Devastation and suffering among Hurricane Irma and Maria survivors in the U.S. Virgin Islands were palpable to Florida Baptist Jeffery Singletary, who led a mission trip to the islands months before the storms.
His heart’s response was a series of “Feeding the Five Thousand” crusades that reaped 620 decisions for Christ and fed thousands both spiritually and physically, Singletary, a regional catalyst with the Florida Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press. A crusade on St. Croix Jan. 28 -30 will be his third.
“I knew they had four great needs — food, clothing, shelter and hope,” Singletary said. “Red Cross could help provide food and clothing. FEMA could help provide shelter. But only the church of Jesus Christ can provide real hope.”
Singletary led crusades on St. Thomas Nov. 19-21 and on St. John Dec. 21–22, supported by a host of Southern Baptists from the Florida Baptist Convention, the North American Mission Board, Calvary Baptist Church of Clearwater, Fla., Christ Fellowship of Miami, and disaster relief ministries from both the Kentucky and Alabama Baptist conventions.
Ken Weathersby, Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee vice president for convention advancement, was among preachers at the St. Thomas crusade, where 575 hurricane survivors professed decisions to accept salvation in Christ.
Weathersby offered survivors the hope Jesus proclaimed in Revelation 3:20: “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”
“So many of those attending the crusade felt alone,” Weathersby told BP, who preached on “the hope of Jesus in the midst of their darkness. I offered a fellowship that lives through eternity.”
Volunteers including pastors and church members served 3,000 meals and distributed groceries to 26,000 individuals on St. Thomas, Singletary said, and provided groceries for 7,200 survivors during the St. John crusade, where Singletary noted 45 decisions to accept Christ.
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Source: Baptist Press