Posts Categorised: Bonita Springs
What a good and gracious God we have, even in the midst of the recent storms! This is the God of whom the Psalmist sang, “made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed” Ps. 107:25. Hurricane Irma is history, but her effects will be long felt.
Here is just a little insight as to the effects Irma has had on the Amigos Center and Southwest Florida.
Sad to say, we did not fair too well at the Amigos Center in Bonita Springs. It is now wet, moldy and in need of rehab before it can open again. We put two tarps over it to mitigate any further rain damage and packed most things up in preparation for a move to another facility. We still need to remove the wet carpets and ceiling tiles. Thankfully, all of the electronics at this facility are still in good working order. The building now has electricity, but no telephone/internet.
I don’t know yet where we will be able to reopen, however, Lyndsay and Evelyn have returned to work this past Monday. They expect to begin seeing clients sometime next week. This is important as the DACA renewals must be done by October 5, so it is urgent that we reopen in some temporary place ASAP.
Our Amigos Center in Fort Myers was infested with mold, due to the recent weather. Property Restoration was working to address these problems and now we are functioning normally at this facility.
Our Amigos Center in Immokalee weathered the storm well. Pastor Selle and his family stayed there during the hurricane. Electricity has finally been restored and there are some new leaks in the roof. No other damage to building itself.
However, one tree fell and broke one of our outdoor light poles and smashed the fence. Karl and volunteers opened this past Wednesday morning to allow Harry Chapin to distribute water, ice and MREs for those in and around Immokalee who were in need. They have opened several times in order to assist further.
We have lots of people calling and wanting to donate items and are offering to help. We are asking them to call Karl. Starting next week we will put Tulisha, one of our key volunteers, at 20 hours a week to handle food distributions. That will allow Karl to focus on lining up work projects for Immokalee families who suffered damage to their homes.
We will hold our regular worship services this Sunday.
Our personnel weathered the storm, but like many here in Southwest Florida, have damage in one form or another. One of our legal assistance, Evelyn, lost a portion of her trailer home in Rosemary Park. Also, our attorneys Lyndsay and Christina, experienced some water damage at their respective homes. Karl is still dealing with clearing his house from storm damage and Seth is dealing with downed trees and recently had power restored. Pastor Andre and Pastor Saint Luc suffered some damage to their homes as well, but are continuing to serve their roles at the Amigos Center.
By the grace of God, we are receiving some significant help from LCMS Disaster Relief. We are working on a $25K grant for relief work, as they already gave us $3,500 in VISA gift cards, which we have already begun distributing to those in need. More financial help is available upon request. This past Thursday, the LCMS Disaster Relief dropped off a semi-truck load of supplies at Zion Lutheran (diapers, tools, generators, tarps, etc.) We used some of it for the Bonita Springs Amigos Center. They are stationing two point people at Zion Lutheran in Fort Myers to help coordinate needed relief supplies.
Volunteer work crews are already here with more to arrive next week.
Thanks be to God for his mercy endures forever.
Now is a great time to gather and rejoice in how our gracious God held us safely through the storm. Even if you, like so many others, had some damages from the wind and water, all of the material things can be replaced, but God alone preserves life! You may have been without electricity, but you have had power all along with Jesus by your side!
If you feel you want to give of your time, talents, or treasures for recovery efforts, please contact Karl Glander at (239) 293-1489 or follow the prompt below to donate.
I’m Diego Grisales, from Colombia. I’m married and have 2 children. I want to give this testimony to all those people who support Amigos en Cristo.
When I came to the United States 13 years ago, I met Pastor Bob Selle in his service at the Bonita Springs church. He was like an angel for me and my family. At that time I didn’t speak any English, I didn’t have a good job, and my legal status was confused. I remember very well that Pastor Bob Selle invited me and my family to visit his Amigos Center office in Bonita Springs. When we went there we started receiving a lot of support; food, clothes, spiritual support, immigration support, etc. My family and I became citizens of the United States thanks to Amigos Center because they helped us with all the immigration procedures.
I’m very grateful to Amigos Center. This organization really helps, not only people in need, but also they support all the Hispanic and Haitian communities. I always recommend people to visit them to get information and support in many areas.
Amigos en Cristo, Inc. d/b/a Amigos Center
By Rev. Robert Selle
Since 1997 Amigos en Cristo has helped tens of thousands of immigrants to southwest Florida to a successful life here in the United States and the Kingdom of God. We want to celebrate it with you at the Amigos Center Fundraising Luncheon at noon on Wednesday, March 22 at the Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center. Our goal for the luncheon is to raise $80,000. Please RSVP at our webpage www.amigoscenter.org or by telephone
(239) 437-6727. Hope you can make it.
Wednesday, March 22, 2017,
12:00 to 1:00 PM
Southwest Florida Performing Arts Center
(Corner of Livingston and Bonita Beach Road)
11515 Bonita Beach Road, SE
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
By Pastor Bob Selle
Diego’s kind words are very gratifying. Over the 13 years since he arrived in the United States with nothing, he and his family have established three Metro PCS stores and have proven themselves as faithful servants of Jesus Christ and members of our Amigos en Cristo church.
