MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2021

 

 

12/16/20

Merry Christmas Letter 2020

Merry Christmas Family and Friends!

We hope that this letter finds you well as we prepare to celebrate our Lord’s birth. It goes without saying that this year has been different, however, it is also true that God has not stopped fulfilling His purposes and providing for His people.

Despite the shutdowns, 2020 was another year to be thankful for all that the Lord is doing through the ministry, the volunteers and those we serve. Much of this year can be summed up in two words, “continued provision”.  As the message of the gospel continues to be spread both in word and action, those we serve in the local community, Atlantic City, Haiti and Albania continue to be thankful for all that the Lord has accomplished this year. Here is a short summary…

While we started our 8th year at the Maple Leaf Tutoring Program in Brick, we had to stop meeting together in late March.  However, through prayer, and a little time a part, we were able to do something different during the months of May – July, that we had not done before. Through our friends Rich & Amy and their Shore Fresh Restaurant, we were able to provide a hot dinner each week for 17 families living at the Maple Leaf Apartments. Each week a small group would meet on the front lawn of one of our volunteers, Addie’s house, and deliver the meals to the families. With much appreciation the families were blessed week after week through the generosity of Shore Fresh!  What a wonderful provision

Even though the school year was unknown, and our ability to meet at the Maple Leaf Clubhouse on hold, we connected with Pastor Dave and the Allenwood Church, who warmly welcomed us to start the tutoring program in the basement of their church in November. We started out small and are building a little each week. With the help of St. Paul’s Methodist Church of Brick, we have a 15-passenger van picking up the students each week. We started with just two students (a brother and sister) and asked them to invite two friends, which in turn have invited two friends. We have a handful of volunteers from three local churches, who are committed to providing a Christ-centered environment where the students can work on homework, receive dinner, do crafts and learn more about the love of Jesus. For Thanksgiving 17 families received a turkey and grocery bag full of all the trimmings, thanks to Calvary Presbyterian, True Life, and Allaire Community Farm. St. Paul’s also provided beautiful knit hats again for many children. And our dear friend Debra, from Aspiring Artists, provided a beautiful art program so that the students could give a gift at Christmas. More continued provision

While we had to cancel our mission trip this summer to Atlantic City, we remain connected with Pastor Santo and his team from New City Fellowship. Their area of course has bee hit hard by the shutdowns. New City continues to stay connected with their church body and those in the surrounding area of AC. Over the summer they provided a couple of one-night Bible Clubs and a few of us from the Brick area went down one night to support them. It was wonderful to see the children laugh and play while learning about Jesus. We continue to stay connected with them, so we know what their immediate prayer and financial needs are. We are planning to return in August of 2021 for our next mission trip.

Albania is another place in the world that was hit very hard by the virus and shutdowns. When we spoke with Pastor Plator to inquire about the churches that he oversees and that SOFM is committed to helping, he painted a very dark picture. The cost of living was unbelievably high, and people were unable to afford to buy food and other essential items. Since April, we have been able to send money for many people to receive “food bundles” to those most affected; the windows, orphans and elderly. One such elderly man was found to be living in a chicken coup and through the generous donations, a woodburning stove, wood and food bundle was provided. This man just cried with a heart of gratitude. So many of the people who are being blessed are Muslims living in remote areas. So through this difficult time, Jesus is still being seen and people are still being provided for.

Over the summer SOFM was able to partner with the churches and provide financial support for another wonderful Bible Camp for over 250 children and a Youth Camp, where many came to know Jesus. This winter more funding was provided so we in turn have been able to provide Christmas gifts for 40 children, who otherwise would not be celebrating Christmas because their families are Muslim, as well as food bundles for many people who are in need. We are also able to send funding for a continuing discipleship retreat for 60+ youths who, once Muslim, have now accepted Jesus and are being discipled through one of the churches. We are so thankful for God’s continued provision

Our friends and families in Haiti have also suffered much through the country-wide lock downs and border closures.

When we had to cancel our July trip, our team decided to put some of their money into a “relief fund” for the families in Lac’ajue. While our goal was to raise and send $3000, to date, over $7500 has come in! Because of this team and others who wanted to help, SOFM can send a monthly increase for rice and beans, fuel and emergency money through the end of December. Recently more donations have come in so that we can continue this monthly relief through January. And through the “relief fund” our friends outside of Port-au-Prince were also able to receive a generous amount so that they could make up food bundles for many families from their church. God’s continued provision…

While we were not in Haiti, God continued to move through our partnership with Aslan Youth Ministry and Double Harvest. Our students went back to school in August & September and finished last year’s school year before starting their new school year in November. This included our two students in Trade School. They are all in school right now.

Due to the virus shutdowns and the uncertainty of the borders opening and closing, Sophia, who was ready to move to Haiti in April, remains here in the states. However, we are hopeful that she will be moving there during the first quarter of 2021.

When we look back at 2020 and see all the unrest and uncertainties that the world has gone through, the likelihood of our ministry receiving the support that it has this year is simply amazing. God continues to work on the hearts of His people and because of so many, our ministries both in NJ and abroad continues to be able to reach those who do not know Jesus and provide for those living in life-threatening situations.

We are so grateful for your participation in the ministry and for your prayers. None of this would be possible without the generous donations and involvement by people like you. We are so thankful for you and your desire to support the ministry of Step of Faith.

If you would like to support any of the ministries mentioned or help us build up our General Fund which fuels all the above ministries, you can do so by sending your support to:

Step of Faith Ministry / PO Box 805 / Brick, NJ 08723

We pray that you would have a joyful Christmas season and look forward to continuing our relationship with you in 2021!

 

 

Please LIKE Us on Facebook @stepoffaithministry.org

 And Follow Us on Instagram @stepoffaithministry

 So you can stay updated and connected with us!

 

Serving Him Together,

Sue, April, Nicole, Ron, Tina, Allyn, Patrick & Pam

 

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Contact Step of Faith

    Step of Faith Ministry, Inc.
    PO Box 805
    Brick, NJ 08723
    United States of America