GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - No more making the homeless come to her for help over Christmas. Lynda Favre is going straight to them – deep in the woods. "It's little spots that are popping up here and there that I haven't been to before, but the other campers are encouraging them to contact me for supplies," Favre said. "So, that's how I get to know these people - is entrustment."
Campers Christmas is a project by Favre and her Shepherd of the Gulf ministry. But it's been a challenge this year. She's been sick for four days, and her broken-down van was repaired just in time. "I knew the campers wouldn't recognize any other vehicle but that blue van," she said. "But God has lifted me up today enough to get this done. … You just have to make sacrifices sometimes. I just don't think about it, I just do."
She does, with a lot of help. Every year, more come into the fold to assist, like Jody Torres and her children. This year, they delivered gifts for about 100. "It's all about giving hope, and that's what Christmas is all about," she said. "It is about presents and fun stuff, but we wanted to be part of giving back and being part of the hope of Christmas."
This is also a first time for Jeremy Terry and his mother, Susan Howie. "It just makes you feel good," Terry said. "It's Christmas. Not everybody has what they need. So, we try to do our part."
Added Howie: "There are many things that you can turn Christmas into but we just believe we need to give back like Christ has given to us."
Favre's influence is well known among campers, even to those she's not seen face to face. "I've been here six years and if I haven't heard her name every week since I've been down here ... I never met her until today," said camper Chance Ray Mayberry. "It's amazing how God works, you know."
Favre said she's about to take her projects to another level by partnering with Open Doors Homeless Coalition to help transition homeless into apartment living.