Friday, May 29, 2009
Papers are sitting unattended. They clutter my desk, but I'm too interested in the slow ticks of the clock to notice. Summer is finally here. Warmth, or what passes for warmth on a May day in Michigan, is beckoning from the front office picture window. That large light in the sky, that it seems I haven't seen in months, is smiling benignly on the world below. A sunny Friday afternoon. Is there anything sweeter? Anything with more promise? All the weekend potential for relaxation and fellowship with family and friends is building with every slow tick of the clock. Any minute that tick will be the last tick, and I'll gather my things and head for home.
But all the weekend happiness is always bittersweet, when you know that even when you lock your office door and get into you beat-up old car, the realization remains that life at the Mission continues day-in and day-out. For too many the days melt together into one long stretch of growing frustration and despair. They don't have all their paperwork. The landlord couldn't wait any longer and rented the apartment to somebody else. Grandma can't put up you and the kids because she doesn't have room, or she can't put up anyone because she stays in an assisted-living facility. The first check you'd planned on doesn't come until next week.
And what would I do if it were I? If I were the one staring at another denial letter. Or facing the fact that the groceries are almost gone and the paycheck just can't stretch to cover another week of breakfast, lunches, and dinners. I guess I would go the Mission and hope to see a friendly face. So we do what we can with what the Lord provides through the donations of compassionate groups and individuals.
And we take care of the paperwork and come back on Monday and do it all over again. We can't do everything, but we do what we can with the best that is in us. After all, that's all we're asked to do.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
It's always amazing to see the dedication and faithfulness of our volunteers. So many of them love the Mission and our guests as much as we do. Today, Pam brought in cookies for the guys on the program. Pam comes regularly every Wednesday, along with several others. Joyce, one of our volunteer receptionists, unexpectedly popped in to cover the front desk for an hour or so, while her car was being worked on across the street. On Tuesdays, right after leaving her regular job, Elizabeth covers the phones for a couple hours, and I am humbled at the thought of someone who gets out of work and, instead of relaxing with some time to herself, gives that time to us. After all, it is in large part, the volunteers, their compassion, dedication, and spirit of self sacrifice, that makes this place one of the best places on earth to work. And also a blessed place for our guests, at least we try our best to make it so. We couldn't survive without them.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Two Men and a Truck, in collaboration with Windemere Park Charter Academy, recently helped collect clothing, personal need (hygiene) items, and non-perishable food for City Rescue Mission of Lansing. The items, specifically to help homeless and/or low income mothers, were collected and brought to the Mission, in time for mother's day.
In an article for the Lansing State Journal (written by Kathryn Prater), Wayne Lake, general manager of Lansing's Two Men and a Truck, was quoted as saying, "A lot of these mothers, they probably don't get anything for Mother's Day. They're just barely getting by." He rightly stated that young people, like the students at Windemere Park, are the future.
It is a great blessing to see the management and employees of Two Men and a Truck, as well as parents and teachers, living an example for the students at Windemere Park. The Mission, and the moms who need our services, are very grateful for their compassion.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Today, the City of Lansing held its annual "Clean Sweep" event. The Mission helped sponsor the effort, as well as sending out a group to help sweep the streets of trash and litter. The guys worked hard, and we appreciate their efforts on behalf of our city and its citizens. The photo shows the men gathering at the corner, at the "end of their labours," before they head for home and some much deserved relaxation. Or back to class for some of our program men, who also generously donated their time and worked shoulder to shoulder with staff.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Last Saturday, staff and some of our program men were able to attend "Home Plate" and see the Detroit Tigers play. Home Plate is a special time of fellowship and renewal, where some of the players share their testimonies. It was a great "field" trip for our guys, a chance for them to see staff in a different light, an opportunity to hear from others who have committed their lives to the will of Christ, and some time to relax away from the strict 24/7 routine they experience during their year at the Mission.