Global Youth Day 2018 was fast approaching. How could the young people at Forest Lake Church in Apopka, Florida, impact their community in a tangible, memorable way? They began to pray, “Lord what can we do for YOU this year?”
They decided to make 100 gift bags for health care workers and firemen, and 150 care packages for Orlando Coalition for the Homeless. The team met to discuss the projected budget. They had a game plan but only one obstacle — money! How would they fund this? “Our God will supply,” said Frank Celemy, one of the team members. It was clear they were stepping out in faith.
Church members donated items, and friends donated cash. The Holy Spirit impressed Celemy to pick up some needed items. At Dollar Tree, he filled up two baskets with 140 women’s deodorants, and two shopping carts full of shampoos, soap, and socks. While standing in line, a man came and stood behind him. Celemy smiled and said, “I will be a while, so you might want to move on to register 4.”
The stranger said, “No worries.” Scanning Frank’s cart, he asked, “What is this for?” Frank explained to him the youth at his church were making care packages for the homeless in Orlando. The stranger proceeded over to an open register. A few minutes later, he walked back and told the cashier in Frank’s lane, “I want to pay for his entire order, because this means a lot to me, and I want to give back.” Frank stood there frozen, stunned, and speechless; and then he proceeded to thank this man for helping to support the cause.
Global Youth Day 2018 found the staff registering more than 70 energized youth. Mark Reams, pastor, gave an inspiring devotional, “Being the Sermon,” to get everyone geared up for the day’s activities.
Instead of 100 gift bags, they were able to prepare 200 gift bags for workers at nine nursing homes, and firefighters at three fire stations in the area near the church. The impact these gifts had was readily apparent in the many thanks received from the firefighters and nursing home workers.
Instead of the 150 care packages planned in the beginning, 300 packages were delivered to the Coalition for the Homeless and S.A.L.T. When they turned into the street where the shelter was located, people lined the sidewalk under makeshift shelters for protection from the heat. Because of the care packages, the shelter felt they could help another 100 people. The woman in charge was praising God.
God is in total control. All everyone must do is listen and obey, and He will do the rest. Faith is not hoping God can, it is KNOWING He will.
Florida | May 2018