Rachelle Starr is the founder of Scarlet Hope, an organization based in Louisville, KY, that rescues women in the sex industry. Her ministry takes her to places most Christians would find appalling. Yet, Rachelle sees the clubs as her mission field. She says…

“Ministry can be messy, and sometimes even heartbreaking, but seeing the light of our great God shine into the darkness is a one-of-a-kind experience.”

We believe that God has established Send Relief to equip you for those one-of-a-kind experiences. By bringing awareness to issues such as families in poverty, the plight of refugees, children without safe homes, sex and labor trafficking, the community impact of disasters, and contributors to these issues, we are shining a spotlight on the needs of our communities throughout North America.

We hope you’re wondering, “What can I do? Where do I start?”

Send Relief has built a pathway for responding to these issues:

Pray

As with any issue that exists in your community and our world, you can begin with prayer. Prayer has the power to transform others, but in order to address big issues it must begin with a change in us. The challenges of our world require us to take bold, courageous, and unexpected steps. We often must go into places that we would preferably not go. Without the power of prayer, God working in and through us, we will either try to go alone or not go at all.

You can find prayer guides for these issues that might help you get started

Participate

David Platt said in regard to refugees, “Much of our response to the refugee crisis seems to flow from a view of the world that is far more American than biblical, far more concerned with the preservation of our country than the accomplishment of the Great Commission.”

Not only does our perspective of refugees need changed, but our perspective of people needs changed. Rather than being absorbed with the way that our world sees people, it is essential that we see them through the eyes of the Savior. In love, we see that they are no different than we are—people in need of help, relationships, and hope only found in the Gospel.

There’s no better way to build those relationships that seeing a need and meeting a need. Jesus did it. Whether he was feeding or healing, Jesus knew that one of the most powerful ways for people to see the Father was when He served them.

You don’t need one of Send Relief’s resources to do this, but we’ve provided tools to provide ideas meeting the needs of your community. Consider engaging your non-English speaking community through teaching English-as-a-second-language classes. Start a backpack ministry for children who don’t have food to eat when not in school. Partner with your elementary school and start an Arise2Read ministry. Mobilize your church of a group and partner with the American Red Cross for a Home Fire Campaign. These are just starting points for meeting the local needs of your community that allow you to build significant relationships.

In addition to these practical resources, Send Relief is developing regional ministry “hubs.” These regional ministry collaboratives and, in some cases physical operations, are designed for two purposes: meet the needs of the communities whether they reside, and effectively equip churches to learn the fundamentals of serving people in specific ministry contexts. For instance, if you want to understand what it looks like to serve the refugees in your community, visit the ministry hub in Clarkston, GA, one of the most diverse communities in North America. With over 30 spoken languages and people from more than 60 nations, the people of Clarkston will help you understand how to serve people from unique backgrounds and experiences. In the near future, individuals, church staffs, and volunteer groups will able to visit our hubs in Clarkston, Appalachia, and New Orleans.

Finally, Send Relief is developing a ministry partnership network to better align individuals and churches with a heart to engage their communities in specific ways but could use a boost. We believe the best help is a ministry already effectively serving in a similar capacity. Through a “vetting” process, we’re putting the Send Relief stamp of approval on ministries that are not only impactful in meeting needs but also sharing the Gospel through their service. These approved ministries are committed to making themselves available to share best practices and experiences that allow others to apply these lessons in other communities

Provide

Maximizing the impact of ministry requires generous partners who embrace the mission of addressing big issues in our communities. The great news is that the church is the most organized, passionate, and effective tool for God to accomplish His purposes in our world. To paraphrase JD Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh/Durham, NC, when you give your life to Jesus, you sign up for this…the Great Commission…to share Christ with others.

The openhandedness of our partners are a valued part of the ministry through Send Relief.

We have seen God use generous givers to change lives in ways we could never imagine. Through the Minister’s Adoption Fund, we’re making it possible for the families of pastors and church staffs to provide permanent, loving homes to children. Thousands of children have been impacted by Backpacks of Hope, receiving Christmas backpacks containing basic items many children take for granted. Crisis Response Buckets are an essential tool for responding to weather-related disasters, equipping homeowners with simple tools for starting the cleanup process after flooding. Beyond Crisis Response Buckets, generous givers make it possible for us to respond to the drastic and long-term needs of communities impacted by storms.

Everyone is not called to be like Rachelle Starr, and every follower of Jesus cannot be the most generous giver, but every follower of Jesus Christ is called to take the gospel into dark places to broken people. We anticipate that God will use Send Relief to equip you to do your part as you meet the needs, build relationships, and share the Gospel in your community and throughout the world.