Alliance Church Provides Hope through Ongoing Post-Katrina Efforts

katrina-1“On June 1, 2011, the city of Gulfport presented me with a letter of occupancy for Liberty Café, a coffeehouse outreach to the community. We are now on the verge of opening the doors of Freedom Hall for the next vital step in our ministry plan.” says Rev. Darren Sanford, who moved his family to Gulfport, Mississippi, in 2005—after Hurricane Katrina ripped through the Gulf Coast region—in order to plant Journey4Life Church and Freedom Hall community center amid the devastation. “Nearly 370 volunteers have contributed more than 15,000 hours of labor and resources over the course of two years. This is nothing short of amazing.”

Southern District Superintendent Fred King says, “We are very excited about the progress of Freedom Hall in Gulfport! Darren Sanford and his family have been the hardest working people I have ever known! His seven children jump right in and go to work. When was the last time you saw youngsters installing tile? They not only do it; they are really good at it!  

“We believe this unusual ministry is of God and is very needed in the region. Though the project has made great progress, it is far from done. The need for materials and workers, as well as the Sanfords’ monthly support, continues to be something we can all share in. I plan to personally help, and I urge you to pray about what you can do. As we all participate together, I believe the need can be met.”  

Darren and his family will  connect with the people of the community through Freedom Hall by providing job training assistance to those who desire to become self-sufficient. “Training provides opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ with disillusioned, hurting people in a mutiethnic community of single and multi-family dwellings in which 20-30 percent are single-parent households. We offer tangible help and hope to people who otherwise would not hear about Him. This is what the mission of the church is all about.”  

Establishing Community

katrina-2Liberty Café will create an environment for building relationships and “bringing individual freedom to a hurting community through the indwelling life of Christ,” Darren says. “The name ‘Liberty Café’ was chosen to reflect our purpose of bringing liberty and dignity to people. The coffees and teas served will be procured from fair/direct trade suppliers, and a portion of the profits will be donated to sponsoring ministries that are combating human trafficking.” 

The grand opening of Liberty Café is scheduled for July. “While we continue to renovate Freedom Hall,” says Darren, “we realize the importance of establishing a community of local believers to provide the basis for Freedom Hall’s mission statement: ‘We bring freedom to those struggling with life’s hardships.’ Thank you for your faithful support of Journey4Life Church and Freedom Hall outreaches.”

Learn More

Read about ongoing Alliance work throughout the Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina: Katrina Four Years Later

What You Can Do

To find out how you can participate in Journey4Life ministries, contact the Southern District at office@southerncma.org, or call 205-661-9585.

One More Thing You Can Do

Give to Alliance Great Commission Ministries and partner with Alliance workers at home and abroad who are being light in a spiritually dark world. www.cmalliance.org/give

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