Inasmuch in the Philippines

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Inasmuch United Taken to a New Level

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Some of the volunteers serving and those served gather for a group picture.

Many churches are learning that they can impact their community with Inasmuch, but what about the world?!  Congregations in Radford, Virginia, would answer in a resounding Yes!  Four Radford churches (Baptist, Methodist, Christian and Presbyterian) conducted their first Inasmuch United event in September of 2014.

But they didn’t stop there.  They also “collaborated” with two congregations in the Philippines which conducted their first Inasmuch on the same day!  (Actually, since the Philippines is located west of the international date line, their Inasmuch was technically the date before the one in Radford.)  The Filipino congregations videoed their Inasmuch and posted it on YouTube.  When the Radford churches gathered for their Inasmuch, they were able to see what their Filipino brothers and sisters did a few hours before!  [Read more…]

Inasmuch Transforms

“The Church Is Changed!”

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West Hampton Baptist Church in West Hampton, Virginia

West Hampton Baptist Church in Hampton, VA, is not the same church.  The building looks the same.  For the most part, the same people attend and most of the activities are the same as they have been for a long time.  But according to Sohn McGough, Coordinator of West Hampton’s recent Inasmuch Day, the church has most definitely changed.

 

“It was a day of miracles!” says McGough.  “Everywhere we turned on our Inasmuch Day we were surprised at how God multiplied our efforts.”  We planned to give out 50 care packages to nursing home patients and it ended up being about 180.  We noticed that the staff at the nursing home were less than enthusiastic about our coming, so we gave 40 of the care packages to them.  They were excited to see that we cared about them as well as the patients.  Furthermore, we have made a commitment to continue ministering to them every month!”  [Read more…]

Inasmuch Feeds Thousands in Guatemala

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The loaded container made its way from Knoxville, Tennessee, to Guatemala.

In April a shipping container with 252,000 meals was sent from Knoxville, Tennessee to Guatemala.  In June a team of volunteers from Central Baptist Church, Johnson City which included David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch and Corky Corcoran, member of the Inasmuch Board of Directors, gave out about 6,000 of those meals to people of three villages in rural Guatemala.

                                    

                        The container was opened revealing the 252,000 meals.  Unloading was hard but rewarding work.

“Giving tasty, nutritious meals to people, some of whom are not able to eat every day, is one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done,” says Crocker.  “Having been on the production end of providing these meals with literally hundreds of church volunteers, it was an extremely rewarding experience to be on the distribution end as well,” adds Crocker.  “Shipping a full container of food to Guatemala is one of the most ambitious things we have attempted.  Now we know that many thousands of poor Guatemalans will benefit from these efforts this year.”  [Read more…]

Mr. Inasmuch Transforms His Community

How much can one person do to impact his community?  Ask Joel Singletary of Sumter, South Carolina.  In April he and his wife, Libby, were honored by Sumter’s Mayor Joe McElveen for their volunteer work in Sumter—Libby for her countless hours spent at United Ministries serving wherever she can be helpful and Joel for his leadership in leading his church, Alice Drive Baptist Church, and 18 other congregations in Inasmuch United Sumter.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary. Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor's Award for Outstanding Community Service.

From left, Mark Champagne, United Ministries director; Libby Singletary; Sumter Mayor Joe McElveen; and Joel Singletary.  Joel and Libby Singletary received the Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Community Service.

It began in 2009 when Joel’s pastor, Dr. Clay Smith of Alice Drive Baptist Church, showed Joel an article about Operation Inasmuch.  He took several folk from his church to a Lutheran-sponsored Inasmuch training in the winter of 2009.  Shortly thereafter, he led his church to conduct their first Inasmuch Day.  The story is told in the video “Roosevelt’s Story” on the Inasmuch website:   http://www.operationinasmuch.org/stories-of-the-revolution/roosevelts-story/.

God soon impressed Singletary with the vision of seeing many churches in Sumter working together to serve people in need.  He shared his vision with David Crocker, Executive Director of Operation Inasmuch, Inc. and scheduled www.cgfp.org/buy-celexa-online/ David to conduct training sessions for 21 congregations in the Sumter area.  “Joel went door to door from one church to another talking with anyone in those churches who would listen to him share about Inasmuch and how their church could be involved,” says Crocker.  “He worked tirelessly, often without much success and totally without recognition,” adds Crocker, “but Inasmuch is where it is today in Sumter because of Joel Singletary’s efforts.   This is why it’s so good that he is finally being recognized for all the work he has done.  I am personally pleased that Joel Singletary is known as Mr. Inasmuch of Sumter.”  [Read more…]

NC Inasmuch Builds House In One Day!