Thank you for helping make our ministry possible. Last month I announced the launching of our 20th Anniversary Challenge Grant; any donation given in November and December of this year that exceeds the amount given in 2015 will be matched up to a maximum of $20,000. I am pleased to report that through December 15 we have received $15,451 in qualified donations. We still have a couple of weeks to go to meet our $20,000 goal.
Thank you for your kind support of Amigos en Cristo. You can double your gift to Amigos Center by making a special gift before December 31:
- Send a check, just write the word “Challenge” in the memo line, make payable to AMIGOS CENTER and mail it to our administrative office: 7401 Winkler Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919, or use the enclosed remittance envelope; or
Click the DONATE NOW button on our website www.amigoscenter.org and make your contribution by credit card or by Pay Pal. Write the word “Challenge” in the message
By Sheila Morales
BONITA SPRINGS, FL – Our mission is to “Heal our community, Mind, Body and Spirit”. Our community is our church congregations and beyond to the cities of Bonita Springs and Estero. This involves assessing our communities health needs, identifying community resources, health curriculum, and programs to address these needs. This requires building community partnerships with health-providers, schools, city governments, non-profits, neighborhoods and businesses to create and provide health promotion activities and training. The Faith Community Nurse Ministry is holistic encompassing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. It is bible based. Christ was and is the greatest healer who can accomplish anything. It is leading by example, demonstrating God’s love in all that we do. It is compassionate, giving hope to those who suffer. It is what Christ calls us to do! Please feel free to contact Sheila F. Morales, Faith Community Nurse @ 239-919-2295 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions of want to get involved in making our community healthy!
Querido Amigo en Cristo,
Te escribo deseándote las mejores bendiciones de nuestro Señor Jesucristo. También, como alguien que ha apoyado nuestro ministerio en años recientes, me urge comunicarme contigo con el fin de solicitar tu opinión sobre el ministerio de nuestra iglesia.
Este año Amigos en Cristo celebra 16 años desde que comenzamos a ofrecer la misa en español, con Palabra y sacramento de nuestro Señor, en Bonita Springs. Durante estos años de ministerio he tenido el privilegio de celebrar:
- 32 baptismos
- 19 primera comunión
- 22 confirmaciones de adultos
- 7 bodas
Actualmente tenemos 56 familias, representando 159 almas, que están contados como amigos de la iglesia.
La asistencia en promedio a la misa dominical más alto para nosotros fue en el año 2010 con 47 personas. Desde aquel año, la asistencia a la misa dominical ha disminuido poco a poco cada año. Hasta la fecha, la asistencia para el año 2016 ha llegado a sólo 21 personas cada domingo.
Mientras el número de hispanos sigue aumentando en Bonita Springs y sus alrededores, la participación en nuestra iglesia disminuye. Eso me deja desconcertado.
El motivo de esta carta es solicitar tu opinión valiosa en cuanto a tu participación con este ministerio.
Solo debes responder las preguntas de la encuesta:
Rvdo. Robert Selle
BONITA SPRINGS, FL – For the twelfth year in a row, Amigos Center will receive financial support from the United Way of Lee County. In addition to providing financial support for our immigration services, United Way annually conducts a careful examination of our finances, management, sustainability and results produced. This includes a visit by the allocation team to our office. After this year’s site visit the team reported their impressions of Amigos Center:
“The Team was pleased with the Agency’s presentation and they had a clear understanding of the value of the programs and the impact of United Way funding. The Team appreciated that the Agency walks the clients through the whole citizenship process, from start to finish. The Team was impressed with the Agency’s focused mission and the obvious positive impact that the program is having on the lives of immigrants.”
The team recommended an allocation of $42,000 for calendar year 2017: family immigration services $32,000 and $10,000 for our U-Visa Victims of Domestic Violence program. We are thankful for the support of the United Way and all the people of Lee County who provide financial and volunteer support to the United Way.
By Rev. Robert Selle
Two years ago I was conducting a baptism class in a home in Lehigh Acres for a young Cuban mother who had never been baptized. During one of the classes she introduced me to her younger sister, Leysi, who had just arrived from Cuba. Leysi sat listening to our discussion about the redemption that Jesus earned for us on the cross of Calvary and the new life we have in His name. At the end of the discussion Leysi raised her hand and timidly asked, “Can I be baptized”? On May 15 that spark of faith finally resulted in Leysi being baptized into our Bonita Springs church at Hope Lutheran. We also received her fiancé, Raul, into membership by affirmation of faith (He was already baptized as a child in Cuba). This young Cuban couple will be married this August. What a great way to begin their new life: a new country, a new marriage and a new relationship with God.
(Pictured from left to right)
Christiina Leddin (Immigration Specialist), Lindsay Ray (Immigration Attorney), Rev. Robert Selle (Pastor/CEO), Anastacia Hernandez (Immokalee Housekeeping), Nancy Ramirez (Immokalee Receptionist), Vicar Karl Glander (Immokalee Service Director), Rev. Andre Mezilus (Pastor Bethlehem Haitian Church), Rev. Saint Luc Charelus (Pastor Bethlehem Haitian Church) and Donna Selle (Bookkeeper). Not pictured are Eileen Ortegon and Maria Isabel Diaz.