One day in 2021, Lori Martin stopped by a thrift store, where she encountered a homeless man. Before this, she had been carefree and without a thought about serving the homeless. But God worked through this encounter, and Lori left knowing in her heart that she was supposed to start a homeless ministry.
“This encounter was inspired by God,” Lori says. “This man didn’t look homeless — but it was the look in his eyes, the gentleness in his voice, and the way that he gently touched me during our encounter. My heart changed. I instantly knew that he was homeless and that God was calling me to serve the homeless.”
So, Revive and Restore, a non-profit microchurch through Tampa Underground Network, was founded in 2021. The Revive and Restore team strives to bring Jesus out into the community, meeting people where they are with no judgment. The team doesn’t try to change people — rather, it simply helps them with their immediate needs and to build relationships with them, so they may know the love of Christ.
Currently, the ministry serves around 400 people a month in the Tampa area. Each week, Revive and Restore distributes clothing to those in need. In addition, on the last Tuesday of every month, the organization partners with Lori’s home church, Watermark Church, to host a community meal. The ministry serves food, distributes clothing, offers medical help for vital checks and minor medical needs, live music, and games. When the time changes and it gets dark earlier, they put out an inflatable big screen and watch movies with popcorn and candy.
“The whole point is to share a meal with these individuals,” Lori says. “We sit and have real conversations with them, to allow them to forget about their circumstances for an evening. We want to be consistent and share the love of Jesus with them. Each month, our crowds get a little bit bigger.”
Earlier this year, St. Timothy’s donated to Revive and Restore. This donation helped the organization in a major way to accomplish its first goal — to make the ministry mobile with a 30-foot trailer! Because of our parish’s generous donation, Revive and Restore was able to purchase the trailer and have it ready for use less than one year after they began fundraising!
“I want the parishioners of St. Tim’s to know how grateful we are that they believed in our ministry — that they wanted to bless our ministry and to make our first big dream happen,” Lori says. “When I started out raising money for the trailer, I thought one or two years was a good timeline. But, you can’t ever underestimate the power of God. He made it happen so quickly. St. Tim’s has allowed us to move forward with this and to continue using our ministry as a vessel to reach individuals and to share the love of who Jesus is.”
There are many additional ways to get involved with Revive and Restore. The team is always looking for financial partners. Revive and Restore also has many goals to continue growing their ministry, including fundraising for a truck to pull their new trailer! In addition, they are accepting clothing donations and looking for volunteers to help sort and distribute the clothes. Finally, Lori asks that you keep Revive and Restore and all those that they serve in your prayers.
For more information or to make a donation, visit reviveandrestore.net, or contact Lori Martin at email@example.com or 561-815-3517.