July/August Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

FPSM is filled with gratitude and awe as we concluded the second annual summer camp on our property.  150 Haitian children, 40 Haitian employees, and 18 Americans filled the property July 19-21(Leaders and American team pictured upper left). It was a time to enjoy God’s creation as His story was unfolding in the lives of the men, women, and children.  On Sunday, July 22, FPSM held a church service and invited the community (Pictured upper right). The 22 children and youth who came to faith were presented on stage and prayed for (Pictured lower left).  Please keep this community in your prayers, as they begin to see the fruit of the gospel amongst them!

Under the direction of Haitian leaders and the ministry team, boys and girls acted out the drama of Scripture in the Bible story of Joseph.

Pictured are some of the myriad of games in which the children participated during competition.  It was truly a display of beauty to watch children safely play and embrace the innocence of their youth!

There were various arts and crafts the kids got to participate in during the three days of camp. They learned raku pottery as they crafted gardening pots. They were instructed in sewing as they made a small wallet/purse.  Additionally, a Haitian artist taught them perspective drawing and painting.  Supplies were left behind so they might have the opportunity to continue cultivating these new skills.

Marcot preparing for his sermon, the cooks slaving away at preparing over 200 meals, children worshipping their creator and Lord, and building fellowship as they display their salvation bracelets. This camp was an encouragement and a gift to each and everyone who participated in it.

 

We are excited as another school year approaches and FPSM programs are being launched. This has been facilitated by two new sponsors.

Albritton Heating & Air, Inc. has partnered with FPSM as they have graciously chosen to financially sponsor FPSM’s school program, which currently supports the tuition expenses of 16 Haitian students for one academic school year.

Exchange Fitness has also partnered with FPSM and has offered to financially sponsor the sports program thereby enabling 50 students to participate in a community soccer program.

On behalf of FPSM, we can not say thank you enough to these new partners as we look forward to how God will use their resources to advance His kingdom and restore broken places.

In other programs, our garden has entered its planting season and is growing peppers.  The literacy program will be starting in a few weeks.  Through the hard work of the students and the ministry team, we have 100 percent retention of prior students and also have enrolled another ten participants.

Information about a particular program can be obtained at [email protected]  We are still in need of businesses or individuals who would have an interest in partnering with our other programs, (I.e. agricultural, summer camp, health care, and literacy) if you are interested please contact [email protected]

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

Sept. 4-6 a small team will be traveling to Haiti to conduct its first year evaulation and planning meeting for the health care program.  Additionally, SPP, will be hosting its first annual golf tournament on Monday, October 9th.  (Information below)

 

Partnering as we move forward…

The operational budget for 2018 is $37,500, which requires a little over $3,000 a month.  To date FPSM has monthly pledges totaling $2,300.  It has been necessary for the foundation to use  one-time gifts to cover the shortfall. Next year, FPSM would like to cover the operational budget with Business partnerships and use monthly donors and one-time gifts toward capital expenditures. Our Capital Expenditure for 2018 is pictured below.

Please prayerfully consider whether you might help us achieve these goals.

 

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for God’s Spirit to awaken the men and women of Milot to acknowledge God as Lord.
  • Pray for the FPSM programs and ministry team that God’s glory would be manifest in them and through them
  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for the board as they move forward with strategic planning

May/June Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

On Saturday May 12th the FPSM youth committee tirelessly washed cars from 10:00am- 2:00pm in order to raise awareness and funds for their educational program.  Additionally, on June 1st the youth committee hosted a family movie night.  This event was another intentional venue for the committee to raise awareness and funds.  It is encouraging to see the next generation participate in God’s kingdom vision; the renewal of all things.  The FPSM youth program will launch this fall.  More details will follow in the next newsletter.

