Pastor Peter Smith of Red Hill, Pennsylvania, sends this memo explaining his group’s upcoming ministry of hurricane relief and asking for prayer.
One week before we leave for Mississippi!
My name is Peter Smith and I am the pastor at Hope Valley Community Church in Red Hill, Pennsylvania. My awesome wife is Julie and I have a seven-year-old son, Nicholas, and a five-year-old daughter, Madison.
We are a part of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. We are an eight-year-old church plant of about 140 people that launched out from the Penn Valley GBC in Telford, PA.
Our church is coordinating a trip to Gulfport, Mississippi, and I will be overseeing the planning and will be going as the Team Leader for the trip. I have been blessed to go on mission teams twice to Cambodia and had the opportunity to lead the second team, which was an X-Team to a remote part of Cambodia under rough and primitive conditions.
I really enjoy serving God with a team of people in this way and I cannot wait to get there. I hope you are excited as well. Please remember me and the team in your prayers. We will need it!
We are working together in cooperation with two churches from Gulfport. The one church, First Baptist Church of Gulfport, was destroyed in the hurricane. This church started a daughter church plant that is also located in Gulfport named Crosspoint Church.
The brand-new church plant has its own building, but thankfully it was not destroyed. Pastors from both churches now are using office space at Crosspoint Church to coordinate all the hurricane relief teams that are coming to help the city of Gulfport from all over the USA.
A lot of things have come together in the last 24 hours! Presently, we have two churches participating and a third one in Richmond, VA, may be joining up with us as well. They will contact us Sunday afternoon with the number of those going from their church.
We will take up to 20 people maximum for the team. It is not too late to join the team; there probably are at least 3-4 spots left. The latest person just joined this morning from the Community Bible Fellowship Church in Red Hill, PA.
a. We are in need of 1-2 cooks willing to come and to cook/ prepare meals for the team. Some on the team now are willing to help with the food, if no one else steps forward. But it would best if we had a couple people just devoted to this important job.
b. We are in need of drivers. We could use at least 1-2 more. This would give us two per vehicle or six total. We will also probably be bringing three vehicles. Two for the team and one for all the equipment and supplies.
c. Mary Lawrence, Food Coordinator, is coordinating the gathering of food and planning for the meals for the team.
d. Alexis Bartholomew, Gift Grocery Bag Coordinator, is coordinating the “gift bags” of 3-4 grocery bags of food, water, toiletries and cleaning supplies to give out to 30 families that we help when we repair their homes. Financial donations are being accepted.
e. Checks should be made payable to “Hope Valley Community Church”, memo: Gulfport Food Donations. Send to 501 Graber Alley, Red Hill, PA 18076.
f. Transportation: Please pray that our transportation is finalized by Monday at the latest. We are looking for a 15-passenger van in good condition, with air conditioning, that we could borrow.
g. Equipment and Supplies: Pray that we can get everything together quickly and that at least some of it would be donated.
h. Cost for the Trip: We are asking each team member who can afford it, to contribute $200 toward the cost of the trip. We are praying that the remainder will be covered by donations from the team members’ support request letters and churches special offerings.
In the event that donations cover all the cost, each team member that would like, will receive their $200 back. If there would be donations given beyond our expenses, the remainder will be given to the Crosspoint Church to be used to continue to help minister to the city of Gulfport.