It all started when God moved on hearts of the leadership of Florida Conference to begin afresh the work in Key West. Conference leadership put together a bold plan to place a full-time consultant/pastor in Key West to restart the work. Steve Veres, pastor, was chosen to lead out in this most sacred work. A radical new three-fold plan between Florida Conference’s ministerial, community services, and MultiCare Foundation was an answer to years of prayers by many in the Florida Keys.
Before reopening doors to Impact Community Mission Group and Key West Church, a small group of five people determined to seek God first and gathered together in the dingy and dark fellowship hall and sanctuary to pray. Without the means, people, or wisdom to tackle such a challenging area of Florida, they prayed for the Lord’s counsel and providence for 10 days.
The Community is the Focus
After conviction to serve the community following the 10 days of prayer, Veres, the small group, and visiting mission groups conducted surveys of the community. The simple question was asked, “What are the needs of this community?”
Surprisingly, the surveys showed a need for help with some of the basic issues of life: health, happiness, and assistance to recover from Hurricane Irma. This is what the Lord impressed the prayer warriors to do during the 10 days of prayer, and was indeed what the people wanted and needed.
Community Services Begin
Working to develop the Keys portion of Conference Community Services Disaster Response Program, the work of ministry began for survivors of Hurricane Irma. Working side by side with the staff of MultiCare Foundation, hundreds were ministered to in Jesus’ name.
Simultaneously, prayers were offered for both the means and workers to do remodeling, cleanup, and repairs at the mission. The Conference put aside some financial resources to help with this project, and God began to send the right people with skills to complete each project. Estimates amounted to $13,000 to repair just the sanctuary’s walls damaged by various hurricanes! At just the right time, God sent “Jacob” as a guest for Sabbath services. A professional, Jacob completed all the work for just the cost of materials and traveling. God had come through again!
Then began the health outreach. As a result of mobile screenings with MultiCare Foundation and demographic surveys, what the Holy Spirit had shown during the 10 days of prayer was confirmed yet again. Beginning with a small weekly program, the ladies of the church put on the Eight Weeks to Wellness program by Don Hall, and healthy lifestyle programs were held monthly. Now, up to 20 people regularly attend. In November the first health interest was baptized, and others are currently studying the Bible.
Community-wide Health Outreach Begins
As a result of God’s providential leading, Veres met the health coordinator for a major social organization at a local store, and this encounter led to his appointment as the major coordinator for community-wide health outreach for Key West. The first community-wide health fair was well-attended. As a result, Veres put together the infrastructure for continual community-wide health events throughout the Florida Keys. In addition, approximately 40 people signed up for the church’s health outreach follow-up programs.
The Holy Spirit is the KEY to the Keys
At this point, God has continually built this ministry that started just a year ago with a Conference dream, five people, and prayer for the Holy Spirit. There are 25 people now attending church services every Sabbath morning, and the group is still growing.
Florida | February 2020