Harvest time as come for the spring planting. Last month the FPSM ministry harvested hundreds of Danver carrots (photo right). Some of the carrots were sold at the local Cap Haitian market and some were used for the pregnancy care program. Every harvest is a symbol of the hope and beauty that we yearn for God to usher into Milot, Haiti. We are in need of financial support to continue the growth of the agricultural program. If you would like to specifically help please contact: [email protected]

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

As highlighted in the previous newsletter, the second annual FPSM summer camp will be held July 19-21.  A team of 18 adults and youth from St. Augustine will be heading to Haiti July 17- 24. On July 18th there will be leader training. The camp will employ 38 Haitians.  There are 15 team leaders, 6 cooks, 2 cleaning crew, 2 security, 5 FPSM ministry members, 4 translators, 1 Bible Leader, 1 musician, 1 local artist and 1 driver.  At 9:00am on July 19, 150 students ages 6-16 will fill FPSM chapel to initiate this second camp.  The students will participate in arts and crafts, competition, Bible story, team time, and will also receive a warm meal.  On July 21st the students will be presented with an opportunity to walk into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  The camp will culminate in a church service on Sunday, July 22nd at the FPSM chapel, when the students are invited to bring their parents to hear, some for the first time, the good news of the gospel.

Please join us in praying for everyone participating in this adventure.   Thank you for helping make this camp a reality.  Pictured below are the badges of the campers that will be participating in the summer camp.

 

Partnering as we move forward…

The operational budget for 2018 is $37,500, which requires a little over $3,000 a month.  To date FPSM has monthly pledges totaling $2,100.  It has been necessary for the foundation to use  one-time gifts to cover the shortfall.  Next year, FPSM would like to cover the operational budget with monthly gifts and use one-time gifts toward capital expenditures. Our Capital Expenditure for 2018 is pictured below.

Please prayerfully consider whether you might help us achieve these goals.

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for the summer camp that God would be made known to the nations
  • Pray for the FPSM programs and ministry team that God’s glory would be manifest in them and through them
  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for the board as they move forward with strategic planning

Thank you for choosing to partner alongside of FPSM and help offer faith, hope, and love to the least of these.  It is a privilege to serve with you!

March/April Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

On March 24-29 FPSM was blessed to have a team of 6 adults and 7 kids (ages 5-16) participate in its second FPSM Spring Break Family trip.  The team, working alongside the Haitian ministry team, hosted a Vacation Bible School for 75 students ages 6-17. It was an incredible time of diverse fellowship, worship, and serving. The kids enjoyed learning new trades during arts and crafts, competing in games and, most importantly, learning about the forgiveness of God.  If you would like more information about trips, please contact [email protected]ationpsm.org.

The FPSM garden is thriving this season. The new farmer has been planting Danver carrots that FPSM will sell at the local market upon harvest.  Additionally, our chickens have grown up and are now producing eggs that we are using for the Health Care Bridge Partner (SPP) program.  It is really encouraging to watch this agricultural program expand into a more robust program.  If you would like to specifically help with the agricultural program please contact: [email protected]

A TREMENDOUS thank you to all of you who supported the construction of Cheri’s new home. Cheri (pictured bottom left) was instrumental in FPSM’s initial entrance into Milot.  Last month Cheri’s house (bottom left) collapsed.  Friends and family of FPSM, touched by Cheri’s unselfishness, put God’s resources together to construct a new home for her and her children.  A special thank you to Doug Davis, a participant of the spring break trip, who designed and constructed the new roof for her home (upper left).

A couple of weeks ago a dear friend and part-time worker of FPSM was in a horrific motorcycle accident.  Cequer is a long time friend of Shannon and Vero (Co-Founder’s of FPSM). While on his motorcycle, he was struck by a small bus and thrown to the ground. He was initially hospitalized at Milot Hospital, in a coma due to traumatic brain injury and with an open fracture of his foot and ankle.  He was then life flighted to Port-au-Prince where he is still awaiting more brain scans and surgery on his foot.  He remains in critical condition and his prognosis is unknown.  Please be in prayer for Cequer and the doctors in the days and weeks ahead.  This is truly a heartbreaking and tragic situation for many in Haiti and the United States.

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

FPSM Youth Committee will be hosting their first fundraiser for their child literacy program.  On Friday June 1st the youth committee members will be hosting a movie night.  All proceeds will go toward their child literacy program which will be implemented this fall.  Details about this event will be forthcoming.

The second annual FPSM summer camp is around the corner.  A team of 17 individuals will be heading to Haiti in mid July to help the Haitian ministry team and 20 Haitian Leaders teach 150 students about the love of God.  More details about the camp will be in the next newsletter.  Registration for the camp is occurring this month. Please be in prayer with us that God may work on the hearts of the students and leaders who are chosen to attend camp.

