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We have been rescued… so we can serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness forever. You will tell people how to find salvation through forgiveness of their sins. Because of God’s tender mercy, the light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace. -from the prophecy spoken by Zechariah regarding the ministry of John the Baptist in Luke 1, NLT

Serving at Christmas
Christmas decorations and brightly colored lights usually dot the coastline along the Gulf Coast. This year, however, life is anything but normal for residents of this area as they continue to discover stability for their lives and families. The Foursquare Church is still responding, bringing the love of Jesus to people who are most receptive for a touch of God in their lives.

Nearly 40 students from Life Pacific College are participating in relief efforts in Louisiana and Mississippi during the holiday season. This year Christmas gifts may not be under the tree, but rather found in the relationships that are built, physical needs that are met, and the clearing of debris from storm-ravaged homes. Rebuilding is still a long way off for most residents, and many families may wait as long as six months before they can move into a FEMA trailer. Our student teams are on the ground during their Christmas break clearing debris, cleaning buildings, cooking and serving meals, distributing supplies, and ministering wherever the need presents itself.

Thanksgiving Outreach
Teams serving at Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian, Miss. spent their Thanksgiving holiday with volunteers from as far away as Alaska and Canada. Thanksgiving Day began before sunrise cooking and serving breakfast to 1,000 relief workers. The volunteers spent time in Bible study and worship before dividing into three teams to facilitate three ambitious outreach events. Through the course of the day they would unload supply trucks and cook and serve Thanksgiving dinner to thousands of residents, FEMA workers, police, fire personnel and long-term ministry teams living at our Base Camps. A time of sharing and teaching in the Word completed a satisfying day of service. It was a special blessing for our teams to see young soldiers from the U.S. Army sitting with Bibles open as the Word was preached.

About 9:00 p.m. after a successful and exhausting day of ministry, word came that a weather system was approaching and everyone would need to lend a hand to secure the Base Camps. In addition, the 43-by-38-foot commercial grade tent that had been used during the Thanksgiving dinner had to be moved and anchored in beach sand at our Pass Christian Base Camp. This tent would provide shelter and new sleeping quarters for the increased number of volunteers that had helped during the Thanksgiving Day outreaches. The storm system forced the teams to secure the tent earlier than expected. Just when everyone thought their strength was gone, a Foursquare Houston-based relief team arrived with an abundance of energy and helped finish the job. They were also able to set up a new tent that will function as the Base Camp Chapel.

Ronda’s Hope-filled Christmas Gift
Ronda and her family had extensive water damage to their home, but with no where else to live, they decided to remain in the house until they could clean-up and rebuild. As the family slept one night, the floor of their home became unbearably hot. Upon inspection by the Fire Department, Ronda discovered that an electrical box in the basement had trapped flood water and the condition was literally an explosive fire just waiting to happen. Foursquare teams helped clean Ronda’s home and remove the damaged floor and walls. Ronda and her family are alive and safe as they now await the reconstruction of a livable home again.

Neighbors Give Thanks
During the Thanksgiving dinner served at our Bay St. Louis, Miss. Base Camp, one neighbor spontaneously stood before the crowd and expressed thanks for the Christians who had brought hope in the midst of her despair. Then another person spoke up and related how one of our California teams came to her assistance as she was living in her car sitting in front of her destroyed home. Others joined to extend thanks to the people who had been the hands and feet of Jesus making a difference in their lives, especially at this time of year. For photos of these holiday outreaches, visit our relief response site.

Foursquare Makes a Difference
The Foursquare Church continues to supply resources for Base Camps through which volunteer teams are mobilized providing relief, hope, and recovery for people and communities. To date, nearly $1.7 million has been raised through the generosity of churches, individuals, and corporate gifts. More than 1,500 people a day receive meals at one Base Camp alone. This camp is a wonderful example of the way ministry resources are being multiplied and shared among various outreach groups to meet a huge need. It is known as “God’s Katrina Kitchen” and at any given meal you might see police, military, and prisoners in striped uniforms, construction workers, city employees, garbage haulers and believers from all affiliations, Baptist, Methodist, Mennonite, Foursquare and more all working, serving and sharing together. Relief provisions from this Base Camp are given to at least 300 local residents a day.

A DVD has been sent to every Foursquare church in the United States highlighting the immediate response and on-going recovery efforts by The Foursquare Church. The message of this DVD, called, Never Before, is positive and affirming, and we encourage every pastor to share this DVD with their congregation. It will be a blessing to every believer and every congregation.

Prayer Points:

  • Pray for residents, relief workers and volunteers.
  • Pray that the impact of these teams has a long-term effect.
  • Pray for Life Pacific students who will serve with us this month and in months to come.
  • Pray that all outreaches will succeed in impacting these communities.
  • Pray that churches will send “Ready Teams” that have been spiritually and physically prepared for the challenges that await them.

For more detail about how you can partner to reach people in the Gulf Coast through The Foursquare Church, please visit our relief response site.

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