I am honored to present the ministry of the Plantation Church in the Florida Conference. Jessie Guillaume, founder/director of H.O.P.E. Ministry Project Inc., accompanied by Leighton Smith, Plantation Church pastor, foster a meaningful portrait of real ministry. Please be blessed.
One of the most poignant passages spoken by Jesus in the Gospels addresses the need of ministering to people on the fringes of society: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine you did for me…for I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me,” Matthew 25:42, 43, NIV.
H.O.P.E. (Helping Oppressed People Everyday) Ministry Project Inc., a ministry of the Plantation Church in Plantation, Florida, has turned the words of Christ into action, where every month they feed 400 hungry and homeless in Miami, Florida.
The Ministry initiated a feeding program for the homeless in 2002, and as they started to minister, they felt the need to help in a more tangible way. In 2006, with answered prayers, God opened the door to purchase a house that would serve the homeless in south Florida.
Most people who have found refuge at the H.O.P.E. Ministry have not returned to homelessness. The reason why, says director Jessie Guillaume, “We love everyone who comes to us for help, we give them an opportunity to talk with the H.O.P.E. Ministry team about their lives, and give them an opportunity to see what can be done to help them improve their lives.”
Because of this love for people, there are powerful testimonies about the lives that have changed because of the passionate work of the volunteers:
Jessina, who was a drug addict, went to the Broward Center for help. It was the same location where H.O.P.E. Ministry was conducting Bible studies on Sunday mornings. While there, she heard the Good News of salvation, and made the decision to give her heart to the Lord in baptism. The work of passionate people armed with the Good News of the Gospel is why Jessina is now drug free.
Another story of God’s miracles is Robert, alcoholic and homeless. He also went to the Broward Center, and through the Bible studies conducted there, he made a decision for baptism. After his conversion he went back to school and is now a licensed massage therapist.
Our director, Jessie Guillaume, a native of Haiti, is passionate about spreading the Gospel to those who are suffering from life’s unfortunate circumstances. It is this passion that led the ministry to start a church in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. The church has grown from 50 to 200 members since that time. This year the ministry sponsored the first Vacation Bible School for more than 150 children.
The vision that God has placed upon the leaders of this ministry is to have a H.O.P.E. house in every county in south Florida. The objective is two fold: help the transition of the homeless back into society, and share with them the Good News of Jesus.
The words of Ellen White ring true through this ministry: “Christ’s method alone will give true success in reaching the people. The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good. He showed His sympathy for them, ministered to their needs, and won their confidence. Then He bade them, ‘Follow Me,’” The Ministry of Healing, page 143.
The hope of evangelism is that no matter where people are in their lives, whether homeless or not, there is a God Who cares about their circumstances, and wants to bring the hope of a new life through Jesus. — Leighton Smith
I ask you to join me in keeping H.O.P.E. Ministry before God in their quest to provide this community service on behalf of Jesus Christ. — RCS
| November 2016