 

Partnering as we move forward…

The operational budget for 2018 is $37,500, that is a little over $3,000 a month.  To date FPSM has monthly pledges totaling $1,825.  The foundation has used one-time gifts to cover the financial discrepancy.  This next year, FPSM would like to cover the operational budget with monthly gifts and use one-time gifts toward capital expenditures.  We invite you to prayerfully consider becoming a monthly financial partner.

Please prayerfully consider whether you might help us achieve these goals.

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for resilience for the evangelism team
  • Pray for the vision night FPSM will be hosting on May 20th
  • Pray for the youth committee as they prepare to raise funds for their literacy program
  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for the board as they move forward with strategic planning

Thank you for choosing to partner alongside of FPSM and help offer faith, hope, and love to the least of these.  It is a privilege to serve with you!

January/February Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

December was an exciting month for FPSM.  First, the Mitsubishi Fuso has already been put to great use.  The Haitian ministry team, along with Bill Platko, Jude Platko, and Shannon Miller used the truck to transport fencing materials to enclose the chicken coop.  Second, the team put in a 40ft by 40ft fence to allow the chickens to free range.  Finally, and most excitingly, this group ventured to the Dominican to purchase our very first chickens.  Twenty “teenage” chickens have now found their home within the FPSM chicken coop.  The eggs from the chickens will go to the women participating in the Healthcare Bridge Program. The long term plan is for the chickens to be a part of the Chicken Coop education program.

This month 28 participants of the literacy program took their first semester test (photos right). 26 passed, which is extremely exciting and encouraging.  The literacy program is broken down into trimesters.  Participants who go through all four years of the literacy program will be the first to participate in FPSM’s micro loan program, which will launch in 2020.

Pictured upper left are some of the students sponsored by FPSM in the school program.  The students got their first 9 week report cards and out of the 16 students, 11 have passing marks.

FPSM is continuing to have its weekly Bible Study every Sunday.  Pictured lower left is the Bible Study 3 weeks ago, with a couple of hundred participants.  It is exciting to see God’s movement in Milot.  The team reported that a majority of the individuals attending the Bible Study are not yet believers. In 2017, 22 individuals have professed faith in Jesus Christ through the work of the FPSM ministry team.

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

This month FPSM will be starting the sports program.  Every Saturday, teenagers who actively participate in the Bible Study will have an opportunity to be a part of this program.  The sports program will include the Bible Study, soccer theory, skills, and scrimmages.  Additionally, the participants are required to help wash all of the uniforms and equipment on a weekly basis.

FPSM is excited to announce that the Haitian ministry team is collaborating with a Haitian farmer who will help execute and lead the garden and chicken coop program for 2018.  Due to Irma, Maria, and the continued rains this past harvest was very limited.  This January will start our spring planting.  If you have any interest in the garden or chicken coop program please contact [email protected]

 

Partnering as we move forward…

The operational budget for 2018 is $37,500, that is a little over $3,000 a month.  To date FPSM has monthly pledges totaling $1,800.  The foundation has used one-time gifts to cover the financial discrepancy.  This next year, FPSM would like to cover the operational budget with monthly gifts and use one-time gifts toward capital expenditures.  We invite you to prayerfully consider becoming a monthly financial partner.

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for the continued wisdom and security of our caretakers, Roudlyn and Ti-Paul
  • Pray for resilience for the evangelism team
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would work within the hearts of the men, women, and children in bringing them to Bible Study
  • Pray for the 16 students FPSM enrolled in school for the 2017-2018 school year
  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for the board as they move forward with strategic planning

We praise God that He engages us in His mission and kingdom work and we thank you for your faithful stewardship, support, and encouragement! Happy New Year

December Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

December was an exciting month for FPSM.  First, the Mitsubishi Fuso has already been put to great use.  The Haitian ministry team, along with Bill Platko, Jude Platko, and Shannon Miller used the truck to transport fencing materials to enclose the chicken coop.  Second, the team put in a 40ft by 40ft fence to allow the chickens to free range.  Finally, and most excitingly, this group ventured to the Dominican to purchase our very first chickens.  Twenty “teenage” chickens have now found their home within the FPSM chicken coop.  The eggs from the chickens will go to the women participating in the Healthcare Bridge Program. The long term plan is for the chickens to be a part of the Chicken Coop education program.

