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Harlem Heights Disaster Relief Update:

March began by hosting CRU and Chi Alpha teams totaling 117 participants staying at our base for one week! We were able to work in approximately 30 homes throughout the month. Additionally, we announced our partnership with 8 Days of Hope for a massive volunteer event May 20-28 in which 1500 volunteers are coming to serve in Harlem Heights. We housed 163 participants, 30 assessors from 8 Days of Hope and several project and team leaders, including my mom and her friend Sharon!

In addition to the work being completed in the neighborhood we are seeing Kingdom work being accomplished too! Chris resurrected the once migrant church located on our base and reinstated our very own chapel. We have enjoyed many nights worshiping with others! We are noticing that people are taking care of their neighbors for the first time and there is unity taking shape in Harlem Heights!

Our Family Update:

  • Penelope and Nora continued rehearsal for the Jungle Book.
  • Lucas’ vocabulary exploded
  • We went on an air boat ride and saw alligators!
  • We enjoyed visiting Venice Beach with friends and found shark teeth!
  • We received a certificate or appreciation from Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay.
  • Penelope learned the ukulele
  • The girls continued gymnastics practice.
  • We celebrated my 34th birthday.
  • Chris played hockey on a local men’s league.
  • Hazel started preschool at the same school where Luke goes to daycare!
  • Enjoyed serving with Chris’ Aunt Maureen!
  • Chris borrowed a slingshot for a day!

Prayer Requests:

  • Wisdom, vision and discernment about developing a disaster relief division of Adventures In Missions
  • Renewed stamina and enthusiasm to complete the second half of our Harlem Heights project.
  • Continued financial provision and financial support partners.

Partnership Stories:

Last fall, one of the first partners we met was Brandy with Rebuilding Together Tamp Bay. Meetings and introductions that happened between October 18 and December 31 are mostly a blur! But one that has continued to develop and deepen is that between us at Adventures In missions and RTTB.

Over the course of the past few months we have been able to serve along side some amazing, Spirit led ambassadors of Rebuilding Together. It first began when Terry, a vibrant, charismatic man who joined our meeting. His enthusiasm to teach large groups and especially his heart for the underdog was a no brainer that compelled us to embrace him as an asset to our team,. We were blessed to serve with him for about a month and a half. After Terry came Chris, aka C underscore because it seems that everyone here in Florida is either named Chris or Dave and we have to give out nicknames to keep everyone straight. He has a passion for plants and gardens and is eager to meet people where they are at and help in anyway possible. We are thankful that he is set up permanently in Fort Myers.

February 28 Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay held a press conference in Harlem Heights as they graciously received $300,00 in funding for projects in our neighborhood! They have committed to re-roofing 60 homes! In the audience were house of representatives, the Mayor of Fort Myers and most notably a sea of Harlem Heights residents.

When Chris and I were introduced and invited to speak the whole group erupted with cheer and applause. It was an overwhelming moment for Chris and I and we struggled to maintain composure. In that moment we knew that we had been fully embraced as part of their community. The support and encouragement that the people of Harlem Heights have shown us has been a highlight as we reflect on the past five months.

Chris spoke through tears about how the true heroes of Harlem Heights are the people that sat in front of us. The residents who keep pressing on, helping others when they are the ones in need of help and the ones who have become like family to us.