Tuesday, September 13, 2005

FPC Coral Springs/Margate and FPC Gulfport

Here is some incredibly encouraging news from Florida on how a sister PCA congregation is helping our friends in Gulfport.
The Relief Flight We Sent on the Ground in Mississippi

First of all, we thought it would be helpful to put some faces on the people we are helping in Gulfport. Click this link to see a picture of FPC Gulfport's Sunday Worship service on the porch of an elder's home.

In addition, we wired $44,000 to FPC Gulfport's Bank Account this morning. Our plan is to keep a small amount on reserve in case they have different needs, but we will send a wire of any additional funds each Monday.

We are in the process of working out the logistics of another shipment of goods this week, this time by truck.

Finally, here is Pastor Phillip's letter from this Sunday, which contains some great information:

Hurricane Katrina Relief Update

Psalm 133 says, "Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!. It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion!" Mt. Hermon was in a different part of Israel than Mt. Zion, so the Psalmist was talking about the sharing of blessings among the people of God, even when far apart. That is what we have been doing for our brothers and sisters in Southern Mississippi. And how good it is! Let me provide some facts about what we are and have been doing for First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, MS, one of the churches hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina:

* Our special offering last Sunday raised almost $18,000. Together with the generous matching gift and with subsequent donations, we have raised over $40,000 for this church. They have not yet achieved the ability to receive this money, but as soon as they can we will provide it to them. I praise the Lord for this wonderful outpouring of love and support!

* On Thursday morning, our church chartered an airplane that delivered two tons of donated food. The plane was met by volunteers in Gulfport and the food (along with some clothes and hygiene articles) was taken to the house of one of the elders where it was distributed that day. The PCA churches in Gulfport and Biloxi are providing food to over 250 families, so this supply operation was a big help. From speaking with their pastor, I can assure you that this was a great encouragement to them.

* We have collected clothing in our narthex that will be taken this coming week via truck to Mobile, AL, which is the staging area for Gulfport relief. They simply lack the storage capacity in Gulfport, so these items will be housed in Mobile (an hour away) until they can use them. At present, we are not asking for more donations of clothing, since they are getting quite a lot.

Here are some of the things we intend to do in the future to support FPC Gulfport:

* We will continue to take up special offerings for their support. They have material needs in the congregation, financial needs for the restoration of their church facilities, and a need for operational funds to keep the church going. We are partnering with a number of other churches to meet the need, which is great.

* We will partner with other churches to send construction teams to help rebuild the church and other projects. Our goal is to have the church operating so as to be a center of community life as Gulfport is rebuilt. It is my privilege to convey to you the overwhelming thanks of Pastor Guy Richard of FPC Gulfport and his congregation. Despair has been a real threat to them, and we have greatly helped to restore their hope. I am sure they will never forget it, and I know it greatly honors the Lord. The generosity of our church has made me proud to be your pastor, and I deeply appreciate the many who labored hard this week and others who gave sacrificially. The work is not done, but it is well begun!

In Christ's Love,

Pastor Rick Phillips

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