This month 28 participants of the literacy program took their first semester test (photos right). 26 passed, which is extremely exciting and encouraging.  The literacy program is broken down into trimesters.  Participants who go through all four years of the literacy program will be the first to participate in FPSM’s micro loan program, which will launch in 2020.

Pictured upper left are some of the students sponsored by FPSM in the school program.  The students got their first 9 week report cards and out of the 16 students, 11 have passing marks.

FPSM is continuing to have its weekly Bible Study every Sunday.  Pictured lower left is the Bible Study 3 weeks ago, with a couple of hundred participants.  It is exciting to see God’s movement in Milot.  The team reported that a majority of the individuals attending the Bible Study are not yet believers. In 2017, 22 individuals have professed faith in Jesus Christ through the work of the FPSM ministry team.

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

This month FPSM will be starting the sports program.  Every Saturday, teenagers who actively participate in the Bible Study will have an opportunity to be a part of this program.  The sports program will include the Bible Study, soccer theory, skills, and scrimmages.  Additionally, the participants are required to help wash all of the uniforms and equipment on a weekly basis.

FPSM is excited to announce that the Haitian ministry team is collaborating with a Haitian farmer who will help execute and lead the garden and chicken coop program for 2018.  Due to Irma, Maria, and the continued rains this past harvest was very limited.  This January will start our spring planting.  If you have any interest in the garden or chicken coop program please contact [email protected]

 

Partnering as we move forward…

The operational budget for 2018 is $37,500, that is a little over $3,000 a month.  To date FPSM has monthly pledges totaling $1,800.  The foundation has used one-time gifts to cover the financial discrepancy.  This next year, FPSM would like to cover the operational budget with monthly gifts and use one-time gifts toward capital expenditures.  We invite you to prayerfully consider becoming a monthly financial partner.

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for the continued wisdom and security of our caretakers, Roudlyn and Ti-Paul
  • Pray for resilience for the evangelism team
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would work within the hearts of the men, women, and children in bringing them to Bible Study
  • Pray for the 16 students FPSM enrolled in school for the 2017-2018 school year
  • Pray for wisdom, discernment, and humility for the board as they move forward with strategic planning

We praise God that He engages us in His mission and kingdom work and we thank you for your faithful stewardship, support, and encouragement! Happy New Year

Christmas in Haiti by Bill Platko

Are you ready for Christmas? This is a common question asked in recent weeks. More often than not the response carries panic as individuals realize how much they need to do to be ready. Shopping for and wrapping gifts, cards to be sent, parties to host and attend, travel arrangements, menu planning and food shopping. Church service is squeezed into the midst of the turmoil. Christmas Day arrives and young children exhibit the excitement of anticipation, followed by shouts of glee as gifts are unwrapped. For adults, however, stress may persist over family encounters, meal preparation or a day spent travelling among local relatives. By the arrival of January 2, life has returned to normal, as toys have lost the allure of newness, the ugly sweater has been returned and the “spirit of Christmas” disappears for another year.

A visit to Haiti last week did not demonstrate any such concerns for Christmas readiness. Shopping was the day to day challenge Haitians face. To describe a visit to the market at Haiti’s northern border with the Dominican Republic as chaos would be an understatement. The turmoil was not due to holiday shopping; it is a way of life. The cacophonies of sound from people and animals paired with pungent odors, as thousands of people crowded shoulder to shoulder among vendors. Wheelbarrows were stacked head-high and one was pushed with two full-sized mattresses. Some rode mopeds loaded with bags of produce or live chickens. People were pushed and shoved along narrow alleyways lined with vendors. The crowding was not due to Christmas preparation. It is a way of life, and is a stark reminder of the disparity between the United States and our neighbor only five hundred miles off of the Florida coast.

How does a Haitian Christian prepare for the birth of our Savior? The disparity between cultures and economies is not necessarily a bad thing. Luxuries in the United States when taken for granted can result in a false sense of independence and control of our destiny. From the challenge to survive in Haiti, there emerges an acute awareness of the fragility of life and the need to help one another. I know families who have less than nothing yet take in abandoned or orphaned children. I have seen the children of an orphanage, assured of just one meal per day, share uneaten portions of that meal with street children, rather than save the scraps for themselves. A gift I received, while less significant from a survival standpoint, was equally as demonstrative of unselfishness.

