Shining the Light in the Sunshine State

FBC Palmetto

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14, ESV) Jesus came as the light of the world and called his followers to shine his light for all the world to see and to know.

His light was very evident in the Sunshine State over the past few weeks! First Baptist Church of Palmetto, FL near Bradenton conducted its first Inasmuch Day on Saturday, Feb. 27. You can read about it from the local newspaper here, and you can see it at from a TV news article here.

More than 400 members worked together to be the hands, feet, eyes and heart of Christ as they fanned out across Palmetto creating a Compassion Revolution in their community. It is always amazing when the value of such volunteer hours of ministry are calculated – current IRS value of a volunteer hour is $23.07! Those 400 plus volunteers generated over $36,000 worth of service making their community a better place by serving the unserved, loving the unloved and reaching the unchurched! [Read more…]

INASMUCH HIRES NEW ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR

Pastor John Daugherty Joins Inasmuch Staff

Pastor John Daugherty celebrating an Inasmuch Day in Fort Myers, Florida.

Pastor John Daugherty celebrating an Inasmuch Day in Fort Myers, Florida.

Years ago, when the Inasmuch ministry was first launched as a full-time, free-standing ministry, David Crocker was asked about the ministry’s fundraising strategy.  He answered:  “We will live by the belief that God provides.”

For eight and a half years now that line has been more than a sound bite; it has been rock solid belief.  God has indeed provided for Inasmuch.   The most recent example is Rev. John Daugherty who accepted the full-time position of Associate Director with Inasmuch and began working July 1.

Daugherty comes from Fort Myers, FL, where he served as Senior Pastor of City Gate Ministries, formerly First Baptist Church.  He led the church to develop a number of ministries to people in need in Fort Myers and, in 2013, led his church and half a dozen others in downtown Fort Myers to conduct an Inasmuch United event.  Their Facebook page tells the exciting story:  Inasmuch United Fort Myers.

Crocker says:  “For a year and a half we searched diligently for just the right person to join our Team, expanding our capacities and eventually stepping up to the role of Executive Director when I retire.  There were times during the search when it looked gloomy—that such a person could not be found or that we would have to settle for something less than we wanted—but God provided as He always has!”

“When I first got the call from John saying he was interested in our position, I immediately called my wife and said: ‘I just got the call I’ve been waiting for a year and a half!’  John is everything I had hoped we could find in an Associate—a pastor with a passion and proven experience with community ministry, experienced at training and giving presentations and fundraising.  In short, John is the complete package!”  [Read more…]

God Winks at Fort Myers

Inasmuch United Fort Myers…HUGE Success!!

Have you seen God wink?  Silly question, you say.  No one sees God, much less His wink!  Some compassionate souls at Fort Myers, Florida, would beg to differ.  They were part of the first Inasmuch United Fort Myers on February 2 and some of them saw God wink.

God winks when our plans go wrong and where they put us is just the place God wants us to be.  We make a wrong turn on a journey only to discover an opportunity we would have missed if we had stayed “on course” and God winks. We fail to get the job of our dreams only to learn later that the company was on shaky ground and soon folded and God winks.

Ready to work...

Ready for a painting project … wonder where he saw God wink during his Inasmuch United Fort Myers experience.

Nine congregations of various denominations and races united in Fort Myers to mobilize right at 1000 people to minister to thousands of their neighbors in need in 75 compassion ministry projects and God was winking the entire day.  One wink was when a volunteer named John went to a Laundromat to “feed the machines,” e.g. pay for up to 3 loads of laundry for customers on the day of the Inasmuch United.  But John went to the wrong Laundromat, but instead of correcting his error, he stayed and served the people there.  One woman was suspicious of his offer to pay for her laundry, so John explained that he was helping out with his community’s Inasmuch because God had been good to him and he wanted to share some of the blessing.  The woman not only accepted his help but also shared that she had recently lost her husband.  As a way of dealing with her grief she had started a blog for other grieving people.  She had just received a response from a woman in another Florida city who had just lost her son to suicide.   Well, . . . John and his wife lost their son to suicide 30 years ago.  So, John and his wife are now communicating with that mother in the other city.  And God winked.

Another volunteer was disappointed to discover on the day of the Inasmuch United Fort Myers that the project she had signed up to do had fallen through at the last minute.  She asked to be reassigned and didn’t really care to which project.  She was sent to a house that was to be pressure washed and painted—with stucco exterior.  Until she arrived no one realized that the project leader had purchased the wrong kind of paint.  Since this volunteer and her husband own a paint store, she went to her store and got the correct paint and donated it to the project.  And God winked.  Next year, she and her husband will donate all the paint to be used on all the painting projects!  So, God may be winking for a long time in Fort Myers.

David Crocker, who went to Fort Myers to train church leaders there to plan and conduct their Inasmuch United event, says:  “These stories illustrate a truth we often hear from folk who participate in an Inasmuch event, namely whenever we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.  When we are obedient to his calling to serve people in need in Jesus’ name, He takes our sometimes simple acts of obedience and does far more with them than we could ever expect.”

Being the Hands and Feet of Jesus by helping to feed the hungry … another Inasmuch United Fort Myers project.

 

When has God winked during your Inasmuch experience?  “God has winked at Inasmuch so many times in recent years that we’ve lost count!” says Crocker.