by Rev. Eric Hausler, Pastor, Christ the King Presbyterian Church, Naples, FL (August 2015)
July 25 – August 1, 2015, a short-term missions team of 18 youth and adults from Lake Sherwood OPC (Orlando, FL) traveled to Naples, Florida, to help us at Christ the King OPC with service projects and cross cultural outreach to our neighbors.
We at Christ the King were so encouraged by the visit from this STM team and their heart of service to our neighbors. I know the testimony and credibility of our church was enhanced by their loving service to our neighboring charter school, the businesses in our office park, and the staff at St. Matthew’s House.
Prayer and Worship:
On Saturday evening, members of our church gathered with the STM team for a prayer meeting and dessert to kick off the week, asking the Lord's blessing on their labors.
The STM team joined Christ the King OPC for the 10:00 AM and 6:00 PM worship services on Sunday, and joined us for our first covered-dish luncheon in our new facility.
Conversational English Classes:
The team received instruction from Mrs. Caroline Kirchner, an ESL (English as a Second Language) trainer, on teaching conversational English as an outreach tool.
Each afternoon, the team hosted a two-hour conversational English class for local non-native English speakers. Throughout the week, we had a handful of students coming to our classes. One woman brought her family to worship at the church the following Sunday.
While part of the team met with ESL students, other members went out canvassing businesses to encourage more people to come practice speaking English. Advertising the classes provided another opportunity for hundreds of people to learn about our church and its Gospel ministry.
Charter Academy Work Project:
The team served as ambassadors to Gulf Coast Charter Academy, a charter school across the street from the church, helping with cleaning projects, moving classroom furniture, and painting. Team members brought along school supplies to donate to needy Haitian and Hispanic students.
St. Matthew's House Service Day:
The team spent a day at St. Matthew’s House, a Christian ministry to the homeless and those in addiction recovery, helping serve in their thrift store.
The team washed windows of church members and businesses in our office park.
"A highlight of the experience for me was the opportunity to go serve the Lord with three of my children. To hear their prayers and watch them take steps of faith was encouraging. It was a good first exposure to service-related mission work for them and it's with much joy and gratitude that I can call them my fellow brothers/sisters, workers, and soldiers in the Lord (ref. to Phil. 2:25)." Randy DeBoer