Posts Tagged ‘community outreach

01
Sep
13

Tri Coastal Community Outreach is on television tonight

I first met Carolyn in June of 2006 at her outreach center near Mobile, Alabama. At the time, she was taking care of displaced Hurricane Katrina victims out of her father’s unfinished church. Unlike many of the people I had met doing the same basic thing; I knew from the outset that there was something special about the way Carolyn did things.

Carolyn had been a wedding planner before the hurricane with no thought of coordinating a sprawling charity. But, when the devastation became apparent soon after the storm passed, her ironclad Christian faith and abounding love manifested in mercy prompted her to act instead of reacting. Instead of sitting around in a daze waiting for someone to help her and her family, Carolyn immediately started finding food and other supplies to help others.

I was in Kentucky when I received a call from Carolyn in July of 2006. Her father had just died and she was suffering physical problems herself that would necessitate her going in the hospital. Although we had only met once, there was a bond that quickly developed between us due to the mutual respect we had for what each other was doing.

I had to go to Pennsylvania to do a meeting but afterward I made a beeline for Mobile to visit Carolyn in the hospital and do what I could to help the people she was ministering to. Thankfully I had my little green van to stay in and help out. That trip 7 years ago fostered a relationship of trust and thanksgiving that remains vital even today. Although I rarely see or even talk with Carolyn much anymore, I deeply admire what she is doing and pray for her and her outreach daily.

Carolyn refused to quit, get discouraged, compromise or sell out to anyone over the years. Her group, Tri Coastal Community Outreach, is truly independent and is not supported by government programs or underwritten by a major denomination. Carolyn has depended on donations, both large and small, to stay afloat for years. She draws no salary but works 60-80 hours a week strictly as a labor of love.

Over the years, I have supported Tri Coastal through donations of money and goods. I even purchased freezers for them in 2007 to allow them to give out frozen food. More than once I have taken trailers of goods from our eBay store to help stock their thrift store. Of all the people and groups I met in 2006-2007, none were as pure and Godly in what they were doing as Tri Coastal.

Years ago Carolyn started conducting classes on how to repair your house, set up a checking account, stay healthy and many other things. This was all done to break the cycle of dependency many charities fall into. It is a true saying that if you give a man a fish he will eat for a day but if you teach him HOW to fish he can eat for a lifetime.

Two years ago, ABC television visited Tri Coastal and filmed an episode of their unique show “Secret Millionaire”. Tonight at 7:00 pm CDT on ABC that episode will be aired. If you want to see how much good a grass roots charity can do when the leader is a devout Christian who refuses to compromise Biblical truth; I urge you to watch or record this show for it will truly bless you.

Many of you know of my admiration for Carolyn and Tri Coastal for I have written of her before. It fills my heart with great joy and thanksgiving to know that this evening, her group will finally receive the recognition it deserves. For me, it is like the joy a parent feels when seeing their child graduate. Thank you for allowing me to share a bit about someone and something very near and dear to my heart.

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06
Oct
08

Millions Suffer while Smiley celebrates and “the Boss” serenades Obama’s Nation

Finally, after a wait which seemed to take forever, the Associated Press released a couple of articles this weekend dealing with the missing people from Hurricane Ike and the environmental damage caused by hurricane damaged oil platforms, pipelines and storage tanks. What has been the response? Well, if silence speaks volumes, then we have our answer.

Americans cannot be bothered right now about mundane and trivial things such as hurricane Ike related issues. Not with the Stock Market poised to drop by a million this morning. After being mesmerized by many days of drama in Washington over the Bailout Bill, everyone thought all would be well after the House voted Friday afternoon to approve the measure. Immediately after the vote, the Stock Market plunged.

This is what it is coming down to in America. Far more people are concerned about Cubs and Brewers got knocked out of baseball playoffs than the fate of hundreds (if not thousands) of missing fellow Americans in Texas and Louisiana. While millions upon millions of fanatic football fans were glued to their television sets Saturday and Sunday, thousands of people waited for someone to help them figure out where to start in the recovery process. While just about everyone was burning up the phone lines complaining to someone about the financial mess, hardly anyone even remembers there were back to back hurricanes less than a month ago.

No one knows what this month holds, but being an election year, there is a 100% certainty of some “October surprise”. Even now, the campaign has turned negative with the inevitable name calling and dredging up dirt on each other. Like a long running soap opera, millions of people stay glued to their news outlet waiting for the next installment of “As the Campaign Turns”. This would be humorous except for all the horrible things going on in the REAL WORLD.

So what if “Hannah Montana” turned 16 this weekend. So what if “Brittney” is going back to her old ways. So what if Bruce can play his guitar and through his influence persuade thousands of people to vote for Obama. So what if Saturday Night Live does a good parody on the VP debates. None of these things are news. All these stories do is feed the monster of the fantasy world most people live in.

Americans better wake up and realize what is happening right under their noses. The government, which is set to grow far bigger than anyone ever imagined, is taking control over things that not even the most brazen conspiracy theory backer thought possible this quickly. Once Sen. Obama is elected (and that is foregone conclusion), the nationalization of health care, insurance, education and welfare will soon follow. Anyone caught badmouthing minorities, gays and lesbians, Muslims or the government will pay dearly for their folly.

The Bible speaks in 2 Timothy 3 that the last days will be “perilous”. If the current days do not meet that criteria I don’t know what would. In the following verses in 2 Timothy 3, specific things are stated which define “perilous”. The first thing mentioned is that people will be lovers of themselves more than lovers of God. Our selfish, “me” driven mentality has produced the crisis in the financial sector as well as housing, employment and even disaster recovery.

Until and unless Americans yank their collective heads out of the dark place and rise up and do two things, the circumstances we are surrounded by will only get worse. The two things we all must strive to do are:

1. Let our voice (vote) be heard. Do not sit back and allow the vocal minority to say they reflect the views of the silent majority. Speak up, stand up and let your opinion be known.

2. Exercise the old axiom of when the pressure is on—GIVE. If Americans continue to shut down their spending it causes businesses to fail. When Americans shut down their charitable giving, lives will be lost and undo suffering will abound.

We must not allow the current economic situation to persuade us that we cannot afford to speak up or give. To the contrary, we must use the current situation as a springboard to bolder speech and more audacious giving. While the world says “you cannot afford to give”; God says “try and out give ME”. Please, on behalf of millions of suffering people, I beg of you to find new and innovative ways to give of your time, resources and means. Thank You.