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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

THE FACE-TO-FACE IMPACT OF IN-PERSON OUTREACH and The Rock Almighty Devotional, Praise, and Worship with The 77s

 

THE FACE-TO-FACE IMPACT OF IN-PERSON OUTREACH

by CDM 




The Creflo Dollar Global Missions team felt there was something that we, as World Changers, needed to reactivate coming out of the social distancing and other restrictions required by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that was the human to human contact involved in our outreach to the community. For most of 2020, our local outreaches, such as the Back 2 SchoolThanksgiving Feeding Families, and Christmas Giveaway events, were drive-thru’s without the traditional ministry aspects that have historically accompanied them, such as prayer. However, once COVID restrictions began to lift, our team of volunteers was able to do an in-person outreach activity, and headed to the Salvation Army Red Shield Shelter in downtown Atlanta. For more about the origins of this outreach event, see last month’s article here.





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Face-to-Face Outreach

On that Saturday, once the Red Shield Shelter’s staff made an announcement to their residents that CDGM was there, the Global Missions team engaged with the shelter’s clients for two and a half hours, distributing general hygiene kits, female-specific hygiene kits with sanitary products, and snacks.

Clients would approach the table with their eyes on the ground; they’d look up apprehensively, as though they expected judgment or maybe were ashamed of having to receive help. It meant a lot for the CDGM volunteers to make eye contact, to smile and say, “How are you? Who are you?” The opportunity to interact with the mothers there was momentous. The mothers thought they were only receiving things for their children, and were surprised and pleased to learn they would receive supplies, as well. The Red Shield Shelter also services homeless veterans. Our volunteers conversed with them, asking when they served, what war, what their job was in the military, and then thank them for their service.

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Those table moments were huge. It was edifying for our people to have a “heart” interaction with the residents, to actually engage in conversation and provide encouragement as opposed to just dropping off a check or supplies. Sometimes simply telling someone “It’s going to be okay” can be the hope they need to hear. Many of the people there had unique stories and walked away with the hope that’s found in God’s grace.

Several CDGM volunteers had come along for security and ordering; however, the event was orderly, and security wasn’t really needed. Therefore, those volunteers became prayer warriors for the event. The CDGM members distributing supplies at the table directed the recipients to those volunteers for prayer for depression, relationship trouble, and more. They all enjoyed seeing the fruition of the face-to-face contact and its effect on these precious people.

Chances to Minister

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One of the teenage volunteers told of speaking with an autistic fifth grader living in the shelter. He was excited to be there. He said, “Since we moved here, everything is so much better!” He accepted prayer, but only if he could receive five hugs first!

Volunteer Tiffany Johnson recounted a particularly impactful exchange. After giving supplies to a man, she encouraged him to “Go over there and get some prayer.”

He shook his head, “Nope, I gave up on that right there.” “Gave up on what?” “Gave up on God,” he clarified.

She wanted to know why. “I had a surgery. I used to sing and entertain, but I can’t do that anymore because God took my voice. I didn’t heal right after the surgery.”

Tiffany was able to go deeper into his story. “I thought you walked up here,” she said. He tipped his head to the side, “Yeah?” “

So, you’re able to walk up to this table and then walk away? I saw a few people before you come up to this table with canes and walkers,” she pointed out.

He caught where she was going and repeated that he had given up on God. She asked him, “Did you find something better?”

He stared at her silently and she pressed him. “What did you find that was better than God?”

He admitted that he hadn’t found anything better and Tiffany suggested he hold onto God until he found something “better.” The man wasn’t willing to receive prayer, but he did take in what she said to him with tears in his eyes. She spoke with him further about how to wake up thanking God—thanking God that he can walk, that his voice is returning—and to focus on the “thank you’s” instead of what he doesn’t have.

Had the Global Missions team just dropped off a shipment of supplies, they would have missed those opportunities. Person-to-person ministry is still needed.

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