ACTS 9 Outreach Director Awarded for Service

After 21 years of dedicated service, Sandra Martin stepped down as director of ACTS 9, an Adventist Community Services outreach ministry serving the Hagerstown community in Maryland. Before her 21-year tenure as director, Sandra assisted her father, Carl Shaffer, for many years as he served as director. The ACTS 9 staff presented Martin with a crystal plaque and Lenox 2018 Heavenly Fanfare Millennium Angel porcelain figurine. Sandra was also granted the Notable Persons of Honor Award in 2014 by the Columbia Union.

The ministry name, ACTS 9, comes from the Bible verse Acts 9:36 that refers to helping the poor. Under the new directorship of Cliff Schramm, the ACTS 9 ministry will continue to build upon the years of service Sandra provided. Currently, 16 people are volunteering on Tuesdays and Thursdays, distributing donated food and clothing to the greater Hagerstown area. In September, 84 families, totaling 196 individuals, were reached by the ACTS 9 ministry team.

Article by: Mary Ellen Kirk, ACTS 9 Volunteer

Sandra Martin (center) revives awards for her service towards ACTS 9.

Sandra Martin (center) revives awards for her service towards ACTS 9.

ACS Responds to Typhoon Yutu

Max Mays, ACS Director of Guam-Micronesia Mission, and his Team are on the ground after Typhoon Yutu pummeled over the areas of Tinian and Saipan. Supplies will be purchased to support the relief efforts on the affected islands. W. Derrick Lea, NAD Disaster Response Director, stated that over 100 homes have been destroyed. The full extent of the damage is unknown at this time due to power outages and no phone service. We are requesting CASH donations, given the hardship of sending supplies overseas.

Please pray for all those affected by this tragedy and consider making a monetary donation towards the Recovery Efforts.

Monetary Donations may be made by two ways:

  1. Sending a check to:
    Guam-Micronesia Mission of Seventh-day Adventist
    Attn: Max Mays, ACS Director
    290 Chalan Palasyo
    Again Heights GUAM, 96910
    MEMO: Guam Mission Disaster Response

  2. Donate online
    COMMENTS: Guam Mission Disaster Response

Upper Columbia Conference Outreach Activities

STEAM Ahead @ Discovery Junction, an after-school enrichment program providing learning opportunities for kids from a low-income public school, began its fourth year – third full year. It is open to 3rd and 4th graders on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. This year the two days will have different 3rd graders, so 21 children will be attending in a given week. An electrical engineer, employed by Avista electrical company, will be one of the instructors. A former librarian whose specialty happens to be LegoRobotics will also assist with the STEAM Program.

A Ph.D. in Psychology asked Gayle Haeger, one of the organizers of STEAM, to speak to a select group about “Adventists and Ecology” in a local Peace and Unity Center. Only when the leader mentioned to Gayle after the program, “Let’s get together for Postum,” did Gayle suspect she must be a former Adventist member. Later when they met for Postum, she shared with Gayle her Adventist background and journey. During that time she asked if she too could join occasionally with STEAM in bettering the lives of the children.

This summer, STEAM Ahead’s five-week summer program involved LegoRobotics, MicroScope Studies, Crafts, and two children’s Cooking Classes. Over 50 children attended each week, including five Nepalese children. Several children were present for more than one week. In addition, a junior camp at Camp MiVoden was organized where seven children from STEAM attended. The UCC Urban Ministries also for the third year presented a VBS for the Nepalese and Burmese children. Their Urban Ministries Bible worker now conducts 18 Bible studies – including 4 university students.

The Spokane Central Church is offering “Fall Parenting Classes,” by a social worker and a nurse especially for the refugee mothers and others, too. The Better Living Center (BLC) which is a food pantry and community outreach center serving inner-city Spokane, also gives out Bible studies. Around ten people attend their Bible study circle “All Nations Warriors for Christ” each week. Picnics and parties are also planned throughout the year with many more Native Americans attending. The Community Center is now giving free food samples once a week. They are also working on setting up a medical/dental clinic which should be ready by December or January.

Hurricane Michael Update - October 18

Things are continuing to develop in Florida as several of our ACS Disaster Response Team members from various conferences are actively engaged in the Hurricane relief in the Gulf region of Florida. Significant damage to both our churches and the community at large has been reported. The conferences involved in the Recovery Efforts are Gulf States, South Central, Southeast, Florida, and Carolina.

Several local churches have been generous enough to lend their facility and services. The Gulf States Conference Spanish Church led by Pastor Guerrero, has been working to meet the needs of the community for the past week from his trailer. We are helping him meet some of the requests of the community by connecting him with donations, and also setting up a Warehouse. We are setting up more Distribution sites with the help of the Gulf States and South Atlantic conferences at the Panama City SDA Church and the Maranatha SDA Church. Due to the damage that the Maranatha church incurred from the storm, the property had to be cleared of debris before being housed as a Distribution site.

With the help of the Southeast Conference, we have secured a Warehouse in Tallahassee which will ensure that Distribution sites are kept stocked with needed items. Though this facility would benefit our sites around the State, it would function as a Multi-Agency Warehouse which would mean millions of people would ultimately be served. Conferences are working together to ensure a positive outcome for those affected. We also have unions and conferences from outside of the Southern Union such as the Pacific Union Conference, and the Northeastern, Greater New York, and Arkansas-Louisiana conferences that have agreed to assist our teams locally.  

ACS Responds to Hurricane Michael

Just over ten days after Hurricane Florence hit North Carolina, Category 4 Hurricane Michael made landfall inland over the Florida Panhandle area early Thursday morning, leaving several parts of the State in ruin. Some of the most severely hit places include Mexico Beach and Panama City. Fatalities and destruction were also reported in the States of Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, and also the Carolinas.

The NAD ACS Disaster Response, Southern Union, and the affected States' Conference ACS leaders have been in communication to discuss the positioning of our team members for Recovery Efforts throughout the affected States. The NAD, along with ADRA, made financial support available to each affected area through grant opportunities for their corresponding Conferences. We have also assigned some Contact people the responsibility of being our liaison to the State VOADs in the affected states of FL, AL, GA and NC, thus enabling us to gain understanding of the preparations that others are involved in as well.

The following Recovery Efforts are now taking place as we develop our response in key areas in Florida, Alabama, and Georgia:
1. Conferences are working to obtain items for the cleanup kits/flood buckets that will be needed in the coming weeks as Recovery efforts begin.
2. The South Central and Gulf States conferences have set up Distribution sites for incoming donations.
3. Deliveries of nonperishable food items, hygiene kits, and etc. are being prepared by Southeastern and Florida conferences.
4. Tallahassee Spanish SDA church has agreed to set up a Distribution Center for the community within the next few days.
5. Seeking feeding trucks to work in partnership with Salvation Army and State officials to feed communities.
6. The State of FL has asked us to have a team ready for the management of a Warehouse in Tallahassee. Both Florida and Southeast conferences are identifying individuals for this team.
7. Also, the Seminole and Daugherty counties in GA have requested Warehouses and we currently are working with them to identify a facility that can house these operations.