I discovered only too late that the glue of my old running shoes had failed and the soles no longer attached to the shoe. Any guy knows that duct tape fixes all things, but after a day assisting with fence construction for the chicken coop, my shoe repair had failed. We arrived home after dark and had an early start the next day. There was no time to shop, nor was I optimistic size 14 shoes could be found.I resigned myself to daily repair efforts. Words could not express my humble surprise when a member of the Haitian ministry team came to the house early the next morning with a pair of high-tops, size 13.5. Her concern, unselfishness and resourcefulness brought me to tears.

 

So how does a Haitian Christian prepare for the birth of our Savior? Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Enough said.

Merry Christmas!

Dressing Up for Church

I almost wore jeans to church today.  It was slightly “chilly” morning (only a Florida girl can say that with a straight face when it’s 73 degrees outside!).  As I went to grab my jeans I stopped short, flashing back to the moment I got dressed last Sunday.  One week ago at this time I was in Haiti, getting ready to attend church in a room without air conditioning, in which the seats would literally be crammed full.  The biggest difference between the Haitian service and the American one I attended this morning was not the temperature, however.  Sitting in the sanctuary last Sunday, sweat literally dripping down my legs, I was blown away by not just the enthusiasm of the attendees, but…their clothes.  Each Haitian (man, woman, teenager, and child) was quite literally dressed to the nines. I’m talking shirt and tie, dress with pantyhose, jackets on toddlers. Many Haitians only own one set of nice clothes, they WALK to church, and they wash their clothes BY HAND.  They did not seem phased at all by the heat, however.  They were much more interested in the reason for their attendance…and their hearts seemed ready to honor the God of the universe.

In America, we dress for the interview of the job we hope to get or to impress other people.  When we deem a situation or person important or worthy, we dress up.  Often, however, we dress down for church.  Now please hear me, I’m not against a casual dress code for church.  I don’t think God is legalistic and I feel confident that He cares much more about our hearts than He does our wardrobes when we walk thru the doors to the sanctuary – whether it’s air conditioned or not.

What convicts me is this…if clothes are indicative of intent and importance, then my absent-minded thought about wearing jeans to church should serve as a lightning bolt in my mind, waking me up to the reality of the One I’m going to meet, honor, and corporately worship.  The issue, I believe, is less about what we wear and more about our “comfort” in the presence of Christ.  Yes, He is our Emmanuel, God with us.  But He is also the King of Kings.  And it seems to me that a pause to reflect upon His majesty is an appropriate way to prepare my heart for the gathering that takes place on the Sabbath.

Oh, that I would have a heart that longs to offer Christ my best, my first, whether it be the clothes that I hand wash or the tithe that I offer with a willing (and even cheerful) heart after working long hours to earn the money.  Dressing for church isn’t about impressing God.  It’s about recognizing the reason behind the action…and pausing to remember our own poverty of spirit, that we might be emptied of ourselves and then filled with the very nature of God.

I am, once again, humbled by the way in which God uses small, seemingly inconsequential things to gently call us back to the truth of His love.  My Belovedness has nothing to do with my dress…and everything to do with the cross. May we kneel at the foot of that cross – Haitians and Americans together – as we receive the unmerited favor of His grace.

October Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

FPSM’s Literacy Program has begun its second year!  Over the course of the first year, the Haitian ministry team noticed that most of the participants in the program were farsighted.  FPSM then began looking for non-profit organizations that provide individuals with glasses at a reduced cost.  We would like to thank New Eyes for their generous donation of 200 readers. This past month, the 36 literacy program participants were able to obtain the prescription needed (photos above and below.) Last year, FPSM borrowed a few rooms at a local school in order to carry out the classes.  Thanks to the addition of the chapel, we are excited to be able to provide the literacy classes on our own FPSM property this year.  You can see the beautiful view from the chapel (pictured below).

October 28th, 2017 marked the inaugural Durbin Trail Mix race, which encompassed a 5K walk/run, an 18-mile run, and a 3-person 18-mile relay. A huge thank you to Empower Coaching & Fitness, LLC for organizing the race (pictured above).  Half of the proceeds from the race benefited the mission of FPSM.  Thank you to all of the runners for coming out and supporting FPSM’s efforts!

