the next morning, “Honey, that was the sweetest “I love you” last night at 3:15am, it really made the two-hour baby consoling marathon that followed go by so quickly!

Now, imagine the same situation: asleep, baby crying, we both are awake…except this time, I lean over, quickly kiss her on the forehead, and jump up to go into the other room and meet the needs of our son. Change his diaper, rock him, sing to him, etc. I didn’t say a word to her, but what did I communicate? I hope that she heard what I was saying in my heart as loudly as I could…”I love you!” Obviously, at some point in the night, she was still going to have to get up and feed him and I would have to sleep as well, but when I see her the next morning and she says, “Thank you for being so sweet last night. It makes everything easier in life knowing that I’m not doing it alone and that you love me enough to help in the ways you can.”

Which “I love you” says more? A few sweetly whispered words? Or an act of intentional, selfless service? Can you think of an example in your life where someone has served you lately and it made you feel loved? If yes, you’re probably smiling right now. There is something about being served and cared for that speaks more loudly to our hearts than any words written or spoken. I believe this principle is true in romantic relationships, in friendships, and believe it not, in everyday life with complete strangers. Actions often do speak more loudly than words.

On April 9th, 2011 – Faith Promise Church family, you have the opportunity to shout a giant “Jesus Loves You!” to the entire East Tennessee Valley. We are participating in Operation Inasmuch, which is an incredible ministry that helps us, as Christ-followers, actually take action in meeting the needs of the poor, the lonely, the disaffected, and the helpless in our own backyards. We aren’t shouting from our church steps – “Jesus loves you! Come to church!” – We are actually being the hands and feet of Jesus and loving people right where they are all over Anderson, Blount, and Knox counties. Our Operation Inasmuch team has found projects that are in need of willing hands and hearts and put them on our website where you, your family, and your small group can sign up to share the love of Christ to our community. Most of the projects are family friendly, because we want to give your entire family a chance to serve others, and I truly believe, be blessed and energized more than you can imagine!

We need your help to get the word out to the entire Faith Promise Family about this day of service on April 9th. There is a sign up page where you can find a list of projects. A project leader will then contact you with more detailed information about the day. This is an incredibly easy opportunity and first step to reaching the world outside the four walls of our buildings.

It is such a privilege for me to serve you, my Faith Promise family, and I hope by writing this blog and helping find opportunities to serve, you are hearing me say, “I love you and Jesus loves you.”

Look for the Angel Tree This Weekend!

Do you hear it?  Yes, that is Christmas music playing in your favorite store!  It’s that time of year again, and you will find a Christmas tree in the lobbies of our Faith Promise campuses this weekend, as we kick off our Angel Tree ministry for 2010.

This year we will be providing Christmas gifts for kids from Beaumont Elementary, our partner school in Western Heights.  You can bless a child this Christmas by taking a tag from the tree and committing to buy gifts for that child.  Volunteers are also needed to assist with distributing the tags, and receiving the gifts.  Go here to sign up. There are many ways to volunteer!

Be sure to grab your Angel(s) from the tree this weekend.  They will go fast!

Pantry of Promise

Happy Holidays, Faith Promise Family!  Yes, it is true… it’s already the holiday season!

Currently, the Pantry of Promise is experiencing shortages of some food groups. We have begun our yearly food drive for our Thanksgiving and Christmas distributions, and we expect to serve 100 families for each of these holidays.  Our goal to see every small group member at Faith Promise donate 1-2 items a week from October 30 to December 12th.  If the Faith Promise family would all chip in a little, together we can make a huge difference.   Containers will be available in the Lobby each weekend to receive donations.  See below for a list of needed items and who to contact with questions.

In addition to the holidays, the Pantry of Promise distributes food every 1st and 3rd Tuesday throughout the year, so contributions are needed all year long.    Thank you for joining in and partnering to serve the hungry and hurting in the Knoxville area!

Questions ?
Call 251-2590 ext: 3002
or email: pantryofpromise@gmail.com


Thanksgiving and Christmas Needs

For Families:

  • Gift cards for Turkey or Ham ($10-15)
  • Boxed Stuffing
  • Can Cranberries or Cranberry Sauce
  • Green Beans
  • Can Sweet Potatoes or Box Mashed Potatoes
  • Can of Gravy
  • Canned Ham
  • Apple Juice (64-96oz.)

For Babies (plastic containers, please):

  • Turkey
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Peas, Carrots or Green Beans
  • Fruits
  • Apple Juice

Other Immediate Needs

For 1st and 3rd Tuesday distributions (no glass containers or refrigerated items, please):

  • Apple (or other) Juices (64-96 oz.)
  • Breakfast foods (boxed cereal, oatmeal, etc.)
  • Canned fruits
  • Peanut Butter (pt. size)
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned meats (tuna, chicken, Spam, etc.)
  • Canned Ravioli/Spagetti-O, etc.
  • Canned Beans (various kinds)
  • Canned Soups
  • Packaged Rice
  • Box Dinners (Hamburger Helper, etc.)