Vaylen Ivah Photography
WholeLife's Connected 2022 Has Huge Impact
Rod was standing by the side of a road off I-4 at the Princeton exit in Orlando, Fla., with a “God loves all” sign. A member of WholeLife Church in Orlando stopped and invited him to come to the church’s Connected 2022 event for the unsheltered community at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando. Rod decided to attend, and that decision may have saved his life.
At the Connected 2022 event, a doctor gave Rod a thorough exam and then gave him a referral for X-rays and further diagnostic work. When Rod went for his referral, doctors at AdventHealth discovered he had a blood clot on one of his lungs and two blood clots on his left knee. He was immediately admitted to the hospital where he was able to recuperate.
“That’s what saved me, when I went there to the stadium and told the doctor about my health,” says Rod.
The Connected event, held on a Saturday in November 2022, was planned and run by WholeLife Church with assistance from SALT Outreach, Second Harvest Food Bank of central Florida, and 22 other community organizations. The event provided a wide variety of services to the unsheltered community, including medical exams, eye exams, vaccinations, clothing, haircuts, showers, and other options such as laundry services.
In all, nearly 300 unsheltered persons received services at Connected 2022 from approximately 250 volunteers, and 700 meals were distributed. The event finished with a worship service and lunch where volunteers and the unsheltered community members gathered to praise God and fellowship together.
“If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is the power of building a connection. In some cases, it is literally lifesaving,” says Anderline Bredy, pastor of justice ministries at WholeLife Church.
It’s a connection Rod feels as he now attends church services at WholeLife Church. Plans are underway to continue Connected as an annual event, and the church recently opened the WholeLife Center which provides a wide variety of services to the Orlando community.
Florida | March 2023