Florida Church Celebrates Resurrection with New Community Campaign
By Mykaela Alvey
On Easter Sunday, Praise Tabernacle International in Plantation, Florida, launched their new campaign called “Random Acts of Kindness.” Robert and Lisa Maxwell, Praise Tabernacle International’s pastors of community affairs, were the catalysts behind this new ministry. According to Lisa, “The mission of the community affairs ministry is to exhibit the love and characteristics of Christ and to share the gospel with all people, with the ultimate goal of seeing lives transformed by the power of God.”
Through this new campaign, they are serving their community through the provision of “100 free lunches on the third Saturday of every month.” They desire to first meet the need for food, a basic desire that all of us have. After all, we are called to feed the poor; we are called to help those in need. “Kindness goes a very long way. No matter how small or minuscule to one, it is a grand gesture to someone else,” she says.
Their motivation for starting this new campaign ties closely with who they are as a congregation. Lisa explains, “Our mission at Praise Tabernacle International is: ‘We are a caring fellowship that is transforming lives for Christ-centered living. We love God and we love people. We serve God and we serve people. We find the need and we meet it. We find the hurt and we heal it.’ This is the core of who we are.”
The congregation of Praise Tabernacle International know that they are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. A free meal may seem like something simple, but it can have a profound impact on both the giver and the receiver. “Feeding a few hungry people, a month can make a huge difference in their lives, and it goes beyond just their lives, but it also affects the lives of those around them, those connected to them, and it also affects the giver.” This impact can have an incredible ripple effect within the community. By building these relationships, they hope to inspire others to serve. “Serving people changes people and changed people will serve others.”
The reaction from the community has been incredible as many are inquiring about the church and the service times. They have found that many who are served are open to having conversations and being ministered to. But even those who serve find that those they serve can often minister to them, as well. As of now, all the volunteers come from the Praise Tabernacle International family. And their volunteers love to serve, whether that be through financial contributions, packaging meals, advertising word of mouth, or distributing the meals. Though the launch was recent, they have already been able to provide 275 meals! Praise God!
We are reminded through this campaign how something little can have such a profound impact on a person, a community, and the surrounding area. Pastor/Evangelist for Praise Tabernacle Ruth Nelson says, “What a blessing it is to be a part of the Acts of Kindness ministry with the community affairs ministry of Praise Tabernacle International. Changing lives for Christ-centered living, (even if that means just giving them a sandwich). It is so encouraging to be able to greatly impact the lives of others, with such a small act of kindness.”
May we all be reminded how one simple act of kindness can go a long way in making an impact for the kingdom.
Anderson University alumna Mykaela Alvey is a funding US missionary based in Greenwood, Indiana. A freelance writer for three years, she loves crafting stories of hope and healing.
Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.