Saturday, August 05, 2006

Christian and Missionary Alliance

We are an Alliance of evangelical believers, joined together in local churches, dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ. We maintain a "big tent" stance in reference to many doctrinal matters, encouraging believers of diverse backgrounds and theological traditions to unite in an alliance to know and exalt Jesus Christ and to complete His Commission.

It’s a boy! No, it’s a girl! No it’s both! Well what is it? It is a church plant! Camp Katrina has given birth after nine months of intense labor to a new church. On July 1, Camp Katrina will be turned over to Christian Life Center (CLC), a ministry of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in the Southern District.
What a transformation! Pastor Rick of Christian Life Church (non-C&MA) and I decided that it was time to see a church started from our early Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. We have been praying and seeking God for the right pastoral couple to take this ministry to a church-plant level for several months. Every time we thought we had a couple, something would change in the last minute, and we would be a ground zero again.
As we continued to pray, it became evident that the C&MA has been a prominent partner in helping us get the needed relief to so many people in Waveland, Mississippi. Over half of the volunteers that come weekly, are from Alliance churches throughout the United States. More than $300,000 has been donated from C&MA sources. The current leadership team of Art and Pat Baruffi, along with Shannon Lenox, are all Alliance people. So it became evident to us that God was leading us to turn over the leadership and coordination of Camp Katrina and this new church plant to the C&MA.
The Baruffis have been ministering to about sixty people for the past several months. They still have 400 projects that need to be completed and from those, many more people will come to the Lord. They are expecting twenty kids at the three-day VBS on site.
Art and Pat are scheduled to stay through August and are seeking God about living her for another two years in order to help plant this new church. Shannon Lenox has been asked to stay to coordinate the volunteers that will be needed to continue the ministry. Pastor Rick and I will be available as coaches and mentors as needed. We do not want to walk away from this new birth. We will be aggressively seeking funds to keep the ministry going. It will take at least $12,000 per month to operate. So please PRAY with us as we seek God for the financial needs.
Since we are changing leadership from Gulf Coast Disaster Relief to the Christian Life Center, we are asking that all volunteers coming to serve be prepared to help with the daily expenses of operations. It is for this reason that, beginning July 1, all volunteers will be asked to bring $25.00 per day, per person to help with the expenses. This will cover their room and board as well as help with operating costs.
Many of you know Meg Wilson. She has done a tremendous job coordinating the volunteers. She has been on staff at Christian Life Church. She will be moving to Auburn, Alabama to take another ministry position in media. Meg has turned over the volunteers to Shannon Lenox, and he can be reached at the same address, CampKatrina @gmail.com. We at Gulf Coast Disaster Relief are so grateful to Meg for her sacrifice of love. Pray for her during these days of transition.
With the changing of the guard at Camp Katrina, we will focus our efforts on getting ready for the next storm. We are building a large warehouse in Orange Beach that will store our equipment and tents. Thanks to you, we have come along way from a back yard grill and a tarp. Pastor Rick and I have come to the conclusion that we are better equipped to be a first-response team rather than a stay-a-year-long team. We want to come alongside churches and help them to respond to their local needs. So we continue to prepare for the next crisis. We realize that Waveland was different. After the terrible storm, there were no churches able to do the work of the church. So we responded and became the Church in action. Now God is raising up a church, and others that we have helped are now strong enough to continue on. What a blessing!
What can you do? Glad you asked! Here are a few things:
• Pray for the transition between Gulf Coast Disaster Relief and the Christian Life Center of the C&MA.
• Pray for the needed volunteers to do the continued relief ministry of rebuilding homes and lives. We need fifty volunteers per week. Pray for Shannon Lenox as he takes over this ministry.
• Pray that God will provide the needed funds, $12,000 per month to cover operating expenses.
• Pray for Art and Pat Baruffi as they seek God about continued ministry as lead pastor of this new work.
• Pray for Pastor Rick and Pastor Don as they prepare for the next storm or crisis.
• Pray for the 400 families that have applied for help from Camp Katrina. These families represent a tremendous opportunity to serve a broken community and share Christ.
Until we get a bank account set up under the name of Christian Life Center, please continue to send any gifts to Gulf Coast Disaster Relief c/o Genesis Church, 3100 S. McKenzie St. Foley, Alabama 36535
I can never thank you all enough for all that you have done in helping the many thousands in Waveland. What a blessing you have been to them. Eternity will tell the whole story, but we see the many chapters daily. Without you, little would have been accomplished. With you great things God has done!
Thank you.
Pastor Don Genesis Church, Foley Alabama

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