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

November 2-7 Sarah Kamienski, Shannon Miller, Megan Nettles, and Christa Zielinski will be traveling to Haiti to begin the FPSM Healthcare Bridge Program.  The ministry team has chosen 5 pregnant women (all of whom are 3-6 months pregnant) who will receive education and clinical care during their pregnancies.  Please pray that God uses this trip for His glory and to expand His redemptive kingdom purposes.

Additionally, Sarah and Shannon will be getting the sports program off the ground along with interviewing the 16 children that FPSM has enrolled in school this year.

FPSM is so excited to celebrate all that God has done in 2017!  On November 9, 2017 all donors are invited to the Tringali Barn (invitation above) for a time of eating, playing, and celebrating.

If you have not yet RSVP’d, please e-mail [email protected]  We hope to see you all there!

 

On Nov. 19th, FPSM will host a Prayer Gathering at the Platko’s house from 4:00-5:00 pm.  We will also be continuing FPSM’s Youth Committee at that time.  During this meeting, the youth in both the US and Haiti will have an opportunity to get to know one another as they begin to partner together in the ministry of FPSM.

Partnering as we move forward…

FPSM is still looking for individuals who would be interested in hosting a Vision Night to help raise awareness and support as we move forward with Phase 3. If you are interested in hosting a Vision Night on behalf of FPSM, please contact [email protected]

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Pray for resilience for the evangelism team
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would work within the hearts of the men, women, and children in bringing them to Bible Study
  • Pray for the 2 men living at the depot for their protection and presence on the FPSM property
  • Pray for the 16 students FPSM enrolled in school for the 2016-2017 school year

To date, we still need $250 a month in pledges for the 2017 operational budget (which is $2,000 per month in total).  Please continue to pray about contributing to FPSM on a monthly basis!

Additionally, FPSM is seeking to raise $50,000 in 2017 in order to purchase a Mitsubishi Fuso. $31,000 has already been raised on behalf of the purchase of this vehicle.  This capital expenditure will be used to transport large groups of ministry team members as well as construction materials in a much more efficient manner.

Your partnership in realizing this vision is overwhelming. On behalf of FPSM thank you for your generous giving that is helping to build the kingdom in Milot, Haiti.

September Newsletter

What’s been happening with FPSM?

FPSM has now been working in Milot for over a year.  In that time, the ministry team has had the opportunity to identify some of the greatest needs within the community.  One of the greatest needs for the children surrounding FPSM’s property is education.  This past month, the ministry team met with 16 families to discuss the possibility of their child(ren)  attending school by participating in FPSM’s School Program.  Interested parents and students were asked to sign a contract stating that the student would maintain a B- average in order to keep the scholarship.  Additionally, parents and students must demonstrate integrity and sound character within the neighborhood and the school.

The list of children attending school is pictured above.  Please consider praying for these children as they embark on a journey of learning that could truly set them up for incredible opportunities later in life.  If you are interested in sponsoring one of these children or if you would like to find out more about this exciting new School Program, please contact: [email protected]

On September 24th, the Youth Committee had their monthly meeting and watched When Helping Hurts: Redefining Poverty. The students are currently wrestling with questions such as: What is poverty? How do we define it? How does our definition affect our solutions?

FPSM is so proud of these students, ranging from 9-16 years old, for their honest and reflective responses.  The students are beginning to realize that when we only define poverty in material terms, the solutions end up being solely material.  In that case, our efforts to “help” can actually hurt the poor.  Please keep these students in your prayers.  They truly are the next generation for FPSM and the Kingdom!

What’s NEXT for FPSM?

October 28th, 2017 will be the inaugural Durbin Trail Mix race, which encompasses a 5K walk/run, an 18-mile run, and a 3-person 18-mile relay.  It is being held on the beautiful, scenic trails in the Julington-Durbin Preserve in Jacksonville.  The race is being organized by Empower Coaching & Fitness, LLC.  This year’s proceeds from the race will benefit FPSM.

 If you would like to register for the race, here is the link to do so: http://www.itsyourrace.com/event.aspx?id=9551.

