Our nation is experiencing a nearly unprecedented time of challenge and change. Social distancing and other restrictions posed by COVID-19 have resulted in shuttered businesses, loss of income, emotional isolation, and much more. Social unrest surrounds us. But in spite of the challenges, God has provided ways for Somebody Cares to continue offering healing and hope to communities and individuals across the country and beyond.
- Our A Word in Season with Doug Stringer and Friends podcast has seen grown exponentially! March through May saw 147,649 downloads of the podcast, a huge increase from 19,680 the prior three months. Each show is designed to bring encouragement through practical teaching and powerful stories of good news instead of bad news. If you have not listened yet, we have plenty of fantastic episodes for you! Click here to start listening now!
24/7 PRAYER LINE
- Many people across the country have been dealing with anxiety, stress, loneliness, depression and/or fear due to job loss, quarantines and strained relationships due to COVID19. The Somebody Cares 24/7 Prayer Line received calls and texts from 326 callers in Feb, 467 in March, 560 in April and 575 in May for a total of 1,928 people. Some received Christ as their savior and many saw breakthroughs in their lives as their attention was focused on the Lord.
- In the early days of COVID19, when N95 masks were scarce, we quickly begin distributing N95 masks that God had strategically given to us. We gave out nearly 100,000 N95 masks to health systems, medical professionals, first responders and community service organizations coast to coast!
- Somebody Cares Chapters and Centers across the country have been reaching their communities with outreaches like: feeding the homeless, delivering meals to shut-ins, providing groceries to families who lost wages, and offering on-line crisis and trauma chaplaincy, all in the name of Christ. Lives are being changed!
- In addition to distributing hygiene and cleaning supplies to the elderly and single parent families in Houston, God has also provided a grant for Somebody Cares to assist families struggling economically because of the shutdown, by helping cover some essential bills; and also, to help churches reach out with tangible expressions of God’s love to their neighbors.
- The Navajo Nation has experienced the highest COVID-19 infection rate per capita in the U.S. As soon as we learned of the need, Somebody Cares rushed 1,680 N95 masks to protect Navajo healthcare professionals and first responders. We delivered approximately 42,000 fortified rice casserole meals, 100# bags of rice, beans and flour, as well as a trailer load of paper products. We provided gift cards to Navajo families needing groceries, water and cleaning supplies. In addition, we partnered with the Navajo Nation Christian Response Team to acquire and distribute hard-to-obtain items like canned meats, fruits, and vegetables for more rural communities. Each package distributed through the Navajo church network also included information about Jesus!
- Doug ministered at weekly online and drive-in prayer services held at various churches throughout the Greater Houston area. After Grace Church in The Woodlands re-opened, he helped facilitate 10 days of prayer services between the day marking the Ascension through Pentecost Sunday.
- During this uncertain time, Doug and Somebody Cares have also been pouring into frontline leaders by hosting national Zoom conferences to encourage, equip, and empower them to be a light in their communities and to their congregations at this critical hour.
- Doug has also been involved in numerous weekly calls to gather information for our network and provide counsel on key issues. These have included national calls with select faith leaders from various groups including the office of the White House; the office of Texas Governor Abbott and members of his team on COVID19 lockdown and reopening issues; USCAL and other leadership networks to hear what God is saying in this day; and others. On many of these calls Doug has participated and spoken into the situation with God’s perspective.
ONGOING HARVEY RECOVERY
- We praise the Lord that we received special permission from the County Judge in Jasper and Newton counties to continue Harvey recovery work during the shutdown. This allowed us to help 11 additional families during the lockdown who have been waiting over two years for repairs to their homes. It has been a wonderful testimony of the love and mercy of God to these precious people.
LEADERSHIP IN CHALLENGING TIMES
- On May 29, Doug hosted a national ZOOM call for which he invited several pastors and friends to share their hearts and perspective during a conversation on how to bring healing to the racial and cultural divide that exists, an issue that was thrust into the forefront by the recent death of George Floyd and subsequent optics we see on the news on a regular basis.
- Because of recent events, Doug was been invited by pastors and community leaders in various areas to minister peace and reconciliation, as he has done for decades. He has also been engaged in prayer and conversations with other prominent Christian leaders across races and denominations to hear God, to call the Church to recognize the broken cisterns that exist today, to find a place of repentance, to intentionally seek reconciliation, and to pray for reformation for the nation.
- Most recently the churches in Bryan/College Station asked JJ Rameriz, founder and President of SOS Ministries and representative of SC Brazos Valley to invite Doug, along with Pastor Charles Flowers, of Faith Outreach Center in San Antonio and the annual facilitator of San Antonio Black, White and Brown, to speak on reconciliation to pastors and community leaders during 10 days of prayer and worship for reconciliation in their community and the nation. Many expressed that It was a timely educational and healing moment.
- Doug also flew to Columbus, Ohio, to videotape a series of messages for the HarvestNet International annual gathering. He shared on the topics of Leadership Awakening, Invincible (Hebrews 12), and The Unshakable Kingdom. They will use the series for their virtual conference in lieu of gathering together this year.
It’s only through your prayer and financial support that we are able to have this kind of impact. And now, thanks to a longtime faithful friend of the ministry, the impact of your giving can be multiplied!
This friend has offered a $30,000 gift and is challenging others to give what they are able to toward matching that gift. This means that every gift we receive between now and August 8 will be multiplied!
God has called us to be ambassadors for Christ with the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). This is a great opportunity to leverage the impact of our ministry to bring healing, hope, and reconciliation to communities across the nation and around the world at a time when the Church needs to be a plumb line of righteousness and mercy.
Please continue to pray with and for us, and give your best gift today!
Thank you for caring!