Pastor DJ Coles and his wife, Ruth, have been givers and servers in ministry for as long as I can remember. Chaplain, youth pastor, recording artist, public speaker, mentor, father, husband, and a friend are just a few of the hats that Pastor DJ has worn. In 2013, Ruth began to pray that they would find something that used all their gifts. God answered that prayer audibly on June 4, 2013, at 4:00 in the morning:
I’ll do more in four days than normally happens in four years by My hand.Message from God to Pastor DJ Coles
The Roadmap of Matthew 25
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me…Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.Matthew 25:35-36, 40 NIV
God got really specific with what He wanted The 4 Day Movement to look like. He set up a structure for service that would strategically position The 4 Day Movement to serve the underserved populations in Wayne and surrounding counties in North Carolina. It would be a structure based on Matthew 25 that spread the good news of hope and Jesus Christ to the North, East, West, and South. It would be a ministry that sought neither glory nor fame; a ministry that served in the shadows with many people not even knowing their name.
In the early years of The 4 Day Movement, it was just Pastor DJ and his wife, Ruth. Before they had the means to do much, the Coles were “hope dealers” by themselves. They connected people in need with resources to the best of their ability. Over time, God added volunteers to the team as well as funding to expand their efforts.
Focused on sheltering and feeding, The 4 Day Movement strives to see that no child goes hungry, no house sees a deficit in food, and short-term housing options are available for the homeless, displaced, and/or single-parent families in Wayne County and surrounding areas in North Carolina.Pastor DJ Coles
Today, The 4 Day Movement is moving towards the creation of its own affordable housing community with wrap-around services to assist and empower their clients within a structured environment. These efforts fall into four categories called the pillars of 4 Day.
The 4 Pillars of 4 Day
We were told to spread the Good News to the North, East, West, and the South. Wherever we get an “assignment”, we step in, plant a seed of hope, and God does the rest. He brings prosperity and provision to the people we serve, 4 Day itself, and all those who volunteer with 4 Day.Pastor DJ Coles recalling the 2013 vision from the Lord
Assisting in Crisis and Emergency (Project A.C.E.)
The biggest pillar of need seen on a daily basis is the one where people are in a crisis and need help. This is the area that helps single-parent families and individuals find temporary shelter and food when their resources are limited or unsafe.
The phones ring off the hook for this need, but The 4 Day Movement uses discernment and a team assessment approach to determine which cases fit the scope of its mission. Requests for assistance must go through an intake process to screen out those aiming to misuse resources versus those with a legitimate need.
Serving and Assisting Veterans and Elderly (Project S.A.V.E.)
This pillar involves reinvesting value in the aged community as well as those who have served our country. This is the area that helped a veteran evicted from his three-bedroom home after missing just one payment. It is also the pillar that gives Food with Favor Boxes to the vulnerable elderly populations within the community. When we are all safely on the other side of Covid-19, one of the operations in this area is to go into the homes of the elderly and build relationships between the young and the old.
E4: Employment, Education, Enrichment, & Empowerment
Education and employability are key components of everything that The 4 Day Movement does to help people get back on their feet and become successful members of society. This is the area that helped pay an adult’s college tuition and books as well as sent six students on a school trip to a ballet.
Education is an important value to The 4 Day Movement and will be a requirement going into 2022. However, it can be a source of pain to the clients because many of them have repressed dreams that require education. The clients have lived in survival mode for so long that they have forgotten how to dream. With the help of The 4 Day Movement, the client pictured here went from being homeless living on the streets to graduating with his G.E.D., becoming gainfully employed, and having an apartment of his own.
Caring and Loving Every Adolescent and Teen in Sports (Project C.L.E.A.T.S.)
This pillar involves adopting a team or individual and paying for their gear to play in sports. This is the area that saw a child in tattered clothing show up to tryouts, got him new clothes and gear, and saw him become that team’s starting pitcher. It is also the area that took on feeding 12-15 players on a bus trip where no one had the money to buy food following a game.
4 Day Heroes: Volunteer and Paid Staff
Some 4 Day Heroes are here for a reason, some are here for a season, and some are here for a lifetime. We thank God for all of them.Pastor DJ Coles
It is no secret that The 4 Day Movement couldn’t be where it is today (or where it is headed) without volunteers. While some of those volunteers have moved into paid staff positions over time, most started as unpaid volunteers and were happy to do so.
Volunteers and businesses that partner with The 4 Day Movement to accomplish the vision are known as 4 Day Heroes. A great example of this relationship is the partnership between The 4 Day Movement and Cornerstone Church. Pastor Ryan Rasmussen and the church have welcomed 4 Day to house its food pantry as well as staging for events and many of its meetings at the church. They are a truly giving congregation with a heart for the military and for the needy.
From providing 1100 Thanksgiving hot meals to the second and third shift active-duty airmen at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base to providing weekly Food With Favor Boxes into the community, The 4 Day Movement can’t do what it does without the help of business partners, prayer warriors, financial investors, and volunteers.
The Heroes of 4 Day are a tribe of their own. They come to serve because they want to give back to people who are struggling in areas they have personal experience with as well. The sacrifice of their time and resources is an investment, not a burden. They find joy in the fellowship they have with each other and in the service they are able to provide to the 4 Day clients. Most of the Heroes serve because it is something God led them to do, and, when they obey that direction, God has provided for their personal needs as well–even supernaturally.
The Burden and the Need
Leading a non-profit is a navigation of faith, funds, and communication. You have to be a good communicator because you are asking people to come in for a portion of what they could make in the for-profit sector. I believe what we are doing is more rewarding; you can have hundreds and thousands of dollars and still feel empty at the end of the day. Dollar amount aside, at 4 Day we feel very full like we have done something that meant something. You can’t put a dollar amount on that.Pastor DJ Coles
Moving into 2022, The 4 Day Movement has several initiates in play to expand its role and influence in the community beyond Goldsboro, NC. It is also actively working to remove barriers to education for its clients.
In 2022, they are set to partner with a non-profit tutoring organization to provide K-12 tutoring to all the clients that need it.
It also will begin a partnership with Wayne Community College to bring classes to its clients and provide pathways into the college for further education.
We Need You!
Please consider helping The 4 Day Movement in one of the following ways:
Contribute financially to The 4 Day Movement online by PayPal or send a financial gift to: Attn: 4 Day Movement, Inc., 2822 Cashwell Dr., Box #146, Goldsboro, NC 27534
Tax deductible receipts are available.
Go shopping with 4 Day through Amazon Smile.
Volunteer with 4 Day by mentioning this article and requesting an application via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pray for 4 Day. We know prayer softens hearts and opens doors, and many areas where The 4 Day Movement will stretch will require God’s providence and movement on their behalf.