Additionally, if you or your business would like to be a sponsor for the race, please contact: [email protected]

FPSM will be hosting two Vision Nights in St. Augustine this month. The first will take place October 13th and the second October 26th.  If you know someone who may be interested in hearing about the vision of FPSM, please feel free to invite them to the Vision Night on October 13th from 6:00-8:00pm.  It will take place at the Platko house: 117 Pinehurst Drive, Saint Augustine, FL 32092.

 If you invite someone, please contact [email protected] so we can have an accurate headcount.

On Oct 29th, FPSM will host a Prayer Gathering at the Platko’s house from 4:00-5:00 pm.  We will also be continuing FPSM’s Youth Committee at that time.  During this meeting, the youth in both the US and Haiti will have an opportunity to get to know one another as they begin to partner together in the ministry of FPSM.

Partnering as we move forward…

FPSM is still looking for individuals who would be interested in hosting a Vision Night to help raise awareness and support as we move forward with Phase 3. If you are interested in hosting a Vision Night on behalf of FPSM, please contact [email protected]

Please join FPSM in praying for the following:

  • Please join us in praying for the people of Haiti in these ways:
  • Pray for resilience for the evangelism team
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit would work within the hearts of the men, women, and children in bringing them to Bible Study
  • Pray that leaders would arise within Milot that would be empowered to help with FPSM’s missionFPSM is truly filled with awe and wonder recalling all that God has done through you.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your investment in FPSM.

 

To date, we still need $250 a month in pledges for the 2017 operational budget (which is $2,000 per month in total).  Please continue to pray about contributing to FPSM on a monthly basis!

Additionally, FPSM is seeking to raise $50,000 in 2017 in order to purchase a Mitsubishi Fuso. $30,000 has already been raised on behalf of the purchase of this vehicle.  This capital expenditure will be used to transport large groups of ministry team members as well as construction materials in a much more efficient manner.

It is such a privilege to be a part of something that is so much bigger than oneself! FPSM thanks God first and foremost for His sufficient grace.  Secondly, we thank each and every one of you for serving alongside us as Christ draws people to Himself!

God of the Storm

It’s been an intense week in Florida.  The news informed us last Monday that a Category 5 hurricane was approaching and, within hours, the local grocery stores ran out of bottled water…6 days before the storm ever touched US soil.  There was a mad rush on hotel reservations throughout the southeast region of the country as the masses prepared for the record breaking exodus that ensued. People complained about traffic on highways and obscenely long lines at gas stations…neglecting to notice the lack of gratitude that we actually had a safe place to which we could evacuate, if we so chose.

As soon as Irma began making headlines, I shuddered in fear for what this storm could mean for Haiti…for what it MUST mean for Haiti.  This massive hurricane was barreling directly toward the little island with virtually no possibility of missing it.  Northern Haiti, where the property of FPSM lies, seemed hopelessly destined to face the storm’s worst.  As the days passed and the storm crept closer, I felt deep fear and utterly powerless.

Then, incredibly, the unthinkable happened. God literally spared Haiti.  This massive storm that could have meant utter devastation for an entire people group quite literally passed by northern Haiti.  And all I could breathe was a deep sigh of praise to God. It was unthinkable…shocking!…and it was grace.

But isn’t that just how grace works?  Doesn’t it have the tendency of arriving just when you’ve come to the end of yourself and realized that you can’t actually control the thing that you thought you could?  Doesn’t it remind you that you’re not actually as amazing and self-sufficient as you’ve led the world (and yourself) to believe?

I don’t know about you, but gigantic storms tend to humble me.  They remind me of my size, which I conveniently forget…over and over again.  They shine a floodlight on my actual powerlessness and my desperate need for grace.

There are some things that can only be earned.  I like these things because they feel predictable.  They affirm the lie that I am in control and that I’m actually capable of keeping myself safe.  There are other things that can never be earned, therefore they’re not predictable.  Grace falls into this later category.  No one could have predicted that God would show mercy on Haiti and literally spare the precious inhabitants of this desolate island.

As we lift up the men, women, and children of America who are currently dealing with this storm and its aftereffects, let us fall to our knees and praise the God of the storm, the giver of all gifts, and the One who literally created the concept of grace.  I know I need it, in the storms that can be charted on the Weather Channel and, even more so, the ones that wage within my heart.