When Keith Guinn was asked to head up his church’s first Inasmuch Day this past spring, he said “I can’t do it, but with God’s help, we’ll get it done.”  After Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC, mobilized almost half of their average Sunday attendance in April, Guinn exclaimed, “It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been a part of!”Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC Inasmuch Day

One of the 19 projects conducted by the Euto congregation was building a house in one day!!  “The foundation was poured beforehand, but we completely dried-in the house—walls, roof, doors and windows—in one, long Inasmuch day,” says Guinn.  He says that about a month before Euto’s Inasmuch, one of the church members asked if the church could build his grandfather a house.  The elderly man in his mid 80s had recently lost his wife and he needed to live closer to his son but couldn’t afford to hire a contractor.  The church agreed to include the ambitious project among their list of ministry opportunities and God took over from there.  The man’s family purchased the materials and church volunteers provided the labor.

When David Crocker trained members of Euto Baptist to conduct an Inasmuch Day, he said, as he always does in these training sessions, “When we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.”  Remembering that line, Guinn now says, “I am a witness to that truth.  I saw it in April of this year, and we’re already planning our next Inasmuch for 2013.”

Euto Baptist Church of Marshville, NC Inasmuch DayEuto Baptist Church involved 155 people from their church in their Inasmuch Day which is just under half their congregation.  They served more than 200 people, and the most amazing result of their day of service was that nine people became followers of Jesus as a direct result of the compassion ministry they rendered through Inasmuch!

Guinn’s unchurched neighbors were astounded at what the church did in one day.  They attended a breakfast gathering of the volunteers prior to the start of their projects and were moved to ask:  “Why are y’all doing this?”  They returned to their home that day with nothing but praise for a church that has shown, not just told, their small community God’s love.

A Tale of Two Women and Inasmuch

Nell at the Samaritan House

The first woman is Nell (not her real name) – a middle aged, homeless woman who lives in Sumter, South Carolina. Nell suffered from domestic abuse for years until she finally moved out of her home and in with a friend. Her job at a nearby Salvation Army helped her to survive on her own . . . for a while. But when the Air Force shipped out Nell’s friend and the Salvation Army closed, Nell was left homeless and unemployed. The streets of Sumter became her home and handouts from anyone who had mercy on her were her sustenance.

Eventually, Nell discovered the Samaritan House, a homeless shelter in Sumter. We do not know how often Nell went to the Samaritan House, but we do know that it provided her with a life-changing encounter.

The second woman is Alice (not her real name) – a twenty-something single woman, a medical professional who also lives in Sumter. About a year ago, Alice lost her job. Even worse, she was accused of misdeeds that led to a judgment against her for which her penance was 200 hours of community service…

Alice is an active member of the First Church of God, Sumter, so she inquired what she might do around the church to fulfill her required community service. Alice accepted the assignment of making a video the church’s softball team. Although she had never created a video before, Alice discovered a new talent and soon became the official videographer for the church.

Alice, Inasmuch Volunteers, and a Client of the Samaritan House

Over the months, Alice completed 182 job applications and all the while nursed deep resentment over the events that led to her unemployment and her “required” service. As she tells the story, God used that time to soften her heart and show her that He had a better plan. At some point Alice learned that all the volunteer time she’d put in at the church would not satisfy her community service atonement – which only fueled her resentment.  Nevertheless, Alice found appropriate service at the local Habitat Restore. When Alice completed her required service, she continued to volunteer at the Restore.

First Church of God, Sumter, participated with a dozen other churches in the first Inasmuch United Sumter this past April. The church conducted 21 projects with a little more than half of their average Sunday attendance participating. The Inasmuch organizers asked Alice to visit all of the projects video their members serving that day. She went to 32 locations to interview and take videos of her fellow church members as they volunteered.

Alice’s last stop was at the Samaritan House where church members served a meal to the homeless. She noticed a woman sitting by herself. It was Nell. Alice invited Nell to her church and offered to give her a ride the following day. Nell quickly accepted saying: “I’ve been looking for a church to attend.”

Inasmuch Meal Served at Samaritan House

Following worship, Alice invited Nell to stay for a spaghetti dinner at the church. The church members at dinner welcomed Nell warmly although they had no knowledge of her story or homelessness. So many people greeted Nell that she began to cry.  She said: “I have never felt so loved, not even by my own family!” When Alice and others comforted her, Nell said: “Earlier your pastor talked about how a person can receive Jesus and be baptized. I want to do that.”

Alice led her new friend into the pastor’s office where he shared the gospel with Nell and she prayed the Sinner’s Prayer. Says Alice: “I know Nell accepted Christ right then because I have never felt the power of the Holy Spirit like I did at that moment.”

Later that week, Alice called her friends at the Habitat Restore and asked if they had a job opening. They did and they hired Nell that day. The same day a medical facility in Sumter hired Alice.

Two women: unemployed, mistreated, in need of mercy and grace, brought together by Inasmuch, and forever united in eternity.