See how you are Restoring Hope through St. Luke's!
See how you are Restoring Hope through St. Luke's!
Dear St. Luke’s Mission Supporter, 
Blessings for a New Year! Amid unprecedented challenges 2020 brought to us, our community, and the world, God’s grace and faithfulness shone brightly in several areas of St. Luke’s ministries. What an incredible privilege to see our Mission Ministries pivoting on a dime to meet the overwhelming needs in our community while starting ministries with mid and long-term impacts in mind! 
Only because of our supportive congregation were we able to pull this off in a pandemic. None of this would have been possible without the unwavering commitment of our volunteers. You have continued to restore hope and fill critical gaps through countless hours of: 
  • Baking
  • Gleaning produce
  • Making masks
  • Distributing and delivering meals and produce
  • Refurbishing used computers/laptops
  • Donating cars
  • Starting a micro-farm at St. Luke’s
Through our global mission partners, we continued supporting children-led ZOE empowerment groups in Rwanda and Zimbabwe. It was inspiring to learn invaluable lessons from ZOE children leaders in Rwanda, Kenya, and India on tackling an unprecedented challenge like the pandemic by strengthening their community bonds, leaning on their faith and creativity without losing sight of their long-term goals. 
Let us remember though, the heroes of these Mission Ministry stories are the people with whom we partner. The family leaders and children whom we are supporting both locally and globally inspire and teach us about faith, perseverance, gratitude, and boldness! 
Hope and Peace,
Mariam Mengistie, Executive Director of Missions
  • 96,000+ Hope meals distributed since mid-April through 16 faith houses and community partners 
  • 25 families housed and moved 11 to more permanent housing
  • 27 families could have a virtual presence for school, meetings, and work thanks to 3 “Computer Dads” refurbishing and so many of you who donated laptops
  • 4 youth farmers learn to farm and sell the fruits of their labor with over 160 volunteer hours
  • Circle Leaders graduated from the 18-month program in September. You continue to support our Circles families who have been meeting virtually since the pandemic without missing a weekly gathering
  • 120 Rwandan children sponsored by St. Luke’s in 34 families graduated from a 3-year program which helped them get out of extreme poverty and begin a thriving life
  • 115 participants from across the nation in our End Hunger: From Food Apartheid to Food Sovereignty virtual conference. The catalyst for St. Luke’s Grow It Forward Micro Farm, which is already generating revenue after just three months. 
  • $10,000 invested in a Habitat house building in East Winter Garden for a family of 4
  • 70+ participants in the Racial Wealth Gap and Applying Racial Equity Lens to ministries
  • 8674 volunteer (recorded) hours serving our community 
  • $182,154 – the value of volunteers’ time in 2020 
  • 125 books donated by authors of color to Maxey and Mollie Ray Elementary Schools



  • Maxey and Mollie Ray Elementary School families supported through the Restoring Hope Stable Housing Initiative
  • The Circles Winter Garden community
  • A Habitat-qualified family through West Orange Habitat 
  • The West Orange community, including our resident partners in East Winter Garden
  • Central Florida's arts/entertainment community (those in a gig economy) significantly impacted economically due to the pandemic
  • ZOE Empowerment Groups in Rwanda and Zimbabwe
  • St. Luke's partner church in Melones, Cuba
  • Two international missionaries who provide health-related ministries during this critical time
  • 12 organizations providing fresh produce to their communities in a two-county area that received food from St. Luke's



  • $26,200 – the Federal Poverty Line for a family of four
  • $78,156 – ALICE’s* Survival Budget threshold for a family of 4 in Orlando
  • 49% of Orange County residents live below the ALICE threshold 
  • 100 families at Maxey Elementary School whose incomes are below the poverty line
*ALICE refers to the population in the surrounding communities who are 
Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.  
The ALICE population represents individuals who are working, but due to child-care costs, transportation challenges, high cost of living, and so much more are living paycheck to paycheck. 


  • 1 in 3 children is at risk of going to bed hungry TONIGHT
  • 1 in 6 children is food insecure in Orange County



  • #7 – Florida’s ranking in the nation for the worst affordable housing (tied with Sacramento, CA)
  • 20 affordable housing units per 100 needed
  • Precariously housed families – those in motels or overcrowded houses living with other families


St. Luke's partner church in Melones celebrating the second phase of sanctuary construction in Cuba. This project is funded through St. Luke’s Mission Capital Endowment fund.
Weekly food distribution run by St. Luke's amazing volunteers supporting 800-5,000 people (depending on donations). 
St. Luke’s "Grow It Forward" Micro-Farm before and after! In four short months, St. Luke's Grow It Forward Team has turned this pilot project into a profitable project which was awarded two grants this year including a $42,000+ grant to duplicate the model in low-wealth neighborhoods. 
A Letter from the ZOE Abakoranabushake “Committed” Empowerment Group in Rwanda (sponsored by St. Luke's):
“Our blessing friends St. Luke's UMC, kindly receive our warm greetings. We are so happy to send this note to you in order to share with you a message of joy and gratitude, from the bottom of our hearts. We used to think that God did not know us, and we ignored how beautiful was his plan for our lives until the time you have come to us. Thanks to your support, our lives have changed; we have food, we go to school, we have medical insurance, and we can provide whatever is needed for ourselves and our families. What we ask of God is to help us every day so that we can help other people in the community as a way to recognize your generosity. May God bless you abundantly.”
Abakoranabushake “Committed” Empowerment Group working on their land to feed themselves and turn their farm into a business.  
On February 11 at 7:00 p.m. watch a special online service celebrating Black History Month, streaming LIVE on St. Luke’s Facebook page. The service will highlight themes of unity, economic growth, and family. This time together will include special music, dance, spoken word, and a message from Pastor Jeremy.
Learn More
Join St. Luke's community partner, Bread for the World, for a series of Black History Month online worship services starting Thursday, February 11 at 4:00 p.m. EST.
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Life Together Groups meet online to find community, friendship, and spiritual growth. Find a group that's right for you!
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