In the spiritual realm, preachers often talk about being cleansed by the healing power of Jesus.
But, members of Vine Church in Zephyrhills, also want to share their love of the Lord in a more practical, down-to-earth way.
Members of the church at 4743 Allen Road already routinely feed the homeless.
Their latest quest has been a fundraising campaign to raise money for a mobile shower unit.
The idea came while sharing food with the hungry, said Pastor Carlos Santana.
Santana said some of his “homeless brothers and sisters” told him what they would really like is a nice, hot shower.
Initially he thought a shower could be built in someone’s barn.
But, then he realized that homeless people would have a hard time getting to the shower.
So, then he thought: “Why don’t we make it mobile?”
“Through a lot of prayer, we found out that FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) uses these mobile showers every time they have a disaster.”
So, now the church is raising money to buy a mobile unit with four shower stalls.
To help things along, it is planning a movie night behind the church on Feb. 26. Donations of $10 are requested, but people are welcome if they can’t afford to pay, Santana said. And, donations exceeding $10 would be gratefully accepted, he said.
The church needs $30,000. So far, it has raised about $4,000.
Vine Church, which began about two years ago, is a nondenominational Christian church, with about 45 members, ranging in age from infants to around age 70.
“Our basic mission as a church is to love God fully and people unconditionally. That’s our mission. That’s our vision. To love people unconditionally,” Santana said.
“We started feeding the homeless. Some of them in Zephyrhills,” he said.
They also feed the hungry at Sims Park in New Port Richey.
“We go out there every Saturday, and we feed them breakfast. And then, one Saturday a month, we also do lunch,” he said.
“Now, we’re collecting clothing. So, we’re also giving clothing and toiletries,” he said.
Eventually, Santana hopes the church can buy several of the portable shower units.
“When people look at homeless people, for some reason, they look at them like they’re not people, they’re not human,” he said.
A hot shower may seem like a simple thing, Santana said. But, a hot shower, a meal and clean clothing can go along way toward helping to restore someone’s sense of dignity.
He hopes other churches follow Vine’s lead.
“I really would like for this to be something that all churches would pick up on. If we all just come together, we could make a real difference.
“It’s really God’s church. It’s one church. One body,” he said.
He said his church feels called to get out and help others in need. When they see the love of Christ in action, they will come to see that it’s true, Santana added.
“We’re not called to sit in a church and warm up pews,” Santana said.
“He (Jesus) told his disciples, ‘Get up and go.’
“That’s what we’re doing,” Santana said.
What: A showing of ‘The War Room,’ a movie about prayer, to raise money to purchase a portable shower unit to help the homeless.
When: Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.
Where: Behind Vine Church, 4743 Allen Road in Zephyrhills
How much: A donation of $10 is suggested. Less will be accepted, and more will be appreciated.
Details: Popcorn and hotdogs and other refreshments will be available for purchase. Movie-goers should bring their own chairs.
Published February 24, 2016